In partnership with the London Bengali Film Festival
In this powerful romantic drama set during the 1971 liberation struggle of Bangladesh, a reporter interviews a British Bengali on his deathbed, where four decades later, Karim is able to recall and finally share his past. Profound, potent, and poignant, the emotional swoop of Shongram entertains and educates in equal measure.
The film will be introduced by the filmmaker Munsur Ali.
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.
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.
The debut feature from EEFF Director in Residence Tolga Karacelik, TollBooth follows tightly-wound, taciturn bachelor Kenan as he slowly drives himself over the edge. Stationed in the middle of nowhere, with a father desperate to marry him off, and a car that he just can’t get fixed, his burgeoning romance with the woman who drives past his booth every day might just distract him from the meteor hurtling towards earth…a perfectly composed portrait of a man about to snap.
A cultural touchstone for the East End in the 1960s, The Two Puddings on Stratford Broadway was known for its rowdy camaraderie, live music, the dance floor that might have constituted the UK’s first disco, and its wide-ranging, often colourful clientele. Just a few miles away from the swinging streets of Soho was a place no less vibrant for its freewheeling atmosphere, a place where the writer of the Long Good Friday got his inspiration, where David Essex first performed, where football manager Harry Redknapp met his wife, and where Matt Johnson of TheThe grew up. A fascinating insight into East London’s vibrant history.
Followed by a Q&A.Tickets available from the Stratford Picturehouse website here.
The groundswell of gentrification, urban regeneration and community exclusion in East London is touchingly explored in The Seven Sisters Market. Depicting a rapidly transforming London through the eyes of a diverse group of migrants, this observational documentary takes in the work and social lives of the people frequenting this vibrant and historic local marketplace, its importance in the community, and the threat posed by hyper-capitalist development to the melting pot cultural life of London, where the nature of urban space is being rapidly, disturbingly redefined.
Followed by a Q&A.Tickets available at the Rio Cinema website here.
Taking its cue from Romeo and Juliet, Love is Thicker Than Water is a tale of lovers from different sides of the tracks. Vida comes from a well to do London family, whereas Arthur is a bike messenger from a working-class Welsh mining town. Utterly in love, their relationship is nevertheless tested when their wildly different families and social circles collide, leading them to question whether they are truly meant to be together. A sensitive, quirky tale of romance interspersed with lovely animated sequences, this collaboration between Emily Harris (Paragraph, EEFF 2015) and Ate De Jong (Drop Dead Fred), is a touching take on romantic love and whether it can trump familial bonds.
Generation Rent gets the film it deserves in Hot Property, an anarchic satire on the wild west that is the housing market. MyAnna Buring (Kill List) is a corporate spy on the verge of losing her home, who finds herself embroiled in a conspiracy of love, celebrity chefs, hipsters and chainsaws – not to mention borderline insane estate agents – in BAFTA-nominated Max McGill’s riotously fun debut feature.
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.