• From left: Son Of Saul, Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence, From Up On Poppy Hill, The Meddler (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

27 Feb 2020 - 10:05 AM  UPDATED 27 Feb 2020 - 12:43 PM

TV Movie Guide: 2 - 8 March
When it comes to movies, there's something for everybody on SBS, SBS VICELAND, NITV and SBS On Demand. Find out what's screening where and when.


From Up on Poppy Hill

Japan, 2011
Genre: Animation, Drama, Family
Language: Japanese
Director: Gorô Miyazaki
Starring: Sarah Bolger, Chris Noth, Anton Yelchin
What's it about?
As Japan begins to pick itself up from the devastation of the Second World War, a new generation struggles to move towards a prosperous future whilst trying not to lose the essence of their past. A group of Yokohama teens look to save their school's clubhouse from the wrecking ball in preparations for the 1964 Tokyo Olympics.

Miyazaki father and son team up for 'From Up on Poppy Hill' film

Fog in August

Germany, 2016
Genre: Drama
Language: German
Director: Kai Wessel
Starring: Ivo Pietzcker, Sebastian Koch, Fritzi Haberlandt, Thomas Schubert
What's it about?
A Roma boy (Pietzcker) is placed in a mental hospital and experiences the Nazi euthanasia program, which killed more than five thousand children. Aware of what was happening and attached to friends, the lad attempts to sabotage the program. The film addresses the complexities of the program director, the lives of the child victims, and the struggles of the child protagonist.

Female Agents

France, 2008
Genre: Drama, History, War
Language: French
Director: Jean-Paul Salomé
Starring: Sophie Marceau, Julie Depardieu, Moritz Bleibtreu, Deborah Francis, Marie Gillain
What's it about?
A five-woman commando unit parachutes into occupied France in May 1944 on a daring and dangerous mission to protect the secret of the D-Day Landings and eliminate Colonel Heindrich (Bleibtreu), the head of the German counter-intelligence. Louise (Marceau) is a trained sniper, Jeanne (Depardieu) is a tough sex worker, Gaelle (Francis) is a young and brilliant explosives expert, Suzy (Gillain) is a former showgirl and Heindrich's one-time lover and Maria (Maya Sansa) is an Italian contessa undercover with the French Resistance.

Female Agents review: Spy drama goes beyond the Mata Hari myth


All Quiet on the Western Front

UK, USA, 1979
Genre: Drama, History, War
Language: English
Director: Delbert Mann
Starring: Richard Thomas, Ernest Borgnine, Donald Pleasence, Ian Holm, Patricia Neal
What's it about?
At the start of World War I, Paul Baumer is a young German patriot, eager to fight. Indoctrinated with propaganda at school, he and his friends eagerly sign up for the army soon after graduation. But when the horrors of war soon become too much to bear, and as his friends die or become gravely wounded, Paul questions the sanity of fighting over a few hundreds yards of war-torn countryside.

Into the White

Norway, Sweden, 2012
Genre: Action, War, Drama
Language: German, English
Director: Petter Næss
Starring: Stig Henrik Hoff, Lachlan Nieboer, Rupert Grint, Florian Lukas, David Kross
What's it about?
High above the harsh Norwegian wilderness, English and German pilots shoot each other to the ground after a violent chance encounter. Isolated, they must fight to survive the brutal winter. Though war has made them enemies, antagonism is hard to maintain as days go by. Through mutual need, unlikely friendships bloom. Somehow, they become comrades. 


Russia, 2013
Genre: War, Action, Drama
Language: German, Russian
Director: Fyodor Bondarchuk
Starring: Thomas Kretschmann, Yanina Studilina, Philippe Reinhardt, Heiner Lauterbach
What's it about?
Set in 1942, during one of the most important battles of World War II, which stopped the progress of Nazi forces and turned the tide of war in favor of the Allies. The Soviet army mounts a counter-attack on the Nazi forces that occupy half of Stalingrad on the other side of the Volga, but the operation to cross the river is unsuccessful. A few soldiers who managed to get to the other side take refuge in a house on the bank of Volga. Here they find a girl who didn’t escape when the Germans came. 


The Adventures of Baron Munchausen

UK, 1989
Genre: Fantasy, Adventure
Language: English
Director: Terry Gilliam
Starring: Sarah Polley, Eric Idle, John Neville, Oliver Reed
What's it about?
The fantastic tale of a 17th century aristocrat, his henchmen and a little girl as they attempt to save a town from defeat by the Turks. In the process they are swallowed by a giant sea-monster, take a trip to the moon, dance with Venus and escape from the Grim Reaper.

