Showroom Cinema with Linnea Pettersson
At Showroom, we celebrate initiatives such as the F-Rating and Reclaim The Frame to champion films made by women.
It is our mission - along with venues all over the country who also embrace these campaigns – to demonstrate that by bringing greater audiences to these films, and showing there is a demand for these stories to be told - that we will be able to make a positive intervention in the landscape of film exhibition to address gender imbalance.
This week we have some fantastic eye-opening and thought-provoking titles to choose from, hailing from Syria, France and Norway.
After multiple sold-out screenings during Sheffield Doc/Fest, where it had its UK Premiere earlier this year, For Sama returns on its release this Friday (13 th ), and is one of the most effecting documentaries you are likely to see.
Told as a message from young Syrian mother Waad al-Kateab to her daughter Sama, the film traces Waad’s life through five years of the uprising in Aleppo as she falls in love, gets married and gives birth, all while catastrophic conflict rises around her.
Through this intimate and visceral journey through the female experience of war, Waad’s camera captures incredible stories of loss, laughter and survival as she wrestles with an impossible choice – whether or not to flee the city to protect her daughter’s life, when leaving means abandoning the struggle for freedom for which she has already sacrificed so much.
Also released this week is The Shock of the Future. Directed by Nouvelle Vague’s Marc Collin and co-written by Elina Gakou Gomba, the film takes place in late 1970s Paris, where Ana (Alma Jodorowsky) is frustrated by writing jingles for commercials.
All this changes when a friend brings her a new electronic gadget - one of the first beatboxes to be imported into France.
The film is a love letter to the unacknowledged women pioneers of the French electronic music movement and a feel-good tribute to a movement that had a major influence on contemporary pop music (there are a couple of references to Sheffield’s own budding electronic music scene at the time!).
Finally, for lovers of complex Scandinavian drama, we have a dark and twisting coming-of-age tale from Norway.
Phoenix follows Jill, a teenager who has spent her life caring for her mother and younger brother.
When her estranged father arranges to visit on Jill’s birthday, it gives her a much-needed light at the end of the tunnel.
So when tragedy strikes, Jill decides to keep it a secret from everyone around her.