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Manchester by the Sea at Frome Film Club
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Manchester by the Sea
Director: Kenneth Lonergan, US 2016, 137 minutes, Cert 15

After the death of his older brother, Lee is shocked to find he has been made sole guardian of his teenage nephew Patrick, and reluctantly returns to the fishing village his working class family has lived in for generations. Once there, he is forced to deal with a past that ripped him from his wife and community. Masterfully told and beautifully acted, this award-winning drama from the director of Margaret is a weighty study of grief, family and acceptance.

Winner of Special Jury Prize and Best Actor, Cannes 2015

“A tremendously moving portrait of grief … this movie is a profound, meaningful gift” TimeOut

Fire at Sea at Frome Film Club
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  WEDNESDAY 11 October 2017
Fire at Sea
Director: Gianfranco Rosi, Italy 2016, 108 minutes, Cert 12

An incisive and powerful portrait of the Mediterranean island of Lampedusa and – as the first port of call of desperate migrants from Africa and the Middle East –the humanitarian crisis that has been unfolding there for the past two decades. Focusing on 12-year old Samuele, Rosi portrays the history, culture and daily lives of the islanders, simply showing us in quiet detail, without taking a view or judging. A lyrical, mysterious and moving documentary.

Winner of Golden Bear, Berlin 2016

“A plea for compassion and understanding that packs a powerful punch” Watershed

Aquarius at Frome Film Club
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  WEDNESDAY 8 November 2017
Director: Kleber Mendonça Filho, Brazil 2016, 146 minutes, Cert 18

In this complex and immensely satisfying drama, retired music critic Clara (a tour-de-force performance from Sonia Braga) is the last remaining resident in a beachfront apartment block in upmarket Recife. She defiantly refuses to capitulate to developers who, underestimating her ferocious persistence, use ever more menacing methods to get her to sell. A glorious celebration of female independence and tenacity and portrait of a spirited, intelligent and sensuous woman living life to the full.

“Densely observed, scrupulously realised, and with a wonderful lead performance … there’s an expansiveness to this film’s intelligence” Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian


The Other Side of Hope at Frome Film Club
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  WEDNESDAY 10 January 2018
The Other Side of Hope
Director: Aki Kaurismäki, Finland 2017, 100 minutes, Cert 12A

This gorgeous tragicomedy about the refugee crisis in Europe, from the acclaimed veteran director and master of deadpan wit Kaurismäki (Le Havre), interweaves the struggles of two men who have fled their homes – Khaled, a Syrian asylum seeker, and Wikström, a travelling shirt salesman who has walked out on his job and alcoholic wife and bought up a failing restaurant in Helsinki. A gently loving, comic fable about hope, full of warmhearted but unsentimental humanism.

“Combines poignancy with torrents of laughter” Tim Robey, Telegraph

Lady Macbeth at Frome Film Club
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  WEDNESDAY 7 February 2018
Lady Macbeth
Director: William Oldroyd, UK 2017, 89 minutes, Cert 15

In 1860s Northumberland, young bride Katherine is stifled by her loveless and contractually arranged marriage to a scowling man twice her age. He spends long periods away and orders her to stay confined to the house, but when listless boredom and claustrophobia eventually force her outside, she quickly finds sexual passion and runs with it. A compelling and deeply modern thriller in the guise of a stark period drama, ditching bonnets and bows for more murderous pursuits.

“A lusty, jaw-droppingly amoral bodice-ripper … leaves you chilled to the marrow” Tim Robey, Telegraph

Sonita at Frome Film Club
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  WEDNESDAY 14 March 2018
Director: Rokhsareh Ghaemmaghami, Iran 2016, 91 minutes, Cert PG

Sonita is a smart, funny and resourceful teenage Afghan refugee who longs to be a rapper – but in patriarchal Iran women are forbidden by law to sing, let alone rap. When her mother starts to negotiate a dowry from the family of an older man, and to bring her back to Afghanistan, Sonita’s response is to post a defiant rap about marital slavery on YouTube and watch it go viral. A warm, uplifting documentary that turns rescue attempt as director Ghaemmaghami finds herself crossing the line from observer to participant.

“It’s impossible not to be swept along by the powerful tide of Sonita’s story” Leslie Felperin, Guardian

Graduation at Frome Film Club
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  WEDNESDAY 11 April 2018
Director: Cristian Mungiu, Romania 2016, 128 minutes, Cert 15

Romeo Aldea, a surgeon based in the joyless outskirts of Romania’s second largest city Cluj, lives with an unhappy wife and bright 18-year old daughter Eliza, who has an offer of a scholarship at a British university subject to her final grades. When Eliza’s chances of success are derailed the night before the final exam, Aldea takes matters into his own hands, forced into making dubious moral choices in a society where corruption is deeply ingrained. A brutally honest drama of psychological subtlety and moral weight.

Winner (joint) of Best Director, Cannes 2016

“A richly crafted, satisfying experience” Nick James, BFI

Embrace of the Serpent at Frome Film Club
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  WEDNESDAY 9 May 2018
Embrace of the Serpent
Director: Ciro Guerra, Colombia 2015, 125 minutes, Cert 12

This enthralling, dream-like mix of myth and historical reality centres on the relationship between an Amazonian shaman, Karamakate, and two western scientists, both in search of a fabled plant with healing properties and on journeys set 40 years apart. Haunting and beautifully shot in monochrome, the film pays tribute to the lost cultures and civilisations of the Colombian Amazon, while offering an unequivocal indictment on the ravages of colonialism.

Winner: Silver Bear (Best Script), Berlin Film Festival 2015


Baden Baden at Frome Film Club
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WEDNESDAY 13 June 2018
Baden Baden
Director: Rachel Lang, France 2016, 94 minutes, Cert 15

Twentysomething free spirit Ana returns home to Strasbourg after failing conspicuously as a runner on a film production, and begins a complicated summer of quarterlife crisis. She spends her time flitting between old flames and her ailing grandmother’s apartment, where she is determinedly doing up the bathroom, teetering between comedy and melancholy. Fresh and audacious, this quiet, meandering film is an unexpected treat.

“This film teases and eludes. It’s Continental drift. But few films so make us want to drift with them” Nigel Andrews, FT

The Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Mäki at Frome Film Club
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  WEDNESDAY 11 July 2017
The Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Mäki
Director: Juho Kuosmanen, Finland 2016, 92 minutes, Cert 12A

This upbeat, warmly observed tale concerns the true story of the famous Finnish boxer who had a shot at the 1962 world featherweight title. Talented and modest, Olli’s small town life is transformed when he is swept to national stardom and suddenly regarded as a symbol of his country; he struggles to cope with the hype, and would rather spend time with his new love, Raija. With its luxuriant black and white cinematography, this touching film has straightforward purity and generosity of spirit at its heart.

“A strange and wonderful comedy … a treat and a delight” Peter Bradshaw, Guardian

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