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Riveting films that amplify, scrutinise, argue and surprise.

Debate presents vital cinematic dispatches about the pressing concerns of our day. From a gripping character study about assisted dying to a teen drama about young asylum seekers, we present titles that probe the realities behind the headlines. Our selection also delves into history, with archive screenings, and The Last of the Unjust, Claude Lanzmann’s masterly Holocaust documentary. Underpinning Debate is a belief that films can change the way we see the world. How else to explain the Iranian authorities’ 20-year filmmaking ban for Jafar Panahi and Mohammad Rasoulof? Which is why it’s such an honour to screen their defiant responses: Closed Curtain and Manuscripts Don’t Burn.

Edward Lawrenson

Debate Gala

Night MovesNight Moves

Dakota Fanning and Jesse Eisenberg shine in a thriller that combines cinematic lyricism with an astute exploration of radical environmentalism.

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Atambua 39º CelsiusAtambua 39º Celsius

More fiction than a docudrama, Riri Riza’s deeply humane film examines the frustrated lives of refugees who fled independent East Timor for Indonesia.

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Closed CurtainClosed Curtain

Jafar Panahi’s dazzling chamber-piece drama about a writer struggling to complete his screenplay is a stirring exploration of the creative process.

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Gore Vidal: The United States of AmnesiaGore Vidal: The United States of Amnesia

The many lives of Gore Vidal are admiringly depicted in this entertaining documentary.

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Le Grand cahierLe Grand cahier

The award-winning story of twin boys who experience World War II in a Hungarian border village and must adjust to a cruel and violent world.

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Harbour DriftHarbour Drift

A beggar pays dearly for his theft of a pearl necklace in this Weimar-era silent melodrama of poverty, greed and prostitution.

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Topical drama about a woman with a false life that conceals her real, secret work in assisted euthanasia.

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The Kill TeamThe Kill Team

A sensitive, shocking exploration of US war crimes in Afghanistan, focusing on the whistleblower who brought murder to light.

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The Last of the UnjustThe Last of the Unjust

Claude Lanzmann’s portrait of the man who ran the Jewish Council at Theresienstadt concentration camp revisits material shot for his monumental Shoah.

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Leave to RemainLeave to Remain

A moving, poignant contribution to debates on UK immigration, born of a youth film academy project and soundtracked by Mercury Award-winning Alt-J.

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Manila in the Claws of LightManila in the Claws of Light

The late, great Lino Brocka’s portrayal of a young labourer’s desperate search for his abducted girlfriend in the lower depths of Manila.

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Manuscripts Don’t BurnManuscripts Don’t Burn

This brave, angry film about the attempt by the Iranian authorities to cover-up a past state crime grips with fierce urgency.

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Fascinating documentary portrait of John Milius, the maverick writer-director and the unruly guiding spirit of the Movie Brat generation.

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Scenes from the life of the Polish Roma poet Bronisława Wajs, known as Papusza, evoke a lost way of life through striking black and white imagery.

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The PlagueThe Plague

A moving debut feature following five characters, each facing a time of uncertainty over a blisteringly hot summer on the outskirts of Barcelona.

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The Ravine of GoodbyeThe Ravine of Goodbye

A journalist discovers dark secrets in the life of an apparently happy couple in Tatsushi Omori’s tale of female empowerment and male guilt.

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The RooftopsThe Rooftops

A sprawling, masterful depiction of a day in the life of Algiers by arguably Algeria’s greatest living filmmaker, Merzak Allouache.

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Kaveh Bakhtiari’s documentary offers a moving, close-quarter portrait of illegal Iranian immigrants stranded and struggling to survive in Athens.

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Tell Me LiesTell Me Lies

Peter Brook’s provocative anti-Vietnam War 1960s protest piece, combining the talents of the Royal Shakespeare Company with his own cinematic flair.

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They’ll Come BackThey’ll Come Back

Two bickering teenagers are deserted by their parents at the roadside in this telling metaphorical road move by Brazilian director Marcelo Lordello.

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Wałęsa. Man of HopeWałęsa. Man of Hope

The third part of Andrzej Wajda’s trilogy telling the story of post-war Poland follows the rise of the Solidarity union and its leader, Lech Wałęsa.

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Shiny Happy Fits of RageShiny Happy Fits of Rage

A thought-provoking selection of short films on sex, politics and religion. Discuss.

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