5 of the best films to watch at Cinema Akil this month
February is not only the shortest month of the calendar year, it's also packed with brilliant indie flicks to watch at Dubai's Cinema Akil, which now has a permanent home at the ultra trendy Alserkal Avenue.
Embrace your inner culture vulture with these top five, starting with Valentine's Day.
A MAN OF INTEGRITY
Screening until Thursday Friday 14, A Man of Integrity is a must watch this month. A drama about corruption and injustice in Iranian society. You are oppressed, or you have to join the oppressor to survive. A former university professor now living as a goldfish farmer in a Northern Iranian village, Reza quietly tends to his own affairs alongside his wife Hadis, a principal at a local girls' school, and their young son.
After his river-sourced water supply is cut off, Reza's goldfish begin dying. His attempt to reopen his sluice is met with a violent attack by thuggish local Abbas, a strongman for a shadowy organization known as simply "the company." Reza refuses to compensate Abbas for a fake injury, or bribe his way out of mounting legal problems, but he quickly discovers the steep price to be paid for holding on to principles in a system where money trumps morality.
Length: 120 min
Times: Thursday February 14, 7pm
Coming to your screens this Friday (February 15) Faces Places is a documentary like no other. Marking a long-awaited return to filmmaking in the year of her 90th birthday, Face Places sees iconic filmmaker Agnès Varda forging an unexpected collaboration with photographer JR as they embark on a road trip like no other. Together, they travel around France in a special box truck equipped as a portable photo booth and travelling printing facility as they take photographs of people around the country. With that inspiration, they also create special colossal mural pictures of individuals, communities and places they want to honour and celebrate. Along the way, the old cinematic veteran and the young artistic idealist enjoy an odd friendship as they chat and explore their views on the world as only they can.
Length: 94 min
Times: Friday February 15, 7.30pm; Saturday February 16, 9.30pm; Sunday February 17, 7pm; Monday February 18, 9pm; Tuesday February 19, 7pm; Thursday February 21, 7pm; Friday February 22, 9pm.
On Friday February 22, Russian drama Loveless is sure to bring a tear to your eye. An estranged Russian couple going through a brutal divorce both have new partners and want to start over until their 12-year-old son disappears after witnessing one of their fights. Unheard, unloved, and above all, unwanted, the introverted and unhappy boy feels that he is an intolerable burden, however, what his parents don't know is that he can hear every single word. As a result, when Boris and Zhenya finally realize that Alyosha has been missing for nearly two days, it is already too late. But isn't this a simple case of a runaway teenager.
Length: 127 min
Times: Friday February 22, 7pm; Saturday February 23, 9.30pm; Sunday February 24, 7pm; Monday February 25, 9.15pm, Tuesday February 26, 7pm; Wednesday February 27, 9.30pm; Thursday February 28, 7pm.
Coming to the big screen at the end of February, The Journey is a drama to see before the month comes to a close. As Sara stands on the cusp of committing an unthinkable act, an unforeseen and awkward encounter gives her the opportunity to witness the potential consequences of her destructive action. But is this a second chance or an admission of guilt?
Length: 82 min
Times: Wednesday February 27, 7.30pm.
Abu Shadi is a divorced father and a school teacher in his mid-60s living in Nazareth. After his daughter's wedding in one month, he will be living alone.
Shadi (Saleh Bakri), his architect son, arrives from Rome after years abroad to help his father to hand-deliver the wedding invitations to each guest, which is the local Palestinian custom. As the estranged pair spend the day together, the tense details of their relationship come to a head challenging their fragile and very different lives. The Palestinian drama is coming to Cinema Akil on February 22.
Length: 96 min
Times: Friday February 22, 9.45pm; Saturday February 23, 7.15pm; Sunday February 24, 9.45pm; Monday February 26, 9.45pm; Thursday February 28, 9.45pm.