Film preview: Incendies; The First Grader

By Angela Lovely

A scene at a poolside where two women look at each other.

Incendies. From Friday 24 June at Curzon Soho.

Nothing appeals to me at my nearest cinema (Odeon Tottenham Court Road) this weekend, but venturing a little further south into Soho the Curzon has a number of attractive screenings from Friday. First to grab my interest is Incendies by director Denis Villeneuve. The first opportunity for British viewers to see this French and Canadian made film which has been nominated for an Academy Award in the best foreign language film category.

After reading the will of their deceased mother, Canadian twin sister and brother Jeanne and Simon go on a journey to the Middle East in search of a brother they didn’t know they had and a father who they thought was dead. Incendies shifts back and fore between the present and the past to uncover the story of how their mother got caught up in a civil war which tore apart Christians and Muslims.

A man and woman share a joke.

The First Grader. From Friday 24 June at Curzon Mayfair.

If that all sounds a little to heavy for your liking, then you could take a wander along to the Curzon Mayfair where The First Grader directed by Justin Chadwick (best known for TV dramas Bleak House and The Other Boleyn Girl) is showing. Set in 2003 and filmed on location in Kenya’s Rift Valley, the film tells the story of what happened when 84-year-old former Mau Mau warrior turns up to enrol at school under the government’s new education for all programme. Whilst the head teacher takes to him and gives him support, he is faced with hostility by others as he tries to fulfil his ambition to learn to read and write.

For more information see curzoncinemas.com

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