WHAT'S ON IN AUGUST
Our opening films of the month are Hamada, which follows a group of young Sahrawi people who inhabit a limbo land in the desert since they were driven from the Western Sahara, and Reconstructing Utøya, a film that revisits the horrific terrorist attack that happened in Norway eight summers ago; four survivors meet with twelve young Norwegians to share their experiences and reconstruct their memories.
On Wednesday 7th we have a preview Q&A screening of a documentary that premiered at Sundance earlier this year, Gaza – an elegantly shot and masterfully crafted portrait of Palestinian life that offers a rare chance to be immersed in the heart of Gaza.
In collaboration with former BBC Storyville commissioner Nick Fraser, we have a season of films that feature in his new book Say What Happened, released this summer. The first screening will be The Arbor on Tuesday 13th, followed by a Q&A with director Clio Barnard, hosted by current BBC Storyville commissioner Mandy Chang. On Tuesday 20th we have Carol Morley’s Dreams of a Life, followed by Bobby Sands: 66 Days on Tuesday 27th with a skype Q&A with director Brendan Byrne, hosted by former Storyville commissioner Kate Townsend.
Our Re:Dox strand of great repertory documentary films returns on Friday 16th with a week of American Movie. Chris Smith’s film about the very driven, fanatical horror film director Mark Borchardt and his best friend Mike Schank is a brilliant cult classic. It’s an incredibly funny film, but also a portrait of how dreams and aspirations are often bound by economic status – and is the first documentary I ever saw at a cinema!
Also opening on the 16th is Beryl Magoko’s first documentary feature, In Search…, which premiered at IDFA and then Sheffield Doc/Fest. Embarking on a series of frank discussions with other women who have experienced Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting, Magoko considers whether she should take a journey into the unknown and have reconstructive surgery.
Another IDFA find opening mid-August is Stones Have Laws, in which the Maroon community in Suriname share their experiences of battling Dutch colonialists. Re-enactments along the river and around the campfire bring their experiences to life with imaginative and unique storytelling force; while desolate landscapes show the damage caused by the arrival of multinationals.
On Thursday 22nd August we’re collaborating with Extinction Rebellion on a special screening of How to Start a Revolution. This BAFTA Award-winning film tells the remarkable story of Nobel Peace Prize nominee and political theorist Gene Sharp, described as the world's foremost scholar on nonviolent revolution. Director Ruaridh Arrow will be there for a Q&A, and Extinction Rebellion will introduce the evening.
From Friday 23rd we’re screening Penny Lane’s new film, Hail Satan? which had a great reception with its Sundance premiere. A group of Satanists from Salem are rocking religious and political institutions with their demands for equal rights, and also leading the way with compassion, empathy and community care.
We’ll also be screening Brazilian doc Waiting for the Carnival. Director Marcelo Gomes speaks from behind the camera to the locals about their lives and dreams, and remembers the small village of Toritama as it was when he was a child. His father used to call it ‘The Land of Happiness.’ Now the town sign reads ‘Capital of Jeans. Residents work day and night, dreaming of their futures, and sell everything to attend the carnival.
On Wednesday 28th we’ll be joined by director Jeanie Finlay for a Q&A screening of her latest film Seahorse which accompanies 30 year-old Freddy, who wants to start his own family, and as a gay transgender man faces unique challenges. Since making the film, Freddy has had a personal court battle made public by the press, who refused to respect his right for anonymity – and we hope our support of the film shows our solidarity with him.
Our Sunday Session film on the last Sunday of August will be Walking on Water. Ten years after the passing of his wife and partner, Jeanne-Claude, installation artist Christo sets out to realise The Floating Piers, a project they conceived together many years before. Surrounded by the breath-taking mountainous valley of Lake Iseo in North Italy – where Christo plans to float a 3 kilometer walkway to join both sides – Walking on Water also captures the sheer force of nature.
Our final run of the month is Memory: The Origins of Alien. French director Alexandre O. Philippe’s explores the mythological roots and artistic origins of Alien, and its place in our political history and collective unconscious. Everybody remembers the inspired explosive shocker scene, but not everyone knows the complex and surprising story of the film’s journey.