Three to see today: Sunday 15 October
Three unmissable films with tickets still available at today's BFI London Film Festival.
Forest Whitaker and Eric Bana are extraordinary as Desmond Tutu and Piet Blomfeld in this tense political drama.
Forest Whitaker and Eric Bana excel as Desmond Tutu and Piet Blomfeld in this political drama that asks how far we can go in forgiving past crimes. It is 1996 and South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), which aims to offer support and reparations to the victims of apartheid, has been running for two years. It is headed by Archbishop Tutu, who works to resolve crimes in order to heal an embittered nation. After promising the grief-stricken family of one victim of a government-sanctioned ‘disappearance’ that he will uncover the truth, Tutu’s search leads him to Piet Blomfeld, a convicted murderer languishing in Cape Town’s Pollsmoor Prison. Roland Joffé’s gritty and suspenseful drama recreates Tutu’s confrontation with Blomfeld, who seeks redemption for his crimes. What emerges is 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.
John Woo goes back to his roots with intrepid cops, balletic shoot-outs, flying glass in this thoroughly enjoyable full-tilt action romp.
Intrepid cops, flying glass, mid-air shootouts in balletic slo-mo… Manhunt is a John Woo movie like he used to make 'em, before his US period that included Face/Off and Mission Impossible 2, and his historical diptychs Red Cliff and The Crossing. Woo's first Asian police thriller since 1992's Hard Boiled finds the Hong Kong maestro moving operations to Japan, where lawyer Du Qiu (Zhang Hanyu) finds himself a murder suspect on the run from tenacious cop Yamura (Masaharu Fukuyama). Also joining the chase are Mayumi (Qi Wei), who blames Du Qiu for a tragedy in her life, and Dawn and Rain, a lethal hitwoman duo. Knowingly and wittily pastiching his own innovative 80s-90s period, Woo lets his hair down with a thoroughly enjoyable full-tilt action romp, strong on humour and laced with terse snippets of English-language tough-guy talk ("There's only one end for a fugitive - a dead end"). The superbly choreographed action takes in a motorbike raid on a country mansion, a speedboat chase through Osaka and a climactic showdown in a pharmaceutical lab. Manhunt shows that Woo has lost neither his mojo nor his sense of poetry - and he throws in a few of his signature white doves for good measure.
An extraordinary and inspiring journey into the life of British primatologist Jane Goodall, with never-seen-before archive footage and a beautiful Philip Glass score.
This fascinating and deeply moving documentary about famous primatologist Jane Goodall reveals never-seen-before footage of her early work in Africa. In 1964, 26-year-old Goodall travelled to Tanzania on the first-ever mission to study chimpanzees in the wild. The primatologist’s subsequent decades in Gombe would open an unprecedented window into the lives of our close relatives. Acclaimed documentary filmmaker Brett Morgen (Cobain: Montage of Heck) had privileged access to more than 100 hours of previously unseen footage from that period, filmed by Goodall’s future husband, the wildlife photographer Hugo van Lawick. Jane is an intimate and affecting insight into Goodall’s personal journey as a scientist, but also as a woman and a mother. You’ll experience her discoveries and thrills, witnessing how nature and the animals she loved had a profound impact upon her life. Philip Glass’ grandiose score completes this truly luminous portrait.
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