‘Finding your place in a changing world’ – November Film

Film at the Town Hall presents in November a selection of recent award-winning films exploring different perspectives around the theme of ‘Finding your place in a changing world’. Through very different characters, realities and genres, the programme shows a sharp comedy/drama of the refugee crisis in a remote Scottish island; the journey of a Polish teenage girl to Ireland to recover his dad’s body discovering who really he was;  a documentary set in Turkey looking at the city through the eyes of stray dogs;  closing with a story of abuse and hope with a single mother building a house for her daughters with the support of a strong community.

Friday 5 November, Limbo (UK, 2020). Directed by Ben Sharrock  Set on a fictional remote Scottish island, Limbo tells the story of a group of new arrivals awaiting the results of their asylum claims. It centers on Omar (played by rising star Amir El-Masry), a young Syrian musician who, thousands of miles from home, finds himself trapped by guilt, regret and the grief that he carries for the loss of his former identity. Separated from his family and burdened by a plaster cast on his arm, Omar wanders the epic landscapes searching for answers to a complex past and daunting future. Alongside him there are two African refugees and one Afghan. We will be witness to the cultural contrast and how not all refugees have been receiving the same treatment over time based on stereotypes, changing legislation or just their own personal circumstances. 

Friday 12 November, I Never Cry (Jak najdalej stąd) (Poland, Ireland, 2020) Directed by Piotr Domalewski Seventeen-year-old Ola (Zofia Stafiej) travels to Ireland to bring her father’s body back to Poland after he died working on a construction site. In a foreign country all by herself, Ola will have the trip of her lifetime, a journey into the unknown, on which she will try to reconnect with her estranged father. In Ireland, she will come to know a different world and meet people who will change her approach to life. We can say this is a coming-of-age film where the migration experience and the multicultural contrast will open a door to a better understanding of the life of thousands of Polish migrants who work in factories or construction sites abroad to be able to provide for their families back home.  

Friday 19 November, Stray (United States, 2020) is a documentary directed by Hong Kong–born, Los Angeles based Elizabeth Lo . Through the eyes of its stray dogs wandering the streets of Istanbul, Stray explores what it means to live as a being without status or security. As they search for food and shelter, three dogs—Zeytin, Nazar, and Kartal—embark on inconspicuous journeys through Turkish society that allow us an unvarnished portrait of human life.  This is a powerful and original film showing us the dynamics of a society from a different point of view. It has been reviewed as a “love letter to dogs”. The original soundtrack deserves a special mention. 

Friday 26 November, Herself (Ireland, UK, 2020) directed by Phyllida Lloyd (Mamma Mia, The Iron Lady) and co-written and performed by Clare Dunne, is a young Mum struggling to provide her two young daughters with a warm, safe, happy home to grow up in. Beneath the surface, Sandra has a steely determination to change their lives for the better and when it becomes clear that the local council won’t provide that home, she decides to build it herself from scratch. With very little income to speak of and no savings, Sandra must use all her ingenuity to make her ambitious dream a reality. At the same time, she must escape the grip of her possessive ex-husband and keep him away from her and her girls. A film highlighting the importance of the sense of community, friendship and generosity that emerge as an answer to the whole concept presented in the selection of films for this month.

Tickets are only £5 available online on trowbridgetownhall.com or at the venue door. Each film event will be enhanced with introductions, special speakers or a relevant short film, the idea is to provide a safe place to share ideas after the films having an informal conversation about the different topics we present each week. 

The selection is curated by Lorena Pino Montilla and the events are possible with support from the BFI Film Audience Network (BFI FAN) awarding funds from The National Lottery, Film Hub South West, Wiltshire Council and with help from Cinema For All.