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Barbican Cinema November 2023

It’s Festivals time at the Barbican Cinema

November brings an eclectic cinema programme at the Barbican, with a wealth of returning partner Festivals including the London Palestine Film Festival, London International Animation Festival and Doc’n Roll Film Festival.

Music fans will also enjoy the EFG London Jazz Festival: Jazz on Screen season, with three rarely seen films that shine a light on some of the modern jazz legends, in an era of change between the 1950s and 1960s, complementing the
EFG London Jazz Festival concerts at the Barbican

Festivals, Seasons and Special Events:

·         Doc’n Roll Film Festival -  Wed 1 Nov – Sat 4 Nov

·         Jazz On Screen - Sat 11 – Tue 14 Nov

·         London Palestine Film Festival -  Fri 17 –  Thu 23 Nov

·         London International Animation Festival - Fri 24 Nov – Sun 3 Dec


Regular Programme strands:

·         Science on Screen: Science on Screen: Jurassic Park 4K Restoration + Presentation by Sandra Wachter - Tue 7 Nov

·         New East Cinema: Between Revolutions + ScreenTalk - Thu 9 Nov

·         Architecture on Film: London Premiere Pictures of Ghosts -  Wed 29 Nov

·         Family Film Club - every Sat am

·         Relaxed Screenings - one Fri daytime and one Mon evening

·         Senior Community Screenings - every second Mon am

·         Pay What You Can Screenings – every Fri


Event Cinema:

·         Royal Opera House Live: Don Quixote - Sun 12 Nov

·         MET Opera Live in HD: The Life and Times of Malcolm X - Sat 18 Nov

Further highlights include a New East Cinema screening of Between Revolutions in which two women, one in Bucharest and one in Tehran, exchange letters as their countries undergo two very different revolutions, leading to a similar sense of disillusionment in their people. The screening will be followed by a ScreenTalk.

Architecture on Film screens the London Premiere of Kleber Mendonça Filho’s documentary Pictures of Ghosts, in which the director blends together personal and urban biography, architecture and filmmaking, to craft a map of his hometown of Recife, Brazil; and Science on Screen presents Steven Spielberg’s Academy Award-winning Jurassic Park, in a 4K restoration, accompanied by a presentation by Sandra Wachter, Professor of Technology and Regulation at the University of Oxford, who will explore the ethics of science and innovation. The ever-popular Family Film Club includes the first London screenings of the French film Ernest and Celestine: A Trip to Gibberitia, and Elemental and Strange World, the latest from Disney.


Festivals, Seasons and Special Events

Doc’n Roll Film Festival
Wed 1 – Sat 4 Nov

Cinemas 1, 2 & 3
The tenth edition of Doc’n Roll London, the UK’s Music Documentary Festival, returns to the Barbican with compelling feature-length documentaries about alternative music, musicians, and the worlds they inhabit. The line-up includes:

London Premiere: Max Roach: The Drum Also Waltzses (15)*

US 2023, Dir. Ben Shapiro & Sam Pollard, 82min

Wed 1 Nov, 6.30pm

Cinema 2
The groundbreaking story of bebop pioneer, virtuoso percussionist, and bandleader Max Roach. His was an epic musical journey - from the revolutionary jazz of the 1940s to the Civil Rights years, through to experiments in hip hop, multi-media works, and beyond.

UK Premiere: Miúcha, The Voice of Bossa Nova (12A*) + ScreenTalk
US 2023, Dir. Ben Shapiro & Sam Pollard, 82min
Thu 2 Nov, 6.20pm

Cinema 2
The story of the singer Miúcha, the anti-muse of the bossa nova, a poignant life story told through a feminist perspective, of the only woman who performed with Tom Jobim, Vinicius de Moraes and João Gilberto. 

UK Premiere: Hung Up on a Dream: The Zombies Documentary (12A*) + ScreenTalk

US 2023, Dir. Robert Schwartzman, 116mins

Sat 4 Nov, 5.30pm

Cinema 1
The UK Premiere of the first ever feature documentary about the iconic rock band The Zombies, and their journey in the music world. 

For further info:

Jazz On Screen 23

EFG London Jazz Festival 2023

Sat 11 – Tue 14 Nov

Cinema 2

As is tradition, Jazz on Screen returns to Barbican Cinema during EFG London Jazz Festival with three rarely seen films that shine a cinema light on some of the modern jazz legends in an era of change and creativity, the 1950s and 1960s. Screenings include special introductions with writer, comedian and documentary filmmaker Stewart Lee about the avant-garde, free jazz movement, and with film curator, critic and filmmaker Ehsan Khoshbakht about Sven Klang’s small dance band which explores a clash between tradition and innovation, and the power of music to shape destinies.

