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A scene from 'The Heiresses', showing at Abergavenny Film Society on Sept 25, 2019  
The Heiresses
25 September 2019
  Rating 12A

Paraguay/Germany/Uruguay/Brazil/Norway (2018) 98 minutes
Director: Marcelo Martinessi

An immaculate, entirely female-driven drama, The Heiresses is Martinessi’s debut feature. Both a piercing character study and a commentary on the Paraguayan class structure, it follows Chela and Chiquita who are descended from wealthy families in Asunción, Paraguay. They have been together for over thirty years when their precarious financial situation begins to impact upon their way of life and their relationship. Forced to cope on her own, Chela starts driving for the first time in years, providing a local taxi service to a group of elderly wealthy ladies. Encountering the much younger Angy, they forge a fresh and exhilarating connection. This encourages Chela finally to break out of her shell and embark on a personal revolution in which she engages with the world on new and intimate terms.

Sydney Film Festival 2018 - Winner of the Best Film Award

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  A scene from 'Capernaum', showing at Abergavenny Film Society on Oct 9, 2019  
9 October 2019
  Rating 15

Lebanon/USA (2018) 120 minutes
Director: Nadine Labaki

This stunningly realised drama charts the journey of children on the edges of society who find hope despite the challenges of their everyday lives. Zain is a young boy living with his family in an impoverished Beirut neighbourhood. Street-wise beyond his years, Zain’s resentment towards his parents builds and, following a series of tragic events, he is compelled to sue them for bringing children into such a world. Writer/director Nadine Labaki shows a shocking culture of parents treating children as goods to be bought and sold. Through her skilful storytelling, she widens our understanding to see that none of us is in a position to judge. Featuring astounding performances from its lead child actors, Capernaum is a compassionate and unforgettable tale of hope.

Cannes Film Festival 2018 - Winner of the Jury Award

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A scene from 'Citizen Jane - Battle for the City', showing at Abergavenny Film Society on Oct 23, 2019  
Citizen Jane - Battle for the City
23 October 2019
  Rating PG

USA (2016) 92 minutes
Director: Matt Tyrnauer

Legendary writer and urban activist Jane Jacobs fought a David-and-Goliath battle again New York City ‘master builder’ Robert Moses. Her quest was to preserve the historic neighbourhoods of Greenwich Village, Soho and Little Italy against Moses’ plans to divide and destroy them with expressways. Her book, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, published in 1960, sent shockwaves through the architecture and planning worlds. Exciting and inspirational, Citizen Jane delivers a timely and much-needed lesson in how the power of the people can overturn the self-serving plans of the elite.

Hamburg Film Festival 2017 - Nominee for the Political Film Award

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  A scene from 'Woman at War', showing at Abergavenny Film Society on Nov 7, 2019  
Woman at War
6 November 2019
  Rating 12A

Iceland (2018) 100 mins
Director: Benedikt Erlingsson

Of Horses and Men Director Benedikt Erlingsson addresses urgent issues with a light touch in this pleasingly off-the-wall combination of absurd comedy and tense drama. Halla seems to lead a quiet and routine existence but her happy and upbeat exterior hides a secret double life. Operating as a committed environmental activist, Halla is known only by her alias, “The Woman of the Mountain.” As she begins to plan her boldest operation yet, and as the government attempts to discredit her, she receives unexpected news that forces her to choose between her environmental crusade and the chance of fulfilling another, more personal dream. Icelandic folk musicians provide accompaniment in this playful, touching, confident and stylish film as it follows the fortunes of its fierce and focused heroine.

Hamburg Film Festival 2018 - Winner of the Best Feature Award

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  A scene from 'Alone in Berlin', showing at Abergavenny Film Society on Nov 20, 2019  
Alone in Berlin
20 November 2019
  Rating 12A

France/Germany/UK (2016) 101 mins
Director: Vincent Pérez

Emma Thompson and Brendan Gleeson play an ordinary working-class German couple who quietly wage a personal campaign of anti-Nazi resistance. Uninterested in politics and content to keep to themselves, factory foreman Otto and his dutiful wife Anna are unlikely dissidents. When their son is killed on the battlefield, grief jolts them into action. They launch a silent protest and drop handwritten postcards denouncing Hitler across the city. With terror and paranoia infecting the German capital, their high-risk acts of defiance spark a citywide manhunt. Under mounting pressure to find the culprits, morally ambivalent police inspector Escherich (Daniel Brühl) pursues the case with increasing intensity as the net begins to tighten on the couple. Portraying a singular act of courage through dignified central performances under the stylish direction of Vincent Pérez, Alone in Berlin is inspired by a true story and adapted from Hans Fallada’s best-selling novel.

