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All films start at 7.45pm unless otherwise stated.

Saturday 15 June

AMAZING GRACE (U)

Almost 50 years after technical issues scuppered its original release, Sydney Pollack’s concert film about Aretha Franklin’s legendary gospel album Amazing Grace is finally on the big screen. Shot over two nights in January 1972, the film shows a then 30-year-old Franklin return to her gospel roots at the New Temple Missionary Baptist Church in Los Angeles. Amazing Grace is an extraordinary document of a truly remarkable figure in American music, in a transcendent film capturing the energy of Aretha’s revelatory performance.

USA, 2018, 88 mins

Reviews: :: The Guardian :: The Observer :: The Telegraph ::

Monday 17 June

ISLAND (15)

What happens when we die? We tend to linger on the existential questions rather than the simple practical facts of death, which are explored with subtlety, imagination and unvarnished honesty in this searching documentary. At times necessarily harrowing, as it witnesses the final stages of peoples’ lives, Island is also a work of great delicacy that evinces a tender respect for every one of the people involved. Director Steven Eastwood combines observational footage of rarely seen and intensely private moments, with contemplative shots of the changing seasons and the coastal landscapes of its Isle of Wight location.

UK, 2017, 90 mins

An optional Q+A will follow the film, with a panel representing palliative care consultants and social workers, chaired by David Webster, CEO of the Douglas Macmilan Hospice.

Reviews: :: The Guardian ::

Thursday 20 June

AMAZING GRACE (U)

Almost 50 years after technical issues scuppered its original release, Sydney Pollack’s concert film about Aretha Franklin’s legendary gospel album Amazing Grace is finally on the big screen. Shot over two nights in January 1972, the film shows a then 30-year-old Franklin return to her gospel roots at the New Temple Missionary Baptist Church in Los Angeles. Amazing Grace is an extraordinary document of a truly remarkable figure in American music, in a transcendent film capturing the energy of Aretha’s revelatory performance.

USA, 2018, 88 mins

Reviews: :: The Guardian :: The Observer :: The Telegraph ::

Friday 21 and Saturday 22 June

ROCKETMAN (15)

The much anticipated musical biopic telling the story of Elton John’s life, through his years as a prodigy at the Royal Academy of Music, his influential and enduring musical partnership with Bernie Taupin and the struggles encountered in his personal life.

Taron Egerton stars as Elton John with support from a cast including Jamie Bell, Richard Madden as John Reid, Bryce Dallas Howard and Gemma Jones.

UK/USA, 2019, 121 mins

Reviews: :: The Guardian :: The Observer :: The Telegraph ::

Thursday 27 June

BIRDS OF PASSAGE (15)

Birds of Passage charts the thrilling rise and fall of the indigenous Wayuu tribe of northern Colombia, beginning in the late 1960s when a strict code of familial tradition and sacred ritual governs. Outsider Rapayet has his sights set on marrying Zaida, the recently of-age daughter of the clan’s formidable matriarch, but is unable to afford the extravagant dowry. Rapayet thinks that the solution may lie in different merchandise, and dealing drugs rather than selling coffee; triggering a chain of events that would forever change the lives of the once humble tribe.

This is a breathtaking, epic crime thriller from Embrace of the Serpent creators Cristina Gallego and Ciro Guerra, framed by an exploration of colonialism, tribalism and modernism.

Colombia/Denmark/Mexico/Germany/Switzerland (Wayuu, Spanish and English dialogue with English subtitles), 2018, 126 mins

Reviews: :: The Guardian :: The Observer ::

Friday 28 and Saturday 29 June

GLORIA BELL (15)

Sebastián Lelio’s Gloria Bell is an English language remake of his own 2013 Film Gloria, starring Julianne Moore as a divorced mother rediscovering herself in later life. Lelio relocates the story from Santiago to Los Angeles, where Gloria is a free-spirited divorcée who spends her days at a strait-laced office job and her nights on the dance floor, joyfully letting loose at clubs around the city. When she finds herself thrust into an unexpected new romance with Arnold (John Turturro), the joys and complications of dating, identity and family prove to be daunting.

Gloria Bell is a sophisticated, mature but uplifting romantic comedy

that shows love can strike at any time, and nothing can get you down as long as you keep dancing.

Chile/USA, 2018, 102 mins

Reviews: :: The Guardian :: The Observer :: The Telegraph ::

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Stoke Film Theatre, College Road, Stoke-On-Trent, Staffordshire ST4 2EH Registered Charity no. 504600