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Curzon Home Cinema: DocHouse Curates

Wednesday 24 June, 2020

Although our cinema is currently closed, we’re passionate about connecting people with the very best in non-fiction filmmaking.

So we’re thrilled to have been invited as an independent cinema to shine a curatorial light on these excellent documentaries on Curzon Home Cinema

Whether it’s the left-field humour of Corneliu Porumboiu’s deliciously sardonic Infinite Football or breathtaking films like Midnight Family, these are all documentaries that we love. We hope you enjoy them too!

What’s more, you can get 15% off your first stream with the code: DOCLOVERS

Happy watching!



THE KINGMAKER / Lauren Greenfield / 2019 / 101mins

As first lady of the Philippines, Imelda Marcos earned a reputation for opulence, filling palaces with art and famously owning more than 3000 pairs of shoes. Nearing 90, she is determined to restore her family name and is supporting her son’s campaign for vice-president.

Many Filipinos clearly love Marcos - and the bank notes she regally dispenses from the back of her limousine. But the scars of the Marcos era run deep. Not only can you see them on the island where she imported and then abandoned a private zoo, but they are also vivid amongst activists who endured eight years of martial law, brutally imposed by President Marcos.

With the election of ally Rodrigo Duterte, Marcos’ dreams of a comeback might come true, in a story which reflects all too well the impulses driving today’s rise in global authoritarianism.

Watch on the Curzon Home Cinema here.


SHOOTING THE MAFIA / 2019 / Kim Longinotto 

Bearing witness to the barbaric reign of the Sicilian mafia, Letizia Battaglia's black-and-white photography captures decades of violence on the streets of her home town, Palermo. Kim Longinotto traces Battaglia's journey from marriage aged 16 to a new career at 40 as the first Italian woman to be a photographer for a daily newspaper, defiantly pointing her camera at the devastation wrought by the Cosa Nostra.

With a wealth of archive material - from classic Italian cinema to nail-biting contemporary reportage - Shooting the Mafia is a portrait of a fearless journalist, a passionate activist and a courageous woman who has broken free of convention and expectation in every area of her life.

Watch Shooting The Mafia here.

Watch the Birds Eye View panel discussion on Shooting The Mafia on our online hub.



MIDNIGHT FAMILY / Luke Lorentzen / 2019 / 81 mins

Mexico City, Mexico. With a minuscule number of government ambulances in operation, an unofficial network of private ones prowl the city streets, competing for patients.

It's the family business for the Ochoas: father Fer and his young sons Juan and Josué. Often it’s a nail-biting race to get to a scene before the competition - and then to get patients to a hospital alive.

With abundant empathy for their passengers, the Ochoas also need to make a living - and often ask for money up front. In their downtime, girlfriend problems, hunger pains, sleep, all have to be taken care of from within the ambulance. Times are tough, and about to get tougher: police demands are escalating, as are the kickbacks.

Watch Midnight Family on the Curzon Home Cinema here.

Watch our recorded Q&A with Director Luke Lorentzen and producer Kellen Quinn here.



THE GLEANERS AND I / Agnès Varda / 2000 / 82 mins

Inspired by a 19th century painting of people gleaning the potatoes remaining after a harvest, Varda meets the modern-day gleaners who treasure and survive on abandoned items.

Since 1554 a French law has stated that gleaning is a civil right.

From digging through the leftovers in a field, to picking up the discarded items at the end of a market day, the people Varda meets vary in their needs, backgrounds and philosophies.

Varda reflects on her own role as a gleaner – a gleaner of images and ideas – and in her move from analogue film, to digital she plays with her new medium. She doesn’t reject the accidents, and instead celebrates them in a brilliant, esoteric approach unique to her ever-imaginative and responsive filmmaking.

Watch on Curzon Home Cinema here.



INFINITE FOOTBALL / Corneliu Porumboiu / 2020 / 70mins

Infinite Football follows the travails of a former soccer star and current local bureaucrat in a small Romanian town who dreams of revolutionizing the rules of the world’s most popular sport. 

