Category

Season 21 films

WOMAN AT WAR [KONA FER Í STRÍÐ – ICELAND], THU 26 SEPTEMBER, 8PM

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A music teacher leads a double life as an environmental warrior/industrial saboteur in this jet-black comedy.  An intelligent, feel-good film that manages to tackle urgent global issues with humour.

Meet Halla, a music teacher in her forties. She is a happy, upbeat woman who leads a quiet and routine life. But unbeknown to most she is also ‘The Mountain Woman’: a lone wolf environmental activist who disrupts the operations of an aluminium plant in the Icelandic highlands, by cutting power supply and damaging pylons in acts of industrial sabatogue.

As the authorities intensify their campaign to catch her, she receives an update on a long forgotten adoption application and learns she has been matched with a four-year-old girl in the Ukraine. Can she reconcile this with her crusade to protect her homeland from big industry or will her efforts destroy her chances of finally becoming a mother?

A funny, moving and utterly unique film.

A huge showcase for Halldóra Geirharðsdóttir, who brings grit, determination, and quiet charisma to every scene. An engaging curiosity and an absolute joy. – The Irish Times

Amid the jet-black comedy of Woman at War, which takes as its catastrophic subject matter the despoliation of planet Earth, there is a warmth, wit and wisdom that transcend national and cultural boundaries, making this a truly universal treat. – The Guardian ★★★★

97% rating and ★★★★★ from Rotten Tomatoes.

Winner – Best Screenplay, Critics’ Week, Cannes Film Festival 2018

Winner – LUX Film Prize 2018

Iceland, 2018 | Language: Icelandic | 101 minutes | Cert: 12A

Director: Benedikt Erlingsson

Cast: Halldóra Geirharðsdóttir, Jóhann Sigurðarson, Roman Estrada, Jörundur Ragnarsson

A SEASON IN FRANCE [UNE SAISON EN FRANCE – FRANCE], THU 3 OCTOBER, 8PM

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The pride, pain and desperation of an educated African refugee family in France is portrayed with compassion and a sharp edge.  For the college professor at the heart of this searching film, his loss of dignity is the most bitter pill.

Abbas, a college professor and father of two, seeks political asylum in France after fleeing the civil war that has raged in the Central African Republic since 2013. Widowed when his wife died in attempting to escape the country with him, he has since met Carole, who consoles him in his anguish at the French immigration system.

Two years of waiting finally elicit a response from the authorities. Everything he holds dear, including his hopes for both his future and those of his children, lie in their decision. Compelling performances from both lead actors, while director Haroun masterfully contrasts the intimacy of human relationships with the cold bureaucracy of a vast, impersonal system.

A deeply felt, compassionate film about refugees who find that one of their bitterest abasements is the loss of dignity and status.The Guardian ★★★

A jolting drama with the most shocking scene of the year.The Irish Times ★★★

The film builds toward an explicit condemnation of Europe’s handling of the refugee crisis, encouraging the viewer’s fury at the family’s forced circumstances. – The New York Times

Warm and subtly heartbreaking, offering a moving vision of life for those stuck in legal and emotional limbo. – The Hollywood Reporter

France, 2017 | Language: France | 100 minutes | Cert: 12A

Director: Mahamat-Saleh Haroun

Cast: Eriq Ebouaney, Sandrine Bonnaire, Aalayna Lys, Bibi Tanga, Ibrahim Burama Darboe

NEVER LOOK AWAY [WERK OHNE AUTOR – GERMANY], THU 10 OCTOBER

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Event cinema!  We are showing this Oscar-nominated film in two parts on one night, starting at 6pm.  There will be a 20-minute interval during which we’ll serve wine and a nibble. Total running time including the interval is 3 hours and 35 minutes.

Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck (The Lives of Others, 2006) returns with an Oscar and Golden Globe-nominated drama about individuals caught up in the sweep of German history. Loosely based on the formative years of the world-renowned painter Gerhard Richter, Never Look Away is an intergenerational tale of love, sorrow, art and politics from Nazism through to the Cold War.

