Borderlines 2019: Themes

Ask any interior designer or Hen Do Organiser, themes are important. Having a strand that ties together a whole host of different things helps our human brains make sense of things, whether that’s a common thematic influence in a rural film festival’s programming, or Becky’s Margaritas & Manicures party.

Borderlines has always done this well. Especially when it comes to grouping films that engage with an interesting, or troubling, or particularly relevant subject.

You can go and see two or three films and walk out feeling like you’ve got a deeper, maybe more nuanced understanding of an element of the human experience. Or you could just go to a load of really good Coming Of Age films.

Either way, here are the FIVE strands running through the festival this year, and the films that fall in to them.


#1 Growing Up

“Across the world, film directors are exploring the challenges and joys that face children and young people, navigating their lives in a rapidly changing time as they come of age.

"From the profound Cannes Jury prize winner Capernaum charting the life of an impoverished Beirut boy to the Kenyan Rafiki, a lesbian love story largely banned in its home country, and Dominga Sotomayor Castillo’s 1990s inspired tale of growing up in a Chilean commune, Too Late to Die Young, the Growing Up strand presents a fine and diverse selection, unafraid to tackle the complexities of life for children and young people in today’s world.”

"One of Britain’s greatest and most provocative directors, Nicolas Roeg (1928-2018) died in late November. With no taste for narrative-driven realism, Roeg was often disregarded within the film industry and this short retrospective is a tribute to his dazzling vision.

"We are privileged that Eureka will be introduced by the film’s esteemed editor Tony Lawson."





The Witches


#3 Breaking the taboo

"Featured his year’s festival is a small strand of films, two documentaries and a feature, that investigate areas in mental health that are frequently off-limits or hard-to-face: suicide, death, irreconcilable grief, irrational and antisocial behaviour that can characterise psychosis."

"Evelyn was diagnosed schizophrenic before he took his own life. Ten years after his death, his family use walking and talking as a way of coming to terms with their grief. Irene’s Ghost follows a son’s search to find out more about the mother he never knew and the secrecy surrounding her death following post-partum psychosis. The More You Ignore Me tackles post-partum psychosis in a very different way, through a story based on a novel by comedian and ex-psychiatric nurse Jo Brand. We are delighted to welcome Jo back to Borderlines to introduce the screening on Wednesday 13 March and answer questions afterwards."


Irene's Ghost


The More You Ignore Me


#4 The personal is political: Margarethe Von Trotta

"The first female director to win the Golden Lion at Venice Film Festival, Margarethe von Trotta (1942-) has made trailblazing films over the past five decades.

"Often overlooked, she is one of the most gifted directors from the New German Cinema movement, alongside RW Fassbinder and Werner Herzog. A leading feminist filmmaker, the power of mass media, historical events, radicalisation and women’s rights pre-#MeToo have been elements in von Trotta’s films since the politically turbulent 1970s.

"Her wonderfully complex and outspoken female characters are precursors of those in the work of contemporary directors like Jane Campion, Andrea Arnold and Desiree Akhavan. We are showing four films that represent von Trotta’s exceptional talent in portraying how the personal is political. Selina Robertson, feminist film programmer, writer and researcher at Club de Femmes and ICO, will introduce the screening of Rosa Luxemburg.

"Two films about young dancers coping with the rigours of the ballet world (Girl and Polina) are complemented by The White Crow, Ralph Fiennes’ dramatisation of the early career of Rudolf Nureyev, and Yuli, a new biopic about Cuban ballet super-star Carlos Acosta.

"Plus for children, the classic story of Tortoise & the Hare, one of the Northern Bite-Size Ballets, designed specially for the cinema."