Before summer blockbuster season officially starts, June brings us some wonderful independent and foreign language gems including the five following titles.
Screened as part of Cannes’ 2021 Critics Week, Elie Grappe’s Olga is a sadly too relevant drama following a young Ukrainian gymnast forced to head to Switzerland to try and pursue her career whilst her family is caught in the Euromaiden revolt back home. Featuring a powerful performance from lead actress Anastasiia Budiashkina, Olga is a poignant and defiant film providing impactful commentary on the political and sports world, whilst also painting an authentic coming-of-age drama.
Hot off the success of his pandemic Zoom-based horror, Host, director Rob Savage returns with a bang with Dashcam – a beyond wild ride following a Covid-denier American vlogger as she crashes her way into the UK and finds herself face-to-face with something even she can’t deal with. Relentless, gory and wildly inventive, you’ll need to fasten your seatbelts for this epic 77-minute terrifying ride.
In 1983 Poland, high school student Grzegorz Przemyk is beaten to death by the militia. The only witness to the crime, his friend Jurek, becomes public enemy no.1. Director Jan P. Matuszynski recounts the case that shook the Polish nation in Leave No Traces, uncompromising drama that shines a light on the still-relevant reality of police brutality.
When 85-year-old André has a stroke, he is left partly paralysed. Unwilling to spend the remainder of his days with no autonomy, André decides he would like to die on his own terms. But assisted dying is illegal in France and he must ask his daughters for help to get him to Switzerland. François Ozon manages to avoid being over-sentimental and instead delivers a subtle and touching portrait of a family coming to terms with the unavoidable in Everything Went Fine.
Finally, Sophie Hyde’s Good Luck to You, Leo Grande stars Emma Thompson as Nancy Stokes, a widow who, yearning for intimacy and (good) sex, hires a sex worker named Leo Grande. Whilst Nancy nervously expects physical intimacy, she isn’t prepared for the depths of conversation the encounter will bring. Good Luck to You, Leo Grande is a remarkable film bringing a fresh perspective on ageing, sexuality, sex work and intimacy.
Hope to see you there,