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OFFICIAL COMPETITION [Spain], Thursday 23 February, 8pm

By Homepage, Season 24 films


Penélope Cruz and Antonio Banderas star as two egomaniacs commissioned by a millionaire to make a movie together in this sharp comedy skewering wealth, art, and pride.

An uproarious comedy that’s also deliciously well-performed… this Spanish-language gem cleverly gets away with being both roast session and sneaky celebration at once. – Tim Robey, Daily Telegraph

[Cruz] has rarely been stronger on screen, as an idiosyncratic martinet who nonetheless finds moments of genius and tenderness between her leading men. A blast. – Kevin Maher, Times [UK]

A sly satire of cinema that also manages to be a showcase for the comedic chops of its stars: Penélope Cruz, Antonio Banderas and Oscar Martínez. – Michael O’Sullivan, Washington Post

It dismantles the lofty ambitions of cinema as great, important and significant, a monument on the cultural landscape. Instead, it shows us art for ego’s sake, and it has a lot of wickedly spiteful fun doing so. – Wendy Ide, Observer

In this Spanish comedy, a millionaire decides on his eightieth birthday that he needs something more memorable than business success to guarantee his legacy. He decides to produce a film and after securing the rights to a Nobel Prize-winning novel, engages acclaimed but unconventional auteur Lola Cuevas (Penelope Cruz) to direct. She in turn casts two very different actors – global movie star Felix (Antonio Banderas) and distinguished thespian Iván (Oscar Martínez) – as her leads. Before long, methods, personalities and egos clash.

Official Competition is a clever satire that pokes fun at various elements of film culture, but also has some genuine laugh-out-loud moments. All three actors are clearly enjoying themselves, but it is Cruz that is the standout here.

  • 96% Rotten Tomatoes
  • Official Competition (Competencia Oficial)
  • Spain, Argentina 2021| Language: Spanish | 115 minutes | Cert: 15A
  • Directors: Mariano Cohn, Gastón Duprat
  • Cast: Penélope Cruz, Antonio Banderas, Oscar Martínez
  • Foreign language films are subtitled.  Cert: CLUB for over 18s.
  • Tickets: €8.50/€7 concession; five film season ticket €30
  • Book online: ADD TICKETS.IE LINK
  • Pay at the door by card or cash. Exact change appreciated.

The Gravedigger's Wife, Somalia

THE GRAVEDIGGER’S WIFE [Somalia], Thursday 2 March, 8pm

By Homepage, Season 24 films


Khadar Ayderus Ahmed’s strong, big-hearted film is the classy story of a man seeking money for his wife’s operation.

Guled and Nasra are a loving couple, living on the outskirts of Djibouti city with their teenage son Mahad. However they are facing difficult times: Nasra urgently needs an expensive operation to treat chronic kidney disease. Guled is already working hard as a gravedigger to make ends meet: how will they find the money to save Nasra and can they keep the family together?

Finnish-Somali writer-director Khadar Ayderus Ahmed’s poetic debut is charming and wistful without ever feeling maudlin. It’s a beautiful love letter to the power of family.

A handsome, widescreen fable about family bonds and financial insecurity, this Somali-language film’s simplicity and economy is its power. – Observer [UK]

A film brimming with authenticity that, supported by three riveting performances, highlights how love and family fuel us.– Insession Film

Charming and wistful without ever feeling maudlin, The Gravedigger’s Wife is a beautiful love letter to the power of family. –

It’s a gentle, humorous film in Africa’s quietist cinema tradition with grace notes of irony and wit. – The Guardian

96% Rotten Tomatoes

Irish filmmaker Sinead O’Loughlin will introduce and screen her short film, Lamb, before the feature.

  • The Gravedigger’s Wife [Guled & Nasra]
  • Somalia, Finland 2021 | Language: Somali| 82 minutes | Cert: Club
  • Director: Khadar Ayderus Ahmed
  • Cast: Omar Abdi, Yasmin Warsame
  • Foreign language films are subtitled.  Cert: CLUB for over 18s.
  • Tickets: €8.50/€7 concession; five film season ticket €30
  • Book online: ADD TICKETS.IE LINK
  • Pay at the door by card or cash. Exact change appreciated.

HIT THE ROAD [Iran], Thursday 9 March, 8pm

By Homepage, Season 24 films


Panah Panahi, son and collaborator of Iranian master Jafar Panahi, who is currently jailed, makes a striking feature debut with this charming, sharp-witted, and deeply moving comic drama. 