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  A scene from 'Birds of Passage', showing at Abergavenny Film Society on Dec 4, 2019  
Birds of Passage
4 December 2019
  Rating 15

Colombia/Mexico (2019) 125 mins
Directors: Christina Gallego, Ciro Guerra

Birds of Passage is gripping tale of the origins of the Colombian drug trade as seen through the eyes of a Wayúu family. They became involved in the booming business of selling marijuana to American youth in the 1970’s and the film spans three decades of the family being pushed to the brink when greed, passion and honour collide. Cristina Gallego and Ciro Guerra follow up their Oscar-nominated Embrace of the Serpent with an unusually clear-eyed and empathetic depiction of the lives, culture and ancestral traditions of indigenous peoples and the impact of outside forces upon them.

Miami Film Festival 2019 – Winner of Best Film Award

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  A scene from 'Welcome to the Sticks', showing at Abergavenny Film Society on Dec 18, 2019  
Welcome to the Sticks
18 Dec 2019
  Rating 12A

France (2008) 106 mins
Director: Dany Boon

Philippe Abrams is a post office director in Salon-de-Provence. His wife, Julie, makes his life unbearable and, in order to please her, Philippe tries to arrange a transfer to the Côte d'Azur. However, his plan backfires and he is transferred to a small town in the North. For the prejudiced Abrams family, the North is an awful, cold region inhabited by uncivilised people who speak an incomprehensible language. Philippe moves there alone and, to his great surprise, he discovers a charming place with welcoming people. He befriends Antoine, the village postman and bell ringer with a possessive mother and, when Philippe returns to Salon, Julie thinks he is lying about his pleasant life in the North! With an ingenious script, sharp comic timing and assured direction, Welcome to the Sticks is a clever observation of cultural differences in France.

Hamburg Film Festival 2008 – Dany Boon – Winner of the Audience Award

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  A scene from 'Shoplifters', showing at Abergavenny Film Society on Jan 8, 2020  
8 January 2020
  Rating 15

Japan (2018) 121 mins
Director: Hirokazu Kore-eda

Shoplifters is a complex, profoundly moving drama about the forces holding a struggling family together. Osamu, his wife Nobuyu and grandma Hatsue head the Shibatas family. Poverty-stricken and living in a ramshackle Tokyo bungalow, they routinely turn to petty thieving to make ends meet. After one of their shoplifting sessions, Osamu and son Shota happen upon a little girl foraging for scraps in the freezing cold and take her in. Despite the continued hardships of their existence, this newly modified family lives happily until an unforeseen incident begins to test their bond. Focusing on an unconventional domestic unit with insight, compassion and humour, Director Kore-eda gives rare prominence to Japanese society’s urban underclass and questions the possibilities of survival within life on the margins.

Cannes Film Festival 2018 – Winner of Palme d’Or

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  A scene from 'The Sisters Brothers', showing at Abergavenny Film Society on Jan 22, 2020  
The Sisters Brothers
22 January 2020
  Rating 15

USA (2018) 121 minutes
Director: Jacques Audiard

John C. Reilly and Joaquin Phoenix star as squabbling siblings in Jacques Audiard’s subtle, darkly funny and offbeat modern take on the Western. Set in Oregon in the 1850’s, brothers Eli and Charlie are two disreputable guys working for a shadowy man nicknamed The Commodore, played in pleasing cameo by Rutger Hauer. Embarking on a new mission to travel to San Francisco and dispose of an individual with the unlikely name of Hermann Kermit Warm, The Commodore has loaned Eli and Charlie an annoying private detective played by Jake Gyllenhaal. With broad, appealing storytelling and witty narrative, the film is elevated by outstanding performances from Reilly, Phoenix and Gyllenhaal as their characters discover things about each other that they never considered before.

Venice Film Festival 2018 – Jacques Audiard - Silver Lion Award for Best Director

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  A scene from 'Styx', showing at Abergavenny Film Society on Feb 5, 2020  
5 February 2020
  Rating 12A

Germany/Austria (2018) 94 minutes
Director: Wolfgang Fischer

Rieke, a determined and confident Emergency doctor, embodies a Western ideal of happiness and success. She wants to fulfil a long-held dream by sailing alone from Gibraltar to the volcanic Ascension Island. Her voyage changes course drastically when she encounters a damaged boat overloaded with desperate refugees. Stricken by their plight, Rieke feels duty-bound to help them but, as time goes by and the situation develops, she is forced to make difficult decisions. Bolstered by director Wolfgang Fischer’s crisp filmmaking and encompassing themes of racism, empathy, Western privilege and moral responsibility, Styx is a provocative, gripping and thought-provoking drama.

