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Political Pictures

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 Roberto Rossellini's portrayal of resistance under Nazi occupation to the revolutionary stirrings of Mikhail Kalatozov's epic Soy Cuba and on 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. 

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Taxi TehranTaxi Tehran

Drama201581 minsDirector: Jafar Panahi

Following a personally difficult but artistically rewarding spell making films under house arrest, Jafar Panahi is back on the streets of Tehran.

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The Stuart Hall ProjectThe 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.

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ReflectionReflection

Drama2021127 minsDirector: Valentyn Vasyanovych

A prisoner of war exposed to extreme cruelty and trauma struggles to readjust to civilian life upon his release, in Valentyn Vasyanovych's bold and brutal drama.

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Why We FightWhy We Fight

Documentary200499 minsDirector: Eugene Jarecki

An unflinching and award-winning look at the anatomy of American war-making.

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Rome, Open CityRome, Open City

War1945103 minsDirector: Roberto Rossellini

Roberto Rossellini’s landmark of Italian neorealism often cited as one of the greatest films ever made.

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PaisàPaisà

War1946126 minsDirector: Roberto Rossellini

Roberto Rossellini’s ambitious and enormously moving follow-up to his breakthrough Rome, Open City.

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My Nazi LegacyMy Nazi Legacy

Documentary201596 minsDirector: David Evans

What if your father was a Nazi? This is the harrowing question raised in David Evans’ thought-provoking documentary.

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70/3070/30

Documentary202198 minsDirector: Phie Ambo

After COP25 in 2019, thousands of young Danish people took to the streets to demand instant action on climate change. In the subsequent general election the new Danish government pledged bold climate policies, but will they be able to enact them?

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Mr. JonesMr. Jones

Drama2019119 minsDirector: Agnieszka Holland

James Norton stars as Welsh journalist Gareth Jones whose 1930s visit to Soviet Ukraine uncovered the truth of Stalin’s state-sponsored famine and reputedly inspired George Orwell’s Animal Farm.

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Diary for My ChildrenDiary for My Children

Drama1984103 minsDirector: Márta Mészáros

The first part of Márta Mészáros' award-winning autobiographical Diary trilogy, set in Hungary from 1947 to 1953.

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Diary for My LovesDiary for My Loves

Drama1987126 minsDirector: Márta Mészáros

The second part of Márta Mészáros’ triumphant Diary trilogy focuses on Juli starting to realise her dream of becoming a director.

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Diary for My Father and MotherDiary for My Father and Mother

Drama1990116 minsDirector: Márta Mészáros

A climate of fear and mistrust pervades Budapest after the 1956 Uprising, the setting for the last part of Márta Mészáros’ outstanding Diary trilogy.

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DonbassDonbass

Drama2018121 minsDirector: Sergei Loznitsa

Disturbing, prophetic look at division and occupation in eastern Ukraine, from the director of In the Fog.

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PapichaPapicha

Drama2019108 minsDirector: Mounia Meddour

As the Algerian Civil War unfolds, a group of determined young women come face to face with a new, dangerous reality.

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Malcolm XMalcolm X

Biopic1992202 minsDirector: Spike Lee

Denzel Washington takes the lead in one of the great screen biopics, directed by Spike Lee.

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The Emperor's Naked Army Marches OnThe Emperor's Naked Army Marches On

Documentary1987121 minsDirector: Kazuo Hara

Kazuo Hara’s infamous and audacious documentary follows Kenzo Okuzaki, an ageing Japanese WWII veteran on a mission to uncover the truth about atrocities committed during the war in the Pacific.

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Letters from BaghdadLetters from Baghdad

Documentary201691 minsDirector: Sabine Krayenbühl

Tilda Swinton narrates the extraordinary journey of Gertrude Bell, a singular woman who played a significant – often unrecognised – role in British imperial policy making in Iraq.

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Thank You for the RainThank You for the Rain

Documentary201787 minsDirector: Julia Dahr

After a violent storm, Kisilu, a Kenyan farmer, transforms from a father and community leader to an acitivist on the global stage, as he visits COP21 in Paris to bring his message to the world.

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Land and FreedomLand 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.

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Divorce Iranian StyleDivorce Iranian Style

Documentary199876 minsDirector: Kim Longinotto

Kim Longinotto’s observational documentary delves into Iran’s difficult and one-sided divorce process.

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The Last of EnglandThe Last of England

Animation & Artists Moving Image198791 minsDirector: Derek Jarman

Derek Jarman's passionate and poetic lament on the rise of Thatcherism and corporate dealings.

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The Battle of AlgiersThe Battle of Algiers

Drama1966121 minsDirector: Gillo Pontecorvo

Gillo Pontecorvo’s masterpiece about the last years of French colonial rule in Algeria, seen from the perspective of both the revolutionaries and the French authorities.

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Shoah (First Era)Shoah (First Era)

Documentary1985274 minsDirector: Claude Lanzmann

Claude Lanzmann's monumental chronicle of the Holocaust has been acclaimed by many as the greatest documentary ever made.

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Shoah (Second Era)Shoah (Second Era)

Documentary1985293 minsDirector: Claude Lanzmann

Claude Lanzmann's monumental chronicle of the Holocaust has been acclaimed by many as the greatest documentary ever made.

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A Special DayA Special Day

Drama1977106 minsDirector: Ettore Scola

Sophia Loren and Marcello Mastroianni deliver the finest and most nuanced performances of their careers in this understated masterpiece from director Ettore Scola.

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War RequiemWar Requiem

War198993 minsDirector: Derek Jarman

Derek Jarman's affecting vision of the horrors young men faced during the First World War.

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A Syrian Love StoryA Syrian Love Story

Documentary201576 minsDirector: Sean McAllister

The inspiring journey towards freedom of Raghda and Amer, a couple brought together by the turmoil of the Syrian Civil War.

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Au revoir les enfantsAu revoir les enfants

War1987105 minsDirector: Louis Malle

A French boarding-school friendship threatened by Nazi hatred in Malle's elegant tale of World War Two.

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La ChinoiseLa Chinoise

Drama196796 minsDirector: Jean-Luc Godard

“The revolution is not a dinner-party.” Jean-Luc Godard's mix of mordant satire, pedagogical treatise, political tract, and pop-artwork.

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I Am Cuba [Soy Cuba]I Am Cuba [Soy Cuba]

Drama1964140 minsDirector: Mikhail Kalatozov

Mikhail Kalatozov’s epic about the Cuban Revolution is breathtaking both for its scope and the audacity.

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I Never CryI Never Cry

Comedy202097 minsDirector: Piotr Domalewski

Darkly comic Polish drama about a young woman who goes on a voyage of self-discovery in Ireland after her father unexpectedly passes away.

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Sympathy for the DevilSympathy for the Devil

Drama1968101 minsDirector: Jean-Luc Godard

Jean-Luc Godard intercuts footage of The Rolling Stones composing their classic Sympathy for the Devil with punchy agitprop sketches on the global anti-imperialist struggle.

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The Pearl ButtonThe Pearl Button

Documentary201582 minsDirector: Patricio Guzmán

Patricio Guzmán’s lyrical, illuminating follow-up to Nostalgia for the Light explores the fateful role played by water in Chile’s tragic history.