What's On In June
We're starting the month with a really compelling, cinematic portrait of three women in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. In this dangerous and impoverished border city, notorious for violence against women, 'Lady Candy', 'Mini Serinita' and 'Baby Star' forge a new path for themselves as Luchadoras - female wrestlers. This brilliant, eye-opening and complex film is only at Bertha DocHouse, opening this Friday.
Also from Friday, we'll be showing David Fairhead's Lancaster - a definitive look at the WW2 bomber, featuring extraordinary first-person testimony from the last surviving crew members, who recall the camaraderie of Bomber Command, but also the massive losses and moral complexities of war.
Julia Bacha, the seasoned director and campaigner who has had a long relationship with Bertha Foundation and Bertha DocHouse, will be with us on Thursday 9th for a special Q&A screening of her latest film. Boycott uncovers the state-legislature being written across the US which penalises citizens and companies for choosing to boycott Israel, and meets three people challenging the laws which inhibit their right to this form of political protest. This one-off screening will be followed by a Q&A with Julia Bacha, director of Palestine Solidarity Campaign Ben Jamal and President of The US/Middle East Project Daniel Levy.
From Friday 10th, you can step into the Ballet class of revered choreographer George Balanchine, through the remembrances of his former dancers. In Balanchine's Classroom will show daily from Friday, and the late afternoon screening on Saturday 11th will be followed by a discussion on Balanchine with Royal Ballet soloist Marcelino Sambe, hosted by dance historian and critic Alastair Macaulay.
More treats for that weekend, we're opening Il Buco on Friday 10th, Michelangelo Frammartino's gorgeous, near-wordless vision of Calabria, Italy, featuring an elderly shepherd and a cave-exploration expedition. This is the perfect opportunity to revisit Frammartino's previous film, the delightful Le Quattro Volte (2010), so we're bringing it back to the big screen on Sunday 12th!
For any archive film buffs or budding film historians, don't miss The Camera is Ours on Saturday 11th - a programme of 5 newly-restored short films made by British women documentarians from 1935 to 1967.
Mid-month, we're bringing the music of social justice to Bertha DocHouse, with a unique film about the musicians and artists who fuelled Cesar Chavez's United Farm Workers movement. Featuring Joan Baez, Maya Angelou and Carlos Santana, among many others, A Song For Cesar opens on Friday 17th.
Also opening on Friday 17th, Shadow Flowers offers a rarely seen view of South Korea, following a North Korean woman who finds herself trapped in the South, from where she is prevented from returning to her family across the border in North Korea.
We're collaborating with Pushkin House on Sunday 19th to present a special screening of director Sergei Loznitsa's 4-hour epic on Lithuania's struggle for independence from the Soviet Union, Mr Landsbergis. This absorbing, archive-rich deep-dive into the progress of the movement between 1988 and 1993, will be followed by a Zoom Q&A with Sergei Loznitsa, hosted by film scholar Professor Ian Christie.
Join us online for our June Short Filmmaker Focus from Wednesday 22nd! The event features brilliant Scottish doc-maker Duncan Cowles. You'll be able to watch his films for free (worldwide) online from the 22nd to the 26th, and tune in for a live Q&A with Duncan at 7pm on the Wednesday evening.
Children of the Enemy opens on Friday 24th, highlighting the issue of orphaned children of European ISIS fighters whose countries of origin refuse to take them back, through the riveting story of one Swedish man's tireless struggle to rescue his seven grandchildren from Syria's infamous al-Hol prison camp.
We'll also be playing Jessica Beshir's hypnotic Faya Dayi from Friday 24th, which immerses us in the rituals of chewing and producing Khat, a leaf that Sufi Muslims chewed for centuries for religious meditations - and is now Ethiopia's most lucrative cash crop.
We're delighted to welcome the London Indian Film Festival back to Bertha DocHouse at the end of the month. We'll be hosting two very different but equally fascinating docs for this year's festival: Ladies Only (on Wed 29th) gathers the hopes, fears, troubles and triumphs of Mumbai women on the packed trains in and out of the metropolis, while Taangh (on Thu 30th) is a uniquely personal view on the Partition of India through the experiences of the filmmaker's father, an Indian Olympic Team hockey player.