In Helmand province, a unit of British paratroopers become trapped in a minefield, unable to move or offer assistance to those that are injured, and uncertain of how to escape. Paul Katis’ unbearably tense thriller cleverly conveys a horrific and almost absurd scenario of being claustrophobically confined in wide open space.
Tom Williams’ taut script also cleverly develops almost imperceptible tonal shifts, with the story almost resembling a macabre horror-comedy as the soldiers’ gruesome predicament degenerates. Having drawn comparison with films like Kathryn Bigelow’s The Hurt Locker and Danis Tanovic’s No Man’s Land, Kajaki looks set to be considered one of the defining films of Britain’s Afghanistan’s involvement. The fact that it was produced entirely outside of the UK’s traditional streams of feature film funding only adds to its impressiveness.
Drama 2019 169 mins Director: Vaclav Marhoul
Based on Jerzy Kosiński’s 1965 novel and a long time in the making, Václav Marhoul’s extraordinary The Painted Bird finds a lone Jewish boy on a dark odyssey towards home during wartime.
Drama 2018 124 mins Director: Christiaan Olwagen
A Boy George-obsessed smalltown boy joins the South African Defence Force army choir, in this quirky Apartheid-era musical drama.
Romance 1942 103 mins Director: Michael Curtiz
Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman star in the eternal story of love, loss and redemption; the ultimate testament to the brilliance of Golden Age Hollywood.
War 1987 117 mins Director: Stanley Kubrick
Recruits move from the brutal US Marine training bootcamp – into the nightmare of war.
Drama 2017 108 mins Director: Saul Dibb
Sam Claflin, Paul Bettany and Asa Butterfield bring R C Sherriff’s acclaimed First World War play to the screen, in this new adaptation from director Saul Dibb.
Romance 1950 99 mins Director: Anthony Bushell
Anthony Bushell directs this 1950 British drama about the rise and fall of a family of Austrian piano-makers in Vienna.
British Independent Film Awards
Drama 2017 95 mins Director: Dan Kokotajlo
A deeply religious family must decide whether to stick by their relation or abandon her, in this striking debut from Daniel Kokotajlo - a prizewinner at BFI London Film Festival 2017.
Drama 2018 111 mins Director: Icíar Bollaín
Paul Laverty (I, Daniel Blake) scripts this inspiring biopic of Carlos Acosta, and his journey from a run-down Havana neighborhood to becoming the first black principal dancer of The Royal Ballet.
Drama 2017 81 mins Director: Jamie Patterson
A blossoming friendship between two drag performers born 60 years apart is the subject of this emotionally engaging comedy.
Drama 2018 101 mins Director: Brian Welsh
Best mates Johnno and Spanner head out for one last night of raving together before Johnno’s family move away, in this bittersweet coming-of-age ode to '90s subculture.
Drama 2018 120 mins Director: Joanna Hogg
Winner of Sundance 2019's Grand Jury Prize, The Souvenir is the compelling, semi-autobiographical drama from acclaimed writer-director Joanna Hogg.
Romance 2018 110 mins Director: Chanya Button
Gemma Arterton and Elizabeth Debicki relive a literary love affair, fiery and forbidden, with a remarkable legacy.
Featuring Liam Ainsworth
Drama 2015 96 mins Director: Helen Walsh
In this spiky and stylish debut from novelist Helen Walsh, two girls from different backgrounds form an unlikely bond, setting off on a dangerous course.
Documentary 2020 1 mins Director: Xavier Alford
An intimate, personal and surprisingly life-affirming story with a rare illness, Guillain-Barré syndrome, at its heart.
Thriller 2019 104 mins Director: Ladj Ly
Ladj Ly’s extraordinary Cannes Jury Prize-winning debut obliterates the myth of cultural integration in France in Les Misérables.
Drama 2018 85 mins Director: Hong Khaou
Henry Golding shines in this gorgeous study of memory and legacy, a pleasing reflection on the endurance of both.
Thriller 2019 104 mins Director: Brandon Cronenberg
In the near future, a cool and ruthless assassin who uses other people’s bodies to carry out execution-style killings comes unstuck when her latest vehicle resists.
Drama 2020 107 mins Director: Alice Winocour
Starring Eva Green, Alice Winocour's Proxima explores the emotional toll of being both an astronaut and a mother.
Drama 2019 104 mins Director: Coky Giedroyc
Beanie Feldstein stars as a young rock journalist in this coming-of-age comedy, based on the novel by Caitlin Moran.