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What unusual films are making the news in 2023?

Filming is not just about the big names, the headline films – there is a massive world out there of independent productions that offer something different, something thought provoking. We take a look at some of the more unusual films and genre pictures that are making news in 2023.
Kelly Reichardt’s Showing Up is the story of a sculptor in a small American arts college preparing for a new exhibition. Never an easy task, holding an exhibition can be a daunting experience. This film is an enthralling study of the realities of the art making process, and the problems caused by potential distractions and frustrations (including other artists!)

Eco-activism is very much in the news at the moment, so a film entitled How to Blow Up a Pipeline is definitely eye-catching. Subversive and thought provoking, Daniel Doldhaber’s latest film sets out to provide a context in which attacking an oil pipeline becomes a heroic act.

A sad story of true crime linked to questions of motherhood and cultural dislocation, Saint Omer is about the trial of Laurence Coly, charged with killing her 15 month old daughter. The French justice system condemns Coly, but does try to seek explanations for her actions while Rama, a novelist and scholar, provides a different viewpoint based on pure observation.

Bleak, yet full of character, Godland is set in late nineteenth century Iceland. It features a young Danish priest sent out like an apostle to work in a remote area, encountering problems with language, weather, a volcano and immense travel difficulties. Can he survive? Can he achieve his aims? The photography is absolutely stunning, and you can really feel the way the young priest is being constantly challenging by everything around him.

A Thousand and One is director A V Rockwell’s feature debut. Set in her hometown of New York, it focuses on the attempts by Inez to rebuild her life in Harlem accompanied by a son she had smuggled out of state custody. They live under the constant threat of discovery as well as problems of trying to create a family life on a low income.

Everyone needs to laugh sometime, and The Civil Dead is an unusual ghost story about how a friend can become just a little annoying – especially if you happen to be the only person to see them. Written by Clay Tatum and Whitmer Thomas, it features Thomas playing a ghost alongside his friend Tatum.

Tori & Lokita is about a couple of African migrant children trying to survive in modern Belgium. Ignored by society, failed by officialdom and taken advantage of by the criminal underworld; 11 year old Tori and 17 year old Lokita are simply trying to make a new life for themselves. A subtle, but very gripping performance, it evokes the worries and fears of young migrants faced with situations beyond their years.