Boulder International Film Festival 2019 – Winner of Best Feature Film Award

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  A scene from 'The White Crow', showing at Abergavenny Film Society on Feb 19, 2020  
The White Crow
19 February 2020
  Rating 12A

UK (2018) 122 minutes
Director: Ralph Fiennes

The White Crow is a thrilling, ambitious biopic of the virtuosic Russian ballet dancer Rudolf Nureyev whose defection from the USSR to the west stunned the world at the height of the Cold War. Starring Ukrainian dancer Oleg Ivenko as Nureyev in his screen debut, it was inspired by Julie Kavanagh’s biography and scripted by David Hare. Moving back and forth through time, this evocative film explores Nureyev’s origins and progresses to a stunning finale. Beautifully shot on 16mm, Fiennes brings period texture and emotional depth to this study of a wildly talented man whose dangerous escape to the west reverberated through the worlds of ballet and international relations.

Tokyo International Film Festival 2018 – Nominee for Best Film Award

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  A scene from 'The Guardians', showing at Abergavenny Film Society on Mar 4, 2020  
The Guardians
4 March 2020
  Rating 15

france/Switzerland (2018) 138 minutes
Director: Xavier Beauvois

A quietly affecting human drama of love, loss, and resilience unfolds against the backdrop of World War I in this outstanding film from director Xavier Beauvois (Of Gods and Men). Set in rural France in 1916, The Guardians details the lives of women and girls as they work on a farm run by matriarch Hortense and her loitering daughter Solange. When a romance forms between Hortense’s son Georges, a soldier on leave from the frontlines and orphaned teenage farmworker Francine, their love is tested not only by the war but also by the complex social fabric of the community. Composed in painterly images bathed in natural light, The Guardians is a subtle and intimate epic work about the fortitude of women during times of global conflict.

London Film Festival 2017 – Nominee for Best Film Award

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  A scene from 'Land of Mine', showing at Abergavenny Film Society on Mar 18, 2020  
Land of Mine
18 March 2020
  Rating 15

Denmark/Germany (2015) 101 minutes
Director: Martin Zandvliet

Inspired by real events, Land of Mine follows the little-known story of the young German prisoners of war who were handed over to Danish authorities in the days following Germany’s surrender in May 1945. Tough veteran Sergeant Carl Rasmussen is assigned by Lieutenant Ebbe Jensen to diffuse and remove two million mines on the Danish West Coast in order to keep the beaches safe. He takes advantage of the teenage POW’s, ordering them to dig up the mines from the sand with their bare hands. Rasmussen promises their freedom and release back to Germany when the task is completed and, after initial hostility, he slowly begins to sympathise with their plight. However, Jensen remains resentful of their former occupiers and steadfast in his belief that the young men should be treated with contempt. Land of Mine explores the moral grey areas between justice and vengeance and offers a timely reminder of the power of forgiveness.

Oscars 2017 - Nominee for Best Foreign Language Film Award

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  A scene from 'Cold War', showing at Abergavenny Film Society on Apr 1, 2020  
Cold War
1 April 2020
  Rating 15

Poland (2018) 88 minutes
Director: Paweł Pawlikowski

Cold War is a tumultuous love story between two people of different backgrounds and temperaments who, despite their overwhelming passion for each other, are fatefully mismatched. Set across Poland, Berlin, Yugoslavia and Paris against the oppressive background of the Cold War, we follow the lives of singer Zula and pianist Wiktor for the fifteen years after their initial meeting. Endlessly drawn to each other, they are unable to co-exist but their inability to move on from one another is cyclical and stuck on a painful and exhausting loop. As Zula rises to fame they perform across Eastern Europe and realise that they must find a way to slip past the Iron Curtain. Following the success of his film Ida, director Pawlikowski shows a continued commitment to explore both the dark heart of Poland and how its twentieth century political wounds and unrest echoed through the emotional lives of its subjects.

Cannes Film Festival 2018 - Paweł Pawlikowski - Best Director Award

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Coming Soon

Welcome to our 2019/2020 Season

Our programme is chosen from film titles suggested by the audience and the Society committee.  We have one important rule; the person who proposes the film has to have seen it recently.

Abergavenny Film Society Committee members attend Art House cinemas, film festivals and screening days organised by the Independent Cinema Office, Cinema for All and Film Hub Wales.

We aim to feature a balanced programme including a variety of genres from around the world. Foreign language films are shown with subtitles and not in a 'dubbed English' version. 

Please note: Society rules state that admission is for over-16's only, regardless of the film's certificate.


Click this text or the image below to download a copy of the full programme for this season (PDF format).

Click to download PDF programme


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