21st Century Cinema

21st Century Cinema

117 Episodes

Explore the best of contemporary cinema from around the world.

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21st Century Cinema
  • Diamantino

    Episode 1

    Directed by Gabriel Abrantes and Daniel Schmidt • 2018 • Portugal
    Starring Carloto Cotta, Cleo Tavares, Anabela Moreira

    When bighearted but dim-witted Portuguese soccer hunk Diamantino (Carloto Cotta) blows it in the World Cup finals, he goes from superstar to laughing stock overnight. His shelt...

  • The Second Game

    Episode 2

    Directed by Corneliu Porumboiu • 2014 • Romania
    Starring Adrian Porumboiu, Corneliu Porumboiu

    Cinema doesn’t get much more minimalist—or more casually inventive—than this unique experimental documentary from Corneliu Porumboiu, which consists solely of a videotape of a snowy 1988 Bucharest socce...

  • Marx Can Wait

    Episode 3

    Directed by Marco Bellocchio • 2021 • Italy
    Starring Marco Bellocchio, Alberto Bellocchio, Pier Giorgio Bellocchio

    1968 was the year Camillo died. Nearly fifty years after the death of his twin brother at the age of twenty-nine, acclaimed director Marco Bellocchio (FISTS IN THE POCKET) gathers h...

  • Radiograph of a Family

    Episode 4

    Directed by Firouzeh Khosrovani • 2020 • Norway, Iran

    “Mother married a photo of Father,” says director Firouzeh Khosrovani in the opening of this deeply personal documentary. She’s not speaking metaphorically. Her mother Tayi literally married a portrait of Hossein in Tehran; he was in Switzerl...

  • Spettacolo

    Episode 5

    Directed by Jeff Malmberg and Chris Shellen • 2017 • United States

    Once upon a time, villagers in a small town in Tuscany came up with a remarkable way to confront their issues: they turned their lives into a play. Every summer, their piazza became a stage and residents of all ages played a part...

  • Tattoo

    Episode 6

    Directed by Farhad Delaram • 2019 • Iran
    Starring Behdokht Valian, Alireza Sanifar, Anahita Eghbalnejad

    A young Iranian woman attempting to renew her driver’s license is plunged into a menacing bureaucratic limbo when officials begin questioning her about her tattoos.

  • Freedom Fields

    Episode 7

    Directed by Naziha Arebi • 2018 • Libya, United Kingdom

    An inspiring love letter to sisterhood and the power of sports, this courageous, gorgeously shot documentary from Naziha Arebi follows three women as they attempt to establish the first female soccer team in postrevolution Libya—a dream met...

  • The Broker

    Episode 8

    Directed by Azadi Moghadam • 2018 • Iran

    This documentary is about the work of a few brokers in a marriage-minded dating office in Iran. The manager, Mrs. Sadri, and her colleagues try to pair people for marriage using self-taught and experience-oriented methods, while Sadri’s two colleagues, Fe...

  • All the Crows in the World

    Episode 9

    Directed by Tang Yi • 2021 • Hong Kong
    Starring Chen Xuanyu, Xue Baohe

    Winner of the Palme d’Or for best short film at Cannes, this blissfully bonkers, neon-drenched odyssey follows a teenage girl as she embarks on an irreverent night of adventure—complete with surreal dance numbers and queer ro...

  • Celluloid Man

    Episode 10

    Directed by Shivendra Singh Dungarpur • 2012 • India
    Starring P. K. Nair, Krzysztof Zanussi, Lester James Peries

    An engaging, heartfelt look at one man’s battle to preserve his nation’s cinematic heritage, CELLULOID MAN is an intimate portrait of legendary Indian archivist P. K. Nair, who founde...

  • Here the Seats Are Vacant

    Episode 11

    Directed by Shiva Sanjari • 2016 • Iran

    The lives of Iranian women working in film changed drastically after the Islamic Revolution of 1979. Shahrzad was sold by her father when she was only twelve years old, and was forced to dance in a cabaret in Tehran. Years passed and she became a famous ac...

  • Platform

    Episode 12

    Directed by Sahar Mosayebi • 2021 • Iran, China
    Starring Elaheh Mansourian, Shahrbanoo Mansourian, Soheila Mansourian

    A ROCKY-esque tale of determination and grit, PLATFORM follows three Iranian sisters as they compete to become international champions of wushu, a Chinese martial art. The sister...