In 1937, at the Nazi Party notorious “degenerate art” exhibition in Dresden, a small boy named Kurt’s passion for art is ignited. Years later, in Communist East Germany, Kurt enters art college where he falls in love with fashion student Ellie, unaware that her father has a devastating secret and is determined to end their relationship.

Academy Award nominee for Best Foreign Language Film and Best Cinematography, 2019

Golden Globe nominee, Best Foreign Language Motion Picture, 2019

Click here for official website.

Click here for The New Yorker magazine interview with the director.

An ambitious, compelling film.The Independent ★★★★★

An undeniably enjoyable, absurdly long potboiler gets by on delicious sweep and epic voluptuousness. – The Irish Times

Germany, 2018 | Language: German | 189 minutes plus 20 minute interval | Cert: CLUB

Director: Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck

Cast: Tom Schilling, Sebastian Koch, Paula Beer, Saskia Rosendahl

ONLY YOU [U.K.], THU 17 OCTOBER, 8PM

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A couple in Glasgow discover that falling in love was the easy part.  This engrossing drama pierces the heart of a relationship with wit, honesty and emotional intimacy.

Elena, 35, and Jake, 26, meet by chance on New Year’s Eve in Glasgow, fighting for the same taxi. But instead of going their separate ways after a shared ride, they start a passionate relationship. Within weeks they are living together, and not long after they talk about starting a family. But as the seasons pass, reality catches up with them. Falling in love was the easy part, but can they remain in love when life doesn’t give them everything they hoped for?

A terrifically engrossing drama about two wholly believable characters, made with the kind of wit, honesty and raw emotional intimacy that pierces right to the heart of their relationship. Vividly rendered, and filled with tangible yearning, it strikes a balance between romantic passion and mundane domesticity, as the skin-prickling attraction of new love is tested by the day-to-day tribulations of real life. A perfectly realised story of love and longing.The Guardian ★★★★★

A sensual drama chronicles a couple’s desperate race against the biological clock… two powerful performances are at the heart of the film.The Irish Times ★★★★

The characters’ freshness and the film’s attention to mood and atmosphere reveal plenty of talent in Hary Wootliff, making her debut as a feature director. – The Sunday Times

100% from Rotten Tomatoes

U.K., 2018 | Language: English | 119 minutes | Cert: 15A

Director: Harry Wootliff

Cast: Laia Costa, Josh O’Connor, Natalie Arle-Toyne, Isabelle Barth, Tam Dean Burn

EVERYBODY KNOWS [TODOS LO SABEN – SPAIN], THU 24 OCTOBER, 8PM

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Oscar-winning filmmaker Asghar Farhadi’s (A Separation) intimately painful and powerfully acted drama centres on a shocking crime that interrupts a family wedding.  Starring Penelope Cruz and Javier Bardem.

Laura (Cruz) returns to Spain with her children for her sister’s wedding. There she is reunited with her former lover Paco (Bardem) now happily married and running a successful vineyard on land once owned by Laura’s family. Whilst Laura’s husband, Alejandro (Ricardo Darín) stayed behind in Argentina, an old rumour of her jilting Paco reignites. Moreover, within Laura’s family, resentment simmers over the manner in which Paco acquired the vineyard.

A seething mystery unfurls as secrets, lies and unhealed wounds spanning generations are brought to light. Everybody Knows is an unforgettable portrait of love, loss, and betrayal.

This is Iranian auteur Asghar Farhadi’s eighth feature and his first in Spanish.

Explores the unhealed wound at the heart of a Spanish family with pitiless efficiency and sheer muscular flair…the performances are so intelligent, mature and yet uninhibited…Farhadi’s storytelling has overpowering force.The Guardian  ★★★★

The characters, observations and performances make this film shine.The Independent ★★★★★

Spain, 2018 | Language: Spanish | 133 minutes | Cert: 15A

Director: Asghar Farhadi

Cast: Penélope Cruz, Javier Bardem, Ricardo Darín

FOXTROT [ISRAEL], THU 7 NOVEMBER, 8PM

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A rallying cry against war that charts the story of an Israeli family who are forced to confront difficult truths when they receive shocking news from their son’s desolate military checkpoint.

