Fleeing climate change-driven starvation, wars and political repression are upwards of 65 million human beings worldwide – virtually all of whom have no idea what their future holds. The disruption, despair and fear this inculcates in its sufferers are graphically illustrated by acclaimed Chinese artist Ai Weiwei – no stranger to political repression himself during China’s Cultural Revolution – in this highly charged documentary. Although best known as an installation artist, Ai has also made 13 documentaries, often acting as his own cinematographer, so despite its harrowing nature, ironically, this is a beautiful-looking film. Opening with a boatload of migrants landing on Lesbos and then embracing both city-sized refugee camps and makeshift shelters between train tracks, the relentless diaspora filmed in 23 countries lends Human Flow an epic quality that anyone with an ounce of humanity should see.
How do you follow The Force Awakens – a film that raked in two billion dollars at the box office and made the world fall in love with Star Wars all over again? That’s the mammoth task in the charge of The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson (Looper), who has lined up an epic adventure that challenges heroes old and new and delves deep into the mythology of the Force.
Plot details are scarce, but the late Carrie Fisher plays a major role, and Kelly Marie Tran, Laura Dern and Benicio del Toro join the cast. The film’s beating heart, however, is the relationship between Rey and Luke. Rey finally comes face to face with the Jedi master on the island of Ahch-To, but he’s not the man she was expecting to find.
Johnny Saxby (O’Connor) works long hours on his family’s remote farm in the north of England. He numbs the daily frustration of his lonely existence with nightly binge drinking at the local pub and casual sex. But when a handsome Romanian migrant worker (Secareanu) arrives to take up temporary work on the family farm, Johnny suddenly finds himself dealing with emotions he has never felt before. As they begin working closely together during lambing season, an intense relationship forms – one that could change Johnny’s life forever. Captivating and broodingly beautiful, God’s Own Country is the award-winning debut feature from writer-director Francis Lee. Set in the heart of rural Yorkshire, this is a bracingly openhearted romantic story marked by stunning lead performances.
Director: Carlos Saldanha.
Voices: John Cena, Kate McKinnon, Anthony Anderson, Gina Rodriguez, David Tennant. USA 2017. 106 mins.
Ferdinand is a big bull with an even bigger heart. He enjoys the finer things in life – flowers, smaller fellow animals and the like. But after he’s accidently stung by a bee and charges rampantly across the fields, he’s captured by greedy brigands who see a big future for him fighting in Madrid’s bullring. Determined to return to his beloved family in rural Spain, Ferdinand rallies a team of misfits to try and escape. Working from Munro Leaf’s bestselling 1930s children’s book, writer-director Carlos Saldanha (Rio, Ice Age) has applied his considerable creative talents to deliver another animated crowd-pleaser. Its stars include Kate McKinnon (Ghostbusters), David Tennant and Bobby Cannavale, with wrestler-turned-actor John Cena voicing the misunderstood steer.