When asked what a government most fears, one prime minister declared, "Events, dear boy. Events". These films chart events and people, real and imagined, who dared to ask for change, for power and for more.
From the revolutionary stirrings of Sergei Eisenstein's Battleship Potemkin to the intellectual interrogation of The Stuart Hall Project, our collection offers an entryist route into cinema's body-politic: where radical thought meets imperative image-making.
Nature of the Beast
Biopic201796 minsDirector: Daniel Draper
A suitably forthright profile of the evergreen socialist, trade unionist and Labour politician Dennis Skinner - also known as the Beast of Bolsover.
Dispossession: The Great Social Housing Swindle
Documentary201782 minsDirector: Paul Sng
Maxine Peake narrates this forthright polemic on the consequences of the 1980s Right-to-Buy scheme on the nation's affordable housing.
Welcome to Leith
Documentary201586 minsDirector: Michael Beach Nichols
What would you do if a Nazi moved next door? This chilling documentary follows the white supremacist takeover of a tiny Dakotan town.
Land and Freedom
War1995105 minsDirector: Ken Loach
Ken Loach’s passionate war drama follows an idealistic young Liverpudlian (Ian Hart) who fights for the international brigade during the Spanish Civil War.
The Stuart Hall Project
Documentary201399 minsDirector: John Akomfrah
Composed of film, music and photographs from the archives, a fascinating portrait of the life and times of the founder of cultural studies and the New Left Experience.
Historical drama1987182 minsDirector: Bill Douglas
Bill Douglas' epic story of the Tolpuddle Martyrs, six Dorset labourers deported to Australia in the 1830s for forming a trade union.
Historical drama197596 minsDirector: Kevin Brownlow
An authentic historical drama about the visionary Gerrard Winstanley who led a group of impoverished 'Diggers' to assert their common rights.
Drama197241 minsSilentDirector: Tony Bicât
Tony Bicât’s radical, found-footage record of a revolutionary act, in which three dissidents kidnap a cabinet and torture a cabinet minister.
Drama1975111 minsDirector: Stuart Cooper
Delusional revolutionary Malcolm Scrawdyke (John Hurt) leads his Party of Dynamic Erection in a battle against an unseen nemesis in this dark comedy.
Drama198282 minsDirector: Edward Bennett
An English aristocrat is driven to despair over the effects of violence on her family, in this powerful meditation on the Troubles in Northern Ireland.
Documentary197520 minsDirector: Stephen Dwoskin
An unsuspecting Labour Party canvasser stumbles onto an experimental film set and is drawn into a strange atmosphere of uninhibited abandon.
The Birth of a Nation
Historical drama1915191 minsSilentDirector: D.W. Griffith
D W Griffith's highly controversial, yet extremely significant American silent epic about the American Civil War and its aftermath.
That Hamilton Woman
Biopic1941120 minsDirector: Alexander Korda
Vivien Leigh and Laurence Olivier bring Hollywood glitz to the love affair between Lord Nelson and Emma Hamilton in the midst of political turmoil.
Riddles of the Sphinx
Drama197787 minsDirector: Laura Mulvey
Laura Mulvey and Peter Wollen’s visually accomplished and intellectually rigorous film is one of the most important avant-garde films of the 1970s.
Before the Revolution
Drama1964107 minsDirector: Bernardo Bertolucci
Bernardo Bertolucci's beautifully operatic film celebrates the passion and ideology of the 1960s, winner of the Cannes Critics' Week prize in 1964.
Historical drama192569 minsSilentDirector: Sergei M. Eisenstein
A fixture in the critical canon almost since its premiere, Eisenstein’s film about a 1905 naval mutiny was revolutionary in both form and content.