This dramatic reconstruction of two decisive naval battles from the First World War is one of the finest films of the British silent era. Walter Summers’ film was originally released on Armistice Day 1927 to act as a memorial to the thousands who died in the Battle of Coronel, triumph for German Admiral von Spee, and the retaliatory strike by ace British tactician Admiral Fisher six weeks later.
Filmed on real battleships supplied by the Admiralty, this monumental production was shot mostly at sea near Malta, with the Scilly Isles a convincing stand-in for the Falklands. It is an astonishingly effective piece of filmmaking, which glories, like Eisenstein’s Battleship Potemkin, in the power and beauty of the machine. Scrupulously fair in its treatment of the enemy, this stirring film is presented with a newly commissioned score composed by Simon Dobson and performed by The Band of Her Majesty’s Royal Marines. Restoration supported by Matt Spick. Score commission and recording supported by the Gosling Foundation, the Hartnett Conservation Trust, PRS for Music Foundation and the Charles Skey Charitable Trust.
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.
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.
War 1931 89 mins Director: E.A. Dupont
An Austrian officer falls in love with a Jewish villager in this early sound epic set during WWI
War 2015 101 mins Director: Martin Zandvliet
The brutal and morally complex story of young German POWs faced with the deadly task of landmine clearance in postwar Denmark.
Festival Archive Treasures
Romance 1928 93 mins Silent Director: Anthony Asquith
The BFI National Archive restoration of one of Anthony Asquith's finest silent films set in London's Underground, with a new score.
Drama 1954 86 mins Director: Roberto Rossellini
Roberto Rossellini's acerbic but finally very moving masterpiece about marital crisis boasts great performances from Ingrid Bergman and George Sanders
Fantasy 1946 95 mins Director: Jean Cocteau
Jean Cocteau’s ravishingly restored 1946 film is a cinematic classic. “Five stars. [This] magical exploration of the fairytale is a compelling and bizarre masterpiece” – Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian
Drama 1961 100 mins Director: Basil Dearden
This thought-provoking classic stars Dirk Bogarde as a homosexual lawyer who risks his career to hunt down a blackmailer.
Historical drama 1976 96 mins Director: Kevin Brownlow
An authentic historical drama about the visionary Gerrard Winstanley who led a group of impoverished 'Diggers' to assert their common rights.
Directed by Walter Summers
1932 19 mins Director: Walter Summers
Take to the skies in this eccentric short starring the newlywed darlings of British aviation, Amy Johnson and Jim Mollison.
War 1926 110 mins Director: Walter Summers
Arrival of the British Army in France
War 1925 79 mins Director: Walter Summers
Battle film made as a memorial to the dead of WWI, documenting events at Ypres using reconstructed and genuine footage.
Melodrama 1930 75 mins Director: Richard Eichberg
Chinese-American star Anna May Wong dazzles as a Chinese dancer forced to give herself to a Russian General in order to save her brother.
Documentary 2021 76 mins Director: Lee Cooper
An intimate portrait of ageing and friendship, we follow David Raven as he dons his sequins and eyelashes to prepare for a special birthday performance as ‘Maisie Trollette’, Britain’s Oldest Performing Drag Artiste.
Fantasy 2017 133 mins Director: Terry Gilliam
Two decades in the making, Terry Gilliam’s wildly imaginative Cervantes adaptation is finally with us, and it’s everything we have come to expect from this visionary filmmaker.
Comedy 2022 97 mins Director: Sophie Hyde
Nancy Stokes (Emma Thompson), a retired school teacher and widow, is yearning for adventure and really good sex, in comedian Katy Brand’s witty drama.
Thriller 2021 96 mins Director: Charlotte Boulay-Goldsmith
In Charlotte Colbert’s strikingly gothic film, an ageing actor recovering from a mastectomy taps into a mysterious power at a remote Scottish retreat.
Drama 2021 102 mins Director: Harry Wootliff
Ruth Wilson is at her best in this compelling drama about a lonely woman whose life is changed by Tom Burke, the dangerous stranger who offers something different.
Drama 2021 100 mins Director: Audrey Diwan
Audrey Diwan’s outstanding Venice Golden Lion winner could not be more timely or urgent.