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 2019 100 mins Director: Jessica Swale
Gemma Arterton stars in acclaimed theatre director Jessica Swale’s moving Second World War drama, as a woman rediscovering her ability to love.
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.
British Independent Film Awards
Drama 2019 84 mins Director: Eva Riley
An aspiring teen gymnast’s world is turned upside down with the arrival of the half-brother she never knew she had.
Drama 2018 91 mins Director: Rene Pannevis
A young thief balances nocturnal thrills with caring for his chronically ill father, in this thrilling yet thoughtful crime drama.
Romance 2020 86 mins Director: Zeina Durra
Andrea Riseborough stars as an aid worker processing the trauma of working on the frontline on the Jordanian-Syrian border.
Thriller 2019 104 mins Director: Ladj Ly
Ladj Ly’s extraordinary Cannes Jury Prize-winning debut obliterates the myth of cultural integration in France.
Drama 2019 118 mins Director: Shannon Murphy
Seriously ill Milla (Eliza Scanlen) clashes with her parents, who disapprove when she brings home her sketchy new boyfriend Toby, in this tragicomic debut from Shannon Murphy.
Horror 2019 81 mins Director: Rose Glass
A mysterious nurse becomes dangerously obsessed with saving the soul of her dying patient in director Rose Glass’ divine debut.
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.
Drama 2016 83 mins Director: Joseph A. Adesunloye
A young mixed heritage man confronts the psychological complexities of his identity in this essential, truly cinematic discovery for anyone interested in Black British cinema.
Documentary 2020 199 mins Director: Khalik Allah
The monumental new diary film from New York-based director and photographer Khalik Allah.
Science Fiction 2019 102 mins Director: Justin Benson
Anthony Mackie and Jamie Dornan star as a pair of New Orleans paramedics who encounter a series of bizarre deaths linked to a new designer drug with otherworldly effects.
Documentary 2020 90 mins Director: Blaise Singh
The modern face of protest is the focus of this timely and necessary documentary.
Drama 2000 100 mins Director: Wong Kar Wai
Wong’s masterpiece is a heartbreaking story of illicit love that pulses with the ache and agony of repressed desire.
Drama 1997 98 mins Director: Wong Kar Wai
A trip to Buenos Aires reveals the dark side of love as a gay couple (Leung and Cheung) struggle with jealousy, co-dependency and possessiveness as their turbulent relationship falls apart.