21 - 26 January
at the Institut français

In the run-up to the Night of Ideas on 27 January, a film programme will be exploring different themes of the Night, providing further food for thought!

Fri 21 Jan - 19:15 | Film

Memory Box + Q&A

FRA/LEB | 2021 | 102 mins | dir. Joana Hadjithomas & Khalil Joreige, with Manal Issa, Jade Charbonneau, Rim Turki, Patrick Chemali | in French, Arabic and English with EN subs

Winners of the Prix Marcel Duchamp 2017, filmmakers and artists Joana Hadjithomas and Khalil Joreige (I Want to See, The Lebanese Rocket Society) question the role of memory in creating images and historical narratives. The pair has always shown an interest in the emotional processes associated with the trauma of war, and this time Joana’s own journals and tapes from 1982 to 1988 and Khalil’s wartime photographs build the story of Maia and Alex.

Maia lives in Montreal with her teenage daughter Alex. On Christmas Eve, she receives a box containing the journals, tapes and photos that she had entrusted to her best friend when she left Lebanon. She refuses to open this Pandora’s box, but Alex cannot resist the temptation and unveils her mother’s troubled adolescence spent in wartime Beirut.

The screening on 21 Jan (7.15pm) will be followed by an extended discussion between the directors and Marta Weiss, Senior Curator of Photographs at the Victoria and Albert Museum.

Photo © Haut et Court – Abbout Productions/ Microscope

Sat 22 Jan - 14:00 | Film

Preview: Flee

FRA/DNK/NOR/SWE | 90 mins | 2021 | dir. Jonas Poher Rasmussen | in Danish, Swedish, French and Norwegian with EN subs | Preview

On the eve of Amin’s marriage to his longtime partner, film director Jonas Poher Rasmussen manages to get his school friend to open up about his untold journey – not even his boyfriend knows the details – from 1980s Afghanistan to today’s Denmark. In hand-drawn 2D animations, Flee reveals Amin’s odyssey marked by war and displacement, corrupted police forces and ruthless smugglers, and the construction of a new identity.

In the spirit of animation cinema, following the preview of Flee come and join a free drawing workshop along with a glass of wine. Open to everyone, no matter your skills and abilities, the relaxed workshop will be led by artist Caroline Burraway and all drawing materials will be provided.

The screening will be preceded by a drinks reception beginning at 19:30, which is free for all ticket holders.

Sat 22 Jan - 14:00 | CinéKids

Calamity, a Childhood of Martha Jane Cannary

FRA/DEN | 85 mins | 2020 | dir. Rémi Chayé | 8+ | in French with EN subs

Calamity, une enfance de Martha Jane Cannary

1863, United States of America. 12-year-old Martha Jane and her family are headed West in search of a better life. After her father is hurt in a serious accident, Martha Jane takes charge of her siblings and learns to drive the family wagon. She has never felt so free. In the wild, she discovers herself and a world which shapes her… revealing the mythical and slightly mysterious Calamity Jane. Rémi Chayé’s film won the Cristal Award for Best Feature Film at the Annecy International Animated Film Festival 2020.

Children can join us for a chat and workshop in L’Atelier after the screening to explore the origins of the legendary American frontierswoman, and the ways in which she defied the gender conventions of her time.

Sat 22 Jan - 16:15 | Film

Secrets and Lies + Q&A

UK | 141 mins | 1996 | dir. Mike Leigh, with Brenda Blethyn, Marianne Jean-Baptiste, Phyllis Logan, Lesley Manville, Claire Rushbrook, Timothy Spall| In English | Cert. 15

At the 1996 Cannes Film Festival, Leigh won the Palme d’Or and Brenda Blethyn the Best Actress award for what is one of Leigh’s funniest yet most moving films. An adopted Black girl goes in search of her birth mother, with unexpected consequences for both – drawing in an estranged brother, his distressed wife, and a sulky female street-cleaner. The film includes a lovely sequence in the photographer’s studio, a climactic barbecue and a gallery of classic performances led by Blethyn’s slightly deranged Cynthia. Mike Leigh’s return to the subject of family and being together also earned the film five Oscar nominations.

The screening will be followed by a Q&A with Mike Leigh, moderated by Sandra Hebron (Head of Screen Arts, National Film and Television School)

Sat 22 Jan - 16:00 | Film

Memory Box

FRA/LEB | 2021 | 102 mins | dir. Joana Hadjithomas & Khalil Joreige, with Manal Issa, Jade Charbonneau, Rim Turki, Patrick Chemali | in French, Arabic and English with EN subs

Winners of the Prix Marcel Duchamp 2017, filmmakers and artists Joana Hadjithomas and Khalil Joreige (I Want to See, The Lebanese Rocket Society) question the role of memory in creating images and historical narratives. The pair has always shown an interest in the emotional processes associated with the trauma of war, and this time Joana’s own journals and tapes from 1982 to 1988 and Khalil’s wartime photographs build the story of Maia and Alex.

Maia lives in Montreal with her teenage daughter Alex. On Christmas Eve, she receives a box containing the journals, tapes and photos that she had entrusted to her best friend when she left Lebanon. She refuses to open this Pandora’s box, but Alex cannot resist the temptation and unveils her mother’s troubled adolescence spent in wartime Beirut.

The screening on 21 Jan (7.15pm) will be followed by an extended discussion between the directors and Marta Weiss, Senior Curator of Photographs at the Victoria and Albert Museum.