Hit the Road takes the tradition of the Iranian road-trip movie and adds unexpected twists and turns. It follows a family of four — two middle-aged parents and their sons, one a taciturn adult, the other an ebullient six-year-old — as they drive across the Iranian countryside. Over the course of the trip, they bond over memories of the past, grapple with fears of the unknown, and fuss over their sick dog. Unspoken tensions arise and the film builds emotional momentum as it slowly reveals the furtive purpose for their journey. The result is a humanist drama that offers an authentic, raw, and deeply sincere observation of an Iranian family preparing to part with one of their own.

95% Rotten Tomatoes

  • Hit the Road [Jadde Khaki]
  • Iran 2021| Language: | 94 minutes | Cert: 12A
  • Director: Panah Panahi
  • Cast: PHassan Madjooni, Pantea Panahiha, Rayan Sarlak, Amin Simiar
  • Foreign language films are subtitled.  Cert: CLUB for over 18s.
  • Tickets: €8.50/€7 concession; five film season ticket €30
  • Book online: ADD TICKETS.IE LINK
  • Pay at the door by card or cash. Exact change appreciated.

The Rose Maker

THE ROSE MAKER [France], Thursday 16 March, 8pm

By Homepage, Season 24 films


Presented with the support of the French Embassy and the Institut Français.

Every garden blooms in its own season.

Eve was once a champion rose grower, but after years without a big success her business is on the verge of collapse. She reluctantly starts to consider selling to a successful competitor. In a last-ditch effort to save their livelihoods, Eve’s secretary Rosa brings on three inexperienced workers to help out. Despite her initial hostility to the idea, the new arrivals soon inspire Eve to give rose-designing one last shot…

A charming and witty comedy-drama, The Rose Maker is a crowd-pleasing tale of the fight for independence in the cutthroat world of artisan floristry. A fierce lead performance from Catherine Frot proves a particular highlight here, with the Marguerite star once again proving herself to be one of France’s most compelling screen performers.

  • The Rose Maker
  • France, 2020 | Language: French| 95 minutes | Cert: Club
  • Director: Pierre Pinaud
  • Cast: Catherine Frot, Melan Omerta, Fatsah Bouyahmed, Olivia Côte
  • Foreign language films are subtitled.  Cert: CLUB for over 18s.
  • Tickets: €8.50/€7 concession; five film season ticket €30
  • Book online: ADD TICKETS.IE LINK
  • Pay at the door by card or cash. Exact change appreciated.

Important Information About Our New Season

By archive, Season 23 films

We are delighted that the Gate Cinema has welcomed us so warmly and in conjunction with their team, we’ll follow government regulations to minimise risk and provide a safe and enjoyable experience for our members.

For this, our 23rd season, we have a new venue, new day, new time, new prices, new booking system, and new rules, so please read to the end.

Location:       The Gate Cinema, North Main Street, Cork City
Day:                Wednesdays
Time:              6:30pm
Frequency:    Monthly
Price:              €10/€9 concession

A maximum of 50 people will be admitted to each film. The theatre in which we will show our films has a much larger capacity in normal times.  If you book a single ticket, 12 surrounding seats are blocked off to maintain a two metre social distance. Please note that those wishing to sit together must book tickets as one group.

Sadly, we must skip our customary glass of wine as gatherings in public areas are not allowed. Hand sanitisers are located throughout the Gate, and the screening room will be sanitised before our films. We ask that everyone leave the cinema without delay after the film, while practicing social distancing.

Masks are required in all public areas such as foyers and bathrooms. Once seated, you may remove your mask to drink or eat, but otherwise we ask that you wear your mask during the film.

Online booking is now available with a new ticket price of €10/€9 concession.  We urge you to book in advance to assure a seat. Options:

  • Online via  [50 cent booking fee per ticket]
  • By phone at 021 427 9890 [50 cent fee per booking]
  • In person in advance [no booking fee]
  • In person on the night – no guarantee of a seat

The Gate uses a dynamic assigned seating programme, so all bookings are automatically socially distanced. Again, note that those wishing to sit together must book tickets as one group.

Tickets will go on sale two weeks in advance of each film. However, they will not be announced to the general public until one week in advance to give our members a ‘head start’ to purchase tickets.  [Subscribe to our e-newsletter if you’d like to receive a reminder of when tickets go on sale.]

If booking online, you can print your tickets at home; collect at the ticket counter; or collect from the ticket kiosk by the stairs.

If there is another lockdown, tickets may be refunded except for the booking fee.


By archive, Season 23 films

We have added a second screening.  Now at 6:30 and 6:45pm.

A fresh and distinctive take on Charles Dickens’ semi-autobiographical masterpiece, The Personal History Of David Copperfield, set in the 1840’s, chronicles the life of its iconic title character (played by Dev Patel) as he navigates a chaotic world to find his elusive place within it. From his unhappy childhood to the discovery of his gift as a storyteller and writer, David’s journey is by turns hilarious and tragic, but always full of life, colour and humanity.

