From around the world come films that offer cinemagoers an insight into the lives of a diverse range of characters, while also reminding us that we all share common hopes and fears.
I Am Not Madame Bovary (Thunderbird)
Li Xuelian and her husband Qin Yuhe stage a fake divorce to secure a second apartment. Six months later, Qin marries another woman. Furious, Li files a lawsuit, only to lose because the divorce complied fully with legal procedure. And then Qin accuses of her of having been “impure” at the time of their wedding… Over the following decade, Li travels every year to Beijing, confronting numerous absurdities on a quest to reclaim her reputation for the sake of her unborn child...
See it in cinemas from May 26th
The Other Side of Hope (Curzon)
Finland’s master of deadpan comedy, Aki Kaurismäki (Lights in the Dusk, Le Havre), returns with “The Other Side of Hope”, the story of an unlikely friendship between a Syrian asylum seeker and an elderly Finnish restaurant owner. Worthy winner of the 2017 Berlin Silver Bear for Best Director, it’s a beautiful, timely film from one of the world's leading auteurs. Khaled (Sherwan Haji) arrives at the port of Helsinki concealed in a coal container, fleeing war-torn Syria to seek asylum in Finland. Dazed and frustrated by the monolithic administration he encounters at the detention centre, he makes a break for it and heads out onto the streets. There he meets Wikström (Sakari Kuosmanen), a former shirt salesman who has recently left his alcoholic wife for a new life as a bachelor restaurateur. Together, they help each other to navigate the adversities they face in these unfamiliar and often baffling new worlds.
See it in cinemas from May 26th
Berlin Syndrome (Curzon)
While holidaying in Berlin, Australian photojournalist Clare (Teresa Palmer) meets charismatic local man Andi (Max Riemelt). There is an instant attraction between them, and a night of passion ensues. But what initially appears to be the start of a romance suddenly takes an unexpected and sinister turn when Clare wakes the following morning to discover Andi has left for work and locked her in his apartment. An easy mistake to make, of course, except Andi has no intention of letting her go again.
See it in cinemas from June 9th
From The Land of the Moon (Studiocanal)
In 1950s France, Gabrielle is a passionate, free-spirited woman who is in a loveless marriage and falls for another man when she is sent away to the Alps to treat her kidney stones. Gabrielle yearns to free herself and run away with André.
See it in cinemas from June 23rd
A Man Called Ove (Thunderbird)
59 year-old Ove is the block’s grumpy man. Several years ago he was deposed as president of the condominium association, but he could not give a damn about being deposed and therefore keeps looking over the neighborhood with an iron fist. When pregnant Parvaneh and her family move into the terraced house opposite Ove and accidentally back into Ove’s mailbox it sets off the beginning of an unexpected friendship.
See it in cinemas from June 30th
The Midwife (Curzon)
Claire (Catherine Frot) is a wonderfully gifted midwife, with a natural talent to deliver babies with the most gentle touch. But over the years, her delicate ways, her sense of pride and responsibility are clashing with the more efficiency-driven methods of modern hospitals. Closer to the end of her career than to its beginning, she’s starting to question her place and her skills. One day she receives a strange phone call, a voice from the past. Béatrice (Catherine Deneuve), the extravagant and frivolous mistress of her deceased father, has important and pressing news and wants to see her again, 30 years after having disappeared without a trace. Opposed in every way, the over-conscientious Claire – bordering inhibition – and the free-spirit, life-loving Béatrice, learn to accept one another and by revealing old secrets start to make up for the lost years.
See it in cinemas from July 7th
The Odyssey (Altitude)
Summer, 1946. The Cousteau family - Jacques, his wife Simone and their two children Philippe and Jean-Michel - live in their beautiful house by the Mediterranean sea. By day they dive, by night they watch the stars. It's paradise on earth. But Jacques is never content. He lives and breathes adventure and believes absolutely in the virtues of progress. With his invention, the aqualung, his recently acquired vessel the Calypso, and a crew of free-spirited adventurers he is ready to cross the world's oceans. Ten years later, back from the boarding school to which he was sent with Jean-Michel, Philippe finds his father greatly altered – an international celebrity with megalomaniac dreams of grafting gills to humans and creating underwater cities. Jacques cannot see it yet, but Philippe already understands that progress and pollution have begun to lay waste to the submarine world. Despite their mutual love and admiration, violent conflict between these two passionate men is inevitable. But on their greatest adventure together aboard the Calypso, in Antarctica, they will find each other - before tragedy strikes.
See it in cinemas from July 28th