Imagine the Sound + Introduction by Stewart Lee (*12)
Canada 1981, Dir Ronn Mann, 91min
Sat 11 Nov, 3.45pm

Cinema 2
Directed by Ron Mann, Imagine the Sound explores the creative processes, philosophies, and ground-breaking contributions of trailblazing musicians Cecil Taylor, Archie Shepp, Bill Dixon, and Paul Bley. Their stories are woven together through candid interviews, rare footage, and ground-breaking performances.

Sven Klang’s Combo + Introduction by Ehsan Khoshbakht (*12)
Sweden 1976
, Dir Stellan Olsson, 114min
Sun 12
Nov, 5.45pm

Cinema 2 

Stellan Olsson heart-warming Sven Klang’s Combo paints a vivid picture of a small dance band performing local wedding and hops in the 1950s, bonded by their passion for music, camaraderie, and the thrill of live performances. Ehsan Khoshbakht is co-director and curator of Il Cinema Ritrovato film festival, held annually in Bologna, Italy.

The Stormy Man (*12)
Japan 1957, Dir Umetsugu Inoue, 101min,
Tue 14 Nov, 6.30pm
Cinema 2
The Stormy Man
 provides an atmospheric view of 50s Japan, following an angry young man (played by star Yujiro Ishihara) aspiring to make it in the competitive and occasionally violent world Ginza’s seedy jazz nocturnal clubs.

London Palestine Film Festival
Nov 17– 23

Cinemas 1 & 2
London Palestine Film Festival
returns to Barbican Cinema and other venues across the capital from 17-30 Nov for its 24th edition.

The Festival’s opening film is the intimate documentary feature Tomorrow’s Freedom, which builds a powerful portrait of the imprisoned political figure Marwan Barghouti, which is followed by a ScreenTalk with directors Georgia and Sophia Scott, producer Sawsan Asfari and lawyer Nimer Sultany

This year’s Festival has a specific focus on Gaza, with titles including Waiting for Gaza which puts the spotlight on the filmmaking twins Arab and Tarzan Nasser, as we follow them to the heart of their relationship, five years after their Cannes nomination for Dégradé, which is also screening at the Festival.

Opening Night: London Palestine Film Festival: Tomorrow's Freedom (18*) + ScreenTalk with Film Directors Georgia and Sophia Scott, Producer Sawsan Asfari, and Lawyer Nimer Sultany. Hosted by Daniel Levy.
UK 2022, Dirs Georgia Scott & Sophia Scott, 130min
Fri 17 Nov, 8.30pm
Cinema 1

Waiting for Gaza (15*) + ScreenTalk with Director Guillaume Kozakiewiez, hosted by Basil Khalil.
France 2020, Dir Guillaume Kozakiewiez, 74min
Mon 20 Nov, 6.30pm
Cinema 2

Dégradé (15*)
Palestine, France & Qatar 2015, Dirs Arab Nasser & Tarzan Nasser, 85min
Thu 23 Nov, 8.45pm
Cinema 2

For further information:

London International Animation Festival (LIAF)
Fri 24 Nov – Sun 3 Dec
Cinemas 1 & 2

The UK’s largest animation festival returns to the Barbican with a selection of the best animated shorts from around the world, plus ScreenTalks and discussions.

Opening Night – 20 years celebration and a tribute to Paul Bush (15*)
Fri 24 Nov, 6.15pm (approx. 150min)

Cinema 1
This year’s opening night celebrates the late great filmmaker Paul Bush. Over a 30-year career Bush produced over 20 short films and features that challenged the boundaries of fiction, documentary, and animation. He was tragically killed in a motorbike accident last month and this programme includes a screening of some of his most loved films and a ScreenTalk with leading animators in the industry, paying tribute to this iconic British filmmaker.

The British Showcase (15*)
Fri 24 Nov, 9pm (approx. 105min)
Cinema 1
This is a snapshot of British animation which paints a vibrant picture of a spirited and imaginative animation nation featuring the UK’s most promising newcomers and several regulars. Some of the filmmakers whose films are screening will take to the stage before the programme to present their films.

Figures in Focus: Apocalyptic + ScreenTalk (15*)
Sat 25 Nov, 8.45pm (approx. 112min)
Cinema 2
A programme of contemporary animations in recognition of the under-representation of female and non-binary animators and their stories within independent animation. This selection of artists' animations includes films that delve into darkest fears and great hopes. Artists Elizabeth Hobbs, Carla MacKinnon, Lauren Orme and Suraya Raja will join programmer Abigail Addison for the post-screening discussion.

Marvellous Animations for 8-15 year-olds (PG*)
Sun 26 Nov, 2pm (approx. 80min)
Cinema 2
A selection of short animated films, full of joy from all around the world, with several cheeky, loveable humans and animals in all sorts of adventures.

Disrupting the Narrative: Changing Mindsets, Expanding Voices (15*) + Screentalk
Mon 27 Nov, 8.45pm (approx. 120min)
Cinema 2

Following on from last year’s inaugural programme exploring the way Black British and ethnically diverse filmmakers are pushing the boundaries of animation, this year expands on the theme to include international filmmakers who collectively explore identity, race, family, cultural taboos, gender and the shared joy of play that pushes the artform to the outer limits.

