The following are the films that I most enjoyed and was most impressed by in the first six months of the year.
An Elephant Sitting Still / Da xiang xi di er zuo (China, 2018)
This is a four hour epic in ‘miserabilism’ but a powerful representation of life on the lowest rungs of society. It was the first and only feature directed by Bo Hu.
Ash Is Purest White / Jiang hu er nü (China, France, Japan 2018)
Another fine movie from director Zhangke Jia; he follows his muse Tao Zhao across regions and periods in the manner of the preceding Mountains May Depart / Shan he gu ren (China, France, Japan 2015, not seen in Leeds].
Happy as Lazzaro / Lazzaro felice (Italy, Switzerland, France. Germany 2018)
A ‘holy fool’ is found first in the countryside then in the run-down urban setting. Mixing myth and contemporary exploitation in a fascinating parable.
Rosie (Eire 2018)
This is a powerful drama taken from real life. The screening was also an event in which participants in the film talked about the work.
3 Faces / Se rokh (Iran 2018)
Film-maker Jafar Panahi produces another exploration of Iranian culture in typical quirky fashion.
And one archive film,
Rosa Luxemburg (West Germany, Czechoslovakia 1986)
Part of the programme of films directed by Margarethe von Trotta. Whilst the political representation is limited Barbara Sukowa is excellent as the revolutionary heroine.