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British Cinema

The brightest of our national cinema, from established classics to new wonders.
 

A tiny island teeming with ideas and built on an identity that never stands still. A nation’s image is often reflected on screen. This is ours.

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Enjoy subscription-only classic and cult films from across the decades.  Free for 14 days, then £4.99 a month - cancel any time

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Little JoeLittle Joe

Science Fiction2019105 minsDirector: Jessica Hausner

Jessica Hausner’s cool, witty and unsettling sci-fi starring Emily Beecham and Ben Whishaw.

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County LinesCounty Lines

Drama201990 minsDirector: Henry Blake

Blistering thriller of a teen groomed to work for a brutal, organised drugs network.

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Me without YouMe without You

Drama2001103 minsDirector: Sandra Goldbacher

Anna Friel and Michelle Williams star as two troubled girls whose tumultuous friendship takes many twists and turns.

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ArchipelagoArchipelago

Drama2010109 minsDirector: Joanna Hogg

Starring Tom Hiddleston, a family holiday to the Isles of Scilly sees fractures emerge in this sun-filled drama from Joanna Hogg (The Souvenir).

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UnrelatedUnrelated

Drama200796 minsDirector: Joanna Hogg

On a Tuscan break a fortysomething woman finds herself drawn to the company of a group of partying teens, including a young Tom Hiddleston (in one of his earliest roles).

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ExhibitionExhibition

Drama2013105 minsDirector: Joanna Hogg

Joanna Hogg's sleek and minimalist comedy about a pair of artists and their emotional attachment to their ultra-modernist apartment.

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BaitBait

Drama201889 minsDirector: Mark Jenkin

Simmering tensions between locals and newcomers in a modern-day Cornish fishing village reach boiling point in this hugely acclaimed British independent film.

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The SouvenirThe Souvenir

Drama2018120 minsDirector: Joanna Hogg

Winner of Sundance 2019's Grand Jury Prize, The Souvenir is the compelling, semi-autobiographical drama from acclaimed writer-director Joanna Hogg.

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Young Soul RebelsYoung Soul Rebels

Drama1991105 minsDirector: Isaac Julien

The Queen's Silver Jubilee beats to the sounds of Funkadelic, Sylvester and the O'Jays in Isaac Julien’s feature debut.

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Second ComingSecond Coming

Drama2014105 minsDirector: debbie tucker green

What if an immaculate conception took place in a South London household? Idris Elba stars in a subtle, thought-provoking and original family drama.

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After LoveAfter Love

Drama202090 minsDirector: Aleem Khan

In this knockout feature debut from Aleem Khan, Bafta-winner Joanna Scanlan is the woman who discovers her late husband’s secrets.

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The Duke of BurgundyThe Duke of Burgundy

Drama2014104 minsDirector: Peter Strickland

Peter Strickland’s visually and aurally intoxicating tale of sadomasochistic power-play is a daringly erotic sensory feast.

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Mogul MowgliMogul Mowgli

Drama202089 minsDirector: Bassam Tariq

Bassam Tariq’s visceral directorial debut, co-written with Riz Ahmed, finds a British-Pakistani rapper’s life spiralling out of control when, on the cusp of success, he succumbs to a debilitating illness.

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NighthawksNighthawks

Drama1978113 minsDirector: Ron Peck

A schoolteacher juggles everyday life with nights spent cruising for Mr Right in this fascinating landmark in British gay cinema

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Nighthawks 2: Strip Jack NakedNighthawks 2: Strip Jack Naked

Documentary199191 minsDirector: Ron Peck

Ron Peck’s experimental follow up to the groundbreaking Nighthawks is both a making-of documentary and a deeply personal film memoir.

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My Brother the DevilMy Brother the Devil

Drama2012107 minsDirector: Sally El Hosaini

Sally El Hosaini's feature debut tells of the love and disenchantment of two British-Egyptian brothers. Gangs, drugs and sexuality come between them

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The Quatermass XperimentThe Quatermass Xperiment

Horror195582 minsDirector: Val Guest

When the sole survivor from an orbital mission returns, the brilliant Professor Quatermass (Brian Donlevy) discovers the astronaut is not quite all that he seems...

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Love Is the Devil: Study for a Portrait of Francis BaconLove Is the Devil: Study for a Portrait of Francis Bacon

Biopic199887 minsDirector: John Maybury

Derek Jacobi and Daniel Craig star as artist Francis Bacon and his muse George Dyer in John Maybury’s darkly exquisite biopic.

