Thornbury Picture House, Programme 2017/18



September 2017 - June 2018 Film Programme 



TPH shows are in The Cossham Hall, (except Sept 8th in Armstrong Hall)
Chapel Street, Thornbury
Doors open 7.00pm
The show starts 7.30pm

Internet Movie DataBase (

The website gives details of the making of the film, the director, the actors, lots of other interesting information and invites comment on each movie listed. Links are provided below to the films to be shown in the TPH 201/18 season. Just click on each underlined link and scroll down to the heading "Users Comments" to read a reviewer's commentary together with notes from other readers to say whether the review was helpful or not. However, please be aware the site may contain "spoilers" which may affect your enjoyment of the film.


Cinema Paradiso

A free screening to be shown on September 8th
in The Armstrong Hall at 7.30pm. All welcome.



September 8th, 2017    Special screening in the Armstrong Hall

Cinema Paradiso (PG), 1988, Italy/France

Director: Guiseppe Tornatore , 118 mins.  Italian with English sub-titles.

Salvatore 'Toto' Di Vita who grew up in a Sicilian Village returns home as a famous director after receiving news about the death of an old friend.

Salvatore reminiscences about his childhood and his relationship with Alfredo, the projectionist at Cinema Paradiso. Under the fatherly influence of Alfredo, Toto fell in love with film making, with the duo spending many hours discussing films and the skills that eventually became a stepping stone for the young boy into the world of film making. The film brings the audience through the changes in cinema and the dying trade of traditional film making, editing and screening. It also explores a young boy's dream of leaving his little town to foray into the world outside. With music by Ennio Morricone and a brilliant final scene, this film is near the top of many film enthusiasts favourites, some 30 years after it was first released.



For full synopsis and reviews click



September 29th, 2017

The Olive Tree (12), 2016, Spain,

Director: Iciar Bollian, 100 mins. English Sub-titles

Alma is a fiesty young girl a special relationship with her grandfather Ramón, an old country man who stopped talking about 12 years ago after his son, Alma's father, sold a 2000-years-old olive tree in order to open a restaurant. Dominated by the sadness and the melancholia by the loss of his most beloved tree, Ramon spends his days visiting the site of the missing tree, hoping for the day that it returns. Unable to bear the situation any longer, Alma takes up the challenge of locating the tree and discovers that it was acquired by a Germany's energy company located in Dusseldorf. Without money or resources, Alma convinces her uncle Alcachofa and her friend Rafa (who has a love interest) to go in a truck from Spain to Germany to recover the tree, starting a journey with unexpected consequences for everyone.


For full synopsis and reviews click


The Olive Tree


Listen to me Marlon




October 20th, 2017

Listen to me Marlon (15), 2015, UK.

Director : Stevan Riley, 103 mins

A documentary made entirely out of archive footage and Marlon Brando's own words from recordings, confessionals, and self hypnosis. With exclusive access to his extraordinary unseen and unheard personal archive recorded over the course of his life. Charting his exceptional career as an actor this is the definitive Marlon Brando cinema documentary and features his extraordinary life away from the stage and screen with Brando himself as your guide. The film fully explores the complexities of the man by telling the story uniquely from Marlon's perspective, entirely in his own voice. No talking heads, no interviewees, just Brando on Brando.


For full synopsis and reviews click


November 17th, 2017

Timbuktu (12), 2014, France/ Mauritania,

Director: Abderrahmane Sissako, 97mins. English Sub-titles

Near the ancient Malian city of Timbuktu, proud cattle herder Kidane (Ibrahim Ahmed aka Pino) lives peacefully in the dunes with his wife Satima (Toulou Kiki), his daughter Toya (Layla Walet Mohamed), and Issan (Mehdi Ag Mohamed), their twelve-year-old shepherd. In town, the people suffer, powerless, from the regime of terror imposed by the Jihadists determined to control their faith. Music, laughter, cigarettes, even soccer have been banned. The women have become shadows but resist with dignity. Every day, the new improvised courts issue tragic and absurd sentences. Kidane and his family are being spared the chaos that prevails in Timbuktu. But their destiny changes abruptly.

A stunning film from a master of World Cinema.


