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thumbnail Tom of Finland (2016 Finland)

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Director:Dome Karukoski
Starring: Jakob Oftebro, Jessica Grabowsky, Werner Daehn
Genre: Biography/drama
Duration: 114 mins

After suffering from the trauma of WWII, Touko Laaksonen finds no peace at home in Finland, a country where homosexuality is illegal. With the help of his sister, Touko finds work in an advertising agency, but becomes worn down by his inability to express his desires. Touko spends his nights drawing his fantasies instead; men with strong jaw lines, clad in uniform and frequently, leather. The sketches eventually draw worldwide attention, though not without an escalating risk of persecution. A superb biography of the man behind the iconic signature ‘Tom of Finland’, which became a notorious emblem of an entire generation of men, and a globally identified symbol of their freedom and sexual liberation.

thumbnail The Man Who Knew Infinity (2015, UK)

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Director: Matt Brown
Starring: Jeremy Irons, Dev Patel, Stephen Fry, Toby Jones, Jeremy Northam
Genre: Biography
Duration: 114 mins

We first encounter Ramanujan in 1913 Madras, India, as an impoverished 25-year-old whose obsessive, self-taught mastery of mathematics has taken precedent over all other commitments in life, including his job as a shipping clerk and his recently arranged marriage. When Ramanujan writes a letter to Professor G.H. Hardy (Jeremy Irons) and sends along some of his notebooks, the professor immediately recognizes the untempered brilliance of the young scholar’s work, and invites him to come to Trinity College and pursue his studies further. Seeking the appreciation and recognition that have eluded him at home, and hoping to be published immediately, Ramanujan leaves behind his teary-eyed bride and his overbearing mother to embark on the long, dangerous ocean voyage to Britain. Through sweeping period detail and compelling theory the film reiterates how important Ramanujan’s work was.

Screening Date: 26-Jun-16

thumbnail Holding the Man (2015, Australia)

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Director: Neil Armfield
Starring: Guy Pearce, Geoffrey Rush, Sarah Snook, Anthony LaPaglia, Ryan Corr
Genre: Biography
Duration: 127 mins

Based on a real-life romance between John Caleo and Tim Conigrave who met at high school and mostly stayed together until Caleo’s death in 1992, Neil Armfield’s romantic drama chronicles teenage love in the 1970s,an era when homosexuality was illegal. It discusses political action, the AIDS crisis and the battle for mainstream rights that underpins the current push for marriage equality. Neil Armfield’s return to filmmaking has a script by Tommy Murphy that is based on an acclaimed memoir by Conigrave that Murphy had previously turned into a successful play. Of the big-name support cast, Geoffrey Rush makes an impact in a cameo as a NIDA drama teacher with some good advice and Guy Pearce gets a powerful moment, as Conigrave’s father, with a public display of acceptance of the relationship.

Screening Date: 19-Jun-16

thumbnail Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom (2013, UK, South Africa)

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Director: Justin Chadwick
Starring: Idris Elba, Naomie Harris, Tony Kgoroge, Riaad Moosa, Zolani Mkiva
Genre: Biography, Drama
Duration: 141 mins

Based on South African President Nelson Mandela’s autobiography of the same name, it chronicles his early life, coming of age, education and 27 years in prison before becoming President and working to rebuild the country’s once segregated society. Directed by Justin Chadwick (The Other Boleyn Girl), and produced by Anant Singh. Mandela personally awarded the film rights to the book to Singh’s company. Singh believes that as the film is based on Mandela’s own writing, it will be the “definitive” biopic of him. Idris Elba (The Wire) and Naomie Harris (Skyfall) star as Nelson and Winnie Mandela.

Read reviews of Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom here

More information on Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom from IMDb

thumbnail The Lady (2012, France, UK)

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Director: Luc Besson
Starring: Michelle Yeoh, David Thewlis, Jonathan Raggett, Jonathan Woodhouse, Susan Wooldridge
Genre: Drama – Bio
Duration: 132 mins
Rated: R

Forty one years after Burmese democracy leader Aung San is murdered, his daughter, Aung San Suu Kyi, who has been living in Oxford with her academic husband, returns to Burma to visit her sick mother. She witnesses the brutality with which soldiers acting on orders from the military junta, crush political dissent, and she agrees to lead the National League for Democracy, as a result of which she is sentenced to house arrest. A poignant look at the woman who became the core of Burma’s democracy movement.

Screening Date: August 4th

At The Movies Review for The Lady here

Read reviews of The Lady here

More information on The Lady from IMDb

thumbnail The First Grader (2010, Kenya)

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Director: Justin Chadwick
Starring: Naomie Harris, Tony Kgoroge, Oliver Litondo, Sam Feuer, Nick Reding
Genre: Biography, Drama
Duration: 103 mins
Rated: PG-13

Set in a mountain village in Kenya the film tells the remarkable true and uplifting story of a proud old Mau Mau veteran who is determined to seize his last chance to learn to read and write – and so ends up joining a class alongside six year-olds. Together he and his young teacher face fierce resistance, but ultimately they win through – and also find a new way of overcoming the burdens of the colonial past.

Screening Date: April 29, 2012

Read reviews of The First Grader here

More information on The First Grader from IMDb

thumbnail Creation (2009, UK)

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Director: Jon Amiel
Starring: Paul Bettany, Ian Kelly, Guy Henry, Martha West, Anabolena Rodriguez
Genre: Drama, Biography
Duration: 108 mins
Rated: PG-13
Summary: Starring Academy Award winner Jennifer Connelly as Charles Darwin’s deeply religious wife, Creation depicts one mans heart-wrenching war between science and love. Darwin (Paul Bettany) is a warm and loving family man with revolutionary ideas who must evaluate the potentially devastating and irrevocable effect they could have on both society and within his beloved family. Based on the Darwin biography “Annie’s Box” by Randal Keynes (Darwin’s great great grandson), the film is a partly biographical, partly fictionalised account of Charles Darwin’s relationship with his eldest daughter, Annie, as he struggles to write “On the Origin of Species”.

At The Movies