Andy Jones follows up his Bi Kidude film As Old As My Tongue with a much stranger and more tragic encounter with rebellious Tanzanian singer Bi Kidude. When Kidude is kidnapped at the age of 102, Jones travels to Zanzibar to investigate. The imminent death of the infamous, chain-smoking performer is a tragedy not just for world music, but for Jones himself, as he takes a trip into his own past, and that of one of Africa’s most iconic artists.
Half Way chronicles the life of a normal family living in Epping forced into homelessness after being evicted from their house, going from one hostel to another as they wait for a new home from the council, during Britain’s exploding housing crisis. Filmed over a period of a year by the eldest daughter of the family, this immersive documentary is a powerful personal story and a moving insight into the struggles and the Kafkian experience of dealing with the merciless housing bureaucracy that thousands of families in Britain are fighting against today.
Following the screening there will be a women-lead panel discussion with the filmmaker and guests, focusing on the role that campaigning women had in the history of the East End and still have around the topics of homelessness and gentrification. Guests include: Daisy-May Hudson (filmmaker and producer for Vice Magazine), Carly-Jayne Hutchinson (Focus E15), Victoria Spratt (features editor, The Debrief), chaired by Andrea Luka Zimmerman (Fugitive Images, filmmaker of “Estate – A Reverie”).
My partner is a Jew, my son gay, my other son an anarchist and I am a left-wing feminist. The only question in case Golden Dawn comes to power is, which wagon are we going to ride.’ So begins a journalist’s trawl through the depths of Greece’s neo-Nazi party, their extraordinary rise and how so many Greeks have been won over by their cause. A delve into the mind of the Nazi next door.
The malevolence of the property ladder takes on a disturbing edge in God’s Acre, JP Davidson’s Bethnal Green set thriller. Malcolm is a boozed up, agoraphobic ex-property developer whose only shot at escaping a cycle of debt is to flip his one remaining property. But when he discovers that the layout doesn’t match the original plans, a dark discovery awaits him. A tale of gentrification meeting a man plunging headfirst into oblivion.
Existential crisis at the heart of the drone war is the focus of Full Contact, David Verbeek’s stunningly atmospheric drama. Gerogoire Colin (Beau Travail) plays Ivan, a drone pilot traumatised after having accidentally bombed a school during a drone mission. Used to being utterly disconnected from the violence he inflicts on others, he seeks connection at a local strip club, punishment in the boxing ring, and escape through the night on his motorcycle, in a stunningly stylish, evocative tale of contemporary manhood, and the disconnection of modern warfare.
An evocation of borders and identity, Flag Without a Country sees hobbling pilot Nariman looking for recruits for his flying school. Pop star Helly Luv, meanwhile, is stockpiling Kalashnikovs and Kurdish flags for her upcoming music video, and befriending refugee children near the Syrian border. Combining fact and fiction, Bahman Ghobadi has real people play versions of themselves, in this playful, soulful, and somehow hopeful ode to the resilience and culture of the Kurdish people.
Taciturn mystery man Radi likes his life just the way it is. Keeping himself to himself, a woman jumping into the back of his old VW campervan is the last thing he wants. But when she asks for his help, old feelings of human warmth and caring begin to stir. It’s the start of a meandering, touching road trip involving a cast of colourful characters, a Palestinian refugee, and the staggering vistas of Jordan, in this involving and human debut from debut writer-director Rifqi Assaf.
David, a grizzled and dour paparazzi photographer, hits the jackpot one night when he receives a tip off that the iconic actor Robert Barker is having dinner with a pretty brunette in central London. But having made the front page, his editor promptly dispatches him to dig for even more dirt on the mysterious star. What follows is a long dark night of the soul, as David’s own tabloid-afflicted past catches up with him, in this gripping Icelandic-UK psychological drama that lays bare the dark reality of the paparazzo scene.
Tunisia in the months leading up to the Jasmine Revolution provides the backdrop to As I Open My Eyes, a tale of rebellious youth and rock n’ roll. Eighteen year old Farah is being pressured to become a doctor by her family. But what she really wants is to sing in her band, get drunk with her friends and experience the dramas of life in Tunis’ underground music scene. Described as the best fictional film yet made about the Arab Spring, Leyla Bouzid’s debut is a humane portrait of the counterculture in a conservative society, with incredible songs and serious heart.