A BUNCH OF AMATEURS
“WHERE are you going to find a cornfield as high as an elephant’s eye in Bradford?” a member of the Bradford Movie Makers asks Harry, who has just announced he wants to re-enact the opening scene to Oklahoma.
It’s his dream to ride horseback singing Oh What A Beautiful Morning on the big screen.
And even though he’s in his 80s and unable to get on a horse, his gang of film obsessives make this a reality through hours of painstaking CGI.
Having held a meeting every Monday since 1932, the motley crew of Bradford’s wannabe Spielbergs are part of the oldest amateur film clubs.
Once a thriving hub of movie making and award nights, the club is now in deterioration, with daily vandalism, financial woes and declining health of its ageing members.
While Bradford appears a tricky place to live – with rocketing crime and its local cinemas now carpet warehouses – its residences come across as some of the warmest in the world.
The community spirit brought to light by director Kim Hopkins, is a reminder that Britain is full of truly beautiful souls.
Like all good movie makers, they make you think, laugh and cry.
Mees gelees in Film
MANY athletes have shared their tales of overcoming near-impossible odds to compete at the Olympics.
But few could top the story of Yusra Mardini, who is the focus of Netflix’s new biopic and hopeful Oscar winner, The Swimmers.
It follows Yusra and her sister Sarah’s journey from war-torn Syria to Germany where they sought asylum.
Director Sally El Hosaini captures the Mardinis’ chilling experiences including their heroic acts during an illegal boat crossing.
Clever cinematography captures the claustrophobia and terror as the dinghy they use to cross the Aegean Sea begins to sink due to carrying 20 people rather than seven.
While they reach the shore – thanks to Yusra and Sarah pulling it through stormy seas for three hours – trouble is not far away.
Ruthless smugglers, risky border crossings and hostile interactions give an unflinching snapshot of the trek taken by countless refugees.
Powerful performances are sadly weighed down by excessive dialogue that could see the film fail to make a big splash during awards season.
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