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Barbican Cinema: June 2022 highlights 

 Curated by the Barbican: 

  • Journeys across Afro-Futurism
  • Silent Film and Live Music: Early Japanese Animation + live synth accompaniment by the Guildhall’s Electronic Music Studio
  • Simple As Water – to mark Refugee Awareness Day in collaboration with the UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency
  • George Michael Freedom Uncut
  • Family Film Club

Event Cinema:

  • Met Opera Live: Hamlet


  • Oska Bright Film Festival 2022
  • London Indian Film Festival

Barbican Cinema continues its commitment to bold and diverse programming with Journeys across Afro-Futurism, a season – taking place throughout June – that looks at the origins of Afro-Futurism, and explores how the traditions of the aesthetic - imagining a future cinema abundant with arts, science and technology, as seen through a Black lens – impact cinema today.

This month also includes a rare programme of Early Japanese Animation + live and electronic accompaniment by the Guildhall School's Electronic and Produced Music Department; a selection of rarely screened early Japanese animation, showcasing some of the very first anime films from 1925-35, which will be accompanied by electro-acoustic music.

June sees the return of the London Indian Film Festival and the Oska Bright Film Festival 2022, the world’s leading festival for films made by or featuring people with learning disabilities or autism. There’s also an Oska Bright Film Festival 2022: Emerging Talent Screening.

For one-night only… George Michael Freedom Uncut, looks at the formative period in the late Grammy® Award winner’s life and career. The film features Michael’s unseen archival and private home-footage, giving a first-person account of this dramatic period in his life; and Met Opera Live presents: Hamlet, in which the Tenor Allan Clayton stars in the title role of this contemporary opera of Shakespeare’s famous drama.

Family Film Club this month includes the best in contemporary and classic titles for young film fans, with the Harold Lloyd silent Safety Last + Live Keyboard accompaniment; as well as new films The Bad Guys and Sonic the Hedgehog 2 + Drop-in workshop.  

Also in June Barbican Cinema continues the Pay What You Can Screenings, for people who might find the standard ticket price is a barrier, or may want to help others enjoy a visit to the cinema. The offer is available on one new release title every Friday and customers can select a price point between £3 to £15. The Senior Community Screenings offer also continues, offering cinema goers aged 60 years+ the chance to enjoy the latest new releases for £6 (plus booking fee), every second Monday morning. 

Curated by the Barbican:

Journeys across Afro-Futurism
2-30 June, Barbican Cinema 2

The Barbican season begins by looking at these very origins of Afro-Futurism in film and opens with John Coney’s cult-classic Space is the Place (USA 1974), an eccentric mixture of African iconography and space age technology.

Shirley Clarke’s Ornette: Made in America (USA 1985), is her impressionistic portrait of legendary free jazz innovator Ornette Coleman which captures this radical musician’s evolution over three decades, and includes some of the first ever music style segments ever made.

The season expands to look at how Afro-Futurism has evolved and where it is now.

The UK debut of Ratnik (Nigeria 2020), is a dystopian Nollywood action film produced, written and directed by the Lagos-based filmmaker Dimeji Adebola.

In 2016’s Kati Kati (Kenya/ Germany 2016, Dir Mbithi Masya) a Kenyan woman finds herself stuck in Kati Kati (Swahili for ‘in-between’) a sort of purgatory, in this poetic fantasy that offers a dark reflection on personal atonement in the shadow of Kenya’s violent past.

Black Brazilian Science Fiction (Dir various) is a programme of short sci-fi films from Afro-Brazilian filmmakers, showcasing the range of styles associated with imagining and re-imaging of Black futures. In Quintal the life of an elderly couple in the suburbs departs from the everyday into a blurred alternative reality. A Mulher do Fim do Mundo stages a parable centred around two solo survivors after an apocalypse. The playful Cartuchos de Super Nintendo em Anéis de Saturno also blends realities to explore the difficulties of life in an impoverished Brazilian city.

Journeys across Afro-Futurism closes with Brown Girl Begins (Canada 2019, Dir Sharon Lewis), a post-apocalyptic tale about a young woman who is trapped in a world forced upon her, which is an adaptation of sorts of Brown Girl in the Ring, a 1998 novel written by Jamaican-Canadian writer Nalo Hopkinson.

To view the full press release:
Futher general information:

Early Japanese Animation (12A*) + live and electronic accompaniment by the Guildhall’ School's Electronic and Produced Music Department
Sun 5 Jun 2022, 3.00 pm, Cinema 1

Very few of the earliest animated films from Japan survive - after being screened alongside live action features, films were often sold on from cinemas to smaller mobile venues where they would be broken down and sold as single frames.

The films that have been preserved in archives offer a fascinating glimpse into the beginnings of a rich history of Japanese animation which continues to this day. They include:

The Pot (1925, Dir Sanae Yamamoto, w/ English subtitles, 17 min)
Ubasuteyama (1925, Dir Sanae Yamamoto, w/ English subtitles, 18 min)
Rhythm (1935, Dir Shigeji Ogino, 4 min)
Diseases Spread (1926, Dir Sanae Yamamoto, w/ English subtitles, 14 min)
The Blossom Man (1928, Dir Yasuji Murata, w/ English subtitles, 5 min)
Two Worlds (1929, Dir Yasuji Murata, w/ English subtitles, 15 min)
Propagate (1935, Dir Shigeji Ogino, 4 min)
A Day after a Hundred Years (1933, Dir Shigeji Ogino, w/ English subtitles, 10 min)

Simple As Water
US 2021, Dir Megan Mylan, 97 min
Mon 20 Jun, 6 pm, Cinema 2

On World Refugee Day, in collaboration with the UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, Barbican Cinema hosts a free screening of Megan Mylan’s powerful documentary Simple As Water. The film follows Syrian refugee families in different countries, coping with the impact of war, separation and the ongoing search for a safe future away from their home country. This is a free screening. Booking required.

