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Working Class Heroes

 A collection of films lit up by the charisma  of working-class stars; a celebration of fine actors and remarkable leading roles.

In Britain (for a time at least) film stars came from comprehensives and council houses. The story begins in the socially mobile 1960s as young working-class talent exploded through music, fashion and film. Through the 80s and 90s a new mood saw a series of inventive British films built around working-class faces, while 21st-century British cinema spotlit the junction of race and class. This season brings together the bold, powerful and provocative films that can  be made when working-class stars have the chance to shine.

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Under the SkinUnder the Skin

Melodrama199783 minsDirector: Carine Adler

Carine Adler’s sexy and dark debut, starring Samantha Morton in her first major feature film role.

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Second ComingSecond Coming

Drama2014105 minsDirector: Debbie Tucker Green

What if an immaculate conception took place in a South London household? Idris Elba stars in a subtle, thought-provoking and original family drama.

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FaceFace

Crime1997101 minsDirector: Antonia Bird

Robert Carlyle and Ray Winstone are members of a criminal gang that tears itself apart after a heist goes wrong, in Antonia Bird’s stylish thriller.

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TheoremTheorem

Drama196898 minsDirector: Pier Paolo Pasolini

Pasolini’s classic about a handsome, enigmatic stranger (Terence Stamp) who arrives at a bourgeois household and seduces an entire family.

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Red RoadRed Road

Thriller2006110 minsDirector: Andrea Arnold

Andrea Arnold’s highly acclaimed film, winner of top prizes at Cannes and the BFI London Film Festival, is a haunting drama about a woman confronting past demons.

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The ArborThe Arbor

Biopic201090 minsDirector: Clio Barnard

Clio Barnard's film about Bradford playwright Andrea Dunbar mixes reconstruction, interviews (performed by actors) and scenes from the plays.

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BypassBypass

Drama2014105 minsDirector: Duane Hopkins

Duane Hopkins’ follow up to Better Things is a striking, poetic drama about a young man on the edge.

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Burning an IllusionBurning an Illusion

Legal and Courtroom drama1981101 minsDirector: Menelik Shabazz

Menelik Shabazz’s pioneering first feature traces the emotional and political growth of a young black couple in Thatcher’s London.

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Kelly + VictorKelly + Victor

Drama201290 minsDirector: Kieran Evans

In modern Liverpool, a couple meet and begin a transgressive, sexually charged affair set against a background of crime and encroaching danger.

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Brand: A Second ComingBrand: A Second Coming

Documentary2015105 minsDirector: Ondi Timoner

Russell Brand ponders his political awakening and messianic tendencies in Ondi Timoner’s perceptive and very funny documentary.

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ShellShell

Drama201287 minsDirector: Scott Graham

In a remote part of Scotland, teenager Shell develops an intense relationship with her reclusive father.

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The GoobThe Goob

Drama201484 minsDirector: Guy Myhill

A teen seeks meaning as an East Anglian summer and a violent outsider threaten to overwhelm.

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Bullet BoyBullet Boy

Drama200486 minsDirector: Saul Dibb

Ashley Walters impresses in the hard-hitting Hackney drama that’s still one of the best of Britain’s black urban crime films.

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My Brother the DevilMy Brother the Devil

Drama2012107 minsDirector: Sally El Hosaini

Sally El Hosaini's feature debut tells of the love and disenchantment of two British-Egyptian brothers. Gangs, drugs and sexuality come between them

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PressurePressure

Drama1975121 minsDirector: Horace Ové

Hailed as Britain's first black feature film, Pressure is a hard-hitting, honest document of the plight of disenchanted black youths in 1970s London.

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The Moon over the AlleyThe Moon over the Alley

Musical1977108 minsDirector: Joseph Despins

The Moon Over the Alley is a bizarre and compelling musical exploring the problems of multicultural Notting Hill residents in the early 1970s.

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Distant Voices, Still LivesDistant Voices, Still Lives

Biopic198884 minsDirector: Terence Davies

Terence Davies' debut feature is a remarkable evocation of working-class family life in the 40s and 50s and a visionary exploration of memory.

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Bronco BullfrogBronco Bullfrog

Drama196987 minsDirector: Barney Platts-Mills

A fascinating record of 1960s suedehead youth culture which is largely improvised by a non-professional cast of teenagers from east London

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My ChildhoodMy Childhood

Drama197246 minsDirector: Bill Douglas

The first part of Bill Douglas’ poetic and profoundly stirring autobiographical trilogy, about an eight-year-old boy growing up in a Scottish mining village in 1945.

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My Ain FolkMy Ain Folk

Drama197355 minsDirector: Bill Douglas

The second part of the revered Bill Douglas Trilogy follows Jamie as he ends up in a children’s home.

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My Way HomeMy Way Home

Drama197872 minsDirector: Bill Douglas

Concluding his acclaimed Trilogy, Bill Douglas’ autobiographical film follows young Jamie as he’s conscripted in the RAF and finally feels at home.

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ChildrenChildren

Drama197646 minsDirector: Terence Davies

The first part of Terence Davies' formidable Trilogy explores the effects of violence on a Liverpool schoolboy, told in a series of flashbacks.

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Madonna and ChildMadonna and Child

Drama198028 minsDirector: Terence Davies

Autobiography as art: the centrepiece of Terence Davies' devastating Liverpool-set Trilogy focuses on his fictional alter-ego in middle age.

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Death and TransfigurationDeath and Transfiguration

Drama198326 minsDirector: Terence Davies

The Terence Davies Trilogy reaches its astonishing climax as tortured Liverpool clerk Robert Tucker prepares to meet his maker.

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