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LFF 17_ Brochure high res

55 DEBATE FRI 6 SAT 7 20:45 HACKNEY 12:00 VUE7 TREASURES SAT 7 THU 12 21:00 SOHO 21:00 NFT3 FRI 13 SAT 14 SUN 15 20:40 CENTRAL 20:45 HAYMARKET 18:15 MAYFAIR SUN 8 17:15 NFT1 Dir Roland Joffé. Prod Zaheer Goodman-Bhyat, Craig Baumgarten, Roland Joffé. Scr Michael Ashton. With Forest Whitaker, Eric Bana. South Africa-UK 2017. 115min. Sales 13 Films Lois Weber directs ballet legend Anna Pavlova in this epic based on Auber’s opera, set against the backdrop of a 17th century Italian uprising. Pavlova plays Fenella, a mute fisher girl, caught up in the bloody revolt of the Italian peasantry against their oppressive Spanish overlords during the occupation of Naples. Lois Weber’s film tackles the scale of the grand opera settings with assurance, while allowing us to enjoy Pavlova’s exquisite physical performance, in her only feature film role. This previously unseen film is long overdue for recognition as one of Weber’s finest creations and a landmark in women’s cinema. Restored by the Library of Congress from elements held at the BFI National Archive and the New York Public Library. Bryony Dixon Live musical accompaniment by Stephen Horne Dir-Prod-Scr Lois Weber. With Anna Pavlova, Rupert Julian, Wadsworth Harris. USA 1915. 115min. Sales Milestone Film & Video 2K restoration and editing by George Willeman and Valerie Cervantes, Library of Congress.  Further restoration by Lori Raskin, An Affair with Film with Milestone Films. Materials courtesy of the BFI National Archive, Library of Congress and the New York Public Library Jerome Robbins Dance Division. Forest Whitaker and Eric Bana excel as Desmond Tutu and Piet Blomfeld in this political drama that asks how far we can go in forgiving past crimes. It is 1996 and South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), which aims to offer support and reparations to the victims of apartheid, has been running for two years. It is headed by Archbishop Tutu, who works to resolve crimes in order to heal an embittered nation. After promising the grief-stricken family of one victim of a government-sanctioned ‘disappearance’ that he will uncover the truth, Tutu’s search leads him to Piet Blomfeld, a convicted murderer languishing in Cape Town’s Pollsmoor Prison. Roland Joffé’s gritty and suspenseful drama recreates Tutu’s confrontation with Blomfeld, who seeks redemption for his crimes. What emerges is an intelligent and deeply affecting exploration of the psychological and moral questions raised by the TRC and our capacity to let go of the past. Keith Shiri THE DUMB GIRL OF PORTICI THE FORGIVEN ISLAND Dir Steven Eastwood. Prod Steven Eastwood, Elhum Shakerifar. UK 2017. 90min. Prod Co Paradogs Films DOC A haunting, deeply moving documentary set among terminally ill cancer patients. The titular island of Steven Eastwood’s feature documentary is the Isle of Wight, where the filmmaker befriended a handful of individuals facing a terminal cancer diagnosis. Following them as they approach the end – through hospital appointments, time with family – this is a stark portrait, acutely attuned to the consoling rituals and stark realities of the dying process. Combining observational footage of his subjects with contemplative shots of the surrounding coastal landscapes through the changing seasons, this deeply felt meditation on the passage from life to death is imbued with an unsensational matter-of-factness and resonant lyricism. A necessarily harrowing film, revealing through scenes of unblinking duration the final stages of the disease’s progress on its sufferers, The Island is also a film of enormous delicacy, made in a spirit of tender respect for every one of the people involved. Edward Lawrenson THE LIGHT OF THE MOON Dir-Scr Jessica M Thompson. Prod Carlo Velayo, Jessica M Thompson, Michael Cuomo. With Stephanie Beatriz, Michael Stahl-David, Conrad Ricamora. USA 2017. 95min. Sales Imagination Worldwide Written, directed and edited by Australian-born, US-based Jessica M Thompson, this remarkably assured and unerringly compassionate debut charts the aftermath of a sexual assault. A cast member of the popular TV comedy Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Stephanie Beatriz gives an incredibly nuanced performance as Bonnie, a popular New York architect who’s raped after a night out. Harrowing, yet never exploitative, the attack is sensitively depicted before the film focuses on the six weeks that follow the crime. Thompson explores a sharp-minded survivor’s trauma, grief and desire to move on, with heartfelt specificity and carefully calibrated wit, highlighting the fact that there’s no correct way for Bonnie to behave. We also see how loved ones can unintentionally worsen the impact. Winner of the Audience Award for Narrative Feature at SXSW The Light of the Moon avoids issues-based drama clichés and is guaranteed to stir emotions and encourage discussion. Manish Agarwal BRITISH


LFF 17_ Brochure high res
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