Our top three picks for films showing at HOME in the upcoming week
Queen of Katwe
Making its debut as part of the BFI London Film Festival’s Black Stardom incentive, Queen of Katwe received great reception. The story explores the constant struggle of Phiona (Madina Malwanga) in the slums of Kampala, Uganda. Yet, when Robert Katende (David Oyelowo) visits the area on a mission, her life is transformed by his chess teaching. Under his supervision, Phiona matures both on and off the board. With her success in the sport, new opportunities arise and a window of possibility opens up to escape poverty. Alongside Lupita Nyong’o and the direction of Mira Nair, the film celebrates diversity at its finest. With emotive story telling at hand, the film pushes a subtle nuanced approach, whilst cementing race as something more than background noise. As Oyelowo himself says on diversity: “It is only going to happen if the demographics of the decision makers changes.”
I, Daniel Blake
At 80 years old, Ken Loach shows no signs of losing his ability to create powerful cinema that transcends the medium in a political sense. As a direct response to the government’s increasing cutting of benefits to those in need of support, I, Daniel Blake does not shy away from true realism. Scripted by Paul Laverty, the story orientates around Daniel Blake (Dave Johns), who has recently been involved in an almost fatal accident at work. With the government rejecting his benefits claims, whilst his doctors tell him that he cannot work, Daniel is stuck in a state of purgatory. What is so touching about the film is it accurately captures the social injustices of our time, alongside it being a calling of political change. If there is any film to see in this calendar year, then I, Daniel Blake is the one.
Andrea Arnold’s coming of age drama and road film explores how the life of a teenage girl called Star (Sasha Lane) is changed when she joins a travelling sales crew on the road, leaving her previous life behind. During this time she experiences plenty of parties, alcohol, and falling in love. With bold and vibrant cinematography layered over a bleak political and economic backdrop, this montage of youth, danger, and fun is certain to be a breathtaking watch.