For full synopsis and reviews click



The Crow's Egg



December 8th 2017

The Crow's Egg (PG), 2014, India

Director: M Manikandan, 91 mins, English Sub-titles

The life and times of two kids Periya Kakka Muttai (Vignesh) and his younger brother Chinna Kaaka Muttai (Ramesh) growing up in a slum making a living stealing coal from the railway yard. Their father is in the jail while mother (Ishwarya Rajesh) brings them up. The urchins have their own dreams like any other kids and foremost is their dream of enjoying Pizza from the newly opened Pizza shop but the symbol of the best on offer in western food is well beyond their means.Their curiosity about pizza is because, the new shop is opened by Tamil film star Silambarasan. They decide that by hook or by crook, they will gain entry into the upmarket Pizza shop and have a slice of it with their own money. They set about the problem in ways that have far-reaching and unexpected consequences.Will they succeed in their quest?


For full synopsis and reviews click


January 12th, 2018

A United Kingdom, 12A, 2016, USA/ UK/ Czech Republic

Director Amma Asante. 111 mins. English Sub-titles


In the late 1940s, Prince Seretse Khama is studying law in Britain in preparation for his eventual ascension to the throne. There, the dashing prince falls in love with a white British clerk, Ruth Williams, and they plan to marry. While they suspect that his uncle, the Regent, would disapprove, nothing prepares them for the diplomatic firestorm and domestic political tumult their defiant love would spark. Now facing a population wary of a white Briton as their Queen. The international opposition is even more unyielding from the British who hold Bechuanaland as a protectorate and fearful of South Africa's racist backlash to this affront to their apartheid domination. Against all odds, King Khama and Ruth struggle to maintain their love and help their people in a land that would become the Republic of Botswana.

The events portrayed in the film actually took place but until now haven't been much discussed in the UK. Even today, inter-racial love stories can be unpopular and sadly racism remains a major issue that has yet to be eradicated. It is testament to both Seretse and to Ruth that their actions were finally instrumental in bringing democracy to Botswana with Seretse becoming the first democratically elected president of his country.

For full synopsis and reviews click



A United Kingdom


The Eagle Huntress


February 2nd, 2018

The Eagle Huntress (U), 2016, UK /Mongolia /USA

Director: Otto Bell, 87 mins. English Sub-titles

A documentary following Aisholpan, a 13-year-old nomadic Mongolian girl who is seeking to become the first female eagle hunter in twelve generations of her Kazakh family. She enters a local eagle hunting festival, before venturing out into the mountains to become a fully-fledged eagle huntress which entails training a three-month-old eaglet (after taking it from its nest that is), with the eventual outcome of being able to successfully hunt with it, before letting it go after seven years to complete the "circle of life".

Through breathtaking aerial cinematography and intimate verite footage, the film captures her personal journey while also addressing universal themes like female empowerment, the natural world, coming of age and the international development.


For full synopsis and reviews click


February 16th, 2018

I, Daniel Blake (15), 2016, UK /France /Belgium.

Director: Ken Loach, 100 mins.

Ken Loach's 2nd Cannes Palme d'Or winner. After having a heart-attack, Daniel Blake a 59-year-old carpenter must fight bureaucracy in order to receive Employment and Support Allowance. He has been ordered by his doctors to stay out of any vigorous action and to rest, however, after a negative employment support assessment, he is deemed ineligible for compensation, not scoring enough points to obtain benefits. Without any income or a pension, desperate and frustrated from the endless, dead-end conversations over the phone with the impersonal government health-care agents, Daniel visits the welfare office to make an appeal, only to face the draconian social workers and to be consumed by the faceless system and its bureaucratic jargon. Against all odds, with perseverance and courage, Daniel stands up for himself and for those in need, withstanding nobly the humiliation while reminding that, above all, we are human by default.

Through this time, he is enmeshed within the lives of two sets of people. The first is his young neighbours trying to start a new business in today's global economy. The second is Katie Morgan, a single mother to 2 adolescents. The Morgans have just moved to Newcastle from London solely as that is where there was social housing available. Katie too has fallen into the bureaucratic runaround at social services. Regardless, Katie is determined to make a home for her two children despite her financial problems. Regardless of his own health and financial issues, Daniel is equally determined that Katie will not end up in the same situation as him and doing whatever he can to help her.


For full synopsis and reviews click



I, Daniel Blake

Hidden Figures



March 16th, 2018

Hidden Figures (PG), 2016, USA

Director: Theodore Melfi, 127 mins.

