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The films to watch at this year's BFI London Film Festival

PICTURED: Mudbound


Director Dee Rees (Pariah) delivers a searing racial drama about two families – one white, one black – set in the Deep South in the 1940s. Starring Garret Hedlund, Mary J. Blige and Straight Outta Compton's Jason Clarke, this Netflix drama is sure to wow with its crisp cinematography and engrossing story.

The Final Year

The final, momentous year of the Obama administration is documented with extraordinary intimacy by Greg Barker, whose Manhunt screened in the LFF2013 Documentary Competition. With an election looming, The Final Year observes the administration’s key players in foreign policy as they work to cement their gains in international relations, painstakingly negotiated over two terms.

I Am Not a Witch

Welsh-raised, Zambian-born Rungano Nyoni delivers a dazzling debut with this dark satirical fairy tale about a little girl in a Zambian village Shula, accused of being a witch.
Nyoni explodes onto the global stage with this thrilling film and its exhilaratingly cacophonous array of cultural influences.

The Wound

The Wound is a powerful exploration of closeted sexuality in the remote mountains of South Africa's Eastern Cape. The movie tells the tale of the teenage boys of the Xhosa community, who are initiated into manhood through an annual circumcision ritual. This painful ordeal is followed by two weeks healing, during which each initiate is assigned an elder to teach the culture’s codes of masculinity.

Birds are Singing in Kigali (Ptaki śpiewają w Kigali)

In this visually striking and perceptive analysis of trauma, Anna and Claudine return to Poland after witnessing the Rwandan massacres. Underlying themes are gradually revealed, with the use of flashback and voiceover adding a powerful metaphorical context. Avoiding explicit accounts of the atrocities, the film’s exploration of ‘white’ and ‘black’ realities also exposes the bureaucratic and frequently inhuman obstacles faced by refugees.

The Forgiven

Academy Award-winning actor Forest Whitaker and Eric Bana star as Desmond Tutu and Piet Blomfeld in this tense political drama, showcasing an intelligent and deeply affecting exploration of the psychological and moral questions raised by the TRC and our capacity to let go of the past.

Oh, Sun! (Soleil Ô)

This excitingly radical, avant-garde, fast-moving and at times surreal drama finds director Med Hondo boldly displaying influences that range from Eisenstein to Godard. Shot on a low budget over four years, Oh, Sun! tells the story of a man from a French colony in West Africa who, encouraged by propaganda, is chosen to emigrate to Paris where he optimistically hopes to make a ‘better’ life for himself.

Chateau (La Vie de château)

Bustling with African hair salons, this is a sprightly-paced drama set in the working-class area of Paris around the Château d’Eau metro station. With its restless camerawork, Château balances this kaleidoscopic portrait of daily life with a more general homage to the French capital, and the resourcefulness and vivacity of the people who live in it.

G Funk

G Funk tells the story of the 1990s sound that transformed hip-hop into a global phenomenon and how three friends from East Long Beach - Snoop Dogg, Nate Dogg and Warren G - changed the world.

The London Film Festival takes place from October 4-15, 2017

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