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  • The Shop on Main Street

    The Shop on Main Street

    ★★★★

    Opening with a jubilant orchestral score as crowds march happily around a bustling town square, you would be forgiven for thinking The Shop On Main Street is a comedy or a light-hearted drama. Instead, this picture is a terrifying account of the persecution of the Jewish population in Slovakia as the rise in fascism takes hold of Eastern Europe during World War Two. The misleading introduction showcases a happy and thriving population, blissfully unaware of the forthcoming upheaval that will…

  • The Field

    The Field

    ★★★★

    Set in a small rural village in Ireland circa 1930, The field is a bleak drama about a feud over a prized patch of farming land. The fertile plot is owned by a lonely widow who rents the field out to her neighbour, 'Bull' McCabe, who has toiled the land ever since her husband passed away over ten years ago. Bull has designs upon this land and is horrified when the widow announces her plans to sell the field in…

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  • The Draughtsman's Contract

    The Draughtsman's Contract

    ★★★★

    Cinema draws heavily from the art world for inspiration and film directors often reference classic paintings by recreating memorable artworks within the scenes of their films. One British director whose filmography is explicitly linked with the art world is Peter Greenaway, whose keen eye for detail and optical theory brings a distinct visual style to his intricate methods of storytelling. The Draughtsman's Contract is his first conventional feature length film, a stunning period drama with an unusual mystery that revolves…

  • The Ascent

    The Ascent

    ★★★★

    The Ascent is a transcendental masterpiece in which Director Larisa Shepitko takes us on a spiritual and emotional journey alongside two Soviet partisans who are sent to find food for their squadron in the unforgiving icy wastes of Belarussia during World War Two. Rybak (Vladimir Gostyukhin) is the confident, self-appointed leader of this expedition and Sotnikov (Boris Plotnikov), whose physical health is rapidly deteriorating, is an expert marksman and one of the only other soldiers physically able to accompany him…