This programme theme celebrated the historical twinning of Shanghai with Liverpool. Marked by an exclusive reunion of members from the original Liverpool cast of the 1958 Hollywood film 'The Inn of the Sixth Happiness'.

dir. Mark Robson (151 min) cert PG
Based on Alan Burgess' life story and featuring 100 children from Liverpool's Chinese community. Starring Ingrid Bergman as a rejected missionary who decides to make her own way to China.

(Cantonese with English sub-titles)
dir. Wong Kar-Wia (96 min) cert 12
The critically acclaimed 'Chung King Express' is a story of two cops, two girls and a neon city. This highly stylised film, with its haunting soundtrack, deals with contemporary problems of alienation and the inability to commit to relationships. The film's director is a supreme visual stylist and a master manipulator of time.


BLACK SCREEN in association with MILAP FEST brought Hindi film to the big screen in Liverpool for the first time with the epic story of an extraordinary woman who dared to rule a man's world.

(Hindi without sub-titles)
dir. Vinay Shukla (123 min) cert 15
When drought strikes her beloved village, Rambhi urges her husband Veeram to seek greener pastures in a nearby town. Their life changes forever when Veeram kills the goonda Ginga who is the archenemy of 'Mer', the community to which they belong. Overnight he is transformed into a hero. After Veeram meets with a violent end Rambhi's world is turned upside down. Her life takes an unexpected turn and she enters the world of politics proving to the local leaders that she can easily out manoeuvre each and every one of them.


As John Singleton's re-make of SHAFT hit the multiplexes a good time to reflect on how far commercial Black American films have come since the "blackploitation" movie. During the past 30 years African Americans have considerably extended their roles on both sides of the camera. Even so, obtaining general distribution remains problematic for any film with a dominant black aesthetic. The mainstream industry remains unconvinced that, like Hip Hop, they are ready to make the crossover. Meanwhile Black Screen offered a small sample of films you probably had not had the chance to see at your local multiplex.

dir. Malcolm D. Lee (112 min) cert 15
Spike's cousin Malcolm makes his directorial debut with this romantic comedy that re-unites a group of successful friends when one of them gets married. The best man is a commitment-shy writer who is nervous about the release of his new novel. When his friends read it he knows they will notice more than just a passing resemblance to the characters depicted in it. Black America's answer to 'Four Weddings and a Funeral', with a strong ensemble cast including Nia Long.

dir. Stephen Hopkins (111 min) cert 15
Co-starring and executive co-produced by Morgan Freeman and Gene Hackman. This gripping thriller takes place in Puerto Rico against the backdrop of Carnival, during a steamy and seemingly endless tropical rainstorm. Local police captain (Morgan Freeman) calls wealthy tax attorney (Gene Hackman) away from his ravishing young wife to clear up a few details in a statement he made after the discovery of a young girl's body. A friendly chat turns into interrogation as Hackman becomes prime suspect and his darkest secrets are revealed.

dir. Kasi Lemmons (109 min) cert 15
Starring Samuel L Jackson, Lynn Whitfield, Debbie Morgan and Jurnee Smollett. In this moving melodrama, Samuel L Jackson plays a repentant husband in an American 1950's backwater community. A live ensemble cast portray family angst and the breakdown of the parental ethic, seen through the eyes of Eve, whom is taught witchcraft by her aunt. A dark film that has many threads. Lemmon draws the best from a compelling script with excellent locations that evolve a strong sense of place through striking cinematography.