For the next few weeks Phoenix at Home is where you’ll find our Black History Month programme, with a specially-curated selection of insightful documentaries and work by contemporary Black filmmakers and actors.
WHAT TO WATCH AT HOME THIS WEEK
THE QUEEN OF AFRICA: THE MIRIAM MAKEBA STORY
Forced into exile for exposing the harsh realities of apartheid, South African singer and civil rights activist Miriam Makeba was the first African musician to win international stardom.This feature documentary looks at her tumultuous life, using rare archive film of performances and interviews to paint an intimate portrait of a remarkable woman.
“★★★★ – an African extravaganza that packs a muscular intensity” – Empire. After his father’s death, T’Challa returns home to the hidden but advanced kingdom of Wakanda – a nation now threatened by a powerful enemy. Ryan Coogler’s MCU blockbuster broke boundaries as well as records, and featured the late Chadwick Boseman as the first Black male superhero.
“★★★★★ – A masterwork whose relevance remains starker than ever” – Guardian. On a hot day in a racially-diverse Brooklyn district, simmering tensions boil over as locals question an Italian restaurateur’s lack of black representation on his pizzeria’s ‘Wall of Fame’. Released in 1989, Spike Lee’s classic study of race relations cemented his place as one of the great black filmmakers.
★★★★ – Telegraph. Nominated for the Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Festival 2016, Richard Tanne’s biopic chronicles the glorious summer afternoon in 1989 when Barack Obama (Parker Sawyers) and the young lawyer and future First Lady, Michelle Robinson (Tika Sumpter), stepped out together on their first date.
Black Panther smashed box office records, and Moonlight and Get Out enjoyed awards success at the Oscars – something that previous generations of Black filmmakers and actors could only dream of. This BBC Two three-part series celebrates those who paved the way for the current generation of Black talent.
“A critical insight into Black lives in Britain” – Little White Lies. Filtered through the lens of five young activists, Usayd Younis and Cassie Quarless’ urgent, impassioned documentary follows a new generation of Black activists as they fight for social and political change in London and beyond.
“★★★★ – comic, tragic, and captivatingly beautiful” – Observer. Rungano Nyoni’s surreal, BAFTA winning satirical drama is set in rural Zambia. Villagers denounce a quiet, serious-looking girl as a witch, setting her on a path of exploitation – as a tethered member of a witches’ camp, a witch for hire and a tourist exhibit. In Nyanja/Bemba/Tonga with English subtitles.
“★★★★ – captures an intimacy and internal conflict that’s rare” – Empire. Screening as part of our Docs on BBC iPlayer mini-season, first-time filmmaker Bing Liu’s sublime Oscar-nominated documentary is a devastating, uplifting and honest portrayal of growing up in recession hit America.
Making it into Mark Kermode’s top ten films of 2016, Amma Asante’s sweeping drama, starring David Oyelowo and Rosamund Pike, is based on the incredible real-life events surrounding the marriage of the future king of Botswana to a London office worker in 1947. Part of our New British Cinema season.
“★★★★★ – electrifying” – Observer. Writer-director Céline Sciamma (Portrait of a Lady on Fire, Water Lilies) explores what it means to be young, female and black, in this superb coming-of-age drama packed with humanity and stellar performances from its cast of first-time actors. In the Paris banlieue, 16-year-old Marieme reinvents herself when she joins a girl gang.
★★★★ – Guardian. Shola Amoo’s (A Moving Image) outstanding, BIFA-winning drama tells the semi-autobiographical story of Femi, a young British boy of Nigerian heritage who, after being fostered in rural Lincolnshire, returns to live with his birth mother in inner-city London where he struggles to adapt to his new environment. A compassionate and profoundly moving coming-of-age tale.
“★★★★★ – visceral, truthful and electrifyingly real” – Observer. Based on the true story of Solomon Northup, Steve McQueen’s Oscar winning film tells the shocking story of an educated Black man from New York state who, in 1841, was kidnapped and sold into slavery in the south. An important story, told with passion and conviction, with a BAFTA-winning lead performance from Chiwetel Ejiofor.
Our weekly discussion group returns to the venue for the autumn term, albeit for a slightly shorter run of 6 weeks instead of the usual 10. The price includes a cup of tea/coffee and a ticket to the daytime screening of your choice. Mondays or Tuesdays, 9 Nov – 15 Dec, 10.30am – 12pm.Member discounts available.
With the Trump vs Biden race for the White House nearing its conclusion, this four-week online course explores the history of the US Presidency on screen, and considers how cinema’s portrayals have shaped people’s view of America and its leaders. Delivered via Zoom. Starts Tuesday 3 November, 7pm. Online bookings only – member discounts available.
Join us at Phoenix for a whistle-stop tour of six of the world’s most iconic film locations, looking at the changes in these fascinating metropolises over the past century through the medium of cinema. Starts Thursday 12 November, 2pm. Member discounts available.
Mental health is finally beginning to get the attention it deserves, thanks to high-profile individuals speaking openly about their experiences. Join us for this introductory course looking at how mental health and mental illness have been portrayed – for better or worse – in cinema. Delivered via Zoom. Starts Thursday 26 November, 7pm.Online bookings only – member discounts available.
Turn your drawings into amazing spinning animations in this free ‘at-home’ workshop for children and families. We’ve done similar workshops at Phoenix before – you might remember drawing on a template and watching it move using an old-fashioned vinyl record player! But this time we’ll show you how to use Scratch – a free online computer coding programme – to help create the animations from home.
screen_share is a new event for artists making screen-based work to come together, share what they’ve made and talk about it in a friendly and open environment. The event is open to artists in the East Midlands working across a range of media, including experimental film, animation, artists’ moving image, interactives and games. The next screen_share will be livestreamed on Thursday 17 December from 7pm, and we’re inviting submissions of work to be shown at the event.
For the latest in our series of online commissions exploring the theme of idleness, artist collective Compiler have created Are / You / Actually – a quiz that explores how even our digital downtime is exploited.
Using open source and experimental tools to discover filmmaking, this FREE three-part course will take you through some basic techniques for planning a film, making an animation and getting started with editing. Suitable for ages 12+.
With our gallery temporarily closed it’s a perfect time to delve into our archive, which brings together a decade’s worth of highlights from our art and digital culture programme going back to the opening of the building back in 2009.
Using experimental tools to discover game design, this free course takes you through the basics of building and publishing story-telling games. The course comprises four video tutorials. Suitable for ages 12+.
From just £40 per year, you can provide valuable ongoing support to Phoenix and enjoy a great range of discounts and benefits – including up to 6 weeks free access to BFI Player, and a whopping 3 months free access to MUBI.
MyPhoenix Members and Friends can still get 90 days FREE access to MUBI’s fantastic movie collection, including their newly-opened film library. Not a MyPhoenix Member ? Join online now and we’ll then email you details of how to access MUBI’s incredible offer.
MyPhoenix Members & Friends can get an additional 4 weeks free on BFI Player’s subscription service (on top of the standard 14 day free trial) giving you access to thousands of critically acclaimed and classic movies. Not a MyPhoenix Member ? Join online now and we’ll email you details of how to access the offer.