  • Mirage

    Episode 13

    Directed by Szabolcs Hajdu • 2014 • Hungary, Slovakia
    Starring Isaach De Bankolé, Răzvan Vasilescu, Orsolya Török-Illyés

    In this tantalizingly enigmatic neo-western, Francis (Isaach de Bankolé), a mysterious soccer player from the Ivory Coast, turns up in a small Hungarian town. Escaping from th...

  • Bad Night for the Blues

    Episode 14

    Directed by Chris Shepherd • 2010 • United Kingdom

    It’s a holiday to remember—or not—when a young man joins his dotty elderly aunt for a Christmas party at her local Conservative Club, where the wine is flowing, the bingo is heated, and the cracks in the genteel facade start to show.

  • Infinite Football

    Episode 15

    Directed by Corneliu Porumboiu • 2018 • Romania
    Starring Laurentiu Ginghina

    Romanian New Wave leader Corneliu Porumboiu (12:08 EAST OF BUCHAREST) directs this at once hilarious and poignant look at an ordinary man’s extraordinary ambitions. Ever since a leg fracture ended his aspirations of beco...

  • The Headhunter’s Daughter

    Episode 16

    Directed by Don Josephus Raphael Eblahan • 2022 • Philippines
    Starring Ammin Acha-ur, Pablo Quintos

    This sublime winner of the Short Film Grand Jury Prize at the 2022 Sundance Film Festival follows Lynn (Ammin Acha-ur), who leaves her family’s remote home behind to traverse the harrowing roads o...

  • Volver

    Episode 17

    Directed by Pedro Almodóvar • 2006 • Spain
    Starring Penélope Cruz, Carmen Maura, Yohana Cobo

    Pedro Almodóvar’s VOLVER is set in Madrid’s lively working-class neighborhoods, where three generations of women survive wind, fire, and even death, thanks to goodness, audacity, and a limitless vital...

  • Thumbsucker

    Episode 18

    Directed by Mike Mills • 2005 • United States
    Starring Lou Taylor Pucci, Tilda Swinton, Vincent D’Onofrio

    Meet Justin Cobb (Lou Taylor Pucci, winner of the Best Actor prize at the 2005 Sundance Film Festival), a teenager who still sucks his thumb. Realizing this is totally disrupting his home, l...

  • The Fog of War

    Episode 19

    Directed by Errol Morris • 2003 • United States
    Starring Robert S. McNamara

    This Oscar-winning documentary is a twentieth-century fable, the story of an American dreamer who rose from humble origins to the heights of political power. Robert S. McNamara was both witness to and participant in many...

  • My Architect

    Episode 20

    Directed by Nathaniel Kahn • 2003 • United States

    Louis I. Kahn, who died in 1974, was one of the greatest architects of the twentieth century, but he left behind an illegitimate son, Nathaniel, and a personal life of secrets and broken promises. MY ARCHITECT takes us on a heartbreaking yet humo...

  • A Prophet

    Episode 21

    Directed by Jacques Audiard • 2009 • France, Italy
    Starring Tahar Rahim, Niels Arestrup, Adel Bencherif

    It’s every man for himself in Jacques Audiard’s riveting crime drama, in which a young Algerian man (Tahar Rahim) must navigate the tensions and conflicting loyalties between Muslim and Corsic...

  • Gramercy Stories

    Episode 22

    Directed by Joyce Chopra • 2008 • United States

    GRAMERCY STORIES is an inspiring look inside a unique residence in Manhattan that provides a safe home for twenty-five gay and transgender teenagers who have experienced violence at home and on the streets. Told from their candid, often witty persp...

  • House of Flying Daggers

    Episode 23

    Directed by Zhang Yimou • 2004 • China, Hong Kong
    Starring Takeshi Kaneshiro, Andy Lau, Zhang Ziyi

    Zhang Yimou combines breathless wuxia action and rapturous romance into a dazzling visual spectacle. The year is 859 AD, and China’s once-flourishing Tang Dynasty is in decline. Unrest is raging th...

  • Hunt for the Wilderpeople

    Episode 24

    Directed by Taika Waititi • 2016 • New Zealand
    Starring Sam Neill, Julian Dennison, Rima Te Wiata

    Raised on hip-hop and foster care, defiant city kid Ricky (Julian Dennison) gets a fresh start in the New Zealand countryside. He quickly finds himself at home with his new foster family: the loving...