Michael and Dafna Feldmann are told that their son Jonathan has died in the line of duty while serving in the Israeli army. As they come to terms with the news and prepare for the funeral, they’re informed that a horrifying mistake has been made. Meanwhile, we get a glimpse into Jonathan’s life manning an isolated checkpoint. He and his colleagues never know what will happen when a car pulls up to the barrier.

This film by Lebanese director Samuel Maoz is an extraordinary, complex drama that is both a visceral exploration of military life and an emotionally raw family drama. A source of controversy in its native Israel, Foxtrot is a film full of anger and sadness, and one that is as deeply personal as it is political.

Surrealism and slapstick combine in an unforgettable masterclass…Every single sequence in this controversial Israeli film is thrillingly unexpected.The Irish Times ★★★★★

Brilliantly constructed with a visual audacity that serves the subject rather than the other way around, this is award-winning filmmaking on a fearless level. – Variety

A sad, noble rallying cry against war.RTE.ie ★★★★★

Israel’s hottest export of the year lives up to the hype. an intricate, dazzling cinematic dance. – Los Angeles Times

Fascinating, funny, beautiful and truly profound. – Vanity Fair

Israel, 2017 | Language: Hebrew | 108 minutes | Cert: CLUB

Director: Samuel Maoz

Cast: Lior Ashkenazi, Sarah Adler, Yonatan Shiray, Karin Ugowski

LETO [SUMMER – RUSSIA], THU 14 NOVEMBER, 8PM

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A snapshot of youthful rebellion in the Russian underground music scene set during one summer in 1980s Leningrad. The provocative director was recently released after 20 months under house arrest.

Director Kirill Serebrennikov charts the rise to fame of the late Soviet rock pioneer Viktor Tsoi (played by Teo Yoo) in Leto [Summer], a freewheeling snapshot of youthful rebellion in the underground scene of 1980s Leningrad. Set to a soundtrack of classics from David Bowie to The Sex Pistols, and filmed in stunning black-and-white, Leto is a rock n’ roll musical like no other.

With Serebrennikov until recently detained under house arrest in Moscow, it is a comment on Russian state censorship of the arts that could not be more timely.

The New York Times on 8 April 2019:  Russia Frees Director After Nearly 20 Months of House Arrest  ST. PETERSBURG, Russia — A renowned Russian director was released on Monday by a court in Moscow after nearly 20 months of house arrest, in a financial fraud case that is widely seen by Russia’s intelligentsia as a test for artistic freedom…Kirill Serebrennikov, one of Russia’s leading stage and film directors, had been imprisoned in his apartment since August, 2017, after Russian investigators accused him of conspiring with three of his colleagues to embezzle 133 million rubles, or around $2 million, of government funds allocated to a theater festival…For many in Russia’s arts community, the charges were politically motivated and meant to punish Mr. Serebrennikov for his provocative work. The director is known for taboo-breaking productions that sit awkwardly with the traditional family values Russia’s government promotes, and which often make thinly veiled criticisms of life under President Vladimir V. Putin…Supporters saw the case against him as an attack on freedom of expression that signaled Mr. Putin’s determination to bring the arts to heel. – Click here to read the entire New York Times article.

A look back at Leningrad’s underground garage-rock scene is one gorgeous, grungy, achingly sad memory piece…The fact that Serebrennikov has made such an intoxicating, invigorating movie about freedom percolating under a past toxic regime while having his own rights trampled upon in the present makes the look back that much more ironic. But it doesn’t dilute the joy of experiencing it, one three-chords-and-the-truth number at a time.Rolling Stone ★★★★

A vibrant portrait of Leningrad’s underground ’80s rock scene… lovely, wistful, sometimes confusing and often captivating memory piece.The Los Angeles Times

Russia, 2018 | Language: Russian, English | 126 minutes | Cert: CLUB

Director: Kirill Serebrennikov

Cast: Teo Yoo, Irina Starshenbaum, Roman Bilyk

BIRDS OF PASSAGE [PÁJAROS DE VERANO – COLOMBIA], THU 21 NOVEMBER, 8PM

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An epic drama about marijuana trafficking in Colombia that digs deep into the culture of the indigenous people involved. Critics call it ‘a masterpiece…absolutely extraordinary…a genuine knock-out’.