Photo © Haut et Court – Abbout Productions/ Microscope

Sat 22 Jan - 15:45 | Drawing workshop

Flee

In the spirit of animation cinema, following the preview of Flee come and join a free drawing workshop along with a glass of wine. Open to everyone, no matter your skills and abilities, the relaxed workshop will be led by artist Caroline Burraway and all drawing materials will be provided.

The workshop is free but booking is required

Sat 22 Jan - | CinéClub

Calamity, a Childhood of Martha Jane Cannary

Children can join us for a chat and workshop in L’Atelier after Calamity, a Childhood of Martha Jane Cannary screening to explore the origins of the legendary American frontierswoman, and the ways in which she defied the gender conventions of her time.

Sun 23 Jan - 15:45 | Film

The Lighthouse (Mayak)

RUS/ARM | 78 Mins | 2006 | dir. Maria Saakyan, with Anna Kapaleva, Olga Yakovleva, Sos Sargsyan | in Russian with EN subs

In her outstanding and critically acclaimed debut, the late director Maria Saakyan, brought to life a highly personal and radically poetic vision of war and its consequences. In a mystical landscape overshadowed by war and loss, Lena, a young woman arrives at her childhood home in Armenia with the hope of taking her grandparents away to the safety of a foreign city. But nothing seems as it should. Torn between the feelings of longing and detachment, Lena begins to welcome her surroundings, and soon the magic and aching beauty of her childhood memories begin to show themselves as she realises that leaving might not be the answer.

The screening will be held in partnership with Second Run DVD and will be the first UK theatrical presentation of the new 2K restoration of this visionary film by the Hamo Bek-Nazarov Project.

Part of Atlas of Belonging: Memory and Identity in the Cinema and Artists’ Moving Image Work of the Caucasus, curated by Galya Stepanova, in partnership with the NFTS Curating, Ciné Lumière and the ICA.

Mon 24 Jan - 18:15 | Film

Taming the Garden + Q&A

CHE/GER/GEO | 90 mins | 2021 | doc | dir. Salomé Jashi | in Georgian with EN subs

A poetic ode to the rivalry between men and nature, Taming the Garden recounts how an influential man indulges in the unusual hobby of having century-old trees, some as tall as 15-story buildings, transplanted from communities along the Georgian coast to his private garden, transformed into a public park. A powerful reflection on our relationship to nature and, by extension, on the theme of forced migration, where “uprooting” is more than a metaphor.

Screening followed by a live Zoom Q&A with director Salomé Jashi

Read also an essay by curator Galina Stepanova on Taming the Garden: Dendrological Dislocation: an essay by Galina Stepanova – Open City Documentary Festival

This screening is part of Atlas of Belonging: Memory and Identity in the Cinema and Artists’ Moving Image Work of the Caucasus, curated by Galya Stepanova, in partnership with the NFTS Curating, Ciné Lumière and the ICA.

Mon 24 Jan - 18:25 | Film

Memory Box

FRA/LEB | 2021 | 102 mins | dir. Joana Hadjithomas & Khalil Joreige, with Manal Issa, Jade Charbonneau, Rim Turki, Patrick Chemali | in French, Arabic and English with EN subs

Winners of the Prix Marcel Duchamp 2017, filmmakers and artists Joana Hadjithomas and Khalil Joreige (I Want to See, The Lebanese Rocket Society) question the role of memory in creating images and historical narratives. The pair has always shown an interest in the emotional processes associated with the trauma of war, and this time Joana’s own journals and tapes from 1982 to 1988 and Khalil’s wartime photographs build the story of Maia and Alex.

Maia lives in Montreal with her teenage daughter Alex. On Christmas Eve, she receives a box containing the journals, tapes and photos that she had entrusted to her best friend when she left Lebanon. She refuses to open this Pandora’s box, but Alex cannot resist the temptation and unveils her mother’s troubled adolescence spent in wartime Beirut.

The screening on 21 Jan (7.15pm) will be followed by an extended discussion between the directors and Marta Weiss, Senior Curator of Photographs at the Victoria and Albert Museum.

Photo © Haut et Court – Abbout Productions/ Microscope

Tue 25 Jan - 18:15 | Film

The Velvet Queen

FRA | 92 mins | 2021 | doc | dir.s Marie Amiguet & Vincent Munier, with photographer Vincent Munier & writer Sylvain Tesson | UK Premiere

La Panthère des neiges

In the heart of the Tibetan highlands, wildlife photographer Vincent Munier brings writer and adventurer Sylvain Tesson on his quest to find the almost legendary snow leopard. He introduces him to the subtle art of waiting from a blind spot, tracking animals and finding the patience to catch sight of the beasts.
Through their journey in the Tibetan peaks, inhabited by many animals often invisible to us, writer and photographer engage in a conversation on our place among the living beings and celebrate the beauty of the world.

Wed 26 Jan - 17:00 | Free

Mapping Controversies

Introduced by French sociologist and philosopher Bruno Latour, Mapping Controversies is an innovative teaching method to train students and future citizens to navigate in a world of uncertainties. This didactic technique enables students and teachers to explore issues and visualize the complexities of scientific and technical debates.  

25 students of the Lycée français Charles de Gaulle will perform a live debate on public statues dedicated to controversial colonial figures, unraveling alliances and oppositions between participants.  

Free. Bookings will open early January