• From left: Orlando, Ali's Wedding, Ip Man, Bugsy Malone (SBS Movies)Source: SBS Movies
Your guide to some of the stories from around the world, screening on Australia's own HD SBS World Movies channel (Digital channel 32).
SBS Movies

15 Jan 2020 - 4:02 PM  UPDATED 15 Jan 2020 - 4:02 PM


Broken Hill

Australia, 2009
Genre: Drama, Family
Language: English
Director: Dagen Merrill
Starring: Luke Arnold, Alexa PenaVega, Timothy Hutton, Rhys Wakefield
What's it about?
A sheep rancher's son (Arnold) dreams of being accepted into the Sydney Conservatorium of Music. He has trouble finding an adequate band in the Outback to perform his compositions, until he comes upon a talented prison choir.


France, 2017
Genre: Comedy
Language: French
Director: Philippe Lacheau
Starring: Philippe Lacheau, Élodie Fontan, Julien Arruti, Tarek Boudali, Nathalie Baye
What's it about?
Greg (Lacheau) founded a company called Alibi.com that creates any type of alibi. With his associate, Augustin (Arruti), and Medhi (Boudali) his new employee, they devise unstoppable stratagems and stagings to cover their clients. But meeting Flo (Fontan), a pretty blonde who hates men who lie, will complicate Greg's life, which begins by hiding the true nature of his activity.

Drunken Master

China, 1978
Genre: Comedy, Action
Language: Mandarin, Cantonese
Director: Woo-Ping Yuen
Starring: Jackie Chan, Siu Tin Yuen, Jung-Lee Hwang
What's it about?
Wong Fei-Hong's (Chan) father has been trying to teach him kung-fu, but has found him too disobedient to teach. He sends him off to his uncle, a cruel and torturous master of the 8-Drunken Genii kung-fu. After much suffering, the son comes back to rescue the father from an assassin who has previously humiliated Naughty Panther.



UK, 1992
Genre: Drama
Language: English
Director: Sally Potter
Starring: Billy Zane, Tilda Swinton
What's it about?
Tilda Swinton stars as Virginia Woolf's gender-bending hero, the noble Orlando who is commanded by Queen Elizabeth to stay forever young. Orlando experiences four centuries of sexual politics, initially through the eyes of a man, until one day Orlando wakes as a woman, struggling to retain her property and status. 

Orlando reviewed by David Stratton (4.5 stars) + Sally Potter interview (The Movie Show, Episode 20, 1993)

Closer to the Moon

Italy, 2014
Genre: Comedy, Drama
Language: English, Romanian
Director: Nae Caranfil
Starring: Vera Farmiga, Mark Strong, Harry Lloyd, Anton Lesser, Christian McKay
What's it about?
A Romanian police officer teams up with a small crew of old friends from the World War II Jewish Resistance to pull off a heist by convincing everyone at the scene of the crime that they are only filming a movie.

Ip Man

Hong Kong, China, 2008
Genre: Action, Martial Arts
Language: Cantonese, Japanese, Mandarin
Director: Wilson Yip
Starring: Donnie Yen, Simon Yam, Siu-Wong Fan
What's it about?
In 1930's China, the town of Foshan is the legendary hub of Kung Fu martial arts. Ip Man (Yen) is an accomplished grandmaster of Wing Chun Kung Fu but chooses to keep a low profile and doesn't take any students. Challenge after brutal challenge sees the town realise that Ip Man is unstoppable. After the Japanese invasion, the town descends into chaos and struggles to survive. Ip Man rises up to challenge General Miura and the Japanese Army.



France, 1971
Genre: Comedy
Language: French, Dutch, English
Director: Jacques Tati
Starring: Jacques Tati, Tony Knepper, Maria Kimberly, Marcel Fraval
What's it about?
Mr. Hulot (Tati) is the head designer of the Altra Automotive Co. His latest invention is a newfangled camper car loaded with outrageous extra features. Along with the company's manager and publicity model, Hulot sets out from Paris with the intention of debuting the car at the annual auto show in Amsterdam, encountering an increasingly bizarre series of hurdles and setbacks en route. The fourth screen outing for Tati's Hulot character (following 1953's M. Hulot's Holiday, 1958's Mon Oncle and 1967's PlayTime).

