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Regina King stars in this timely biopic of the life and struggles of Civil Rights and feminist icon Shirley Chisholm who, in 1968, became the first black woman to be elected to the US Congress and in 1972 launched an unsuccessful but significant presidential campaign. Director John Ridley is suitably respectful of his subject and, while the film may not reinvent the form, it’s saved from slipping completely into earnest necessity by King’s excellent performance. She manages to convey the contradictions between Chisholm’s elegant, reserved public manner and her behind-the-scenes feistiness and belief in her cause. She may not have won her bid for the  presidency but the courage of her attempt helped to open the doors for many who followed.


Timothy Spall gives an empathetic performance in this miniseries based on the true story of a handsome predator who preyed on the elderly residents of the Buckinghamshire village of Maids Moreton, gaslit them and their families and evaded the police before eventually being arrested and having the depths of his depravity revealed in a highly publicised trial. Spall plays Peter Farquhar, a retired schoolmaster who falls hard for a young pupil and church warden Ben Field (Éanna Hardwicke), who becomes indispensable to him and soon takes over his life. When Farquhar dies under mysterious circumstances, Field becomes the confidante of his neighbour, Ann Moore-Martin, with equally devastating and suspicious results. Quietly allowing the story to unfold in a subdued, realistic manner, the series soon becomes a savage, hard-to-watch examination of evil and its consequences for ordinary, lonely people looking for compassion and love.


The series was almost cancelled last week, thanks to a last-minute court bid by Thabo Bester and his partner in crime, celebrity doctor Nandipha Magudumana, to have it withdrawn. But director Nikki Comninos’ four-part docuseries about the notorious Facebook rapist and his sensational escape from prison in May 2022 is now the most-watched documentary in Showmax history. That’s not just because it patiently unravels the complicated history of Bester and his crimes but also because it offers much needed contextual analysis of the pressing social issues the story uncovers, from the dedication of journalists to telling the truth and exposing corruption, to the scourge of gender based violence and the cancer of corruption that allowed him to fake his death in the G4S-run Mangaung maximum security prison.


As the Kate Middleton conspiracy theories occupy the attention of rabid royal watchers around the world, director Nicholas Hytner’s 1994 adaptation of the stage play by Alan Bennett offers an entertaining, superbly acted and intelligent reminder of the long history of royal cover-ups. The much missed Nigel Hawthorne stars as ageing King George III, whose increasing mental affliction is little understood in 1788. While he descends into dementia, his dedicated wife, Queen Charlotte (Helen Mirren), must work furiously with the Prime Minister William Pitt the Younger (Julian Wadham) to conceal her husband’s condition from the public and stop the ambitious Prince of Wales (Rupert Everett) and his cohort of political enemies from trying to usurp the throne.


Japanese director Kiyoshi Kurosawa may be most famous for his gruesome contributions to the genre of J-Horror, but in this 2008 film he took a decidedly left turn that proved him to be a masterful handler of touching dramatic material. Ryūhei Sasaki plays a seemingly together family man who is actually falling apart thanks to his inability  tell his wife and kids that he’s recently lost his job. As he waves goodbye each day and heads not for the employment office, it’s only a question of time as to when his wife will find out and what the discovery will mean for their marriage.

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