Letters from Baghdad is the story of a true original — Gertrude Bell — sometimes called the “female Lawrence of Arabia”. Voiced and executive produced by Academy award winning actor Tilda Swinton, the film tells the dramatic story of this British spy, explorer and political powerhouse. Bell traveled widely in Arabia before being recruited by British military intelligence during WWI to help draw the borders of Iraq. This unforgettable documentary takes unique look at both a remarkable woman and the tangled history of Iraq, while transporting us into a past that is eerily current.
More than 20,000 people disappeared in Mexico during the horrifically violent war on drugs waged by former President Calderon. With each missing person, a family is left behind in a desperate search to get answers from a government that is suspiciously ambivalent. Putting a human face on the most harrowing of statistics, director Alicia Calderon courageously captures the stories of three mothers – Natividad, Guadalupe, and Margarita – as they search for their children who have gone missing.
This special two-part series explores the interwoven history of the European project and the far right in postwar Europe – both East and West. Beginning with the establishment of the European Coal and Steel Community from the ashes of World War II, we chart the trajectory of European integration, in tandem with the story of the European far right, recounting the series of shifts that have led to today’s critical juncture: a post-Brexit EU and a stark rise in support for far right parties across Europe.
Independent journalists like Amy Goodman, Glenn Greenwald, Jeremy Scahill, and Matt Taibbi are changing the face of journalism, providing investigative, adversarial alternatives to mainstream, corporate news outlets. All Governments Lie follows them as they expose government and corporate deception – just as the groundbreaking independent journalist I.F. Stone did decades ago.
This screening will be followed by a Q&A with director Andreas Møl Dalsgaard.
Through observational and at times humorous footage of everyday life, The War Show exposes what it is like to be a creative, ambitious young woman living amidst one of the most destructive conflicts of our time. This unprecedented documentary offers a rarely-seen image of youth culture in Syria, following the experiences of a DJ and her friends following Arab Spring of 2011, when the sad realities that follow envelop their hope for liberation.
The Frontline Club is delighted to present an evening dedicated to the recent social, political and cultural transitions in Burma presented through the eyes of its young filmmakers. Free elections, gender equality and defeating poverty are themes reoccurring in this unique programme of short films selected by Igor Blazevic; thinker, political activist and founder of the One World Human Rights Festival in Prague.
Since March 2015, a coalition of the Middle East’s richest countries, led by Saudi Arabia, has been bombing the region’s poorest state, Yemen. While the bombing campaign has been receiving intermittent coverage in the international media, the enormous scale of the humanitarian catastrophe unfolding in Yemen as a result continues to be overlooked. Through the eyes of Ahwaq, a medical doctor living and practicing in Hodeidah, viewers will see the silent killer of this ongoing conflict: the blockade currently imposed by the Saudi-led coalition and the widespread, large-scale corruption and lawlessness on the ground, which is drastically disrupting civilians’ access to aid.
This screening will be followed by a Q&A with director Denis Delestrac.
FREIGHTENED – The Real Price of Shipping reveals in an audacious investigation the mechanics and perils of cargo shipping; an all-but-visible industry that relentlessly supplies 7 billion humans and holds the key to our economy, our environment and the very model of our civilisation.
In A Revolution in Four Seasons, two politically-opposed young women fight to shape their lives along with the political future of Tunisia, the sole country to emerge from the Arab Spring uprisings as a functional democracy. Director/Producer Jessie Deeter and Co-Producer Sara Maamouri began filming in 2011.
Seen through the lens of filmmaker Brian Oakes, Foley’s close childhood friend, Jim: The James Foley Story takes us from small-town New England to the adrenaline-fuelled front lines of Libya and Syria, where photojournalist James (Jim) Foley pushed the limits of danger to report on the plight of civilians impacted by war. Brilliantly constructed with unparalleled access, Jim is a harrowing chronicle of bravery, compassion, and pain at the dawn of a new World War against ISIS.
