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Three to see today: Thursday 5 October

Three unmissable films with tickets still available at today’s BFI London Film Festival.

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.

The friendship of two Second World War veterans ignites racial tension in Dee Rees’ majestic epic about two families in the Deep South. Pariah marked Rees as a filmmaker of uncompromising originality and vision; Mudbound retains that distinct voice within a complex narrative about what sets us apart, and perhaps more so, what we all share. Adapting Hillary Jordan’s novel, Rees weaves together multiple threads of two family histories: white farmers the McAllans and the Jacksons, black sharecroppers who lease a plot on the McAllans’ land. Though a genuine ensemble of consistently impressive performances, Laura’s (Carey Mulligan) story spurs the plot. With spinsterhood looming, despite being attracted to his debonair brother Jamie (Garrett Hedlund), Laura agrees to marry Henry McAllan (Jason Clarke), and he soon moves the family to the mud-caked Mississippi Delta. Meanwhile, Hap Jackson (Rob Morgan) and his wife Florence (a transformed Mary J Blige) struggle to make small gains sharecropping when the McAllans take their lease. As a post-war comradeship develops between Jamie and the Jacksons’ eldest son, distinguished war hero Ronsel (Jason Mitchell), tensions with bitterly racist McAllan patriarch, Pappy erupt into violence. Rees skilfully draws these stories together, reflecting on how bigotry and intolerance serves no one – a message with fresh relevance given the rise of an emboldened far right in America.

Tricia Tuttle

Wrath of Silence

Bao lie wu sheng

A Touch of Sin meets Spaghetti Western in this contemporary Chinese arthouse thriller following a mute man’s search for his missing son.

Martial arts maestro Song Yang plays a mute bruiser who returns to his home, a remote farming village, following the disappearance of his son. A lack of tongue is no handicap to picking fights for this man and he soon finds himself in some thrillingly choreographed brawls with local heavies. They’re henchmen in the service of a meat-obsessed gangster kingpin (A Touch of Sin’s Jiang Wu clearly relishing his baddy role). In a landscape scarred by rapacious mining and with quarry explosions pounding ominously in the distance, the human cost of the theft of the village’s mineral resources is gradually revealed. Channeling the narrative arc of a Spaghetti Western, this sophisticated arthouse thriller features stunning choreographed violence and compelling social commentary. With tight plotting, memorable characters and an unforgettable climax, director Xin Yukun establishes himself as a new international filmmaker you need to know. Make Wrath of Silence your festival discovery.

Kate Taylor

Jabberwocky

Restored by the BFI from the original camera negative, Terry Gilliam’s first film as a solo director is a beautifully crazed landmark in British cinema.

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