William Blake – Film Season – London

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Drawing inspiration from William Blake’s Songs of Innocence and Experience, this film season focuses on contemporary filmmakers around the world who tell stories from the child’s perspective.

William Blake describes Songs of Innocence and Experience as “the two contrary states of the human soul.” The poems in Songs of Innocence are about a youthful, gullible character, who has a naive perspective on the world, while the poems in Songs of Experience are more self-aware, developed, and resilient.

The films presented in this season explore the subject of children’s lives and how they offer different perspectives on culture, religion, and society.

Summer 1993 

Summer 1993 is a simple and gentle film about six-year-old Frida, who after the unexplained death of her mother must live with her Aunt and Uncle and their daughter. Carla Simon’s debut feature is a moving semi-autobiographical tale that beautifully reimagines her own childhood, in which she explores the five stages of grief through Frida’s point of view. The depiction of grief never feels laboured and somehow manages to be alluring, bringing simplicity to a subject that is somewhat complex. The film is a serene tale about the loss of childhood innocence and the beginning of a new life. 

Date: 25th September 2022 | Time: 13:25 pm | 96 mins | In Catalan with EN sub 

The Breadwinner  

The Breadwinner is an a thought-provoking film that depicts the war in Afghanistan during the rule of the Taliban. The young and courageous protagonist, Paravana is forced to hide her female identity and disguise herself as a boy in order to provide for her family. Parvana sets out on a heroic adventure to find her father and bring her family back together, finding courage from fantastical tales she creates. The animated film delivers a poignant message about the harsh realities of the world, while also raising sensitive issues of war and family. 

Date: 9th October 2022 | Time: 13:30 pm | 94 mins | In English 

I Wish  

I Wish follows two brothers (played by two real siblings) who are separated by their parents divorce. The brothers long to live together and make plans to see one another, leading them and their friends on an adventure in hopes that it will change their lives. Kore-eda captures the essence of what it is like to have child-like aspirations that are beyond their influence. 

Date: 16th October 2022 | Time: 15:00pm | 127 mins | In Japanese with EN subtitles 


A French family move to a new neighbourhood during the summer. Ten-year-old Laure is mistaken for a boy by the local children and begins to call herself Mikael. Celine Sciamma beautifully encapsulates the behaviour and the mindset of a conflicted pre-adolescent, tackling themes of gender identity and politics. 

Date: 6th November 2022 | Time: 13:30 pm | 82 mins | In French with EN subtitles 

For information, click here: https://www.institut-francais.org.uk/cine-lumiere/whats-on/festivals-series/innocence-experience/

Twitter: @Innocence_Exp 

In partnership with the National Film and Television School, this short season is curated by Jaymini Mistry, MA Student in Film Studies, Programming and Curation at NFTS.