Jacques Tati at SBS On Demand


UK, 2017
Genre: Drama, Romance
Language: English
Director: Andy Serkis
Starring: Andrew Garfield, Claire Foy, Hugh Bonneville, Tom Hollander
What's it about?
In 1957, Robin Cavendish (Garfield), a dashing, charismatic young Englishman, meets a beautiful woman named Diana Blacker (Foy) and swiftly decides to marry her. He takes his new wife out to Kenya, where he works as a tea broker. But within months, he is struck down by polio, which leaves him completely paralysed from the neck down, and dependent on a respirator to ‘breathe’ for him.

Ip Man 2

Hong Kong, China, 2010
Genre: Drama, History, Action
Language: English
Director: Wilson Yip
Starring: Donnie Yen, Simon Yam, Sammo Hung
What's it about?
Having defeated the best fighters of the Imperial Japanese army in occupied Shanghai, Ip Man (Yen) and his family settle in post-war Hong Kong. Struggling to make a living, Master Ip opens a kung fu school to bring his celebrated art of Wing Chun to the troubled youth of Hong Kong. His growing reputation soon brings challenges from powerful enemies, including pre-eminent Hung Gar master, Hung Quan (Hung).


Operation Arctic

Norway, 2014
Genre: Adventure, Family
Language: Norwegian
Director: Grethe Bøe-Waal
Starring: Kaisa Gurine Antonsen, Ida Leonora Valestrand Eike, Leonard Valestrand Eike
What's it about?
After stowing away on a rescue helicopter, three children find themselves stuck on a remote island in the Arctic Ocean with little hope of rescue. They have to conquer fear, wild animals, raging weather, lack of food, and find a way to communicate with the mainland.

Love & Friendship

UK, USA, 2016
Genre: Comedy, Drama, Romance
Language: English
Director: Whit Stillman
Starring: Kate Beckinsale, Chloë Sevigny, Xavier Samuel, Tom Bennett, Stephen Fry
What's it about?
From Jane Austen’s novella, the beautiful and cunning Lady Susan Vernon (Beckinsale) visits the estate of her in-laws to wait out colourful rumours of her dalliances and to find husbands for herself and her daughter. Two young men, handsome Reginald DeCourcy (Samuel) and wealthy Sir James Martin (Bennett), severely complicate her plans. An acerbic take on Austen from Whit Stillman, writer-director of Metropolitan & The Last Days of Disco.

Love and Friendship: An interview with Whit Stillman

Ip Man 3

Hong Kong, 2015
Genre: Action, Martial Arts
Language: , Cantonese, English
Director: Wilson Yip
Starring: Donnie Yen, Jin Zhang, Mike Tyson
What's it about?
When a band of brutal gangsters led by a crooked property developer (Tyson) make a play to take over the city, Master Ip is forced to take a stand. Fists will fly as some of the most incredible fight scenes ever filmed play out on the big screen in this soon-to-be genre classic.


Bugsy Malone
9:10AM (also Saturday 24 January, 1:50AM)

UK, 1976
Genre: Music, Drama, Comedy, Family, Action
Language: English
Director: Alan Parker
Starring: Paul Murphy, Dexter Fletcher, Michael Jackson, Jodie Foster, Scott Baio
What's it about?
A pint-sized cast illuminates this musical that is unlike any other ever made. Set in 1929 New York City, Bugsy Malone captures a flashy world of would-be hoodlums, showgirls, and dreamers - all played by child actors! As Tallulah, the sassy girlfriend of the owner of Fat Sam's Grand Slam Speakeasy, future superstar Jodie Foster dances and sings her way into our hearts.

Coming Home

China, 2014
Genre: Drama
Language: Mandarin
Director: Yimou Zhang
Starring: Li Gong, Daoming Chen, Huiwen Zhang
What's it about?
Lu Yanshi (Chen), a political prisoner, is set free at the end of the Cultural Revolution. When he comes home, he discovers that his wife (Gong) suffers from memory loss and doesn't recognise him. Every day, she waits for her husband to return, without realising he's right beside her.

