Spirited Away meets Little Mermaid in this animated extravaganza that will sweep you away on a tidal wave of magic, mystery and wonder. Chun lives in a magical realm inhabited by an amazing array of fantastic creatures. When she travels to the human world in the shape of a dolphin Chun is saved by a young fisherman when she gets into trouble.
In a desolate village left high and dry by the disappearance of the Aral Sea, environmental catastrophe has bred social breakdown. Amongst the rusting hulks of long-abandoned ships, men and boys alike pass their days in a listless atmosphere of alcohol-fuelled brutality. Surly teenager Ruslan is haunted by idyllic childhood memories of his mother and their trips to the seaside.
The five “stans”, or republics of Central Asia – Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan – have a long and rich history thanks to their central location on the Silk Road. Forming a bridge between West and East, their cultural heritage brings together nomadic with settled cultures, Turkic languages with Farsi, and indeed, their jewellery combines corals transported from the seas with silver mined from the mountain ranges that cross the region.
This stunning depiction of the impact of conscription on Jonathan, his friends and family, is quite simply the most powerful film we saw last year. With a compelling combination of straightforward realism, deadpan surrealism, and domestic tragedy, Foxtrot takes you deep into the reality-altering nature of a society at war.
Based on Mary Stewart’s children’s book The Little Broomstick, this tells the story of a pint-sized, petulant and recklessly bored young girl who finds a strange flower that gives her magical powers. With a foretaste of Harry Potter, she flies on a broomstick to the fantastical Endor College, a school for witches, where perilous adventures await her.
The hippy trail to the East can be dated to 1957, with the publication of Kerouac’s On the Road. In the 1960s and 70s, hundreds of thousands of young people from Europe and North America set off for adventures. Different causes inspired them: some were looking for easily available drugs, others admired Eastern spiritualities, most were seized by an indefinable urge to explore. In this talk, based on interviews with those who did the trail, it will be suggested that even the most secular and worldly resembled pilgrims.
Set against the background of modern Kalmykia (the only country in Europe where Buddhism is the national religion), the haunting story of Elza, a fragile, beautiful fisherman’s wife who yearns to escape, unfolds in a small town squeezed between the sparse steppes the shores of the freezing Caspian Sea.
An exile in Rome, Shadi returns home for the first time in years, to honour the centuries-old Nazareth tradition of hand-delivering his sister’s wedding invitations with his father Abu, a grouchy teacher who has suffered the inevitable compromises of life under occupation.