This July, we'll be taking a deep dive into journalistic integrity in India, exploring the beauty of Iraq, and looking at the album covers that defined a generation. As eclectic a lineup as ever!
On Friday 14th, we launch our run of While We Watched, a piercing insight into the fraught media landscape of Modi’s India, and a vital watch to consider the state of democracy and journalism worldwide. We’ll be joined by director Vinay Shukla and the film’s protagonist Ravish Kumar, a lone voice of journalistic integrity who Shukla follows, as he battles the increasingly nationalistic and pro-government rhetoric of his country. The Q&A is 6.30pm on Friday 14th, with regular screenings from Saturday 15th.
Also opening on Friday 14th, Squaring The Circle tells the story of design studio ‘Hipgnosis’, who worked with bands including Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd and Paul McCartney to create some of the most iconic album artwork of all time (think Dark Side of the Moon). This great deep-dive by renowned photographer and music video director Anton Corbijn is of course one for fans of pre-punk rock, but also anyone who’s into creativity and thinking outside the box!
Latif al-Ani was known as the ‘father of Iraqi photography’, and captured decades of beautiful, powerful and historic images of his country before Sadam Hussein came to power. Filmed a couple of years before his death in 2021, Iraq’s Invisible Beauty sees co-director Sahim Omar Kalifa accompany al-Ani across his homeland as he revisits the places that he captured on film decades before. This is a stunning and moving paean to a lost Iraq, in the company of the poetic, if crotchety, al-Ani. Iraq’s Invisible Beauty was funded by Bertha Foundation, and the filmmakers are delighted that it will come full circle and screen exclusively at Bertha DocHouse from Friday 21st.
It’s been over 100 years since Alfred Hitchcock’s first feature film was produced. In My Name is Alfred Hitchcock – screening daily from Friday 21st – acclaimed cinephile Mark Cousins reassesses the master and his work with a contemporary eye and a unique angle, featuring impersonator Alistair McGowan as the voice of Hitchcock himself.
Our ‘Sunday Sessions‘ strand continues on Sunday 23rd with a one-off screening of Nikolaus Geyrhalter’s Matter Out of Place – a visually stunning essay that tours the globe encountering the gross excess of rubbish produced by human beings and the extreme lengths we have to go to in order to keep up with it. If this film could do for ‘reducing waste’ what Geyrhalter’s Our Daily Bread did for consuming industrially farmed meat, we’ll be on our way to a much cleaner world.
We’re very happy to announce Sheffield DocFest Spotlights, a new partnership with the UK’s leading documentary film festival, Sheffield DocFest. We’re launching a year-round programme of DocFest screenings at Bertha DocHouse, bringing the best of the fest to London with monthly screenings hosted by the DocFest team. We’ll launch with our first event on Thursday 27th, showing the brilliant British doc White Nanny Black Child. In a personal and moving portrait, a group of Black Nigerian immigrants share their experiences of being fostered by white British families.
Next up, we dig into the closed world of the American Evangelical Christians preparing for Armageddon and the Second Coming. Tonja Hessen Schei reveals the power and influence of the Evangelical vote on US politics, in this eye-opening political docu-thriller Praying for Armageddon plays daily from Friday 28th.
Rounding off the month on Sunday 30th, we welcome director Alex Winter for a special screening of The YouTube Effect, which charts the exponential growth of the video sharing platform, exploring the great capacity for free speech it allows, and the dangers therein. It’s quite a ride, especially and YouTube and parent company Google control so much of what we see and consume online.