Mockingjay: Part 1

Turns a political struggle into something thrillingly personal.

The Beat Beneath My Feet

A toe-tapping indie that is, quite simply lovely.


An extraordinary true tale made disappointingly ordinary.

The Battle of the Five Armies

"Why does it hurt so much?" Because the rest of it felt so real.
Fire in the Blood, documentary - film review
Director: Dylan Mohan Gray
Cast: Zackie Achmat, Edwin Cameron, Bill Clinton, Eric Goemaere
Certificate: TBC 
Fire in the Blood trailer

There’s something about the documentary format that, if done well, can really get under your skin. Dylan Mohan Gray’s Fire in the Blood is a textbook example of what non-fiction filmmaking can do. An investigation into the treatment of HIV in the Third World, it shocks, it informs, it provokes and it grips. You’d think he’d been doing it for decades. But this is actually his debut feature – a fact that makes this even more powerful.


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Village at the End of the World review
Director: Sarah Gavron
Certificate: TBC

The Inuit language has hundreds of words for snow. So goes the urban legend. But what's it really like to live in a tiny house in the middle of nowhere? Pretty awesome, judging by this documentary.

Sarah Gavron follows the day-to-day goings on in the community of Niaqornat. One of the smallest settlements in Greenland, it's bordered by water on one side and snowy wilderness on the other. There are more dogs than people. It really is a village at the end of the world.

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Call Me Kuchu, film review
Directors: Katherine Fairfax Wright, Malika Zouhali-Worrall
Cast: David Kato

Everyone wishes them well
at the party but they won’t tell.
It looks just like two fellas
celebrating they’re gay.

But they’d trade souls for a time
when HIV’s not a crime,
where bills don’t say they should die
- but Uganda’s set in its ways.

This film’s stare is holding;
gripping shots of bold men
and women, revolting
against prejudice without folding.

Hey, I just met you,
and this sounds cuckoo
but take my advice:
See Call Me Kuchu.

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Director: James Carman
Cast: Dr. Edgar Mitchell

“I can’t stand the term UFOs. We’ve known for years what they are…’

That’s one of the many contributors to The Hidden Hand, a film exploring the claims of people who have seen aliens.

People who say they were abducted are called abductees. People who say they had friendly contact with aliens are called contactees. People who label their experience as neither positive nor negative are called experiencers.

I call all of them something else: crackpots.

But while The Hidden Hand can be a lot of fun to giggle and smirk through, James Carman’s documentary does something a lot smarter: it doesn’t judge them at all.
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Steve Martin, banjo
Director: Marc Fields
Cast: Steve Martin

"I think people are continually transfixed by the five string banjo... in some mysterious way."

That's Steve Martin, actor, writer, comedian and Emmy award-winning banjo player. He's the frontman for this documentary, which takes it title from a Mark Twain quote. Why would anyone ever cry out "Give me the banjo"? Because like the blues, the banjo has an interesting (i.e. extremely checkered) past.

"You could hear the darkies singing," begin a troupe of banjo players, as a parade of racism trots across the screen. Minstrels, old white folk, you name it. And Steve Martin embraces that politically dubious history, happy to accept it as part of the music he likes to play.

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Despite the Gods, Jennifer Lynch
Director: Penny Vozniak
Cast: Jennifer Lynch

“It only takes one person to make pasta. It’s nice to have people around while you make it. But if everybody wants to stir it at the same time? It’s sort of a pasta clusterfuck.”

That’s Jennifer Lynch, controversial director and daughter of the equally provocative David Lynch. Ask any film critic and they’ll tell you she’s no ordinary woman. Her first film, Boxing Helena, was widely derided by the media, instantly winning her Worst Director at the Golden Raspberry Awards.

18 years later and that’s still hanging over her head as tries to film her latest project, Hisss – the story of a woman who turns into a snake and back into a woman again.

“People called Boxing Helena torture porn,” she vents in between scenes. “I wrote it when I was 19. Why would I write torture porn when I was 19?”

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Zero Killed- Raindance review
Director: Michal Kosakowski

I’m gonna kill him! How many times have you said that? What if you went one step further and actually thought about how you’d do it? That’s what director Michal Kosakowski asked people all around the world – on the condition that if they were going to share their murder fantasy, they had to act it out in front of the camera.

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Nyman with a movie camera
Director: Michael Nyman

Who watches Man with a Movie Camera and thinks "I'll remake that"? The answer is as unlikely as the question: Michael Nyman. Yes, the very same. After years of accompanying Dziga Vertov's 1929 original from behind the keyboard, The Piano's composer has put down the ivories and picked up a camera to come up with his own version. You could call it a remake - but the word cover seems more appropriate.

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Trashed - Jeremy Irons
Director: Candida Brady
Cast: Jeremy Irons

200 billion. That’s how many plastic bottles we threw away last year – a figure so huge it makes the number of disposable cups we dump look tiny. How many of those, you ask? 58 billion. It’s no wonder, then, that after electric cars, polar ice caps and global warming, someone’s finally made a documentary examining our rubbish. After all, it doesn’t take Jeremy Irons to tell you how much waste can harm the world around us. But thanks to director Candida Brady, that’s exactly what we get.

“From space, you can barely see any sign of human existence, the effect we’ve having on our planet…” begins Irons, hovering over the globe like a Bond villain with a giant space laser. Coupled by a truly rousing score from Vangelis – Van-flipping-gelis! – it’s a strong start to a powerful documentary.

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Wild in the Streets - Raindance
Director: Peter Baxter
Cast: Sean Bean

Let's face it. Shrove Tuesday means one thing: pancakes. 24 hours of fluffy, syrupy goodness. But not in Ashbourne. For that quiet Derbyshire village, Shrove Tuesday means something else entirely: 48 hours of running around with a cow stomach stuffed with cork shavings. They don't even put syrup on it.

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