As another successful edition of the BFI London Film Festival is slowly drawing to a close, the most memorable moments, films, quotes, scenes, sounds and feelings emerge not on-demand but organically and ask to occupy a place in our experience of film festivals; our sense of exhibition and curatorial concepts and practices, but most importantly what it is that we mean when we talk about film and cinema today.
Vinay Shukla’s dignified character study is a poignant testament to the arduous task of protecting journalistic ethics, integrity and a code of conduct from becoming obsolete, in-between widespread misinformation and disinformation practices. Following the life, activities, work and choices that investigative journalist and news presenter Ravish Kumar makes, the film appropriates a sophisticated day-in-the-life-of style, to depict the legacy of one of the most celebrated Indian journalists.
We often hear the term "Father of African Cinema" associated with the great Senegalese author and filmmaker Ousmane Sembène. Indeed he is today recognised as an outstanding post-war African filmmaker, his work studied and taught universally- no genuine film academic or cinema historian can boast of never having come across his oeuvre during the course of their own research. Of course this is entirely due to the paucity of Africans that have worked in cinema and thus Sembène stands today as almost the sole historical black Sub-Saharan African progenitor and therefore representative of the global medium of cinema, who now, a hundred years after his birth, is to be honoured with a much deserved and necessary retrospective, courtesy of the British Film Institute (BFI Southbank) in London, one of Europe's leading film institutions.
Chie Hayakawa’s impressive debut feature film presents a captivating dystopia about the calculation of elderly citizens’ right to a dignified life, the impunity of those who decide who is granted that right, and the elusive meaning of humanity, in near-future post-extinction capitalist societies. In a cruel, calculating and survival-of-the-fittest, deficit-ridden individualistic society, senior citizens are considered to be the least productive and most burdensome group to the economy and society.
Hlynur Pálmason’s third feature film is a beautifully crafted cinematic experience about the contentious definition of morality, ethics and perceived entitlement to nobleness. Steering clear of a pastoral or didactic tone the film bursts naturally out of the harsh, unwelcoming landscape of Iceland in all its glorious mysticism, whimsical cinematography and holiness of the analogue, 1:33 ratio aesthetics.