Family Film Club: Amazing Animations for 0-7 year-olds (U*)
Sat 2 Dec, 11am (approx. 70min)
Cinema 2
This carefully chosen programme for our youngest audience contains 14 of the best, most recent short animated films. There’ll be talking animals, fun adventures, and wondrous tales to spark those little imaginations. Adults must be accompanied by a child, and children must be accompanied by an adult.

LIAF 2023: Closing Night Gala – The Best of the Fest (15*)
Sun 3 Dec, 5.15 pm, (approx. 120min)
Cinema 1
The last chance to see this year’s LIAF ‘must-see films’ before the curtain comes down on another Festival, selected by several panels of industry experts and audience votes.
For further information visit:

Regular Programme Strands

Science on Screen: Jurassic Park (12A) 4K Restoration + Presentation by Sandra Wachter
US 1993, Dir Steven Spielberg 127 min
Tue 7 Nov, 6.30pm
Cinema 1

Preparations for a Dinosaur theme park go terribly wrong in this Academy Award-winning action adventure from director Steven Spielberg, in a 4K restoration, with a mesmerizing score from John Williams.

When should scientists stop and think about the ethical implications of their work? As academia and industry work ever closer, the risk of private industry taking control becomes more acute. Professor Sandra Wachter, Professor of Technology and Regulation at the University of Oxford, will explore the ethics of science and innovation before a screening of this 90s classic, which allowed cinema audiences to glimpse an exciting new world where dinosaurs could be brought to life (both in this future reality, as well as on film).

New East Cinema: Between Revolutions (12A*) + ScreenTalk
Romania 2023, Dir Vlad Peri, 68mins
Thu 9 Nov, 6.20pm
Cinema 2

Maria and Zahra meet at university in 1970’s Bucharest, where Zahra is an exchange student. The promise of political change in Iran makes Zahra return to her home country and the two are separated. For the next decade, the women exchange letters in which the personal and the political intertwine, drawing a picture of two different revolutions which led to a similar sense of disillusionment in their people.

Vlad Peri bridges the two revolutions separated by a decade by mixing archive footage and fictional letters inspired by documents in the Romanian Secret Police Archive.

Architecture on Film: London Premiere Pictures of Ghosts
Brazil 2023, Dir Kleber Mendonça Filho, 93mins
Wed 29 Nov, 6.30pm

Cinema 1

In three chapters and an enigmatic coda, the celebrated director Kleber Mendonça Filho (Bacurau, Aquarius, Neighbouring Sounds) offers a journey through the physical and urban structures that shaped his filmmaking, and his being – from his childhood apartment to the majestic São Luis theatre, host to 50 million people over 70 years.

Filho’s conversational collage, warmly and searchingly narrated over 30 years of images, crafts a portrait of himself, Brazilian society, and cinephilia, examining the melange of all three in the urban reality of Recife, and ultimately presenting cinema going as a site of civic resistance.

Family Film Club
Every Sat, 11 am
Cinema 2
Family Film Club
in November includes a mix of new releases, as well as international gems and a shorts programme curated especially for the youngest of film fans. The line-up includes one of the first London screenings of Ernest and Celestine: A Trip to Gibberitia (France 2022, Dirs Julien Chhen & Jean-Christophe Roger), the charming sequel that follows the adventures of gruff violinist bear Ernest and his best friend, the feisty mouse Celestine. November also sees the latest offering from Disney with Elemental and Strange World (US 2023, Dir Peter Sohn), and a bespoke shorts programme, curated for young film fans, about flying and birds.

Please check for more details.

Relaxed Screenings
One Friday daytime and one Monday evening per month Barbican Cinema welcome cinema
goers to an environment that is specially tailored for a neurodiverse audience,.

Senior Community Screenings
Every second Mon, 11am, Cinema 2

The Barbican welcomes 60+ cinema goers, plus guest to enjoy the latest new releases every second Monday morning.   

Pay What You Can Screenings
Every Friday one of the new release film screenings is priced Pay What You Can. This is for customers where ticket price may be a barrier, or for those who want to help others enjoy a
visit to the cinema; audience members are invited to pay between £3-£15.

Event Cinema

Royal Opera House Live: Don Quixote (12A)

Sun 12 Nov, 2 pm, Cinema 3

Created for The Royal Ballet a decade ago, Carlos Acosta’s exuberant production featuring Tim Hatley’s characterful designs brings the heat and romance of Cervantes' classic novel to life.

MET Opera Live: The Life and Times of Malcolm X (12A)
Sat 18 Nov, 5.55 pm, Cinema 1

Anthony Davis’s groundbreaking opera, which premiered in 1986, finally arrives at the Met. Robert O’Hara oversees a new staging that imagines Malcolm as an everyman whose story transcends time and space.