Director Michael Winterbottom
Cast Jamal Udin Torabi, Enayatullah
The first of three films by the prolific Michael Winterbottom on this list, ‘In This World’ is the best example of the director’s urge to explore contemporary issues on screen and to employ cinema as a sideways view on current affairs. This, ‘Welcome to Sarajevo’, ‘Road to Guantanamo’ and 'A Mighty Heart' were all films discussed on news pages as well as in arts reviews. ‘In This World’ is admirable as a feat: Winterbottom cast two Afghan refugees in Pakistan and with a small crew shooting on digital cameras took them on a journey west over land, through Iran, Turkey and Europe, eventually arriving in London. At a time of headlines about immigration and political trouble in Afghanistan, the effect was to offer an alternative spin on the news and to do it in a manner that made clear the often terrible realities of being a refugee. DC
How exactly does one define British cinema? It’s more difficult to nail down than it seems. Okay, so the accents usually give it away. But the essential qualities of the best British movies are as wide-ranging as the Commonwealth itself. In terms of the stories it tells, it’s basically limitless. Want a widescreen epic? Go straight to the work of David Lean or Powell and Pressburger. In the market for a smaller, more personal drama? Try Joanna Hogg or Shane Meadows. Thrillers? Comedies? Period dramas? Movies about drugs? Movies that seem to be on drugs themselves? The UK film industry has produced them all, each displaying a distinctly English slant.
In compiling this list of the best British movies of all-time, we surveyed a diverse array of actors, directors, writers, producers, critics and industry heavyweights, from Wes Anderson, Mike Leigh, Ken Loach, Sam Mendes and Terence Davies, David Morrissey, Sally Hawkins and Thandiwe Newton. Unsurprisingly, the results are as diverse as the country itself.
Written by Dave Calhoun, Tom Huddleston, David Jenkins, Derek Adams, Geoff Andrew, Adam Lee Davies, Paul Fairclough, Wally Hammond, Alim Kheraj, Matthew Singer & Phil de Semlyen