From the creators of the Oscar-nominated Embrace of the Serpent, Ciro Guerra and Cristina Gallego’s astounding Birds of Passage is an epic, visually exquisite story about the origin of the Colombian drug trade, told through the perspective of a proud indigenous family.  It is the first Colombian film to receive an Oscar nomination for Best Foreign Language Film.

Guajira, Northern Colombia, 1970s. Wayuu tribe-member Zaida has come of age, leaving formidable matriarch Ursula with the important task of finding a suitable match. Her instincts warn her against young Rapayet, an ambitious man with strong links outside of the clan, but the word of a respected uncle carries weight, so she succeeds, setting an outrageous dowry. The seed sown, Rapayet stumbles onto a plan with two flamboyant friends to sell marijuana to a visiting American. It is the beginning of a profitable new enterprise.

As the family rises to prominence, Ursula becomes increasingly complicit in her son-in-law’s business dealings, insisting traditional honour codes are respected and observed. But the trappings of wealth and power soon incite a war that threatens to tear them and their ancient traditions apart.

Once in the bluest of moons, we encounter a freshly minted classic that feels as if it has been around forever…An epic work of folk, gangster and other-worldly cinema.The Irish Times ★★★★★

Startling and intriguing, it grafts quasi-ethnographic docudrama on to drug lord turf war epic. This is film-making that pushes the limits of storytelling and generic templates, and it’s brimming with images and ideas. – The Guardian ★★★★

An extraordinary, visually stunning crime drama.The Independent ★★★★★

Colombia, 2018 | Language: Spanish | 125 minutes | Cert: 15A

Directors:  Cristina Gallego, Ciro Guerra

Cast:  Carmiña Martínez, José Acosta, Natalia Reyes, Jhon Narváez, Greider Meza, José Vicente Cote

BALLOON [GERMANY], THU 28 NOVEMBER, 8PM

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Based on true events in East Germany, 1979. Two families resolve to build a homemade hot air balloon to escape the oppressive Cold War regime and carry them to freedom.  A nerve-racking battle against the clock begins.

Electrician Peter and his bricklayer friend Günther can no longer bear the oppressive Cold War regime under which they live and want to provide a better future for their families. The two men and their wives come up with a daring plan:  They resolve to secretly build from scratch a homemade hot-air balloon which will carry them and their families over the border to freedom.

They need favourable weather conditions to ensure that the balloon can transport them safely. But the Stasi has learned of a possible escape attempt and start to close in. The families may not be able to wait any longer to pull off their dangerous plan.  A nerve-racking battle against the clock begins.

Based on true events, Michael Herbig’s thrilling drama recreates this incredible story.

Germany, 2018 | Language: German | 125 minutes | Cert: CLUB

Director: Michael Herbig

Cast: Friedrich Mücke, Karoline Schuch, Alicia von Rittberg, David Kross

THE SHINY SHRIMPS [LES CREVETTES PAILLETÉES – FRANCE], THU 5 DECEMBER, 8PM

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When an Olympic swim champion uses a homophobic slur on TV, his career is put on hold. To make amends he must coach an amateur gay water-polo team. Dealing with themes of acceptance and understanding, this feel-good film is bursting with joy.

Matthias thinks he can somehow get out of serving his punishment but while training the team, he begins to warm to the motley crew. As they prepare to compete at the Gay Games in Croatia, The Shrimps teach Matthias the joy of team sports and he ignites the fire of ambition and a desire to win in each of them.

The Shrimps are a real-life LGBT water-polo team from Paris, and their adventures as seen in the film are a blend of fact, fantasy and flamboyance – think ‘Dodgeball’ meets ‘Priscilla, Queen of the Desert’.Sky Sports

France, 2019 | Language: French | 100 minutes | Cert: CLUB

Directors: Maxime Govare, Cédric Le Gallo

Cast: Nicolas Gob, Alban Lenoir, Geoffrey Couët, Michael Abiteboul

A short Irish film, Rosemary [13 minutes], will be shown before the feature.