Red Cliff - Part 1

China, 2008
Genre: Drama, Adventure, Action
Language: Mandarin
Director: John Woo
Starring: Tony Leung Chiu Wai, Takeshi Kaneshiro, Fengyi Zhang, Chiling Lin
What's it about?
An epic film based on the legendary Battle of Red Cliff, in which a force of 50,000 defeated an army of nearly 1 million. In the final days of the Han Dynasty,  a shrewd convinced the fickle Emperor that the only way to unite all of China was to declare war on the kingdoms of Xu in the west and East Wu in the south. Thus began a military campaign of unprecedented scale. From legendary Hong Kong director John Woo (Hard-Boiled, Face-Off).


The Assassin

Taiwan, 2015
Genre: Martial Arts
Language: Chinese, Mandarin
Director: Hou Hsiao-Hsien
Starring: Shu Qi, Chang Chen, Zhou Yun
What's it about?
An assassin (Shu Qi) accepts a dangerous mission to kill a political leader (Chang Chen) in eighth century China. Winner of Best Director at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival for Hou Hsiao-Hsien (Flight of the Red Balloon, Three Times).

The Assassin review: Fleeting battles make way for exquisitely beautiful, lingering shots

Kung Fu Hustle

China, 2004
Genre: Comedy, Action
Language: Cantonese
Director: Stephen Chow
Starring: Stephen Chow, Feng Xiaogang, Wah Yuen, Zhi Hua Dong, Kwok-Kwan Chan
What's it about?
In a Shanghai slum nicknamed Pig Sty Alley, residents and business owners cower in the presence of a cruel landlady (Yuen Qiu), but at least take comfort from the fact that their poverty-stricken neighbourhood is largely left alone by the city's criminal gangs. All that changes when the notorious Axe Gang muscles in and begins a war that looks to have only one possible outcome. The locals' only hope appears to be Sing (Stephen Chow), a small-time operator whose impersonation of an Axe Gang member sparked the trouble. Nominated for a 2006 Golden Globe for Best Foreign Language Film.

Red Cliff - Part 2

China, 2008
Genre: Drama, Adventure, Action
Language: Mandarin
Director: John Woo
Starring: Tony Leung Chiu Wai, Takeshi Kaneshiro, Fengyi Zhang, Chiling Lin
What's it about?
The battle of Red Cliff continues and the alliance between Xu and East Wu is fracturing. With Cao Cao's massive forces on their doorstep, will the kingdoms of Xu and East Wu survive?


The Tale of the Princess Kaguya

Japan, 2013
Genre: Animation, Drama, Fantasy
Language: Japanese
Director: Isao Takahata
Starring (voice cast): Aki Asakura, Kengo Kora, Nobuko Miyamoto, Atsuko Takahata
What's it about?
Found inside a shining stalk of bamboo by an old bamboo cutter and his wife, a tiny girl grows rapidly into an exquisite young lady. The mysterious young princess enthrals all who encounter her - but ultimately she must confront her fate, the punishment for her crime. A 2014 Academy Award nominee for Best Animated Feature, from Studio Ghibli and director Isao Takahata (Grave of the Fireflies).


Australia, UK, USA, 2016
Genre: Drama
Language: English
Director: Garth Davis
Starring: Dev Patel, Nicole Kidman, Rooney Mara, David Wenham
What's it about?
A five-year-old Indian boy gets lost on the streets of Calcutta, thousands of kilometers from home. He survives many challenges before being adopted by a couple in Australia; 25 years later, he sets out to find his lost family. Nominated for six 2017 Academy Awards (including Best Picture), and one of the most commercially successful Australian-made films of all time.

TIFF 2016: Nicole Kidman on the power of mothers in 'Lion'
Director Garth Davis on his first feature film 'Lion'

Ali's Wedding

Australia, 2017
Genre: Romantic Comedy
Language: English, Persian, Arabic
Director: Jeffrey Walker
Starring: Osamah Sami, Don Hany, Helana Sawires, Robert Rabiah
What's it about?
After a "white lie" which spirals out of control, neurotic, naive and musically gifted Muslim cleric's eldest son Ali (Sami) must follow through with an arranged marriage, except he is madly in love with an Australian born-Lebanese girl.

How Osamah Sami turned his life into Australian Muslim rom-com, 'Ali's Wedding'

The crowdpleasing hit romantic comedy Ali's Wedding airs Fri 14 June, 8:35PM on SBS