DVD · EIFF19

DVD review: Sons of Denmark (Danmarks sønner)

Writer and director Ulaa Salim taps into the tortuous topic of terrorism with his feature debut Sons of Denmark. Set in the near future, the plot follows Muslim teenager Zakaria (Mohammed Ismail Mohammed) in the wake of a major bomb attack in Copenhagen. Feeling marginalised due to the rise of a right-wing political group, he is led down a dark path where he meets Malik (Zaki Youssef) and the pair are assigned an extremely dangerous mission.

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DVD · EIFF19

DVD review: Farming

 Actor Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje turns his hand to writing and directing for his feature debut Farming, a coming-of-age drama based on his own turbulent upbringing. Born to Yorùbá parents in Nigeria in the late 1960s, Enitan (Damson Idris) was fostered, or ‘farmed’ as it was referred to, by working-class mother Ingrid (Kate Beckinsale) and her husband Jack (Lee Ross) in Tilbury, England. After a difficult childhood, Eni lashes out in his teenage years and becomes embroiled in brutal gang culture.

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DVD · EIFF19

DVD review: The Captor

Robert Budreau’s thriller has travelled the film festival circuit with the title Stockholm since its Tribeca debut last year but arrives in the UK under new guise The Captor. Loosely based on an article from The New Yorker in 1974 by Daniel Lang, it’s the retelling of the bank heist that caused the media to coin the phrase ‘Stockholm Syndrome’; the feelings of trust or affection in cases of kidnapping or hostage-taking by a victim towards a captor. Ethan Hawke stars as said captor Kaj Hansson who attempts an armed robbery, with Noomi Rapace taking the part of the victim Bianca Lind.

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DVD review: My Friend the Polish Girl

Filmmakers Ewa Banaszkiewicz and Mateusz Dymek come together to write and direct indie drama My Friend the Polish Girl. A film about a film, the narrative is told from the point-of-view of American documentarian Katie (Emma Friedman-Cohen) who focuses her lens on aspiring Polish actress Alicja (Aneta Piotrowska) for her latest work. Intended as a study of an immigrant living in a post-Brexit-vote Britain, the project soon takes a dark turn.

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DVD review: Booksmart

Olivia Wilde enjoyed her breakthrough acting role in The OC back in 2004 and returns to the teen scene with Booksmart, her first film behind the camera. The plot centres around nerdy BFFs Molly (Beanie Feldstein) and Amy (Kaitlyn Dever) on the cusp of high school graduation. Feeling as though it’s been all work and no play in their 12thgrade, they decide to attend the biggest party in the neighbourhood to see off their senior year in style.

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DVD review: Rocketman

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The director and actor pairing of Dexter Fletcher and Taron Egerton soared on the slopes for their Eddie the Eagle underdog story back in 2015, and now they’ve reunited to reach for the stars in Elton John biopic Rocketman. After a troubled working-class upbringing, we see Reginald Dwight (Egerton) come of age when he meets songwriter Bernie (Jamie Bell) and they start making music together. When the duo head to Los Angeles to crack America, Elton’s head is turned by hotshot producer John Reid (Richard Madden), and his rock and roll lifestyle soon spirals out of control.

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DVD review: Beats

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It’s the summer of 1994 in a West Lothian housing scheme, and Britain is on the cusp of the New Labour era. The scene is set for Beats, an indie drama directed by Brian Welsh. Based on Kieran Hurley’s award-winning play of the same name, the story follows best pals Johnno (Cristian Ortega) and Spanner (Lorn Macdonald) who share a love of acid house music. With the future of their friendship looking uncertain due to Johnno’s impending move out of town, they have a ‘fuck it’ moment and seek out an underground rave as a last hurrah.

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