Cinema: Gripping glimpse of Polish history

When Paweł Pawlikowski’s Ida was released in 2014, its wintry post-war story of identity, secrets and history proved popular with Sheffield audiences and made waves all around Europe and beyond.

For this week’s release The Innocents, we are once again in Poland, dealing with the chilling aftermath of war and especially the experience of women in wartime – through the eyes of a strict order of nuns in December 1945.

This is a story of sisterhood, motherhood and of survival

In a piece of history often overlooked, this film is inspired by the true story of a convent suffering the repercussions of brutality from advancing Soviet soldiers, and the young French doctor they entreat to assist them. This is a story of sisterhood, motherhood and most of all of survival, at any cost. At times inspiring and heart-warming and at others devastating and enraging; this is a glimpse into a lesser-known moment of Polish history and a gripping watch.

Also out this week is Arrival, from Canadian director Denis Villeneuve and starring Amy Adams and Jeremy Renner. Following his string of successes from 2010’s Oscar-nominated Incendies to last year’s action packed Sicario, Villeneuve turns his directing talent to a new genre and looks to the skies in this space-invasion thriller.

Sitting comfortably in the long history of ‘mysterious space-craft lands on earth’ films, Arrival also uses the threat of invasion and aliens to look inwards on humanity – another sci-fi tradition.

This week is also a double treat for fans of Amy Adams, who you can also catch in Tom Ford’s stylish thriller Nocturnal Animals.

After their BAFTA-nominated debut Black Pond, Will Sharpe and Tom Kingsley are back with The Darkest Universe. Alice is missing, along with her boyfriend and their canal boat, and her brother Zac embarks on a wild campaign to find them (losing himself a bit too on the way.)

We are delighted to welcome the directors to The Showroom for a Q&A after the screening on Sunday 13th.

For youngsters across the country, cinemas are full of treats this month, as the annual national Into Film Festival is under way.

In Sheffield alone we have free screenings of everything from Star Wars to Suffragette, and at The Showroom we have delights such as Cathy Come Home and Speed Sisters, both with additional Q&A and discussions for the attendees.

Find out more at Into Film