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Denzel Washington takes the lead in one of the great screen biopics, directed by Spike Lee.
Biopic 1992 202 mins
Director: Spike Lee
Malcolm X's legacy was on Spike Lee's mind when making his classic 1989 film Do the Right Thing, and he would contentiously end that film with a quote from the man that many read as endorsing violence 'when it's self- defence', though it appeared alongside one from Martin Luther King that rejected such action as 'both impractical and immoral'. Lee fought to make this film, then infamously had bigger fights as the production was plagued with budget battles. That Malcolm X is one of the great screen biopics is testament to Lee's combative nature, and Denzel Washington's superb, charismatic yet nuanced performance.
Documentary 2018 88 mins Director: Matt Wolf
The taped crusader: VHS nerds, media scholars and archive enthusiasts will appreciate this documentary about the African-American activist who recorded 30 years of TV news.
Biopic 2018 115 mins Director: Agnès Varda
In her final film, Agnès Varda offers a personal insight into her oeuvre, using excerpts from her work to illustrate her unique artistic visions and ideas.
Biopic 2020 135 mins Director: Oskar Roehler
The life and loves of celebrated filmmaker Rainer Werner Fassbinder are laid bare in this engrossing, unconventional biopic.
Biopic 1974 109 mins Director: Werner Herzog
Werner Herzog’s poetic account of the historical character who captivated 19th-century Nuremberg after emerging from isolation after 16 years in a cellar.
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 2012 103 mins Director: Lisa Barros D'Sa
In 1970s Belfast Terri Hooley and his Good Vibrations record store become spawning ground for the city's fledgeling punk scene.
Black History Month
Drama 1991 112 mins Director: Julie Dash
Julie Dash’s groundbreaking Daughters of the Dust remains urgent and poetic and continues to resonate, most recently inspiring Beyoncé’s Lemonade.
Documentary 2011 91 mins Director: Carol Morley
The power of kinship is explored in Carol Morley’s drama-documentary, drawn from real life and resonant with the way we live now.
Comedy 1997 85 mins Director: Cheryl Dunye
Cheryl Dunye's smart and funny romance - thought to be the first feature directed by a black lesbian - remains a breath of fresh air decades on.
Documentary 2020 106 mins Director: Sam Pollard
Sam Pollard's resonant exploration of the US government's surveillance and harassment of Martin Luther King, Jr.
Drama 2016 83 mins Director: Joseph A. Adesunloye
A young mixed heritage man confronts the psychological complexities of his identity in this essential, truly cinematic discovery for anyone interested in Black British cinema.
Crime 1995 115 mins Director: Robert Altman
Robert Altman revisits the 1930s city of his childhood, vividly recreating its jazz clubs, speakeasies, political corruption and lively crime scene.
Drama 1998 119 mins Director: Hirokazu Koreeda
Koreeda's lyrical fantasy challenges the viewer to reflect on the experiences that most make life worth living.
Drama 1995 109 mins Director: Hirokazu Koreeda
Koreeda’s first fiction feature is an exquisite meditation on loss, loneliness, uncertainty, and coming to terms with the past.
Documentary 2016 80 mins Director: Steven Okazaki
The on and off-screen character of Toshiro Mifune, Japan’s first international movie star, is explored in this illuminating documentary exploring the life and legacy of this mercurial icon.
Drama 2008 115 mins Director: Hirokazu Kore-eda
Koreeda’s subtle, moving account of the tensions within a family is his most Ozu-like film.
Drama 1964 140 mins Director: Mikhail Kalatozov
Mikhail Kalatozov’s epic about the Cuban Revolution is breathtaking both for its scope and the audacity.
Drama 2003 141 mins Director: Hirokazu Kore-eda
Koreeda’s drama about four children left to fend for themselves is a heartbreaking study of childhood neglect.