This award-winning film explores the life of the scientist-philosopher Hypatia (Rachel Weisz) during a period of turbulent cultural change. Set in Roman Egypt amidst the decline of polytheism and the rise of Christianity, the film highlights tensions between faith and science as Hypatia seeks to defend her ideas, intellectual freedom and life against a backdrop of violent religious upheaval. Director: Alejandro Amenábar Spain, 2009, 127 mins, Cert. 12
This unconventional romance follows the post-war adventures of Joan Webster, an ambitious and stubborn middle-class Englishwoman determined to fulfil her goal of marrying a wealthy industrialist on the Western Isles of Scotland. This black-and-white classic is perhaps the most captivating of Powell and Pressburger's films, combining exquisite photography, a fascination with the local culture and a sequence celebrating the Scottish Gaelic language. Directors: Michael Powell and Emric Pressburger UK, 1945, 91 mins Curated and introduced by Ian Christie, Birkbeck College, University of London.
Come to the Museum for a season of films celebrating Celtic languages and culture. Curated and introduced by Professor Ian Christie, Birkbeck College, University of London. A rare example of recent Welsh-language cinema, the award-winning Patagonia explores an unusual chapter in Welsh and Argentine history. Echoing the thousands who emigrated from Wales to Argentina in the late 19th century, the film follows the journey of two women making parallel trips across the Atlantic. Set against the backdrop of Y Wladfa (Patagonia’s Welsh settlement) this road movie for romantics offers stunning cinematography, fine cast performances and a hauntingly beautiful soundtrack. Director: Marc Evans UK, 2010, 119 mins, Cert. 15
A double bill of social realist films in Irish. Poitín (Director: Bob Quinn, 65 mins, Cert. 15), the first feature film to be made entirely in Gaelic, is the dark story of an illegal liquor distiller and his daughter’s attempt to fend off local gangsters. It is in stark contrast to Buile Bhaloir: Seán Nós Nua (Director: Keith O’Grady, 2007, 30 mins, Cert. TBC), a celebration of the singing tradition on Tory (Toraigh) Island, off Donegal. Curated and introduced by Ian Christie, Birkbeck College, University of London.
According to Greek mythology, the goddess Aphrodite was born in the sea off the coast of Cyprus. In collaboration with the Cultural Section of Cyprus High Commission in London, the Department of Greece and Rome present the UK premiere of Wanassa, Kypris, Aphrodite! The Great Goddess of Cyprus, a documentary exploring the complex origins and nature of the cult of Aphrodite in Cyprus. Cypriot artist George Petrou will present recent video and photographic work inspired by the myth of the birth of Aphrodite and its impact on beauty, desire and love across time, space and civilisations. Director: Stavros Papageorghiou Cyprus, 2015, 60 mins