After taking a break in our Spring season, our miniseries of films returns with a new theme, Power. Whether it is gender, race or culture, the films explore how all these identities are dominated or repressed by societal power. Come for one or watch them all, it’s completely your choice. We’ve given you the lowdown on each film below along with the trailers.
I Am Not A Witch
Mon 04 June, 8.30pm
Winner of the BAFTA for Outstanding British Newcomer, director Rungano Nyoni’s debut film is a daring surreal satire that brings laughter and tears in equal measure.
In Zambia, a nine-year-old girl is accused of sorcery and faced with a stark choice: either confess and live out the rest of her days tethered to a tree as an officially-designated witch, or be cut off from the community, turned into a goat and eaten. Unsurprisingly she opts for the former and finds herself whisked off to ‘witch-camp’ for instruction on how to play her new role to the full.
An undeniably strange and at times challenging watch, the performances are engaging and the sheer verve of storytelling infectiously charming. This tragi-comic fairytale is well worth a Monday evening.
In a word: Bewitching
In a sentence: First-timer conjures laughter and tears with weird and wonderful Zambian abaracadabra.
Mon 25 June, 8.30pm
Winner of the Best Original Screenplay Oscar, and nominated for three others, written and directed by Jordan Peele.
Chris is a little anxious about meeting his girlfriend’s parents for the first time: he’s black, they’re white, and he’s worried things might get awkward. However, it turns out that they are extremely welcoming, keen to emphasise how often they have voted for Obama, and if anything overly solicitous. But when their large party of wealthy white house guests also start to take a close interest in Chris it seems there may be something sinister behind the politeness.
In a word: Stirring
In a sentence: Horror comedy with a killer final line.
The Divine Order
Mon 09 July, 8.30pm
It’s 1970, and women in Switzerland still don’t have the vote. That sounds absurd, and Petra Volpe’s feel-good film plays up the inherent comedy of such a backward situation.
Nora has been taught to get on with the housework and keep her opinions to herself, but a run-in with the local finger-waggers inspires her to speak up. The problem is that Switzerland’s tradition of direct democracy means she and her allies must convince the majority of men to support them, most of whom are more interested in who cooks and cleans up after them.
Watch out for the scene with the mirrors.
In a word: Emancipating
In a sentence: Putting the “can” in Swiss canton.
Mon 30 July, 8.30pm
All well-run tyrannies rely on administrators to record and process the oppression. Sam Lowry isn’t fortunate enough to live in an efficient tyranny – while his office drowns in convoluted paperwork, Sam takes refuge in an heroic fantasy as far removed from his desk-bound reality as he dream.
Inspired to take control and make a difference for once, Sam resolves to correct a single bureaucratic error and in the process finds himself becoming an enemy of the state.
Original, funny and frightening, Terry Gilliam brings his typical off-the-wall sensibility to dystopian satire.
In a word: Escapist
In a sentence: For anyone who has ever chafed under bureaucracy.
Written by Matthew Lacey, Box Office Manager & film buff