A morality tale for the 21st century, Official Secrets tells the true story of British Intelligence whistle-blower Katharine Gun who, during the immediate run-up to the 2003 Iraq invasion, leaked a top secret NSA memo exposing a joint US-UK illegal spying operation against members of the UN Security Council. The memo proposed blackmailing smaller, undecided member states into voting for war. At great personal and professional risk, journalist Martin Bright published the leaked document in The Observer newspaper in London, and the story made headlines around the world. Members of the Security Council were outraged and any chance of a UN resolution in favour of war collapsed. But within days, Bush declared he no longer needed UN backing and invaded anyway. As Iraq descended into chaos, Katharine was arrested and charged with breaching the Official Secrets Act. Martin faced potential charges too. Their legal battles exposed the highest levels of government in both London and Washington with having manipulated intelligence in order to sell an illegal war.
The film is set in the 60s of the 20th century, during the Cold War and the space race between USSR and the United States. Russians plan to send a man into space. Military pilot Pavel Belyayev and Alexey Leonov are ready to step into the open space. But on the way they face many obstacles and dangers. Based on a true story.
Following the economic collapse of a company town in rural Nevada, Fern (Frances McDormand) packs her van and sets off on the road exploring a life outside of conventional society as a modern-day nomad. The third feature film from director Chloé Zhao, NOMADLAND features real nomads Linda May, Swankie and Bob Wells as Fern’s mentors and comrades in her exploration through the vast landscape of the American West.—Searchlight Pictures
A special one-off showing of ‘2040’ will be shown at The Carthouse, Oxen Park on Sunday 17th October 7.30pm.
2040 is an innovative feature documentary that looks to the future, but is vitally important NOW. Award-winning director Damon Gameau embarks on journey to explore what the future would look like by the year 2040 if we simply embraced the best solutions already available to us to improve our planet and shifted them into the mainstream. Structured as a visual letter to his 4-year-old daughter, Damon blends traditional documentary footage with dramatized sequences and high-end visual effects to create a vision board for his daughter and the planet.—GoodThing Productions
The Kims – mother and father Chung-sook and Ki-taek, and their young adult offspring, son Ki-woo and daughter Ki-jung – are a poor family living in a shabby and cramped half basement apartment in a busy lower working class commercial district of Seoul. Without even knowing it, they, especially Mr. and Mrs. Kim, literally smell of poverty. Often as a collective, they perpetrate minor scams to get by, and even when they have jobs, they do the minimum work required. Ki-woo is the one who has dreams of getting out of poverty by one day going to university. Despite not having that university education, Ki-woo is chosen by his university student friend Min, who is leaving to go to school, to take over his tutoring job to Park Da-hye, who Min plans to date once he returns to Seoul and she herself is in university. The Parks are a wealthy family who for four years have lived in their modernistic house designed by and the former residence of famed architect Namgoong. While Mr. and Mrs. Park are all about status, Mrs. Park has a flighty, simpleminded mentality and temperament, which Min tells Ki-woo to feel comfortable in lying to her about his education to get the job. In getting the job, Ki-woo further learns that Mrs. Park is looking for an art therapist for the Parks’ adolescent son, Da-song, Ki-woo quickly recommending his professional art therapist friend “Jessica”, really Ki-jung who he knows can pull off the scam in being the easiest liar of the four Kims. In Ki-woo also falling for Da-hye, he begins to envision himself in that house, and thus the Kims as a collective start a plan for all the Kims, like Ki-jung using assumed names, to replace existing servants in the Parks’ employ in orchestrating reasons for them to be fired. The most difficult to get rid of may be Moon-gwang, the Parks’ housekeeper who literally came with the house – she Namgoong’s housekeeper when he lived there – and thus knows all the little nooks and crannies of it better than the Parks themselves. The question then becomes how far the Kims can take this scam in their quest to become their version of the Parks.—Huggo
In the summer of 1979, in Thüringen, in East Germany, two families put together a crazy plan. They are desperate to leave the DDR for the ‘West’ and plan to flee in a homemade hot air balloon. After sewing and tinkering for weeks, the amateurs make their first attempt. Meters from the West German border, their balloon suffers from the rain and crash lands. Luckily, they manage to avoid being caught by the police. However, the wreckage from their escape attempt is found and that triggers a desperate manhunt. The tension rises as the families determine to try again, and a race against time ensues. On the one hand, the authorities, desperate to track down the traitors, become aware that a second attempt is being planned. On the other, the would-be escapees, conscious of the search drawing ever nearer, need to build a more robust, weatherproof balloon – and avoid leaving too many clues.
Sweet Country is set in 1929 in the outback of the Northern Territory. It is the story of a young boy called Philomac, who witnesses Sam, an Aboriginal stockman kill station owner Harry Marsh in self defense. Sam and his pregnant wife Lizzie go on the run and a posse pursues them across the outback.