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The FallsThe Falls

Animation & Artists Moving Image1980195 minsDirector: Peter Greenaway

Peter Greenaway's epic first feature, constructed as an excerpt from an imagined, filmic directory listing everyone affected by VUE – the Violent Unknown Event

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BridgendBridgend

Drama2016104 minsDirector: Jeppe Ronde

Hannah Murray (Game of Thrones) and Josh O'Connor (God's Own Country), star in this haunting mystery drama inspired by true events.

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This Filthy EarthThis Filthy Earth

Drama2001106 minsDirector: Andrew Kötting

Andrew Kötting's tragic tale of passion and survival, following the existence of two sisters amidst a landscape of rural hardship and a community consumed with superstition

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HyenaHyena

Crime2014112 minsDirector: Gerard Johnson

In this stylish, dark crime thriller, a policeman’s complex web of underworld relationships is threatened by an internal affairs investigator.

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The Hard StopThe Hard Stop

Documentary201586 minsDirector: George Amponsah

The story of Mark Duggan, who was shot and killed in Tottenham in 2011, is brought to the screen in this humane, thought-provoking and topical documentary.

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The Story of Lover's RockThe Story of Lover's Rock

Documentary2011100 minsDirector: Menelik Shabazz

Menelik Shabazz (Burning an Illusion) shines a light on the music genre often dubbed ‘romantic reggae’; a uniquely black British sound that developed in the late 70s and 80s against a backdrop of riots, racial tension and sound systems.

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Dreams of a LifeDreams of a Life

Documentary201191 minsDirector: Carol Morley

The power of kinship is explored in Carol Morley’s drama-documentary, drawn from real life and resonant with the way we live now.

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My ChildhoodMy Childhood

Drama197246 minsDirector: Bill Douglas

The first part of Bill Douglas’ poetic and profoundly stirring autobiographical trilogy, about an eight-year-old boy growing up in a Scottish mining village in 1945.

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My Ain FolkMy Ain Folk

Drama197355 minsDirector: Bill Douglas

The second part of the revered Bill Douglas Trilogy follows Jamie as he ends up in a children’s home.

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My Way HomeMy Way Home

Drama197872 minsDirector: Bill Douglas

Concluding his acclaimed Trilogy, Bill Douglas’ autobiographical film follows young Jamie as he’s conscripted in the RAF and finally feels at home.

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Love and Death on Long IslandLove and Death on Long Island

Comedy199689 minsDirector: Richard Kwietniowski

John Hurt stars in Richard Kwietniowski’s comedy of fame and obsession about an older man (Hurt) who becomes infatuated with a young Hollywood actor (Jason Priestley), and proceeds to track him down.

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The Great White SilenceThe Great White Silence

Documentary1924107 minsSilentDirector: Herbert G. Ponting

The BFI Archive's restoration of Herbert Ponting's official film record of Captain Scott's tragic expedition to the South Pole, with a new score by Simon Fisher Turner.

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Under the SkinUnder the Skin

Melodrama199783 minsDirector: Carine Adler

Carine Adler’s sexy and dark debut, starring Samantha Morton in her first major feature film role.

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The Lay of the LandThe Lay of the Land

Drama199814 minsDirector: Fraser Macdonald

A man with a history of gay-bashing enters a smoky bar and strikes up a conversation with a drag queen in this dark short.

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RosebudRosebud

Drama199114 minsDirector: Cheryl Farthing

A lesbian couple arouse the interest of their new neighbour in this erotic tale of voyeurism, power dressing and fantasy.

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CaravaggioCaravaggio

Biopic198693 minsDirector: Derek Jarman

Derek Jarman’s unique biopic of the 17th century Italian artist Michelangelo da Caravaggio is a powerful meditation on sexuality, criminality and art.

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Land and FreedomLand and Freedom

War1995105 minsDirector: Ken Loach

Ken Loach’s passionate war drama follows an idealistic young Liverpudlian (Ian Hart) who fights for the international brigade during the Spanish Civil War.

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PressurePressure

Drama1975121 minsDirector: Horace Ové

Hailed as Britain's first black feature film, Pressure is a hard-hitting, honest document of the plight of disenchanted black youths in 1970s London.