This screening will be followed by a panel discussion with director Sonia Kennenbeck and others.
National Bird follows the dramatic journey of three whistleblowers who are determined to break the silence around one of the most controversial current affairs issues of our time: the secret U.S. drone war. At the centre of the film are three U.S. military veterans. Grappling with guilt over their participation in the drone programme, they decide to speak out publicly in spite of the possible consequences. As their stories take dramatic turns, this not-to-miss film gives a balanced insight into the U.S. drone programme through the eyes of veterans and survivors – connecting their stories as never seen before.
This screening is co-presented by PBS America and will be followed by a Q&A with director Michael Kirk.
With the opinion polls indicating a close-run race and the two major parties offering radically different viewpoints, the United States stands at one of the most significant political crossroads the nation has seen for many years. FRONTLINE’s critically acclaimed series returns for the 2016 election to examine the intriguing personal and political biographies of the presidential candidates.
Do Not Resist is an urgent and powerful exploration of the rapid militarisation of the police in the United States. Opening on startling on-the-scene footage in Ferguson, Missouri, the film then broadens its scope to present scenes from across the country. Through keen and thoughtful observances, director Craig Atkinson deftly presents the characters and stories that comprise this pressing issue. The result reveals a rare and surprising look into the increasingly disturbing realities of American police culture.
At this very moment, a woman’s reproductive rights in the United States are not clear. Since 2010, state legislatures have passed more than 250 laws restricting abortion clinics and their doctors. From mandating the width of hallways to requiring physicians to have active admitting privileges at nearby hospitals, these measures are forcing clinics across the country to shut down in epidemic numbers. Lawyer-turned-acclaimed-filmmaker Dawn Porter picks up the plight of the doctors and clinic operators along with the countless women relying on these facilities to uphold their legal right to safe abortion.
Ukrainian Sheriffs follows Viktor and Volodya, two men who have been appointed local sheriffs by the mayor in the town of Stara Zburyevka, Ukraine. While dealing with crimes such as stolen ducks and drunken neighbours, the news about the war is slowly creeping in on them through their televisions and the invitations to join the army. Ukrainian Sheriffs gives us look beyond the war and inside everyday life in a remote Ukrainian village, with a great eye for the shady side of life.
This screening will be followed by a Q&A with director George Amponsah.
This timely documentary explores the life and death of Mark Duggan, whose killing at the hands of London’s Metropolitan Police sparked the London riots of 2011.
“We learn so much from Malala, she tells us that we have a voice in the West but we take it for granted”, Guwali Passarlay.
Join us for a screening and discussion exploring the use of animation techniques within documentary filmmaking. We will be joined by a panel of documentary makers and animators who will present a behind-the-scenes look at the varied artistic techniques behind recent projects, as well as the broader motivations and challenges to capturing reality through animated form.
This screening will be followed by a Q&A with director Samira Goetschel.
Tucked away deep in the heart of Russia, there is a hidden city where thousands of men, women and children live and work behind barbed-wire fences monitored by armed guards. Built after the Second World War to create the Soviet Union’s nuclear weapons program, City 40 is one of Russia’s secret closed cities. In this feature-length documentary, the film crew is smuggled inside the top secret CITY 40 to meet the brave residents who risk their lives to warn us of the human and environmental catastrophe that threatens the region.
Join us for an evening of short documentaries from different parts of the world, covering a wide range of topics. Shorts at the Frontline Club showcases moving, striking and funny films, exploring the diverse faces of documentary filmmaking.
The Pearl of Africa is a story about Cleopatra Kambugu, a 28 year old Ugandan transgender woman. Born biologically male, she is transitioning into the woman she knows she was born to be – in one of the most transphobic places in the world. Forced to leave her country and loving boyfriend behind, she sets out to fight for her right to love and, against all odds, to become the first accepted trans person in Uganda.
This screening will be followed by a Q&A with directors Thomas Dandois and Francois-Xavier Tregan.