Yearning to own a small patch of land and be more than a chicken sexer, the ambitious paterfamilias, Jacob Yi, relocates his Korean-American family: sceptical wife, Monica, and their children, David and Anne, from California to 1980s rural Arkansas, to start afresh and capture the elusive American Dream. However, new beginnings are always challenging, and to find out what is best for the family, let alone start a 50-acre farm to grow and sell Korean fruits and vegetables, is easier said than done. But, amid sincere promises, cultural unease, fleeting hopes, and the ever-present threat of financial disaster, Jacob is convinced that he has found their own slice of Eden in the rich, dark soil of Arkansas. Can grandma Soonja’s humble but resilient minari help the Yi family figure out their place in the world?—Nick Riganas
Keeping at bay his inner demons by devoting himself to art, metal drummer, Ruben, has been living for the moment for the past four years. Then, while on tour with his lead-singer/girlfriend, Lou, Ruben realises that his hearing is rapidly deteriorating. As this sudden hearing loss turns his world upside down, and numbing fear paired with angry denial take over, Ruben reluctantly accepts to join a small deaf community overseen by Joe, a compassionate Vietnam War veteran. Now, Ruben needs to find some solid ground, understand that being deaf is not a handicap and that deafness isn’t something to fix. But, is Ruben willing to accept his new life and learn how to be deaf?—Nick Riganas
Based on the NY Times best-selling memoir “Guantánamo Diary” by Mohamedou Ould Slahi, this is the true story of Slahi’s fight for freedom after being detained and imprisoned without charge by the U.S. Government for years. Alone and afraid, Slahi finds allies in defense attorney Nancy Hollander and her associate Teri Duncan who battle the U.S. government in a fight for justice that tests their commitment to the law and their client at every turn. Their controversial advocacy, along with evidence uncovered by a formidable military prosecutor, Lt. Colonel Stuart Couch, uncovers shocking truths and ultimately proves that the human spirit cannot be locked up.—STXfilms
Maryam is an ambitious young doctor working in a small town clinic in Saudi Arabia. After Maryam is prevented from traveling to Dubai in search of a better job, a bureaucratic mixup leads her to stumble on the application for her local city elections and she decides to run.—yusufpiskin
Sam and Tusker, partners of 20 years, are traveling across England in their old RV visiting friends, family and places from their past. Since Tusker was diagnosed with early-onset dementia two years ago, their time together is the most important thing they have.
Martin Ward is a cove fisherman, without a boat. His brother Steven has re-purposed their father’s vessel as a tourist tripper, driving a wedge between the brothers. With their childhood home now a get-away for London money, Martin is displaced to the estate above the picturesque harbour. As his struggle to restore the family to their traditional place creates increasing friction with tourists and locals alike, a tragedy at the heart of the family changes his world.
When his 65th birthday approaches, Desmond Gentle, an eccentric piano tuner from London, decides to undertake the most difficult and perilous piano delivery of his career. The challenge entails traveling to the heart of the Indian Himalayas with a 100-year old upright piano, carried across high mountain passes using only yaks and ponies. Destination: a primary school in Lingshed, one of the most isolated settlements in the world, situated 14,000 feet above sea. If Desmond is successful, this will be the highest piano delivery in history, and the crowning achievement of his 40-year long career.
This pioneering documentary film depicts the lives of the indigenous Inuit people of Canada’s northern Quebec region. Although the production contains some fictional elements, it vividly shows how its resourceful subjects survive in such a harsh climate, revealing how they construct their igloo homes and find food by hunting and fishing. The film also captures the beautiful, if unforgiving, frozen landscape of the Great White North, far removed from conventional civilization.
Acclaimed UK adventure filmmaker Al Lee tells the story of an incredible day in the life of Jesse Dufton. Jesse was born with 20% central vision. At four years of age he was diagnosed with Retinitis Pigmentosa: a rare genetic disease that breaks down the retinas’ cells, and at age 20 he could no longer read. By his 30s Jesse’s vision was reduced to just light perception, with around 1 or 2 % field of view. As a lifelong climber, he flies in the face of adversity and with his sight guide and fiancée Molly sets out on a fantastic challenge – attempting to be the first blind person to make a ‘non-sight’ lead of the iconic Old Man of Hoy sea stack in Scotland.
The Rescue chronicles the enthralling, against-all-odds story that transfixed the world in 2018: the daring rescue of twelve boys and their coach from deep inside a flooded cave in Northern Thailand. Using a wealth of never-before-seen material and exclusive interviews, E. Chai Vasarhelyi and Jimmy Chin keep viewers on the edge of their seats as they bring alive one of the most perilous and extraordinary rescues in modern times, shining a light on the high-risk world of cave diving, the astounding courage and compassion of the rescuers, and the shared humanity of the international community that united to save the boys.
The Closer We Get is a multi-award winning autobiographical portrait of broken dreams, loyalty and redemption that follows its director Karen Guthrie from Scotland to Ethiopia and back again. Karen’s mother Ann suffers a devastating stroke that draws her daughter back to her Scottish hometown when she least expects it. But Karen isn’t the only one who returns in the crisis. Her prodigal father Ian – endearing but unfathomable – also reappears after years of separation from Ann. Reunited so unexpectedly, Karen seizes her camera to go under the skin of the family story before it’s too late, to come to terms with the aftermath of the secret her father had tried – and failed – to keep from them all, and to f ind that Ann’s stroke has in fact thrown them a lifeline. With candor, warmth and humor, Karen’s role as confidante, busybody, therapist and spy illuminates an extraordinary and uplifting story of family survival.
A film made by local, Grizedale Arts film-maker Karen Guthrie (remember Bata Ville?) – Karen will be there to present the film and do a Q&A at the end.
When renowned crime novelist Harlan Thrombey (Christopher Plummer) is found dead at his estate just after his 85th birthday, the inquisitive and debonair Detective Benoit Blanc (Daniel Craig) is mysteriously enlisted to investigate. From Harlan’s disfunctional family to his devoted staff, Blanc sifts through a web of red herrings and self-serving lies to uncover the truth behind Harlan’s untimely death.
ALI and AVA, both lonely for different reasons, meet and sparks fly. Over a lunar month a deep connection begins to grow, despite the legacy of AVA’s past relationship, and ALI’s emotional turmoil at the breakdown of his marriage.
All films are shown at the Carthouse Cinema unless otherwise stated.