135 minutes| U.S.A.| 2005| Colour| Anamorphic| Dolby Digital Stereo| 35mm

‘Come, spirit,’ a voice whispers, ‘help us sing the story of our land.’ Unfolding with the majesty and mystery of a Bruckner symphony, Malick’s awesome film about the dawning of America depicts the landing of the first English settlers in Virginia in 1607 and the reaction of the native population. Rarely can the impact of the unfamiliar – whether it be the vision of a new continent or the stirrings of first love – have been filmed with such imagination and power. An impressive cast of colonisers is headed by Christopher Plummer, Colin Farrell and Christian Bale, but the film’s emotional heart lies in an astonishing performance by Q’orianka Kilcher as the native girl Pocahontas, whose fate comes to embody both the promise and threat of the consequences of colonisation and the collision of cultures. Widely derided on first release, Malick’s cinematic new world demands rediscovery: this is epic exploratory filming of a kind most other directors can only dream of.

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