Films We Love: Lady Macbeth

William Oldroyd directs Florence Pugh (Fighting with My Family) in screenwriter Alice’s Birch’s adaptation of the Russian novella Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District by Nikolai Leskov. Set in 1865 rural England, Katherine (Pugh) lives a controlled and restricted life on the estate of her emotionally distant husband Alexander and his cruel father Boris. When both Boris and Alexander must leave the estate for business, Katherine finds herself with greater freedom than she can remember. She forges new relationships with the estate’s housemaid Anna, and Sebastian, one of her husband’s workers. Her confidence grows, the power dynamics shift, and Alexander and Boris return to a changed estate, and a changed Katherine. In his feature debut, Oldroyd directs a powerfully sensual performance from Pugh, and tells a captivating story about abuse, violence, race, and class. “This is a film which really needs to be experienced in the cinema, to get the full impact of its immersive sound design, and of the camerawork which brilliantly reinforces the central character’s sense of being trapped, and her increasingly daring attempts at escape. Florence Pugh gives a positively terrifying performance, supported by a uniformly strong cast.” – Screen Machine Team This screening is part of Films We Love: How We Live For our third season, we’ve chosen films that represent the experiences closest to our own. Between July – December this year, we’re screening films from the past six years that we haven’t yet had a chance to share with our audiences, but that we hope you can relate to as much as we have. Each of the films in this selection explores the complexity of balancing the different pressures of belonging and identity. Whether it’s living and working rurally, navigating adolescence through barriers of class and status or reconciling racial tension with multiple cultural identities, these are all themes that feel acutely part of the fabric of how we live now. We have films here to make you laugh, think and cry, films to move you to action and feel the warmth of recognition. We hope you’ll see something of yourself in the ideas, characters and themes explored, just as we did. These are films we love – we hope you’ll love them too. Tell us what you think of Films We Love! We’ll listen to all the feedback on this project and use it to inform our future programmes. You can get in touch via: Twitter @screen_machine Facebook @thescreenmachine Instagram @screenmachine Email

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