In southeast Turkey, a few dozen kilometres from war-torn Syria, at great risk to themselves, a clandestine network is exfiltrating fighters who have decided to leave Daesh. This groundbreaking documentary from Memento films and ARTE provides rare testimonies from Daesh defectors and those who have helped them escape. Gaining unprecedented access, directors Thomas Dandois and Francois-Xavier Tregan capture what daily life is like inside Daesh and expose the conditions surrounding the dangerous process of exfiltration.
This screening will be followed by a panel discussion on access to education for refugee girls with the Malala Fund’s Director of Policy and Advocacy Philippa Lei and others, moderated by BBC Radio 4 Today correspondent Sima Kotecha.
He Named Me Malala is an intimate portrait of Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Malala Yousafzai, who was targeted by the Taliban and severely wounded by a gunshot when returning home on her school bus in Pakistan’s Swat Valley. The then 15-year-old was singled out, along with her father, for advocating for girls’ education, and the attack on her sparked an outcry from supporters around the world. She miraculously survived and is now a leading campaigner for girls’ education globally as co-founder of the Malala Fund.
The Siege of Sarajevo was the longest siege of a capital city in the history of modern warfare. In this award-winning new documentary acclaimed journalists Remy Ourdan and Patrick Chauvel masterfully capture the experiences of the city’s residents who experienced the siege firsthand. As these men and women recall memories of everyday life under the blockade, history interweaves with personal testimony to create a humanising portrait of battle and resistance.
Since the summer of 2014, thousands of young Russians poured into the Donbass region of Eastern Ukraine. Driven by propaganda on Russian television, they believed they were fulfilling their patriotic duty. This documentary follows two volunteers, Oleg and Max, as they discuss their motivations and share their own perspective on the conflict. Oleg’s Choice serves as a uniquely personal testimony of one side of the war rarely seen in the western media.
To Light A Candle is a film by journalist Maziar Bahari, focusing on the Baha’is of Iran and their peaceful response to decades of state-sponsored persecution. The Baha’is are Iran’s largest religious minority. Persecuted because of their faith, they are barred from teaching and studying at University. #NotACrime is an international campaign working to stop the human rights abuse of Iranian Baha’is and encourage universities around the world to admit Iranian Baha’i students.
UPDATE: Unfortunately, on account of legal challenges directed at the Frontline Club, this event will no longer include a screening of Bloody Money as originally advertised. The event will still be going ahead minus the screening – and promises to be a fascinating discussion on the wider issue of corruption in Ukraine featured three key experts in this field: presenter and journalist Oliver Bullough; executive director of Ukraine’s Anti-Corruption Action Centre, Daria Kaleniuk; and Shauna Leven, Global Witness’ Campaigns Director on corruption.
This screening will be followed by a Q&A with reporter Abi Austen, director Will West and producer Shoaib Sharifi.
Abi Austen served for over four years in Kandahar, Afghanistan, as both a British army officer and as a senior advisor to the US army. In February 2015, she returned to Kandahar with Unreported World to discover just what is going wrong with President Obama’s plan. In this remarkable and eye-opening film, Austen discovers on the frontline that the war in Afghanistan is now at a tipping-point. Her film poses a question for the world: will the West’s legacy in Afghanistan survive, and is that struggle still worth fighting for?
Inspired by Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett’s best-selling book The Spirit Level, Katharine Round’s accomplished debut feature illustrates a more personal account of how inequality shapes our societies. The film travels across the world and into individual lives to see how broad economic shifts have shaped not only our physical circumstances, but also the way we think and what we believe in.
This screening will be followed by a Q&A with series producer Norma Percy and producer/director Paul Mitchell, moderated by journalist and author Jonathan Freedland.
In this landmark series by Norma Percy, Brian Lapping and Paul Mitchell, four one-hour programmes capture key moments when policy was made, including contribution from Obama’s Chief of Staff and insiders within the administration.