New British Cinema Season

Our long-running New British Cinema season continues with a selection of films by some of the country's leading female directors.

Clio Barnard

The Selfish Giant

The Selfish Giant (15)

“★★★★ – touches the heart as it holds a fabulist mirror up to reality” – Observer. Perfectly performed and masterfully directed, Clio Barnard’s The Selfish Giant – based on Oscar Wilde’s short story of the same name – is a striking example of modern British cinema. Desperate to help their mothers who are scrabbling to survive on a poor council estate in Bradford, two 13-year-old boys begin collecting scrap metal for a shady local dealer.

Available on Curzon Home Cinema
The Arbor

The Arbor (15)

“★★★★ – merges documentary and performance to mesmerising effect” –  Guardian. Barnard’s innovative film combines documentary and fictional elements to tell the story of playwright Andrea Dunbar. Revisiting Bradford’s Buttershaw estate 30 years after Dunbar’s tragic death, we meet her daughter Lorraine who, when reintroduced to her mother’s plays soon sees the similarities in the struggles they both faced growing up there.

Available on BFI Player

Dark River (15)

★★★★ – The Times. When her father dies, Alice returns home to the family farm in Yorkshire to claim the tenancy she believes is rightly hers. But her arrival sparks deep and unsettling moments from her past; moments that she has hidden from for 15 years. Alice must confront her brother – who is worn down by years alone on the farm – before both he and the land fall to ruin.

Available on Amazon Prime

Andrea Arnold

A medium shot of a teenage girl from the film Fish Tank

Fish Tank (15)

“★★★★★ – Andrea Arnold is Ken Loach’s natural successor” – Guardian. Neglected by her hard-partying mother, rebellious teenager Mia (Katie Jarvis) is on the verge of being thrown out of school. Sparks fly when her mother’s boyfriend encourages Mia to pursue her interest in dance, resulting in blurred boundaries as Mia and her mother compete for his affections. Andrea Arnold’s gritty Essex drama won the Cannes 2009 Jury Prize.

Available to rent on BFI Player
Wuthering Heights

Wuthering Heights (15)

Andrea Arnold reimagines Emily Bronte’s classic with a highly naturalistic and gritty lens. Young Heathcliff is rescued from the streets of Liverpool by the owner of Wuthering Heights, Mr Earnshaw. Over the years, Heathcliff (James Howson) develops an intense passion for Cathy (Kaya Scodelario)… a relationship destined to a tragic end.

Available on Netflix
Andrew Arnold's Red Road screens as part of Onwards and Outwards

Red Road (18)

★★★★ – Empire. CCTV operator Jackie (Kate Dickie) spends her days monitoring a rough Glasgow neighbourhood. Spotting ex-convict Clyde (Tony Curran) on one of the screens, she devises a plan to meet and seduce him, and gradually the reason for her obsession is revealed. Already an Oscar winner for her 2003 short Wasp, writer-director Andrea Arnold’s bleakly honest and mature debut feature film received the Prix du Jury at Cannes.

Available on Amazon Prime

Gurinder Chadha

Blinded by the Light

Blinded by the Light (12A)

★★★★ – Empire. England, 1987. Teenager Javed is growing up in Thatcher’s Britain, writing poetry as a means to escape the intolerance of his hometown and the rules of his traditional Pakistani household. When a classmate introduces him to the music of Bruce Springsteen, Javed sees parallels to his working-class life in the powerful lyrics, and discovers an outlet for his own pent-up dreams.

Available on Netflix
It's a Wonderful Afterlife

It’s a Wonderful Afterlife (12A)

Shabana Azmi, Sally Hawkins, and Sanjeev Bhaskar star in Chadha’s dark comedy about a widow, Mrs Sethi (Azmi), who resorts to murder after a string of potential suitors reject her daughter Roopi. When a detective enters the picture, things get complicated as Roopi becomes the prime suspect.

Available to rent on Amazon Prime Video

Bride & Prejudice (12A)

Gurinder Chadha’s masala remix brings a vibrancy and musical energy to Jane Austen’s classic tale. Mr and Mrs Bakshi seek out perfect husbands for their four beautiful, unwed daughters. But their eldest, Lalita, vows she will only marry someone of her choosing, as Mr Darcy’s arrival and eventual misunderstandings, schemes and lies threaten true love.

Streaming on BFI Player

Tina Gharavi & Sally El Hosaini

I Am Nasrine

I Am Nasrine (15)

★★★★ – Guardian. Forced into exile due to an unfortunate run-in with the police in Tehran, 16-year-old Nasrine and her brother Ali are sent to the UK to start a new life, but face an uncertain future. Nominated for BAFTA’s Outstanding Debut award, Tina Gharavi’s feature is a rich exploration of self-discovery which was shot in secret in Iran and smuggled out of the country.

Available to rent on BFI Player
My Brother the Devil

My Brother the Devil (15)

Lonely 14-year-old Mo idolises his older brother Rashid, a well-respected member of a local gang. Ultimately a story about love and hate, My Brother the Devil depicts the prejudice faced by Arabs on the streets of London. Welsh-Egyptian filmmaker Sally El Hosaini’s debut won her the Best Newcomer award at the 2012 BFI London Film Festival.

Available on Amazon Prime