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London Film Festival top picks: ‘Debate’

Time Out's critics select five films to look out for in the London Film Festival's ‘Debate’ strand

Closed Curtain

This non-film follows a director-figure (Panahi himself), his dog, and a shadowy stranger who he can’t quite trust. It’s been lauded critically – it won the Silver Bear award for Best Script at Berlin and will close the Hong Kong International Film Festival – and, as a plus, the dog is adorable.

Read more about ‘Closed Curtain’


Actress turned writer-director Valeria Golino has assembled a strong Italian cast for this tale of a secret online society dedicated to helping the terminally ill to end their lives. Early reports argue that the film takes no sides on the euthanasia debate, but presents a fascinating insight into a controversial topic.

Read more about ‘Honey’

The Last of the Unjust

The film is based on extensive interviews with former Jewish Council president Benjamin Murmelstein, a controversial figure considered by some to be a Nazi collaborator and by others to be a pragmatist who managed to save thousands. The moral scale will probably fall in the ‘grey’ area: Claude Lanzmann is not the type to offer easily compartmentalised and digestible morality tales.

Read more about ‘The Last of the Unjust’


Leave to Remain

This film tells the story of three teenage asylum seekers, Omar, Abdul & Zizidi, as they try to build lives for themselves in the UK without friends or family. The film stars well-known actors alongside real teenage refugees trained at the Film Academy run by the film’s BAFTA-winning director Bruce Goodison.

Read more about ‘Leave to Remain’


This biographical documentary should be nothing if not entertaining: with former John Milius collaborators like Clint Eastwood, Charlie Sheen, Harrison Ford and Arnold Schwarzenegger all lining up to pay their respects, it’s likely to be the most grizzled, macho movie celebration since Sam Peckinpah’s funeral.

Read more about ‘Milius’

Here at Time Out we love to spark discussion, so it’s only fitting that we’re again sponsoring the LFF’s ‘debate’ strand. This year’s lineup of controversial works includes the return of beloved Iranian troublemaker Jafar Panahi, a new doc from ‘Shoah’ director Claude Lanzmann and a bio-doc on one of Hollywood’s feistiest bad boys.