Cities of Seven Hills
Supporting Rare Giants with Our North funding

Rare Giants undertake some cinematic town twinning with help from our curator support scheme.

Our North is going global with help from Rare Giants, Sheffield’s purveyors of restored masterworks and underappreciated classics from the history of world cinema. From October – December 2019, they’re presenting Cities of Seven Hills: a season of film taking inspiration from Sheffield’s taxing topography and its semi-mythical sisterhood with cities of similarly steep geography, not least the original City of Seven Hills – Rome.

Screenings will explore Sheffield’s cinematic heritage by looking outward for global stories that reflect on and speak to local concerns. Through a series of pre-screening introductions, the Rare Giants programmers will place the season’s selections in conversation with famous depictions of Sheffield on screen.

Bicycle Thieves, Vittorio De Sica’s Rome-set neorealist masterpiece about a postman struggling to make ends meet while maintaining a relationship with his son, finds a perhaps unlikely partner in The Full Monty – one of Sheffield’s most famous cinematic contributions and a film that offers its own examination of masculinity, fatherhood and dignity for those in dire financial straits. Closer to home, Distant Voices, Still Lives sees Pete Postlethwaite deliver a powerhouse performance as the violent patriarch of a working class family in WWII-era Liverpool; a key early role for the actor that stands in sharp contrast to his later work in South Yorkshire-set films like Among Giants and Brassed Off.

And the season closes with Ten: Abbas Kiarostami’s minimalist dissection of Iranian culture that puts familial and societal tensions under the microscope as a female taxi driver plays chauffeur to a vocal cross-section of Tehran’s population. The taxi driver as a witness to political upheaval is a device also found in My Son the Fanatic – the Yorkshire-set story of an immigrant Pakistani taxi driver whose life begins to unravel as he loses his son to religion and begins an ill-fated relationship with a sex worker.

Read more about the season

Rare Giants present Cities of Seven Hills with support from Our North funding. For more information on how we can help with your next project, contact our team or visit our Exhibition Funding homepage.