The Adventures of Baron Munchausen review (The Movie Show, 1989): A surreal masterpiece


UK, 2017
Genre: Drama, Thriller, War
Language: English
Director: Jonathan Teplitzky
Starring: Brian Cox, Miranda Richardson, John Slattery, Julian Wadham
What's it about?
June 1944. Allied Forces stand on the brink: a massive army is secretly assembled on the south coast of Britain, poised to re-take Nazi-occupied Europe. One man stands in their way: Winston Churchill (Cox). Behind the iconic figure and rousing speeches: a man who has faced political ridicule, military failure and a speech impediment.

Land of Mine

Germany, Denmark, 2015
Genre: Drama, History, War
Language: Danish, English, German
Director: Martin Zandvliet
Starring: Roland Møller, Louis Hofmann, Joel Basman
What's it about?
In the days following the surrender of Germany in May 1945, a group of young German POWs was handed over to the Danish authorities and subsequently sent out to the West Coast, where they were ordered to remove more than two million mines that the Germans had placed in the sand along the coast. With their bare hands, crawling around in the sand, the boys were forced to perform the dangerous work under the leadership of the Danish sergeant, Carl Leopold Rasmussen (Møller).

'Land of Mine' review: WWII drama digs deep


The Orator

Samoa, 2011
Genre: Drama
Language: Samoan
Director: Tusi Tamasese
Starring: Fiaula Sanote, Ioata Tanielu, Salamasina Mataia, Tausili Pushparaj, Fa'afiaula Sagote
What's it about?
Small in stature and humble, Saili (Fiaula Sanote) lives a simple life with his beloved wife and daughter in an isolated, traditional village in the islands of Samoa. Forced to protect his land and family, Saili must face his fears and seek the right to speak up for those he loves. The Orator is the first-ever Samoan language feature film .

The Orator: Tusi Tamasese interview
The Orator Review

White Tiger

Russia, 2012
Genre: Action, War
Language: Russian
Director: Karen Shakhnazarov
Starring: Vladimir Ilin, Valeriy Grishko, Aleksey Vertkov, Vitaly Kishchenko
What's it about?
World War II is drawing to a close. Furious and prolonged fighting is exhausting both the Soviet and the fascist troops. The more decisive the advance of the Soviet army, the more often White Tiger, a huge, indestructible fascist tank, appears in the battlefield. It relentlessly emerges from the smoke of combat, ruthlessly destroys the adversary and swiftly vanishes. No one can either verify or refute its existence. However, the Soviet military command decides to build an extraordinary tank – a special version of the T-34.

White Tiger: Review (4 stars)


Germany, 2004
Genre: History, Drama
 Oliver Hirschbiegel
Starring: Bruno Ganz, Alexandra Maria Lara, Juliane Köhler
What's it about?
Charting the last 10 days of Hitler's (played by Ganz) life, from his 56th birthday on April 20th, 1945 to his suicide on April 30th, Downfall uses multiple characters to show the chaos of a country coming apart at the seams, from Hitler's henchman under the streets of Berlin, to the soldiers and civilians fighting and dying as the Soviet Army ravaged the city above. Nominated for an Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film in 2005.

Watch original Movie Show review
Downfall: Gripping insight into Hitler's last days


The Scarlet and the Black

USA, UK, Italy, 1983
Genre: Drama, War
Language: English
Director: Jerry London
Starring: Gregory Peck, Christopher Plummer, Kenneth Colley, Barbara Bouchet
What's it about?
Hugh O'Flaherty (Peck) is a Vatican official in 1943-45 who has been hiding downed pilots, escaped prisoners of war, and Italian resistance families. His diplomatic status in a Catholic country prevents Colonel Kappler (Plummer) from openly arresting him, but O'Flaherty's activities become so large that the Nazi's decide to assassinate him the next time he leaves the Vatican. O'Flaherty continues his work in a variety of disguises. Based on a true story.

Testament of Youth

UK, 2014
Genre: History, Drama, War
Language: English
Director: James Kent
Starring: Alicia Vikander, Kit Harington, Dominic West, Emily Watson, Hayley Atwell
What's it about?
A British woman (Academy Award winner Alicia Vikander in her breakthrough role) recalls coming of age during World War I - a story of young love, the futility of war, and how to make sense of the darkest times. Based on the First World War memoir by Vera Brittain, which has become the classic testimony of that war from a woman’s point of view. 

