FILM OF THE WEEK

FLEE

Danish director Jonas Poher Rasamussen wanted to make a documentary about the life of his close friend and high school classmate Amin Nawabi (a pseudonym) but because Amin wanted to remain anonymous the film ended up as an animated feature. It is a unique combination, an animated documentary with inserts of live action archive material from the late eighties and early nineties in Afghanistan and Russia.
When Amin was a small boy, his father is taken away by the mujahedeen and soon after his family begins a journey across Europe as refugees. He travels with his mother, two sisters and older brother and their first stop is Moscow where they remain for a couple of years but always in fear of being deported. The sisters travel to Sweden to join this older brother but the others remain in Russia until Amin gets an opportunity to travel to Copenhagen through a trafficker. He is advised to say that his whole family perished back home in order to be accepted for asylum by the authorities and this decision haunts Amin for the rest of his life… This is much more than a film about the perils of asylum seekers but also a story about love and also of the anxiety and thrill of coming out of a gay teenager.
A touching and truly inspirational film worth seeking out!

DEATH ON THE NILE

Kenneth Branagh’s first played Hercule Poirot in MURDER ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS a couple of years ago with a phoney, inconsistent Belgian accent and bearing the most ridiculous moustache in the history of cinema. Now this vanity project extends to another Agatha Christie murder mystery with a preposterous prologue and an even more preposterous epilogue focusing on that dreadful moustache.
A newlywed heiress (Gal Gadot) is murdered while on a board a luxurious cruise down the Nile and everybody is a suspect…
The only positive thing about this unfortunate project is Haris Zambarlouko’s luscious cinematography – as for the rest poor Agatha Christie must be turning in her grave!

PETROV’S FLU

This epic Russian film is based on Alexey Sainikov’s novel and is imaginatively directed by Kirill Serebrennikov with a lovely absurdist touch! In post-Soviet Russia, a city is suffering with a flu epidemic, particularly comic book artist Petrov (Semyon Serzin) who spends a day drifting in and out of fantasy and reality. A surreal, almost Kafkaesque tale told by a great visionary director which demands attention from its remarkable opening sequence on the bus until the final credits.
It is a long film but don’t let that put you off because it is also one of the most original of the year. The action effortlessly flows by, boasting remarkable set pieces strikingly photographed and masterfully directed. A hypnotic experience!

JACKASS FOREVER

It is 20 years since Johnny Knoxville and his crazy group of friends were first let loose to create havoc on the big screen. Now they are back and their sense of enjoyment and hilarity in causing themselves pain is as strong as ever.
A head of a man, like that in a guillotine, is ready to be bitten by a Texan rattlesnake snake, while a woman wants to have liposuction with the help of a scorpion. A canon is about to shoot Knoxville in the air to the delight of his colleagues who like a bunch of naughty schoolchildren carry on cheering. Crazy fun!

MOONFALL

A preposterous premise for the latest sci-fi extravaganza from Roland Emmerich, the director of INDEPENDENCE DAY and THE DAY AFTER TOMORROW. It seems as if he is remaking the same film all over again but this time his lame script has to be seen to be believed. A mysterious force knocks the moon off balance and the earth is on the brink of catastrophe…
It opens like GRAVITY before it becomes ARMAGEDDON when NASA executive (Halle Berry) and former astronaut (Patrick Wilson) set out to save the world. It is big and hollow lacking in any tension but the real mystery here is how Berry manages to keep a straight face while delivering ludicrous dialogue Avoid!

THE WANTING MARE

This highly original film from Nicolas Ashe Bateman is partly science fiction partly experimental fantasy. In the city of Whithren, wild horses are a valuable export for shipping across the sea once a year. Meanwhile, a group of women pass a single dream through generations. Bateman also plays a key role in this lyrical fantasy which boasts strong visuals and relies heavily on atmosphere rather than narrative clarity.
A talent to watch!

A VIOLENT MAN: A familiar premise and setting but told from a fresh and engaging perspective by first time director Ross McCall, who has written an original, sharp screenplay about a dangerous, prisoner. Craig Fairbrass is well known for playing thugs and criminals but here he gets the opportunity to deliver smart, intelligent dialogue as Steve Mackleson, the violent man in question and he excels in it. The whole action takes place in a cell highlighting the claustrophobic world of Steve’s predicament. The strong supporting cast includes Jason Flemying, Stephen Odudoba as fellow prisoners as well as Rosie Sheehy as Steve’s daughter.

LIBORIO: A rare film from the Dominican Republic by first time director Nino Martinez Sose, who tells the story of folk hero Liborio. After a hurricane he returns to his small community in the jungle as a prophet…It is an engaging, mystical film shot on a beautiful landscape and focuses on religion as well as exposing the dark heart of colonialism. (MUBI

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