On Friday 23rd and Saturday 24th September at St Philip’s Church, we had free screenings of three groundbreaking arthouse films.
These film nights heralded the start of a new series of events by Mill Road Fringe over the course of the autumn, leading up to the return of the Mill Road Winter Fair in December. We showed Microcosmos, Rocks and Flee.
The films were selected by Hitomi Shinozaki and Tony Jones, of Cambridge Film Projects. They were presented by Mill Road Fringe, which works in association with Cambridge’s Mill Road Winter Fair to nurture and celebrate the area’s community, creativity and independence.
The films were:
Rocks (12a, 90 mins) Friday 23rd September at 7.30pm
Rocks is a British ‘coming-of-age drama’ directed by Sarah Gavron. The film stars Bukky Bakray as Olushola, nicknamed “Rocks”, a Black British teenage girl living in Hackney, London, whose single mother abandons her and her younger brother Emmanuel (D’angelou Osei Kissiedu), forcing them to try to avoid being taken into social services. It won Best British Independent Film at the 2021 British Independent Film Awards and Bukky Bakray was nominated for Best Actress in a Leading Role at the BAFTAs that year.
Peter Bradshaw of The Guardian gave it five stars, saying ‘This film is such a rush of vitality. It rocks.’ The Independent gave it four stars, saying ‘Rocks is a heartfelt testament to the resilience of teenage girls.’
Microcosmos (U, 80 mins) Saturday 24th September at 5.30pm
Microcosmos is a documentary about the secret world of the insects that live all around us. Written and directed by Claude Nuridsany and Marie Pérennou, it was an international co-production of France, Switzerland, Italy and the United Kingdom. With very little narration, but instead using clever real-life cinematography and a musical score by Bruno Coulais, it gives a new meaning to the term ‘fly on the wall’ documentary.
The American film critic, Roger Ebert, said of it: ‘An amazing film that allows us to peer deeply into the insect world and marvel at creatures we casually condemn to squishing.’
Flee (15, 90 mins) Saturday 24th September at 7.30pm
Flee is a Danish adult animated documentary about the story of a gay Afghan man and the lengths he must go to in order to escape persecution and find a new life in Denmark. Using a clever mix of animation and archival film footage, with voiceovers by many of the real people that the film draws on, it was an unexpected success, winning the Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Festival in 2021.
Parasite director Bong Joon-ho described it as ‘the most moving piece of cinema I saw this year’ and The Rotten Tomatoes Critics Consensus stated: ‘Flee pushes the boundaries of documentary filmmaking to present a moving memoir of self-discovery.’