Son of Saul

Hungary, 2015
Genre: War, Drama
Language: German, Hungarian, Yiddish
Director: Laszlo Nemes
Starring: Géza Röhrig, Levente Molnár, Urs Rechn
What's it about?
Saul Auslander (Röhrig) is a Hungarian member of the Sonderkommando, the group of Jewish prisoners isolated from Auschwitz in 1944 who were forced to assist the Nazis by cremating the bodies of the dead. Saul discovers the corpse of a boy he believes is his young son. As the other Sonderkommando plan a rebellion, Saul decides to carry out an impossible task: find a rabbi to recite the mourner’s Kaddish and offer the boy a proper burial. Winner of the 2015 Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.

Son of Saul review: An unforgettable experience


The Eagle Has Landed

UK, 1976
Genre: War, Adventure, Thriller
Language: English, German, Polish
Director: John Sturges
Starring: Michael Caine, Donald Sutherland, Robert Duvall, Jenny Agutter, Donald Pleasence
What's it about?
When the Nazi high command learns in late 1943 that Winston Churchill will be spending time at a country estate in Norfolk, it hatches an audacious scheme to kidnap the prime minister and spirit him to Germany for enforced negotiations with Hitler.

Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence

Japan, New Zealand, UK, 1983
Genre: Drama, History, War
Language: English, Japanese
Director: Nagisa Oshima
Starring: David Bowie, Tom Conti, Ryuichi Sakamoto, Takeshi Kitano, Jack Thompson
What's it about?
During WWII, British soldier Jack Celliers (Bowie) is captured by Japanese forces and held in a prison camp by the honour-bound Captain Yanoi (Sakamoto). Yanoi becomes intrigued with Celliers' open defiance in the face of their staunchly old-world ideas about cowardice and shame. Meanwhile, a translator, Lieutenant colonel John Lawrence (Conti), attempts to find common ground between British and Japanese beliefs. From legendary Japanese director Nagisa Oshima (In the Realm of the Senses).

David Bowie in Merry Christmas Mr Lawrence


USA, 2008
Genre: Drama, War
Language: English
Director: Bryan Singer
Starring: Tom Cruise, Bill Nighy, Kenneth Branagh, Carice van Houten, Christian Oliver
What's it about?
At the height of the Second World War, a group of German officers hatched a plot to assassinate Hitler and seize control of the military command in order to end the war. The operation was code-named 'Valkyrie', for the emergency plan that was meant to be used in case of a revolt against the Nazi government. 


The Tree of Life

USA, 2011
Genre: Drama, Fantasy
Language: English
Director: Terrence Malick
Starring: Sean Penn, Jessica Chastain, Brad Pitt
What's it about?
Director Terrence Malick (Badlands, The Thin Red Line) traces the evolution of an 11-year-old boy in the Midwest, from his first experiences of joy love and mercy (from his mother), to his introduction to the 'ways of the world' (from his father). Each parent contends for his allegiance, and the boy must reconcile their claims. His experience of the world, once a thing of glory, becomes a labyrinth as he seeks unselfish love. Winner of the Palme d'Or at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival, and nominated for Best Picture at the 2012 Academy Awards.

Why You Should Watch: The Tree of Life

The Meddler

USA, 2016
Genre: Drama, Comedy
Language: English
Director: Lorene Scafaria
Starring: Rose Byrne, Susan Sarandon, J.K. Simmons
What's it about?
An aging widow (Sarandon) from New York City follows her daughter (Byrne) to Los Angeles in hopes of starting a new life after her husband passes away. From Lorene Scafaria, director of Hustlers.

The Divine Order

Switzerland, 2017
Genre: Comedy, Drama
Language: English, German, Italian, Swedish
Director: Petra Biondina Volpe
Starring: Marie Leuenberger, Maximilian Simonischek, Marta Zoffoli, Bettina Stucky
What's it about?
Nora (Leuenberger) is a young housewife and mother, living in a quaint little village with her husband and their two sons. The Swiss countryside is untouched by the major social upheavals the movement of 1968 has brought about. Nora’s life is not affected either; she is a quiet person who is liked by everybody – until she starts to publicly fight for women’s suffrage, which the men are due to vote on in a ballot on February 7, 1971.

'The Divine Order': Empowering and Amusing in Equal Measure

Around The World In 20 Movies
Twenty films – one per country – from across the globe, now streaming at SBS On Demand.
Movies Leaving SBS On Demand In March: Highlights
A selection of standout movies and documentaries leaving SBS On Demand throughout March 2020.