Join us to traverse the railways of the world in our latest season of documentaries, On the Line. Framed by the evocative imagery of trains travelling through landscapes, these films explore the feeling of being between two places, focusing on the journey rather than the destination. On the Line offers a meditation on ideas of movement and people in transit and we encourage you to sit back and enjoy the ride.
The season will start with an archive double bill of Turksib (1929) and Night Mail (1936) and will also include Albert Maysles’ final film In Transit (2015).
FRI 25 AUGUST - 18:30
Double Bill: TURKSIB + NIGHT MAIL
With bold and exhilarating flair, Turksib charts the monumental efforts to build a railway linking the regions of Turkestan and Siberia in 1920s USSR. It will screen with the iconic British documentary, Night Mail, a lyrical look at postal workers on the Royal Mail train delivery service. The screening will be introduced by Henry K. Miller.
SAT 26 AUGUST - 18:20
In Transit journeys into the hearts and minds of everyday passengers aboard Amtrak's Empire Builder, the busiest long-distance train route in America. Albert Maysles’ final film made in collaboration with a team of directors, the film unfolds in overheard conversations to moments of deep intimacy, in which passengers share their fears, hopes and dreams.
SUN 27 AUGUST - 16:00
ALL THAT PASSES BY A WINDOW THAT DOESN'T OPEN + SLEEPERS' BEAT
Labourers from Azerbaijan are working on the construction of a new high-speed train line intended to bring glory to future generations while in Armenia, a station master has been awaiting the return of the trains for decades. Across the closed borders of Eurasia, men wait and dream, trying to suppress regret and fear by dreaming of a better future.
Screening with SLEEPERS' BEAT (16')
SUN 27 AUGUST - 18:20
When trains were first introduced to Thailand in the 1890’s, they were seen as a step towards progress and prosperity but instead, the train system remained frozen in time. A contemplative study of Thailand accompanied by the contact rattling of the wheels, Railway Sleepers takes you on a journey along the edge of modernity and nostalgia.
MON 28 AUGUST - 16:00
Filmed over three years on China’s railways, The Iron Ministry traces the vast interiors of a country on the move. Acclaimed filmmaker J.P. Sniadecki immerses audiences in fleeting relationships and uneasy encounters between humans and machines on what will soon be the world's largest railway network.
DOCHOUSE'S DIRECTOR AND HEAD OF PROGRAMMING ELIZABETH WOOD SAYS...
If you love trains and travel these films are for you. If you love the art of documentary they are a must. I love this season with its variety of creative voices expressing the journey, the people and the context of diverse places.
We kick off with two classics, the Russian 'Turksib' and UK 'Night Mail', each reflecting the art movement of their time. The weekend includes Al Maysles' last pertinent and revealing film 'In Transit' across the US and 'The Iron Ministry', Sniadecki’s opus on China’s marathon train route.
I urge you to join us ‘On the Line’ and see the world from a first class seat in our cinema.
All That Passes by Through a Window That Doesn’t Open captures the laying of the tracks with breath-taking imagery as across the closed borders of Eurasia, men wait and dream, trying to suppress regret and fear by connecting with one another and the dreams of a better future.
When trains were first introduced to Thailand in the 1890’s, they were seen as a step towards progress and prosperity but instead, the train system remained frozen in time due to corruption and inefficient management.
Filmed over three years on China’s railways, The Iron Ministry traces the vast interiors of a country on the move: flesh and metal, clangs and squeals, light and dark, language and gesture. Scores of rail journeys come together into one, capturing the thrills and anxieties of social and technological transformation.