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In-your-face, up-front and arresting: films that take you out of your comfort zone.
Just what are we capable of? From our potential for cruelty (Harmony Lessons, Half of a Yellow Sun, Lebanon Emotion) to our capacity for endurance (Episode in the Life of an Iron Picker, The Golden Dream, Camille Claudel 1915) these films push the very limits of comfort and go further. The filmmaking here is audacious; pushing the boundaries of visual form (The Fear, As I Lay Dying) and narrative expectation (Exhibition, Eastern Boys). Intense, emotionally-charged cinema from the cutting-edge: these are that films dare to be bold.
Clare Stewart, Jemma Desai
An enigmatic meditation on love, sex and murderous desire set in a gay cruising ground in picturesque Southern France.
Ambitious and powerful adaptation of William Faulkner’s classic novel, following a Southern family’s trials in transporting a body for burial.
Juliette Binoche and writer-director Bruno Dumont join forces for this searching portrait of the troubled sculptor and her poet brother.
Desire, danger and love are key themes in this story about a solitary Parisian and a young Ukrainian migrant, from writer-director Robin Campillo.
Danis Tanović’s drama on the plight of a Bosnian Roma family needing urgent medical care reconstructs the actors’ real experiences to shocking effect.
An artist couple find that selling their imposing London home starts to open fissures in their relationship in Joanna Hogg’s coolly-observed fable.
A sensitive and humorous documentary account of life in a castle in Slovakia – home to people who have lost everything but their zest for living.
A sparse, gripping meditation on domestic violence screens with a dramatic Basque short that contemplates power and responsibility.
Diego Quemada-Diez’s debut feature draws astounding turns from a non-professional cast as Guatemalan teenagers on the perilous road to the US border.
Civil war shatters the comfortable illusions of Nigeria’s middle class in Biyi Bandele’s feature debut, an epic 1960s-set love story.
Emir Baigazin’s feature debut is an daring, deeply philosophical study of human cruelty through the eyes of a small-town schoolboy loner.
François Ozon returns with the provocative story a 17-year-old student on an unexpected journey of sexual self-discovery.
Dance maestro Uday Shankar’s beautiful, experimental, hallucinatory paean to classical Indian dance, in which the choreography itself is the star turn.
A grieving loner finds his life turned upside-down when he stumbles into a brutal underworld grudge-match in Jung Youngheon’s award-winning debut.
Original news broadcasts and archive footage tell how 11 people died when Philadelphia’s police tried to crush the African-American MOVE group in 1985.
Boris Khlebnikov’s take on Western High Noon, is a distinctly Russian interrogation on the ideals of socialism.
A Filipino law student’s act of violence has catastrophic consequences far beyond his victims in Lav Diaz’s spellbinding Dostoevsky-tinged drama.
In three chapters, each played as a different genre (drama, horror, comedy), Ifa Isfansyah uncovers the secrets of an Indonesian family.
From the co-director of The Lips comes the beautifully realised tale of a young man adapting to life after a spell in a psychiatric clinic.
Shirley Clarke’s cinéma vérité masterpiece about a gay African-American cabaret performer and prostitute revealingly restored.
A moving story of the women who wait for their submariner husbands, set against the desolate beauty of Russia’s Kola peninsula.
Albert Serra’s teasing period-piece sees Casanova and Dracula meeting as Enlightenment reason gives way to the dangerous passions of the Romantic era.
Jia Zhangke’s Cannes prizewinner comprising four fact-based stories of violence and murder is a virtual state of the nation report on China in 2013.
Basil Dearden’s brave, sober exposé of England’s repressive homosexual laws launched Dirk Bogarde’s career change as a serious international actor.
Emmanuelle Devos offers a career-best performance as pioneering writer and feminist icon Violette Leduc, in this stark depiction of creative struggle.
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