Spring 2015 sees the exciting opening of the Bertha DocHouse – the first cinema screen in the UK dedicated to documentaries – at the new Curzon Bloomsbury (formerly the Renoir). With an eclectic schedule of master-classes, seasons and festivals to complement screenings of cutting-edge contemporary docs, it hopes to become the best place in London to watch documentaries as well as a hangout for film buffs.
To celebrate the opening, DocHouse is screening a ‘Best Of’ season, featuring the top ten films from its archive and hosting Q&A sessions with a stellar cast of directors, producers and cinematographers. Here’s our summary of what’s on offer in April:
April at Dochouse
Calais: the Last Border explores a different type of fragmented society – the community of migrants, refugees, French natives and English expatriates who reside there. With elegant lightness of touch, Director Marc Isaacs probes into the lives, expectations and dreams of these disparate groups, and examines their differing conceptions of the word ‘home’. Isaacs is on hand to answer questions after the screening.
Meanwhile, the Liberace of Baghdad (2005) tells a haunting story of post-war chaos in Iraq through the eyes of Samir Peter. Once the most famous pianist in Iraq, the film tracks Peter as he is reduced to playing in nearly empty rooms and waiting nervously as violence increases across the capital. After the film, you can quiz the director Sean McAllister on his experiences in Iraq.
37 Uses for a Dead Sheep casts light on the Pamir Kirghiz, a nomadic central Asian tribe who were persecuted by the Soviets and cast out of central Asia because of their opposition to Communism during the Cold War. In 1979 they found a new home in Eastern Turkey, but they now have to confront new challenges: the threat of globalization and the differing priorities of younger and older tribesmen.
Finally, the elegiac Sleep Furiously is set in the farming community in Trefeurig, Wales, where director Gideon Koppel’s refugee parents found their home. As large-scale farms and mechanization colonise the countryside, Sleep Furiously wishfully evokes landscapes and ways of life that are rapidly dying out.
|What||Best of Documentary: April at the Bertha Dochouse|
|Where||Bertha Dochouse, The Brunswick, London, WC1N 1AW | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Russell Square (underground)|
02 Apr 15 – 30 Apr 15, Thursday afternoons, 19th February – 30th April
|Price||£40 Season Ticket, £5-£8 per individual screening|
|Website||Click here to book via the DocHouse website|