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Burning an IllusionBurning an Illusion

Legal and Courtroom drama1981102 minsDirector: Menelik Shabazz

Menelik Shabazz’s pioneering first feature traces the emotional and political growth of a young black couple in Thatcher’s London.

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Distant Voices, Still LivesDistant Voices, Still Lives

Biopic198884 minsDirector: Terence Davies

Terence Davies' debut feature is a remarkable evocation of working-class family life in the 40s and 50s and a visionary exploration of memory.

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Play Me SomethingPlay Me Something

Drama198969 minsDirector: Timothy Neat

Tilda Swinton stars in a playful and ingenious cine-essay on the art of storytelling, from art critic John Berger and filmmaker Timothy Neat.

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WalkaboutWalkabout

Drama1970101 minsDirector: Nicolas Roeg

Jenny Agutter plays the teenage girl reliant on a young Aboriginal (David Gulpilil) for her survival, in Nicolas Roeg's stunning Australian outback drama.

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Red RoadRed Road

Thriller2006110 minsDirector: Andrea Arnold

Andrea Arnold’s highly acclaimed film, winner of top prizes at Cannes and the BFI London Film Festival, is a haunting drama about a woman confronting past demons.

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Kelly + VictorKelly + Victor

Drama201290 minsDirector: Kieran Evans

In modern Liverpool, a couple meet and begin a transgressive, sexually charged affair set against a background of crime and encroaching danger.

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UltraviolenceUltraviolence

Documentary202075 minsDirector: Ken Fero

15 years after Ken Fero’s ground-breaking film Injustice, which examined deaths in police custody, comes a compelling follow-up that feels as timely as ever.

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Death and TransfigurationDeath and Transfiguration

Drama198326 minsDirector: Terence Davies

The Terence Davies Trilogy reaches its astonishing climax as tortured Liverpool clerk Robert Tucker prepares to meet his maker.

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ChildrenChildren

Drama197646 minsDirector: Terence Davies

The first part of Terence Davies' formidable Trilogy explores the effects of violence on a Liverpool schoolboy, told in a series of flashbacks.

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Madonna and ChildMadonna and Child

Drama198028 minsDirector: Terence Davies

Autobiography as art: the centrepiece of Terence Davies' devastating Liverpool-set Trilogy focuses on his fictional alter-ego in middle age.

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Orion: The Man Who Would Be KingOrion: The Man Who Would Be King

Documentary201586 minsDirector: Jeanie Finlay

The rollercoaster rise and tragic fall of the mystery masked man with the voice of a legend.

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Radio OnRadio On

Road movie1979100 minsDirector: Chris Petit

Chris Petit's cult classic is one of the most striking feature debuts in British cinema – a haunting blend of edgy mystery story and existential road movie.

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Rose Plays JulieRose Plays Julie

Drama2019101 minsDirector: Christine Molloy

A young woman seeking her biological mother journeys into dangerous territory in this gripping psychological thriller from Irish directing duo Christine Molloy and Joe Lawlor.

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A Hard Day's NightA Hard Day's Night

Musical196488 minsDirector: Richard Lester

The Beatles’ freewheeling film debut remains the pinnacle of rock-n-roll cinema; still deliriously entertaining 50 years on.

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GwenGwen

Drama201884 minsDirector: William McGregor

A young girl tries desperately to protect her family from illness and dark outside forces in William McGregor's stark period horror.

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Old BoysOld Boys

Comedy201795 minsDirector: Toby MacDonald

Charmingly idiosyncratic comedy reworking of Cyrano de Bergerac, with Alex Lawther as a boarder who helps the school hero woo a French teacher's daughter despite being besotted with her himself.

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RunRun

Drama201976 minsDirector: Scott Graham

Mark Stanley plays the petrol-head who never left town, in this Bruce Springsteen-inspired tale of thwarted dreamers.

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Room at the TopRoom at the Top

Drama1958117 minsDirector: Jack Clayton

Jack Clayton directs this romantic, love-triangle drama featuring Simone Signoret in an Oscar-winning performance.

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The Filmmaker's HouseThe Filmmaker's House

Drama-documentary202075 minsDirector: Marc Isaacs

Blending documentary with fiction, and a wry humour with emotional intensity, acclaimed filmmaker Marc Isaacs unfolds a story which asks pertinent questions about the nature of filmmaking itself.

