County Lines 2019
1h 30min | Drama | 4 December 2020 (UK)
The term ‘county lines’ describes the practice of using children to traffic drugs from cities to coastal towns and rural areas, an under-reported fact of modern British life. Inspired by the stories he heard while mentoring kids at an East London pupil referral unit, writer-director Henry Blake’s powerful feature debut boasts a compelling central performance by Conrad Khan as 14-year-old Tyler, whose mum Toni (Ashley Madekwe) is struggling to provide for him and his sister. Excluded from school, Tyler becomes a train-bound narcotics courier for local criminal Simon, played with a calm menace by Harris Dickinson. County Lines (2019) depicts the ensuing cycle of debt, deceit and violent exploitation with a quiet stylistic confidence that’s all the more haunting for being so rigorously unsentimental.
Naked Animals 2020
Nackte Tiere (original title)
1h 23min | Drama | 17 September 2020 (Germany)
Five young people in provincial Germany. They run into each other and away from each other. They kiss and they fight. It’s their last winter together before they leave school, after that it’s stay or go. A feature film debut of enormous intensity.
Sun Children 2020
Khorshid (original title)
1h 39min | Drama | 14 May 2021 (Spain)
This is the story of 12-year-old Ali and his three friends. Together they work hard to survive and support their families, doing small jobs in a garage and committing petty crimes to make fast money. In a turn of events that seems miraculous, Ali is entrusted to find a hidden treasure underground. He recruits his gang, but first, to gain access to the tunnel, the children must enroll at the Sun School, a charitable institution that tries to educate street kids and child laborers, close to where the treasure is located.
Saz Dahani (original title)
1h 15min | Drama, Family | 1974 (Iran)
Set on the sun-drenched southern coast of Iran, from which director Amir Naderi hails, “Harmonica” begins as a young boy receives a musical present from abroad. Fascinated and envious, his friends make him the leader of the pack, as they compete for the privilege of holding the harmonica or even blowing a few notes. No one is more obsessed than Amiroo, gentle and heavy-set, who seems willing to do anything to get close to the harmonica and its owner. Few films have more powerfully depicted the cruelty that is also part of childhood, as games and horseplay take on an increasingly sinister edge.
A Very Serious Person 2006
Not Rated | 1h 35min | Drama | 28 April 2006 (USA)
Jan, an itinerant male nurse from Denmark, takes a new job with Mrs. A, a terminally ill Manhattan woman raising her parentless thirteen-year-old grandson, Gil. Spending the summer by the shore, the emotionally reserved Jan finds himself oddly cast as a mentor to Gil in having to prepare the sensitive boy for life with his cousins in Florida after his grandmother’s death. A deep friendship grows between these two solitary people. By the end of the summer, Gil has developed a new maturity and independence, while the enigmatic Jan has revealed his own vulnerability.
We Love Moses 2016
Not Rated | 15min | Short, Drama | October 2016 (UK)
When Ella was twelve, she had her first fight. And when she was twelve, she discovered sex. Now eighteen, Ella reflects on how her obsession with her older brother Michael’s best friend Moses left her with a secret she still carries.
Goodbye Soviet Union 2020
Hüvasti, NSVL (original title)
1h 31min | Comedy | 10 July 2020 (Finland)
Johannes is born into an Ingrian-Finnish family in the Estonian Soviet Republic. When his mother leaves for Finland, and he’s left to be raised by his grandparents, Johannes is forced to face life on his own. He falls deeply in love with his classmate, Vera, takes risks, gets into fights, and gets punished – all the while, in the background, the Evil Empire collapses. As the Lenins fall and the Barbie dolls take over, the crocodile Genas and the Moskvitches are forced to step aside, leaving the road to the West wide open. Lauri Randla’s Goodbye, Soviet Union is a comedy about the adventures of the eccentric Tarkkinen family in the last days of the Soviet Union.