Mikko Makela’s stunning debut explores the relationship between two men, set against an idyllic Finnish summer. Whilst visiting his estranged father, Leevi meets Tareq, a handsome Syrian immigrant employed to restore the family lake house. Leevi’s father departs for the city, leaving the two men alone in the beautiful remote countryside and enabling them to act on their impulses and the chemistry that clearly exists between them. Far removed from their everyday lives, the only immediate threat to the men’s relationship is the eventual return of Leevi’s father. But there’s also Tareq’s complex relationship with his family back in Syria.
Makela sensitively explores the perspectives of both men, who long for some human connection, acceptance and a place to call home. Locating marginalised characters at the forefront of the story, Makela’s film (which is almost entirely in English language) is a very welcome and refreshingly frank portrait of contemporary Finnish society.
Drama 2012 127 mins Director: Michael Haneke
Michael Haneke’s Palme d’Or-winner, about an octogenarian couple trying to cope when a stroke leaves the wife partly paralysed and speechless.
Drama 2013 105 mins Director: Ritesh Batra
Mismatched lunchboxes lead to an unlikely romance in this exquisite Indian drama, brimful of tantalising food and elegantly delivered wisdom.
Romance 1959 107 mins Director: Marcel Camus
Thrilling re-working of the Orpheus myth, incorporating the music, costume and dance of Brazil’s Rio Festival.
Romance 2019 84 mins Director: Lucio Castro
A chance encounter reconnects two men in this heart-breaking lament on love, lust and missed opportunities.
Period drama 1964 85 mins Director: Karel Zeman
Karel Zeman's astonishing fantasy mixes live-action and animation to tell the adventures of a ploughman and a mercenery during the Thirty Years War.
Romance 1953 97 mins Director: Kenji Mizoguchi
Kenji Mizoguchi's haunting evocation of a feudal world where brutal realism intermingles with the supernatural.
Classic British Independent Film Awards
Thriller 2006 110 mins Director: 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.
Drama 2012 111 mins Director: Thomas Vinterberg
Mads Mikkelsen stars in a distressing examination of a false indictment, and the collective hysteria that ensues, in this electrifying drama from Festen director Thomas Vinterberg.
Thriller 2013 112 mins Director: Daniel Wolfe
A young couple whose relationship has divided a community are forced on the run through the streets and moors of nocturnal Yorkshire.
Drama 2019 99 mins Director: Shola Amoo
Femi, a young British boy of Nigerian heritage, has to adapt to the new environment of inner-city London, in this outstanding, BIFA-winning drama from Shola Amoo (A Moving Image).
Drama 2019 88 mins Director: Fyzal Boulifa
A lifelong friendship is tested by tragedy in this atmospheric and intense first feature from acclaimed British shorts director Fyzal Boulifa.
Drama 2020 89 mins Director: Bassam Tariq
Bassam Tariq’s visceral directorial debut, co-written with Riz Ahmed, finds a British-Pakistani rapper’s life spiralling out of control when, on the cusp of success, he succumbs to a debilitating illness.
Drama 2011 94 mins Director: Yorgos Lanthimos
Yorgos Lanthimos directs this odd drama in which a group of people start a company where they impersonate the dead to help customers through the grieving process.
Drama 2018 89 mins Director: Mark Jenkin
Simmering tensions between locals and newcomers in a modern-day Cornish fishing village reach boiling point in this hugely acclaimed British independent film.
Biopic 2008 113 mins Director: Paolo Sorrentino
Giulio Andreotti, arguably the most famous and notorious Italian politician of the post-war era, was Prime Minister in his country no less than seven times. Accused of corruption and Mafia involvement, this is far from stodgy history.
Drama 2014 96 mins Director: Abderrahmane Sissako
Living in the sand dunes just outside the city of Timbuktu, a cattle herder and his wife find their peaceful existence disturbed by forces attempting to dictate their lifestyle.
Drama 1982 109 mins Director: Rainer Werner Fassbinder
Jeanne Moreau plays a jaded brothel madam caught up in the violent sexual awakening of Brad Davis' naïve young sailor in Fassbinder's fever dream of subversive eroticism.
Drama 2004 113 mins Director: Michael Haneke
A literary TV chat-show host (Daniel Auteuil) discovers the drawbacks to celebrity when he and his wife (Juliette Binoche) start receiving anonymous messages in the form of videos of their home and naively violent drawings.