Directed by the great Corneliu Porumboiu (The Whistlers, 12:08 East of Bucharest), this surprising documentary introduces us to an unforgettable individual, a self-proclaimed Superman, whose quixotic quest mirrors the pursuit of our own hopes and dreams.

★★★★ "A special film about the beautiful game, and so much more." - Adam Woodward, Little White Lies

Watch on Curzon Home Cinema here.



MAIDEN / Alex Holmes / 2018

Maiden is the inspirational story of how Tracy Edwards, a 24-year-old cook on charter boats, became the skipper of the first ever all-female crew to enter the Whitbread Round the World Race in 1989. 

Tracy’s dream was opposed on all sides: her male competitors thought an all-women crew would never make it, the chauvinistic yachting press took bets on her failure, and potential sponsors rejected her, fearing they would die at sea and generate bad publicity. 

But Tracy refused to give up: she re-mortgaged her home and bought a second-hand boat, putting everything on the line to ensure the team made it to the start line. With the support of her remarkable crew she went on to shock the sport and prove that women are the equal of men.

Watch on Curzon Home Cinema here.



TALKING ABOUT TREES / Suhaib Gasmelbari / 2019 / 93mins

We loved showing this as part of our ‘African Identities Reborn’ strand! 

For the four Sudanese film directors at the heart of Talking About Trees, cinema has been more than just their profession. The freedom to make and share films is their driving passion, and it’s a freedom that they long to bring back to Sudan.

After the 1989 military coup, public screenings went out of favour with the Islamist government. Khartoum's cinemas were closed and the country's once rich film industry was curtailed. 

Now retired, the four life-long friends have formed the Sudan Film Group, with a mission to revitalise the country's film culture, starting with an ambitious plan in a crumbling open air cinema.

But how do you organise a free public screening with no equipment, no money and ever-increasing red tape at every turn?

A film about the value of cultural history and freedom of expression, Talking About Trees is a film-lover's delight and a paean to the joy of cinema.

Watch on the Curzon Home Cinema here.



MIDNIGHT TRAVELER / Hassan Fazili / 2019 / 90 mins

When his life is threatened by the Taliban, filmmaker Hassan Fazili goes on the run with his wife and two small daughters. Shooting on their mobile phones, the family takes us with them on a harrowing and gruelling journey, through many countries, trying to find asylum.

A festival favourite, Midnight Traveler places us inside the refugee journey, in its waves of danger, tedium, exhaustion and tenderness. As the family endures endless walks, refugee camps, duplicitous smugglers and filthy accommodation, they are constantly at the mercy of forces far beyond their control. A moving reminder that family life goes on even in the most difficult of circumstances.

Watch Midnight Traveler on Curzon Home Cinema here.



HONEYLAND / Tamara Kotevska & Ljubomir Stefanov / 2019 / 85mins

Located in a deserted Macedonian village, Honeyland follows Hatidze, a 50-something woman, as she trudges up a hillside to check her bee colonies nestled in the rocks. Serenading them with a secret chant, she gently manoeuvres the honeycomb without netting or gloves.

Back at her homestead, Hatidze tends to her handmade hives and her bedridden mother, occasionally heading to the capital to market her wares.

One day, an itinerant family installs itself next door, and Hatidze’s peaceful kingdom gives way to roaring engines, seven shrieking children, and 150 cows. Yet Hatidze welcomes the camaraderie and is generous with her advice.

But soon Hussein, the itinerant family’s patriarch, makes a series of decisions that could destroy Hatidze’s way of life forever.

With beautiful cinematography evocative of Caravaggio, Honeyland explores nature’s vulnerability under the demands of ruthless greed.

Part of our Best Of 2019 Series...

...'the business of bees in the rural mountains of Macedonia with a compelling allegorical narrative highlighting the fragility of local ecosystems and the community that they support... or divide'. Sean (DocHouse Team)

Watch on the Curzon Home Cinema here

See more of our 'Best of Series' here.