Transit Havana

Odette, Juani and Malú are awaiting gender realignment, courtesy of Europe’s best surgeons. They are the beneficiaries of a programme established by Fidel Castro’s daughter Mariela, who is being credited with leading a sexual revolution under the auspices of the socialist state. Marking a sea change in the lives of Cuban trans people, they nevertheless face the difficulties of bigotry, poverty and prostitution, all themes that are sensitively explored in this truly touching documentary.

Tickets available from the Rio Cinema website here.

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Sonita

A story of conservative society, furious rhymes and mic drops, Rokhsareh Ghaem Maghami’s extraordinary film follows Sonita Alizadeh, a young female Afghan refugee living in Iran, who rejects an arranged marriage in order to pursue a life making rap music. Standing up to conservative traditions and challenging assumptions, her dream of emulating Rihanna goes down like a lead balloon with her mother. But this self-possessed would be pop star isn’t going to let that stop her.

Sonita won the Grand Jury Prize and the Audience Award for World Cinema – Documentary at Sundance Film Festival 2016.

Tickets are available from the Genesis website here.

Part of Cutting East.

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Notes on Blindness (HoH screening)

When writer and theologian John Hull went blind in 1983, he began keeping an audiocassette diary of his daily life. When it was published in 1990, Oliver Sacks described it as ‘the most extraordinary, precise, deep and beautiful account of blindness’. Using total access to the recordings, Notes on Blindness is an ever-evolving artistic project that has included a short film and an engrossing VR experience. Dubbing actors with the recorded voice of Hull, its exploration of how dreams, memories and imagination are impacted by a lack of sight, this is a formally extraordinary insight into a hidden interior world.

This screening will provide captions for the hard of hearing. Following the screening there will be a discussion about hard of hearing subtitling with Pablo Romero-Fresco (University of Roehampton). There will be a BSL interpreter present. 

Tickets are available from the Genesis website here.

Limited number of FREE tickets available here.

Part of Roots. More information here.

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Notes on Blindness

When writer and theologian John Hull went blind in 1983, he began keeping an audiocassette diary of his daily life. When it was published in 1990, Oliver Sacks described it as ‘the most extraordinary, precise, deep and beautiful account of blindness’. Using total access to the recordings, Notes on Blindness is an ever-evolving artistic project that has included a short film and an engrossing VR experience. Dubbing actors with the recorded voice of Hull, its exploration of how dreams, memories and imagination are impacted by a lack of sight, this is a formally extraordinary insight into a hidden interior world.

Followed by Q&A. Audio Description headsets available on request. 

Tickets available from the Picturehouses website here.

 

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National Bird

The people damaged by helping to conduct America’s drone war speak out in National Bird, a disturbing new documentary executive produced by Wim Wenders and Errol Morris. Heather, Daniel and Lisa are former operatives in the U.S. Air Force’s predator programme. Having previously conducted America’s unmanned war before turning whistle-blower, all are suffering from various levels of trauma, government surveillance, and the outright threat of jail. Director Sonia Kennebeck’s film tracks their stories as they battle PTSD, legal trouble and, in one case, an eye opening trip to Afghanistan. What emerges is a disturbing portrait of a nation detached from what it means to protect its citizens, or other people’s. And in its drone footage sweeping over the landscapes of America, its warnings for the future are only too clear.

Followed by Q&A with the filmmaker Sonia Kennebeck.

Tickets available from the Picturehouse website here.

 

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Homeland (Iraq Year Zero)

A vital, totemic achievement in documentary filmmaking, Homeland is the ultimate cinematic account of the American invasion of Iraq. Abbas Fahdel films his family and friends, both before and after the 2003 invasion, the result a devastating, patient portrait of a community broken by reckless military intervention, in two parts. Before the Fall documents a people living under the expectation of war, with After the Battle laying bare the consequences of war for ordinary people, with visceral, personal and utterly devastating consequences.opencity-logo

Followed by Q&A. Tickets available from the DocHouse website now.
Screening in partnership with Open City.

 

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Hard Stop, The

When Mark Duggan died at the hands of the London Met in 2011, the reaction was unlike anything seen in Britain since the early ‘80s. But whilst the Tottenham Riots made headlines around the world, the true circumstances of Duggan’s death remained mysterious. An incredibly vital pursuit of the truth, The Hard Stop follows Marcus and Kurtis as they seek justice for their friend, in the process exploding the historical tensions between law enforcement and London’s black community.

Followed by an extended filmed panel discussion with Krishnan Guru Murphy, director George Amponsah, Marcus Knox Hooke, Kurtis Henville, ex-London Met Policeman Mick Lees, Stafford Scott (Race Advocacy Officer at The Monitoring Group) and Deborah Coles (InQuest).

Tickets available on the Genesis website here.

 

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Guv’nor, The

The life of famed East End luminary Lenny McLean gets a touching, personal treatment in The Guv’nor. Famous (and infamous) as a bareknuckle boxer, bouncer, enforcer, and doorman from the late ‘60s, McLean’s journey from unlicensed fighter to best selling author and star of Lock, Stock & Two Smoking Barrels is also the story of a working class man from Hoxton weathering the changing decades before his untimely death in 1998. Director Paul Van Carter follows his son Jamie as he explores his father’s story, from troubled upbringing to stardom, on the way meeting a variety of East London characters to director Guy Richie. What emerges is a picture of a complex, troubled and driven family man.

Followed by a Q&A. Tickets available from the Genesis website here.

Please note that The Guv’nor is not an adaptation of the bestselling book, but a documentary about Jamie McLean exploring his father’s life. The film bears no association to the book of the same name. 

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Gary Numan: Android in La La Land

Always celebrating the clash of sound and image, the East End Film Festival has a longstanding and passionate commitment to music and its mercurial creators. From Joe Strummer to The Libertines, and from Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry to Amy Winehouse, EEFF has been delighted to premiere some of the last decade’s finest music documentaries. Gary Numan: Android in La La Land is utterly at home in that company. A story of a man who has gone from global fame to the brink and back again, Steve Read & Rob Alexander’s film follows the artist behind bonafide smash hits Cars and Are ‘Friends’ Electric? as he returns to the world stage, and moves to California. An electronic music pioneer famous for his standoffish demeanour, sharp threads and eyeliner, Numan’s journey into the musical wilderness, long undiagnosed Asperger’s, marriage to his biggest fan, and triumphant return is the stuff great movies are made of. A human story with killer songs, Android in La La Land is a film for would be Numanoids everywhere.

Tickets available from the Genesis website here.

 

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Dead Slow Ahead

A mesmerising cinematic experience, Dead Slow Ahead is documentary reimagined as horror science-fiction. Tracking the journey (or aimless drift?) of a freighter, its rhythms of work, machinery and the ocean are part commentary on post-industrial capitalism swallowing its workforce, part grotesque-romantic portraiture, part contemplation on what the end of the world might look like, with the last mechanical vestige of man following commands without purpose, and clanking along to nowhere. Hypnotic, extraordinary, terrifying.opencity-logo

Tickets available from the Open City website now.

 

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