This courageous documentary was filmed over five years throughout the uprising and siege of Aleppo. Waad ad Katwab’s only weapon against the unseen enemy is her camera and she photographs and records almost everything for a precious diary dedicated to her newly born daughter Sama. The happy days are also there particularly when Waad falls in love with Hamza, an old friend and a prominent young doctor whom she marries. Once the siege begins, he is one of the few doctors who remains in the city providing emergency care to its unfortunate but brave citizens.

Waad even records the birth of her daughter Sama – a joyous moment despite the circumstances. She also provides the narration sharing her thoughts, fears and regrets for bringing up a child into this living hell.

Some scenes are deeply harrowing especially when two boys bring their youngest brother to the hospital hoping for a miracle while a grieving mother screams hysterically when her child is found dead under the rubble.

It is one of the most powerful and moving documentaries I have ever seen – the best of its kind since Michael Cacoyannis’ ATTILA 74 in which he documented the Cyprus tragedy following the Turkish invasion. Essential viewing!



An impressive feature film debut from David Raymond, who follows the story of Marshall (Henry Cavill), a cop on a mission to track down a brutal serial rapist and killer. Meanwhile vigilantes Cooper (Ben Kingsley) and Julia (Eliana Jones) have their own unorthodox methods of trapping and punishing predators and perverts. But after Julia is kidnapped Marshall is forced to join forces with Cooper…

It is an intense thriller with a clever twist. Strong on atmosphere and with decent performances from Cavill as the moody protagonist. Kingsley also makes a fine contribution and so is Stanley Tucci as the Commissioner.



Norwegian Writer/director Camilla Strom Henriksen makes a remarkable feature directorial debut with this sensitive film which tells the story of Jill (Yive Bjorkaas Thedin), a 14 year-old in charge of her younger brother and struggling to keep her family together. Her mother Astrid (Maria Bonnevie) is mentally unstable while her estranged father (Sverrir Gudnasson) is busy developing a new relationship but to Jill’s delight he announces that he will visit her in two days’ time for her birthday…

It is beautifully acted, directed and photographed with moody lighting that conveys the inner thoughts of its characters. It is intense and compelling with an assured central performance from newcomer Thedin.



John Schlesinger’s brilliant film is back in cinemas in a brand new 4K restoration in order to celebrate its 50th anniversary. A landmark achievement – the first X-rated film to win Best Film at the 1969 Oscars with explicit sex scenes that capture the spirit of the period.

Jon Voight is magnificent as Joe Buck, the naïve young Texan who arrives in New York dreaming of becoming a male escort to many desirable women. Instead he befriends a seedy con artist called Ratzo (Dustin Hoffman).

It is an amazing film fresh as the day it was first released. A rare and unmissable opportunity to see it on the big screen where it belongs!



DARK ENCOUNTER:Carl Strathie sets the action of his psychological fantasy thriller in 1982 – the year E.T. was released and that is no coincidence. A special nod also to CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF A THIRD KIND but with a twist- this story follows strange happenings a year after an 8-year-old girl mysteriously disappears. A fascinating premise with a strong beginning but the editing and pacing need to be much sharper.

CUT OFF:An intriguing German thriller based on an international bestseller that demands attention from beginning till end. It is a complex labyrinthine story about a pathology doctor who discovers a capsule in a mutilated body with his daughter’s name in it. Directed with urgency and style by Christian Alvart and worth seeing!

MARY:Michael Goi, the cinematographer of AMERICAN HORROR STORY turns director for this eerie ghost ship horror which tells the story of a family stranded in the middle of the ocean. Gary Oldman and Emily Mortimer in particular, are very effective as the couple with high hopes after they acquire their new yacht… Atmospheric and suitably claustrophobic!


A Brazilian gory horror played as a comedy borrowing the premise from GHOSTBUSTERS. Four amateur YouTubers specialising in supernatural events accept an offer to exorcise Blood Mary, the horrid school ghost. It is too silly to take seriously and not as funny as it thinks it is.

SPIRAL:This is a terrific chiller very much in the GET OUT spirit where a married male gay couple begin to regret deeply their decision to move to a new home in an apparently idyllic small town. It is a good to see an attractive black actor (Jeffrey Bowyer-Chapman) playing the intelligent gay protagonist. Intense and compelling!

EAT BRAIN LOVE:A love story amongst zombies – very funny and inventive about two high school students who after they get infected by the zombie virus they devour half of their class. The actors wisely play this bizarre comedy straight under Rodman Fiender’s tight direction, who keeps the action and blood flowing with much gusto and energy.

THE BLACK STRING: A remarkable feature film debut from Brain Hanson, who tells the intriguing story of Jonathan (Frankie Muniz), a solitary man whose date with an enigmatic woman turns his life upside down. Muniz is superb as the convenience store worker determined to discover the truth behind his dark visions and paranoia.

SATANIC PANIC:This delicious send up of films like ROSEMARY’S BABY and other cult Satan movies follows the story of Sam (Hayley Griffith) a young woman whose first night delivering pizzas turns into a nightmare when she interrupts a satanic ritual in a wealthy mansion. It may predictable but its sense of fun is infectious!


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