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Divorce Iranian StyleDivorce Iranian Style

Documentary199876 minsDirector: Kim Longinotto

Kim Longinotto’s observational documentary delves into Iran’s difficult and one-sided divorce process.

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Shinjuku BoysShinjuku Boys

Documentary199554 minsDirector: Kim Longinotto

Tender fly-on-the-wall documentary depicting the daily lives of three Japanese 'onnabe' who work as host in a Tokyo nightclub.

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UnderageUnderage

Documentary198257 minsDirector: Kim Longinotto

Racism, glue-sniffing, petty theft and promiscuity - Coventry teenagers at play.

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HelenHelen

Thriller200875 minsDirector: Christine Molloy

An inventive and acclaimed British feature following the transformation of a teenager who agrees to portray her missing college friend in a highly detailed crime reconstruction.

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MauriceMaurice

Drama1987140 minsDirector: James Ivory

Merchant Ivory’s landmark adaptation of E M Forster’s classic LGBTQ+ novel and a precursor to the James Ivory-scripted Call Me By Your Name, starring Hugh Grant, James Wilby and Rupert Graves.

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The IncidentThe Incident

Drama201594 minsDirector: Jane Linfoot

Jane Linfoot's clinically constructed study of guilt, betrayal and responsibility concerns a comfortable family whose seemingly perfect lives are suddenly thrown into turmoil.

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London London

Animation & Artists Moving Image199485 minsDirector: Patrick Keiller

The first in Patrick Keiller’s highly imaginative trilogy of films is a photographic trip through London, recounted by our unseen narrator.

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New Town UtopiaNew Town Utopia

Documentary201781 minsDirector: Christopher Ian Smith

From Utopian dreams to concrete realities; charting the challenging, funny, and sometimes tragic story of the British new town of Basildon, Essex.

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The ArborThe Arbor

Biopic201090 minsDirector: Clio Barnard

Clio Barnard's film about Bradford playwright Andrea Dunbar mixes reconstruction, interviews (performed by actors) and scenes from the plays.

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Sound It OutSound It Out

Documentary201175 minsDirector: Jeanie Finlay

Jeanie Finlay's elegaic account of the very last record shop in Teesside, UK.

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The Great Hip Hop HoaxThe Great Hip Hop Hoax

Documentary201388 minsDirector: Jeanie Finlay

The documentary that takes you inside the masterplan that convinced the whole music industry that two students from Dundee were the next big thing in Hip-Hop.

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What Can I Do with a Male Nude?What Can I Do with a Male Nude?

Comedy198524 minsDirector: Ron Peck

Ron Peck tests the thin line between pornography and art with his amusing rumination on the difficulties of showing the naked male form.

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Looking for LoveLooking for Love

Documentary2015115 minsDirector: Menelik Shabazz

Leading filmmaker Menelik Shabazz (Burning an Illusion) explores intimacy and relationships within Britain’s black community.

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RelaxRelax

Drama199122 minsDirector: Christopher Newby

A gay man awaits the results of an HIV test, drifting into moments of fantasy as he copes with his fears and memories.

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Letters from BaghdadLetters from Baghdad

Documentary201691 minsDirector: Sabine Krayenbühl

Tilda Swinton narrates the extraordinary journey of Gertrude Bell, a singular woman who played a significant – often unrecognised – role in British imperial policy making in Iraq.

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Flames of PassionFlames of Passion

198917 minsDirector: Richard Kwietniowski

An ingenious gay homage to Brief Encounter.

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FaceFace

Crime1997101 minsDirector: Antonia Bird

Robert Carlyle and Ray Winstone are members of a criminal gang that tears itself apart after a heist goes wrong, in Antonia Bird’s stylish thriller.

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White Colour BlackWhite Colour Black

Drama201683 minsDirector: Joseph A. Adesunloye

A young mixed heritage man confronts the psychological complexities of his identity in this essential, truly cinematic discovery for anyone interested in Black British cinema.

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Bronco's HouseBronco's House

Drama201544 minsDirector: Mark Jenkin

A young man strives to provide a home for his pregnant girlfriend and their unborn child, in Mark Jenkin's mid-length precursor to Bait.

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A Zed and Two NoughtsA Zed and Two Noughts

Animation & Artists Moving Image1985117 minsDirector: Peter Greenaway

Following a fatal car crash involving a swan outside a zoo, twin-brother zoologists Oliver and Oswald become fascinated by the processes of decay.