Armando Iannucci delivers a minor miracle…maybe the best Dickens film adaptation since David Lean.The Irish Times [Donald Clarke] ★★★★★

Armando Iannucci both respects and reinvents the novel in a wonderfully entertaining adaptation full to bursting with fantastic comic performances.The Guardian [Mark Kermode] ★★★★★

Armando Iannucci’s souped-up, trimmed-down adaptation of the Dickens novel is an exuberant, heartfelt delight.  – New York Times

A vivacious adaptation of the Charles Dickens classic, this is as wide-eyed and open-hearted as they come. Independent UK ★★★★

93% Rotten Tomatoes

UK, 2020 | Language: English | 119 minutes | Cert: PG

Director: Armando Iannucci

Cast: Dev Patel, Peter Capaldi, Hugh Laurie, Tilda Swinton, Ben Whishaw, Gwendoline Christie

Foreign language films are subtitled.  Cert: CLUB for over 18s.


By archive, Season 23 films

Due to Covid-19 restrictions, we have cancelled this screening.  We hope to reschedule in January 2021.

In a remote Icelandic town, an off-duty police chief begins to suspect a local man of having had an affair with his late wife, who died in a tragic accident two years earlier. Gradually his obsession for finding out the truth accumulates and inevitably begins to endanger himself and his loved ones. A story of grief, revenge and unconditional love.

An edge-of-seat psychological drama-thriller.The Guardian ★★★★

The accumulating melange of social unease and psychological torment is transfixing…quietly startling visual coups.Irish Times ★★★

An eerily gripping study of grief — and impotence in its face — with the trappings of a revenge thriller.New York Times Critic’s Pick

Delivers a superb psychological puzzle worth piecing together.Los Angeles Times

96% Rotten Tomatoes

Iceland, 2019 | Language: Icelandic | 1 hour & 49 minutes | Cert: 15A

Director: Hlynur Pálmason

Cast: Ingvar Sigurdsson, Ída Mekkín Hlynsdóttir, Hilmir Snær Guðnason

Foreign language films are subtitled.  Cert CLUB for over 18s.


By archive, Season 23 films

Inspired by the 2005 riots in Paris, Les Misérables – directed by Ladj Ly – follows Stéphane, a recent transplant to the impoverished suburb of Montfermeil, as he joins the local anti-crime squad. Working alongside his unscrupulous colleagues Chris and Gwada, Stéphane struggles to maintain order amidst the mounting tensions between local gangs. When an arrest turns unexpectedly violent, the three officers must reckon with the aftermath and keep the neighborhood from spiraling out of control.

Academy Award Nominee, Best International Feature Film, 2020

A wild and electrifying modern French drama…better than La Haine, more incendiary than Do the Right Thing. – Irish Times ★★★★★

The ghosts of Victor Hugo’s downtrodden 19th-century rebels haunt Ladj Ly’s César-winning contemporary urban drama, a streetwise tale of France’s dispossessed masses, brought once again to the brink of rebellion.The Guardian ★★★★

A cross between The Wire, Do the Right Thing and Training Day, Les Misérables is brilliantly paced, unbearably tense and a reminder that there are so many great actors who go under the radar.RTE ★★★★★

New York Times interview with director Ladj Ly:  A Movie Torn From the Pages of His Life.

88% Rotten Tomatoes

France, 2019 | Language: French, Bambara | 104 minutes | Cert: CLUB

Director: Ladj Ly

Cast: Damien Bonnard, Alexis Manenti, Djebril Zonga, Issa Perica, Al-Hassan Ly

Foreign language films are subtitled.  Cert CLUB for over 18s.


By archive, Season 23 films

A revealing look at the changing roles of women in Saudi Arabia from director Haifaa Al-Mansour (Wadjda), The Perfect Candidate follows Maryam, a determined young doctor who runs for city council after the male incumbent repeatedly ignores her request to fix the muddy road leading to her clinic. Maryam and her family mobilise their determination and creativity to move their traditional society forward.

In this assured and watchable picture, al-Mansour gives her audience a fine lesson in some key ingredients of political life in Saudi or anywhere else: nepotism, cynicism, sexism and chaos.The Guardian ★★★★

Saudi feminist drama is forthright and free from poeticism. For Haifaa al-Mansour, it’s an opportunity to reflect on the progress made by courageous women like her.Independent UK ★★★★

A subtle message movie from one of the world’s most important filmmakers.NME ★★★★

93% Rotten Tomatoes

Saudi Arabia, 2019 | Language: Arabic | 101 minutes | Cert: CLUB

Director: Haifaa Al Mansour

Cast: Nora Al Awadh, Dae Al Hilali, Mila Al Zahrani

Foreign language films are subtitled.  Cert CLUB for over 18s.