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Director: Thaddeus O’Sullivan Starring: Tom Vaughan-Lawlor Running Time: 81 minutes

In picking out names from late 19th-early 20th century Ireland, a time when as George Moore put it, “The sceptre of intelligence moved from London to Dublin”, art collector Hugh Lane may not be the first one that comes to mind. It may not come to mind at all if you’re not a major arts enthusiast. However, the innovative and very interesting Citizen Lane paints a vivid picture of the man as an enigmatic character from a period in Irish history packed full of fascinating figures. Look past the naff title, this unusual mix of documentary and narrative is likely to draw a high appraisal from those who view it.

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Director: Terry George Starring: Oscar Isaac, Charlotte Le Bon, Christian Bale Running Time: 134 minutes

Between 1915 and 1923, the Ottoman government systematically murdered 1.5 million Armenians, massacring men and/or working them to death in forced labour while deporting women, children and the elderly into death marches through the desert. It was a genocide that to this day, the Turkish state has refused to acknowledge. As one of the bleakest acts in relatively recent human history, the Armenian Genocide is undoubtedly worthy of being told to a wide audience, which makes The Promise all the more frustrating. Despite having a relatively high budget, talented and well-known actors and someone with a good track record in historical drama behind the camera in Terry George (the Irish director having directed Hotel Rwanda in addition to writing films like The Boxer and In The Name of the Father), The Promise is hampered in its depiction of history because of its choice to set that history as the backdrop to a romance that is not especially interesting.

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Director: Jeff Nichols Starring: Ruth Negga, Joel Edgerton Running Time: 123 minutes

In 1958, white construction worker Richard Loving and his black partner Mildred Jeter travelled from their home of Caroline County, Virginia to get married in Washington D.C. Richard planned to build a house for his pregnant wife a stone’s throw from her family home, but their efforts to make an ordinary life together were obstructed by the very homeland they wish to do so in, as Virginia’s racist “anti-miscegenation” laws see the two arrested, humiliated and shamed, forced by court order to take their marriage out of state or face imprisonment. The Loving’s case against this ruling’s rise to the Supreme Court and the eventual overturning of the anti-miscegenation laws were landmark moments in the ongoing fight for Civil Rights in America, but in Loving, director  Jeff Nichols eschews righteous legal drama for a decidedly grounded focus on the marriage at the heart of the matter.Read more…