Brief review of BFI LFF movies

bfi festival reviewDespite the horror that was the organisation of the festival I did manage to see some real gems. The choice in movies was really good although maybe, just maybe there were too many films in too few days.Few films shown more frequently might have helped. Who knows. We’ll never know!

Bad Hair

A great movie about a 9 year old boy in Venezuela who longs for straight hair in hopes that his mother will love him more. A must see indie movie. I didn’t warm to the single mother at all and found the Q&A spoiled by the BFI interview who felt the need to badly translate Spanish questions.

B is for Boy

I’ve never seen a movie in Igbo before and I found the language hard to listen to but this movie was good. About a woman who loses her baby boy and goes to extreme measures to try to save her marriage whilst her mother in law has her own solutions to the problem.

Chinese puzzle

The last in the trilogy which began with Spanish Inn and stars both Audrey Tautou and Romain Duris. The story takes us to New York where he struggles to maintain contact with his children and deal with immigration. The director was there to answer questions on all three which was delightful. A must for those that have seen the others but even as a stand alone film. It’s faster than the usual French movies and has a touch of the New York meets French.

Gone Too Far

Another adaptation, this time of a play, we saw how a Nigerian brother based in Peckham deals with his brother coming over from Nigeria who isn’t cool enough for the streets. It was funny and well acted by the young cast.

I think this has to have been the largest cast on the stage but that could be because it’s a local story and a lot of the audience were family and friends


A French Chadian movie about a dancer with a dead leg who smuggles petrol and has to manage when his step father gets sick and he falls for one of the local tavern girls. It was a little slow but it was an unusual love story so worth seeing.

Half of a Yellow Sun

If you are able to get over Thandie Newton’s butchering accent and limited facial expressions of grief, anguish, pain and sorrow then this is a great way to learn more about the impact the Biafran war had on Nigeria and why it started. I didn’t realise until the end that it was based on true characters but it’s an adaptation of the book by Chimamanda Ngoizi Adichie by Biyi Bandele. This is his dramatic film debut.

The Lunch Box.

I cheekily got a seat an hour before. It was a love story about a system of wives and restaurants sending lunchboxes to workers and what happens when a wife tries to save her marriage through her food but it’s sent to the wrong man. A beautiful and subtle story well told through their letters.

Of Good Report

This is a South African movie banned from the Durban International Film Festival for child pornography. It tells the story of Mr Sithole a teacher who falls for a young girl.  It’s stark and dark. But worth a watch if you like black and white 1950s style suspense movies.

On My Way

A French movie starring Catherin Deneuve who is an ageing beauty pageant winner struggling to get over a lover. She takes an impromptu road trip spurred on by her need to find cigarettes. It’s a good movie and a delightful performance by the grandson.

Twenty feet from Stardom

I loved it and encourage all to go and see it. It’s about the lives of backup singers and follows the journey of about 5. Inspirational and a great history of how music has changed. It’s a great sing a long and they have great interviews with Mick Jagger, Sting and Bruce Springsteen.


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