In the early year's of the space race, NASA found untapped talent in a group of African-American female mathematicians who served as the brains behind one of the greatest engineering feats in history. Based on the true life stories of three of these women, known as "human computers", they quickly rose through the ranks of NASA alongside many of history's greatest minds specifically tasked with calculating the launch of astronaut John Glenn into orbit, and guaranteeing his safe return. The film shows the struggle against racial discrimination at that time as Dorothy Vaughan, Mary Jackson, and Katherine Johnson crossed all gender, race, and professional lines, while their brilliance and desire to dream big, beyond anything ever accomplished before by the human race firmly cemented them in U.S. history as true American heroes.


For full synopsis and reviews click



April 13th, 2018

Labyrinth of Lies (12), 2014, Germany.

Director: M Guilio Ricciarelli, 124 mins. English Sub-titles

Based on the true story of a young Public Prosecutor from Frankfurt named Johann Radmann (Alexander Fehling). He encounters a survivor of Auschwitz and a journalist who want to bring to tria lthe perpetrators of the atrocities that took place there . The problem is that Germany seems to not want to rake over the coals of the past and there are former Nazi's everywhere who just don't care.

He and his friends go through many difficulties in order try to build a case and wake the German people from their wilful apathy towards the war. His personal life and that of those around him and are also swept up in the investigation.

The film does not sugar coat what took place but is also not horrific in terms of the graphic abuse that sadly occurred, especially at the hands of Mengele and co. It is very moving in places and features some truly excellent performances.

For full synopsis and reviews click



Labryinth of Lies

Ethel and Ernest



May 18th, 2018

Ethel and Ernest (PG), 2016, UK.

Director: Roger Mainwood, 94 mins.

This is a hand drawn animated film, based on the award winning graphic novel by Raymond Briggs, is an intimate and affectionate depiction of the life and times of his parents, two ordinary Londoners living through extraordinary events.

They marry in 1928 and Raymond is born in 1934. When World War II breaks out Ethel tearfully allows him to be evacuated to aunts in Dorset whilst Ernest joins the fire service, shocked by the carnage he sees.

As hostilities end they celebrate Raymond's return and entry to grammar school and the birth of the welfare state, though Ethel is mistrustful of socialism and progress in general. Raymond himself progresses from National Service to art college and a teaching post, worrying his mother by marrying schizophrenic Jean. However father and son console each other as Ethel slips away but before long Raymond is mourning his father too - though both Ethel and Ernest will forever be remembered by Raymond's touching account of their lives.

For full synopsis and reviews click


June 15th, 2018

Sweet Bean (PG), 2015, Japan.

Director: Naomi Kawase, 113 mins. English Sub-titles

A dorayaki is a sort of double mini-pancake, filled with bean paste.

The film takes place in the twelve month period between the cherry blossom seasons. Sentaro, a quiet man in his thirties, sells dorayaki in a fast food stand. One day, Tokue a woman in her seventies brings him a plastic box filled with home-made bean paste, because she doesn't like the industrial vesion Sentaro uses for his dorayaki. At her request, Sentaro hesitantly hires her as an expert bean paste-maker, and from then on, business booms until rumours start circulating about the dark secret in Tokue's past.

The film is not only about fast food, it about illness, death, discrimination, youth and capitalism. But above all, it's about enjoying life and looking at the bright side of things. There are parallels with the wonderful Indian film 'Lunch Box', but it is less energetic and much more philosophical.

For full synopsis and reviews click



Sweet Bean

From our Chairman

A free 12th Film for our 12th season.

Welcome to your local not-for-profit community cinema!

Passionate about restoring the excitement and engaging experience of a "Trip to the Pictures" on your doorstep our international programme has plenty to offer to inspire and entertain you. Combined with Surround Sound, a big screen and high defination projection, it's an experience not to be missed.

Our first film of the season, the Oscar winning "Cinema Paradiso" directed by Guiseppe Tornatore, a firm favourite of ours will be screened in the Armstrong Hall and entry will be free to all comers, with a score by Ennio Morricone it is both an audio, visual and emotional treat.

We will also be screening selected drama, opera and ballet filmed on the London stage in our Event Cinema series, these events are not included in the regular season's membership, keep an eye on the Thornbury magazine and local websites for date and pricing details.


Chair, Thornbury Picture House.



Grateful thanks to the following for grants over the years for capital equipment:

Awards for All
BFI Neighbourhood Cinema Equipment Fund.
Quartet Community Foundation

Home Page TPH 17/18 Film Programme

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