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Thursday 2 January, 2020

Happy New Year! We've made it through Christmas and made it through New Year's Eve - now here's what's on in January and we've got coming up at Bertha DocHouse this month to cheer you through the post-party season.


We're easing ourselves into the month with the last, last chance to catch the best docs of 2019. Until 9th Jan, you can still see Apollo 11, Amazing Grace, Diego Maradonna, Marianne & Leonard: Words of Love, Minding the Gap, For Sama, Varda by Agnes, Honeyland and Gaza.


Opening on Friday 10th, Advocate profiles a Jewish-Israeli lawyer who has spent decades defending Palestinians through the notoriously harsh Israeli courts, winning her as many enemies as it has friends. 


Also playing from Friday 10th, in The Ghost of Peter Sellers, director Peter Medak revisits his career low, the doomed shoot for a 'pirate comedy' starring Peter Sellers and Spike Milligan. Bad weather, a fractious cast and a fake heart attack spelled disaster for the movie, which was finished but never released.


Another treat for movie-lovers wanting to see behind-the-scenes, Cleanin' Up The Town is the definitive deep dive into the 1984 smash hit Ghostbusters. Our screening on Tuesday 14th will be followed by a Q&A with filmmakers Anthony and Claire Bueno. 



Buddha in Africa takes us to a Chinese Buddhist orphanage in rural Malawi, where children like Enock Alu are offered their only chance at an education, learning mandarin and martial arts. Nicole Schafer's portrait, which opens on Friday 17th, is the story of a boy caught between two worlds, and of the growing influence of China in Africa.


When the Taliban put a price on filmmaker Hasan Fazili's head, he set off with his young family, travelling overland towards Western Europe and asylum. Filming just on their mobile phones, Fazili and his wife recorded their journey, producing profoundly moving account of their path towards safety. Midnight Traveler plays from Friday 17th.


On Saturday 18th, we welcome back Birds' Eye View, who hosted two of their 'Reclaim the Frame' events with us in 2019. This time round, they'll be presenting Be Natural: The Untold Story of Alice Guy-Blaché - literally reclaiming the frame for this pioneering and prolific early film director who has been written out of cinema history. Writer, critic and silent film historian Pamela Hutchinson will join Birds' Eye View director-at-large Mia Bays to discuss Alice Guy-Blaché after the screening.  


Butterfly, opening Friday 24th, follows Irma 'The Butterfly' Testa's bid for gold as Italy's first female boxer to make it to the Olympics. But at just 18, the pressure is immense and Irma has a long road to travel to figure out her future. Also playing from Friday 24th (just in time for Chinese New Year), China Love explores China's changing cultural mores through its billion-dollar 'pre-wedding' photography industry. Tickets on sale soon.


Our first 'Sunday Session' of 2020 also takes us to China, but a world away in the tiny rural village of Turtle Rock. Filming in long, expressive shots, director Xiao Xiao observes the village's seven families through four seasons. Turtle Rock screens once only on Sunday 26th.


Next up, a tale of teamwork and ingenuity as two resourceful Greek farmers and five local grannies begin exporting their organic goods across the world. Alexandros Gousiaris, star of When Tomatoes Met Wagner, joins us for a Q&A screening on Tuesday 28th. 


We close the month with a pair of docs for lovers of film and photography, both playing daily from Friday 31st. Talking About Trees follows four Sudanese film directors and lifelong friends on a mission to keep their film culture alive. Show Me the Picture: The Story of Jim Marshall chronicles the infamous rock and roll photographer who captured icons from Bob Dylan to the Rolling Stones. Director Alfred George Bailey will be at DocHouse for a post-screening Q&A on our opening night, Friday 31st.