George Michael Freedom Uncut #
UK 2018, Dir David Austin, 109 min
Wed 21 Jun 8.30 pm, Cinema 2

George Michael Freedom Uncut focuses on the formative period in the late Grammy® Award winner’s life and career, leading up to and following the making of his acclaimed, best-selling album Listen Without Prejudice Vol. 1 and his subsequent, infamous High Court battle with his record label that followed, while also becoming poignantly personal about the death of his first love, Anselmo Feleppa. Filmed before Michael’s untimely passing, the documentary is narrated by the singer, who was heavily involved in the making of the film that serves as his final work. 

The film features George’s incredible, unseen archival and private home-footage, giving viewers a first-person account of this dramatic period in his life, revealing how he became one of the most influential recording artists of all time.

It also features interviews with some of Michael’s most famous friends and music legends, including Stevie Wonder, Elton John, Ricky Gervais, Nile Rodgers, Mark Ronson, Tracey Emin, Liam Gallagher, Mary J. Blige, Jean Paul Gaultier, James Corden and Tony Bennett.

Family Film Club
Every Saturday 11am, Cinema 2

In June Family Film Club continues to screen the very best in international cinema for young people and their families, every Saturday:

Safety Last (U) + Live Keyboard accompaniment
US 1923, Dir Fred C Newmeyer and Sam Taylor, 74min
Sat 4 June 11 am, Cinema 2

In this Harold Lloyd silent classic, young Harold heads to the big city to earn money for his marriage, but is soon caught up in a zany plan to climb up the side of a skyscraper. Age recommendation 6+

Mary and the Witch’s Flower (U)
Japan 2017, Dir. Hiromasa Yonebayashi, 103min (Dubbed)
Sat 11 June 11am, Cinema 2

This animated adaptation of Mary Stewart’s children’s book The Little Broomstick, from Studio Ghibli’s Hiromasa ‘Maro’ Yonebayashi, is a timely film about using power responsibly and taking care of the planet – and each other.
Age recommendation 6+

The Bad Guys (U)
US 2022, Dir. Pierre Perifel, 100min
Sat 18 June 11am, Cinema 2

Based on the best-selling graphic novels by Aaron Blabey, this animated crime caper features the voices of Sam Rockwell, Akwafina, Zazie Beetz, Craig Robinson, Anthony Ramos and Richard Ayoade.
Age recommendation 6+. This screening is captioned.

Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (PG) + Drop-in workshop
US 2022, Dir Jeff Fowler, 122min
Sat 25 June, workshop: 10am, Cinema Café - film: 11am, Cinema 2

Sonic the Hedgehog and his new pal Tails must set off on a new adventure to find the powerful emerald before it falls into the wrong hands.
Age recommendation 6+. Screening captioned, workshop/intro with SL

Event Cinema

Met Opera Live: Hamlet (12A)
Sat 4 Jun 5.55pm, Cinema 1

When Australian composer Brett Dean’s Hamlet had its world premiere at the Glyndebourne Festival in 2017, The Guardian declared, “New opera doesn’t often get to sound this good ... Shakespeare offers a gauntlet to composers that shouldn’t always be picked up, but Dean’s Hamlet rises to the challenge.”

Nicholas Carter makes his Met debut conducting a distinguished ensemble, which also features soprano Brenda Rae as Ophelia, mezzo-soprano Sarah Connolly as Gertrude, baritone Rod Gilfry as Claudius, and legendary bass John Tomlinson as the ghost of Hamlet’s father.


Oska Bright Film Festival 2022
Thu 23 Jun 6.30pm, Cinema 3

Oska Bright Film Festival is the world’s leading festival for films made by or featuring people with learning disabilities or autism. The Festival is out to change the way people see cinema by showing bold, different stories, from unheard voices, from across the world. This programme is a collection of short films.

Oska Bright Film Festival 2022: Emerging Talent Screening
Sat 25 Jun 3.30pm, Cinema 3

An opportunity to discover the work of young filmmakers from the world’s leading learning disability film festival, curated by the Young Oska Bright team, featuring a rich diversity of talent.

London Indian Film Festival
25–29 Jun, Cinema 2

Following last year's successful screenings the Blue Orchid Hotels London Indian Film Festival returns to the Barbican with a dynamic clutch of features and shorts programmes. The line-up includes premieres of shorts by emerging British Asian filmmakers, plus a rare chance to see films by India's pioneering LGBTQIA+ filmmaker Riayd Wadia, and Brit-Asian early filmmaker Yugesh Walia that explore the 80-90s UK Black and Asian immigrant experience. There will also be new Indian features too!   For more information check out

For the latest information on new release screenings in the Barbican Cinemas and Cinema On Demand please visit the Barbican website.  
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