Chantal Akerman’s rigorously observational portrait of her late mother takes on a whole new significance in the wake of the director’s own premature passing. Natalia ‘Nelly’ Akerman, who died in 2014 aged 86, was a Polish-born survivor of Auschwitz, and she had a profound influence in the direction of all her daughter’s films, including the classic Jeanne Dielman, 23 Commerce Quay, 1080 Brussels.
Despite its title, imploring us to see the film as more than an assemblage of private recordings, Akerman’s film is a deeply personal work, compiled from fly-on-the-wall footage captured as she leaves her camera lying around to capture daily life in her mother’s Brussels flat. As befitting Akerman’s longstanding reputation for challenging audience expectations, Akerman refuses to bow to documentary convention, placing just as much emphasis on silence and space than any of her mother’s fascinating recollections. The result is a strangely moving testament to one of cinema’s great provocateurs.
Documentary 2019 98 mins Director: Nelly Ben Hayoun-Stépanian
In this thought-provoking and playful documentary, ebullient director Nelly Ben Hayoun-Stépanian (Disaster Playground) takes you on a journey to find the origins of knowledge.
Documentary 2019 94 mins Director: Suhaib Gasmelbari
Beautifully shot documentary about four members of the 'Sudanese Film Club' who decide to revive an old cinema.
Documentary 2017 73 mins Director: Vanessa Redgrave
Vanessa Redgrave makes her directorial debut with this impassioned documentary about the ongoing refugee crisis.
Documentary 2019 86 mins Director: Ljubomir Stefanov
When a nomadic family move in and break Honeyland’s basic rule, the last female wild beekeeper in Europe must save the bees and restore natural balance.
Documentary 2019 101 mins Director: Tara Wood
There will always be blood, brilliance and controversy: the legendary story of Hollywood 's modern genius, Quentin Tarantino.
Documentary 2019 102 mins Director: Richard Lowenstein
Capturing his rise to super-stardom and subsequent tragic fall, Mystify gives remarkable insight into INXS lead singer Michael Hutchence and a truth he took to the grave.
Sight & Sound's Best Films
Comedy 2016 118 mins Director: Jim Jarmusch
Adam Driver excels in this effortlessly charming tale of a bus driver poet in New Jersey, filmed with typically groovy elan by Jim Jarmusch.
Comedy 2016 162 mins Director: Maren Ade
A lonely prankster upends the life of his high-powered daughter in a riotous comedy, deep and sharp.
Drama 2017 112 mins Director: Sean Baker
Tangerine director Sean Baker presents another visionary take on the wild ups and dangerous downs of life in America’s underbelly, featuring an Oscar-nominated turn from Willem Dafoe.
Drama 2017 115 mins Director: Lucrecia Martel
Argentinian director Lucrecia Martel returns with a fine adaptation of Antonio Di Benedetto’s existential novel. In her first feature since 2008’s The Headless Woman, Martel creates a richly layered exploration of personal malaise.
Drama 2017 121 mins Director: Valeska Grisebach
Masculine tensions reaching boiling point in this sizzling, brilliantly observed neo-western, where migrant German construction workers are pitched against villagers in remotest Bulgaria.
Drama 2018 189 mins Director: Nuri Bilge Ceylan
Nuri Bilge Ceylan’s follow-up to his Palme d’Or-winning Winter Sleep is a persuasive portrait of a young writer at odds with his hometown and family.
Comedy 2019 108 mins Director: Takashi Miike
A terminally-ill boxer, a runaway call girl, a double-crossing drugs heist and a gang war; Takashi Miike doesn’t do things by halves.
Comedy 2019 97 mins Director: Michael Schwartz
Effortlessly charming buddy movie about a young man with Downs Syndrome (Zack Gottsagen) in pursuit of his dreams, with Shia LaBeouf.
Thriller 2018 112 mins Director: Gavin Hood
Gripping political thriller with Keira Knightley as the intelligence officer who discovers a plot to rig a UN vote on the eve of the Iraq war.
Historical drama 1989 114 mins Director: Michael Caton-Jones
A fictionalised account of the 1963 ‘Profumo Affair’ that rocked the government of British Prime Minister Harold Macmillan. Starring John Hurt, Joanne Whalley, Bridget Fonda, Ian McKellen and Leslie Phillips.
Romance 2019 84 mins Director: Lucio Castro
A chance encounter reconnects two men in this heart-breaking lament on love, lust and missed opportunities.
Drama 2018 91 mins Director: Aaron Schimberg
Made by and starring disfigured people, Aaron Schimberg’s dextrous, darkly comedic film-within-a-film makes you think about cinematic representation without offering simple resolutions.