Quo Vadis, Aida

Twenty-five years after the Srebrenica massacre in Bosnia-Herzegovina, the largest civilian massacre since the second world war, writer-director Jasmila Žbanić recreates the event with horrifying historical authenticity.
Interpreter Aida – a haunting  performance by Jasna Đuričić – is caught up in the UN’s betrayal of the Bosnian Muslims. Despite so-called assurances from Serb General  Ratko […]

Palm Springs

I don’t really know why I agreed to see this film: one, I don’t like comedies, or romances and, two, this is a time-loop  movie, another genre I find rather irritating. Persuaded by good reviews in the press I give it a go. The action takes place in one never-ending, but frequently beginning, day at […]

Minari

Minari is a Korean vegetable that grows in damp areas, highly-prized for its culinary use in kim chi and other delicacies. It is also the thread of life, linking the old ways with the new,  in this is beautifully understated family saga of a Korean family who abandon chicken-sexing in California for a new […]

Memories of my Father

This time last year we had just returned form Colombia and were particularly fascinated by the transformation of former cartel-capital Medellin, the setting for this heartwarming family memoir with a hard centre of Columbian politics. It is based on the autobiographical novel by  Héctor Abad Faciolince, son of the Colombian professor, doctor, and human-rights campaigner, […]

Ammonite

After all the hype of pitting these two great actresses in starring roles, and as lebsbians, I found this film a bit of a let-down. It is set in Lyme Regis, where I spent a couple of terms at school and worked in a café on the Cobb, so know its every nook and cranny. […]

Simple Passion

Phwoar! This is one erotic film…so caveat emptor. Based on a 61-page autobiographical novella by Annie Ernaux, about the author’s obsession with Mr A, the film brings it to life – it has to be said – at great length. Helene (Laetitia Dosch) is a forty-something divorcee who, in the opening shot, sets the scene […]

Poly Styrene: I am a cliché

This is a heart-breaking yet inspiring  movie made by Celeste Bell about her mother, Poly Styrene. Poly, born Marianne Elliot-Said to a Somali father and white-British mother, had a Damascene conversion to punk at a Sex Pistols concert in Hastings in the sizzling summer of 1975. Aged only 19 and unashamed of her braces, she […]

Judas and the Black Messiah

I predict this as one of the films that will sweep the awards in this year’s Oscars. It mainlines the zeitgeist of the past year, #blacklivesmatter, and of telling stories that are of increasing importance in our morally bankrupt world, never more so than in the aftermath of Trump’s racist and divided America. The eponymous […]

My Donkey, My Lover & I

Don’t be put off by the rather silly English  title of this French film (Antoinette dans les Cevennes)  starring Call My Agent’s Laure Calamy (Noémie) whose character is largely unchanged from the voluptuous loyal mistress of that series. Here she is Antoinette Lapouge, having an affair with fellow teacher, Vladimir (Benjamin Lavernhe), whose daughter is […]

Escape from Pretoria

In 1979 Tim Jenkin, Stephen Lee and Alex Moumbaris escaped from Pretoria gaol, the ‘white man’s Robben Island’ having been found guilty of acts of terrorism in apartheid South Africa. This film is based on Tim Jenkin’s memoir of this event and, indeed, is so accurate that he was an extra, playing the part of […]