Previous Features

Any Embassy-hosted film screenings are managed by the Cultural section .

Here are some of our successful previous film screenings 2008-2010

Swing Vote

Kevin Costner stars as Bud Johnson, an apathetic American from the Southwestern state of New Mexico (a real-life “swing vote” state), whose one bright spot is his precocious, over achieving twelve-year old daughter, Molly. On Election Day, Molly’s mischievousness sets off a chain of events which culminates in the presidential election coming down to one vote, her dad’s. Suddenly, Bud Johnson becomes the voice for everybody when the world realizes that his vote will be the one that elects the next president. Politicians and pundits invade the small town of Texico, New Mexico and its unwitting inhabitants, wage war for Bud’s vote.

The cast include Kelsey Grammer and Dennis Hopper as well as plenty of cameos from various Washington political and media figures. The film touches on the issues of civic activism and the role of the media in elections. In short, it’s a Capraesque story of “Washington goes to Mr. Smith.” The New York Times called the film “one of the most surprising, politically suggestive moves to come out of Hollywood this year.”

The Embassy presented a special preview showing of the film followed by a 30-minute panel discussion about the Presidential election in America.

Frank Lloyd Wright

The Embassy hosted a special showing of this documentary, directed by acclaimed documentarian Ken Burns, and followed the event with a discussion led by Hugh Pearman (Editor of the Journal for Royal British Institute of Architects) and Professor John Sergeant (Cambridge University). The film originally premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January, 1998, and aired on American public television later that year. “Frank Lloyd Wright,” tells the riveting story of America’s foremost architectural genius, who designed over 800 among the most celebrated and important of American buildings, and who could never quite escape the melodrama of his private life and public persona.

According to The New York Times, the film is a “towering two-and-one-half-hour(s)…sure to have a high profile because of the turbulent, colorful life of the architect and the austere magnificence of his work, which is thoughtfully assessed.” The Los Angeles Times says the film “…has the unbeatable combination of exceptional interview material and beautiful architectural photography put at the service of an astonishing life.” The film has won several awards, including the Seattle International Film Festival’s Golden Space Needle Award for Best Documentary and the Peabody Award. It is reviewed by Variety Magazine and by The New York Times.

Universes – Rythm Road

Universes” is a fantastically talented group of urban poets and wordsmiths, and they’ll be in London for just one evening, returning from a tour in Africa. You can check them and their work out at any of these websites: Youtube, http://www.universesonstage.com, or http://myspace.com/universesmusic.

Committed to their roots in the New York City poetry scene, the group has performed in venues all five boroughs New York, including Nuyorican Poets Café, Joe’s Pub, Aaron Davis Hall and The Bronx Academy of Art & Dance, and they also present their work overseas. “What we do is theatre. We come from hip-hop and poetry and our cultures, but what we do is theatre,” says Mildred Ruiz, co-founder, “Universes creates work that is suitable for anyone who lives life.”

J’ai Ete au Bal
(I Went To The Dance)

The U.S. Embassy is proud to present a Mardi Gras French America screening of “J’ai été au bal.”
The film is a delightful look at the phenomenon, history, and roots of Cajun and zydeco music in the American South. The New York Times describes the film as, “An exuberant tribute to the continuing vitality of Louisiana’s Cajun and Zydeco music… (Illuminated by) passion, humor and common sense… The one thing common to all of (Les Blank’s) films is the superior journalist’s gift for being able to share his enthusiasms without seeming to manipulate the subjects… Guaranteed to send everyone out of the theatre feeling good and probably better.”

Kite Runner

On Tuesday, December 18 in our Embassy cinema, the Cultural Affairs Office held a pre-premiere screening of Marc Forster’s film of Khaled Hosseini’s novel, “The Kite Runner.” Khaled Hosseini joined us after the screening for a very special conversation about his novel and the film. Ambassador Robert Holmes Tuttle introduced the film, and the Afghan Ambassador to the United Kingdom, H.E. Dr.Rahim Sherzoy and his wife and granddaughter were honored guests. The cinema auditorium was packed for the film and the discussion that followed, and the evening was extremely well-received by all.

The book’s author, Khaled Hosseini, was born in Afghanistan but moved to the United States in 1980, where he grew up to be a medical doctor. While in medical practice, Hosseini began writing his first novel, The Kite Runner, in March of 2001. In 2003, The Kite Runner, was published and has since become an international bestseller, published in 38 countries. In 2006 he was named a goodwill envoy to UNHCR, the United Nations Refugee Agency. His second novel, A Thousand Splendid Suns was published in May of 2007, and he lives in northern California.

Spring of Hope

The U.S. Embassy welcomed a packed house of guests from the British and Afghan communities, including guests from the Afghan Embassy, the Afghan Students Association UK, and members of the British Afghan diaspora, for a premiere screening of the Afghan-made film “Spring of Hope.” The Afghan Ambassador Dr. Rahim Sherzoy was present with his family, as was Ms. Shukria Barakzai, a prominent member of the Afghan National Assembly, and many other notable guests. Written and directed by, and starring, an Afghan producer, Hashmat Khan, the film begins with the Russian invasion of Afghanistan and ends with the fall of the Taliban. The story follows two great friends, one a Tajik Afghan and one a Pashtun Afghan, through their experiences over those years. It is a story of brotherhood across ethnicities and of the enduring hope for peace in their country. The U.S. Embassy was proud to partner with the Afghan Embassy to offer this film to the Afghan community in Britain, as well as other interested guests, to share in the hope for the continued development and reconstruction of Afghanistan.

The Hip Hop Project

In September, the Embassy London Cultural Affairs Office hosted a film screening and panel discussion of “The Hip Hop Project.” This documentary, which was part of this month’s Black Filmmakers’ Festival here in London, follows the evolution of a project dreamed up by an orphaned, homeless young man in Brooklyn named Chris “Kazi” Rolle to provide positive direction to young, urban Americans in difficult situations through hip-hop culture. Co-produced by Queen Latifah and Bruce Willis, it is a dynamic look at contemporary American culture and art.

Our audience included many community leaders, members of the filmmaking and arts communities, academics, and others, and a group of school children from East Croydon. The panel discussion included passionate commentary from audience members and an engaging dialogue about the American and British urban experiences, race relations and integration, pop culture, and more. We finally had to bring the conversation to a close so our security guards could go home!