Closing film: »Belfast«

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Kenneth Branagh's striking and beautiful time travel to the streets of childhood is predicted to be a favorite during the upcoming gala season.

Like Alfonso Cuarón, with his Oscar-winning »Roma« (2018), Branagh has taken an intimate detour from his muscular Hollywood films – with highly praised result. The film's nine-year-old main character Buddy is played by the talented newcomer Jude Hill and is a semi-biographical version of Branagh himself.

When we first meet him, his life breathes stability and security with loving parents and a relentless fad for old western movies. When "the troubles", the bloody conflicts between Northern Ireland's Protestants and Catholics, reach Buddy's protected world, an uncertain future emerges. The threat of a full-scale civil war intensifies the friction in the family and the loyalties in the religiously mixed neighborhood shift. It is not long before Buddy's parents begin to discuss the possibility of fleeing Belfast, the only home they know and the place they love so much, in search of security and a brighter future.

Branagh, who both writes and directs, shifts focus from the external factors, and highlights the hope and stubborn Irish fervor that lies within the four walls of the home. It is beautifully directed, well-played and very moving. In other words, it is no surprise that this years closing film at the Stockholm Film Festival, »Belfast« is rumoured to become a favorite at next year's Oscars.  

Kenneth Branagh will attend the festival's closing screening of »Belfast« and receive the Stockholm Achievement Award on stage. Nov 20, 18:00 Skandia Theatre.

by: Kenneth Branagh


Words: Viktor Jerner

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