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Films in Debate

Riveting films that amplify, scrutinise, argue and surprise.

Film festivals thrive on conversation, which is never more heated or engaged than when the world outside the cinema is reflected back at us. From a blackly comic Chilean film about the recent troubled history of the Catholic Church, to a sobering documentary detailing US law-enforcement policy in a climate of fear over home-grown extremism, Debate offers cinematic responses to the urgent issues of day, along with controversies from the past, in all their challenging complexities. Among our archive highlights we present a restored version of A Man for All Seasons, with Paul Scofield’s masterly performance as Sir Thomas More, doing his best to navigate a course through his own politically stormy waters. It’s a lively, provocative mix – join in the debate.

Edward Lawrenson

Debate Gala

The ProgramThe Program

Stephen Frears delivers a kinetic tale of cyclist Lance Armstrong’s inexorable rise to near canonisation and his subsequent vertiginous fall from grace.

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Aligarh Aligarh

A young journalist uncovers a homophobic conspiracy behind the case of an Indian college professor who is caught by the press in bed with his lover.

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The Apostate The Apostate

From Uruguayan director Federico Veiroj comes a droll contemplation of male solipsism pitting a thirty-something drifter against the Kafkaesque bureaucracy of the Catholic Church.

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Arianna Arianna

A coming-of-age drama with a twist about a young girl searching for her real sexual identity.

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Chronic Chronic

The motivations of a care giver for the terminally ill are thrown into question in Michel Franco’s complex drama.

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The Club The Club

Pablo Larrain’s Berlin prize-winner is a typically stylish, darkly witty tale of corruption, concealment and conspiracy in Chile’s Catholic church.

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Dégradé Dégradé

A day in the life of a Gaza beauty salon as a group of disparate women find themselves locked in after rival militants clash outside.

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The Hard Stop The Hard Stop

A humane, thought-provoking and topical documentary giving a voice to Mark Duggan’s friends and family.

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Make More Noise! Suffragettes in Film Make More Noise! Suffragettes in Film

A selection representing women on film in the first decades of the 20th century.

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A Man for All Seasons A Man for All Seasons

Sir Thomas More vs Henry VIII in Fred Zinnemann and Robert Bolt’s sumptuous, multi-Oscar-winning slice of Tudor history.

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The Measure of a Man The Measure of a Man

Vincent Lindon is superb as a man facing the realities of unemployment and the market in Stéphane Brizé’s gripping, fiercely intelligent French social drama.

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Mediterranea Mediterranea

Ultra-topical and powerful story of two African men making the epic journey from Burkino Faso to Italy, only to find that life is no bed of roses in Western Europe either.

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The Memory of Justice The Memory of Justice

This trail-blazing and significant work redefined what documentary, at its most ambitious, can do, setting standards and creating expectations.

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Much Loved Much Loved

Controversial, searing look at prostitution in Morocco from acclaimed director Nabil Ayouch featuring some remarkable performances.

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My Scientology Movie My Scientology Movie

Louis Theroux employs his characteristic deadpan wit in his investigation into the Church of Scientology.

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Nasty Baby Nasty Baby

The director of The Maid returns with the story of a gay couple about to have their first baby with a friend, but who also face problems with their work and US immigration services.

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My Nazi LegacyMy Nazi Legacy

And what if your father was a Nazi? This is the harrowing question raised in David Evans’ thought-provoking documentary.

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Paulina Paulina

Smart political cinema from Argentina’s Santiago Mitre as a trainee lawyer sees her principles clash with the pragmatics of the challenging situation she finds herself in.

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The People Vs. Fritz Bauer The People Vs. Fritz Bauer

Gripping portrait of Fritz Bauer, a man who defied his own country members in working with Mossad to track down Adolf Eichmann.

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Salaam Bombay! Salaam Bombay!

Slumdog without the Millionaire. Mira Nair’s Oscar-nominated debut feature is an authentic and unnerving portrait of Mumbai’s street children.

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(T)error (T)error

A remarkable account of the way that US security forces have been coordinating a vast network of domestic ‘spies’ in order to root out and often falsely accuse its own citizens of terrorism.

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Taklub Taklub

A compassionate drama detailing life for the one of the poorest communities in the Philippines, following the typhoon that hit the country in 2010.

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Taxi Tehran Taxi Tehran

Jafar Panahi’s warm, witty and wise Berlin prizewinner sees the director posing as an amateur cabbie, ferrying a colourful array of passengers around Tehran.

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Short films programme

Beneath the SpaceshipLast Man Standing Is a Girl

A selection of shorts exploring the role of young women in contemporary society.

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