It's a feast for film buffs across SBS channels this month.
Staff writers

3 May 2021 - 3:17 PM  UPDATED 10 May 2021 - 1:23 PM

It's a huge month for movie lovers across SBS World Movies and SBS On Demand, with modern classics, new favourites, and a range of music-themed movies to get your pulse racing and your heart soaring. There's literally something for everyone. Here is just a taste:  


Rabbit-Proof Fence

Australia, 2002
Genre: History, Adventure
Language: Walmajarri, English
Director: Phillip Noyce
Starring: Everlyn Sampi, Kenneth Branagh, David Gulpilil
What's it about?
Based on the true story of three young Aboriginal girls, Molly, Gracie and Daisy (Everlyn Sampi, Laura Monaghan, Tianna Sansbury). In 1931 they were forcibly removed from their families at Jigalong WA, and taken to a camp 1500 miles away at Moore River to be trained as domestic servants, all part of official government policy. Molly leads her younger sister and cousin on a daring escape and in a bid to find her way home, following – on foot – the rabbit-proof fence that cuts across the Gibson Desert and towards Jigalong. But WA’s Chief protector of Aborigines, A.O. Neville (Kenneth Branagh) does his best to recapture them, with help from Indigenous tracker David Moodoo (David Gulpilil).  

Rabbit-Proof Fence Review
Rabbit-Proof Fence: Cheat Sheet


Never Look Away

Germany, Italy, 2018
Genre: Drama, Thriller, Romance
Language: German
Director: Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck
Starring: Tom Schilling, Paula Beer, Sebastian Koch, Saskia Rosendahl, Oliver Masucci, Cai Cohrs
What's it about?
When two German art students fall in love, the girl's father, who has a devastating secret, vows to end their relationship. A multi-generational story of trauma, art and fate, from the director of The Lives Of Others


Frances Ha

USA, 2013
Genre: Comedy / drama
Language: English
Director: Noah Baumbach
Starring: Greta Gerwig, Adam Driver, Michael Zegen
What's it about?
Frances (Greta Gerwig) is a gangly 20-something who lives in New York, but is perennially broke, unfocused and prone to mildly self-destructive behaviour. An apprentice for a dance company, Frances is also a klutz, but that does not stop her from chasing her dreams.  

Frances Ha: Noah Baumbach interview
Frances Ha review: Greta Gerwig is luminescently 'undateable'
Frances Ha review: If you don’t feel like you’re a real person yet, this is the film for you


Zero Dark Thirty

USA, 2013
Genre: Thriller
Language: English, some Arabic, Urdu, Pashto, French
Director: Kathryn Bigelow
Starring: Jason Clarke, Mark Strong, Jessica Chastain, Chris Pratt
What's it about?
It's a decade since the world's most wanted man, terrorist Osama Bin Laden, was captured and killed. Kathryn Bigelow's Oscar winner explores the elite team of intelligence and military operatives, working in secret locations across the globe, who devoted themselves to a single goal: tracking down and eliminating him. 

Zero Dark Thirty review: Fact blurs with fiction into a crackerjack thriller
The CIA and the 'Zero Dark Thirty' filmmakers: Who used who?


Roman J. Israel, Esq.

United States of America, 2017
Genre: Drama
Language: English
Director: Dan Gilroy
Starring: Denzel Washington, Colin Farrell, Carmen Ejogo, Lynda Gravatt, Amanda Warren, Hugo Armstrong
What's it about?
Hard-nosed lawyer Roman J. Israel has been fighting the good fight forever while others take the credit. When his partner – the firm’s leader – has a heart attack, Israel assumes that role, and discovers some unsettling truths about the firm. The revelations fly in the face of his social justice values, and trigger an existential crisis that leads to extreme actions. Washington rightly earned another Oscar nomination for his charged performance. 



Australia, Cambodia, Thailand, 2019
Genre: Drama, Crime
Language: Cambodian, Thai
Director: Rodd Rathjen
Starring: Sarm Heng, Thanawut Kasro, Mony Ros, Saichia Wongwirot, Yothin Udomsanti, Chan Visal, Chheung Vakhim
What's it about?
A Cambodian boy leaves home on the promise of lucrative work across the board in Thailand, only to be sold to a broker and enslaved on a fishing trawler. As fellow slaves are tortured and murdered around him, he starts to wonder if his only hope of freedom is to become as violent as his captors. Australian director Rodd Rathjen captures a devastating real-world human rights issue with empathy and beauty.  

'If we actually showed what it is really like, it wouldn't be watchable': Rodd Rathjen talks 'Buoyancy'


Four Lions

United Kingdom, 2010
Genre: Drama, Comedy
Language: English
Director: Chris Morris
Starring: Riz Ahmed, Adeel Akhtar, Kayvan Novak
What's it about?
A whip-smart slapstick comedy, Chris Morris’ Four Lions takes aim at Jihadi suicide bombers and illuminates the war on terror through satire and farce. Follow five inept aspiring terrorists on their quest to strike a blow, and how they demonstrate that terrorism may be about ideology, but it can also be about idiots.

Four Lions: Kayvan Novak interview
Four Lions: most definitely an alternate view
Four Lions Review


The Diving Bell and the Butterfly

France, 2007
Genre: Biography, Drama
Language: French
Director: Julian Schnabel
Starring: Mathieu Amalric, Anne Consigny, Emmanuelle Seigner, Marie-Josée Croze, Max Von Sydow
What's it about?
The true story of Elle editor Jean-Dominique Bauby who suffered a stroke in 1995 that rendered him mute and almost completely paralysed. This is an adaptation of Bauby's autobiography, which he dictated by blinking his left eye.

The Diving Bell and the Butterfly Review
The Diving Bell and the Butterfly Review


The Band's Visit
Kicks off SBS World Movies Music Week: 7.30pm Monday 17 May  

PG, 2007
Genre: Comedy, Race Relations
Language: Arabic, Hebrew
Director: Eran Kolirin
Starring: Ronit Elkabetz
What's it about?
This warm heartfelt movie about love, loneliness and cultural differences stars the late Israeli actress Ronit Elkabetz in one of her most popular roles. It follows the members of the Alexandria Ceremonial Police Orchestra, led by the repressed Tawfiq, who after taking the wrong bus on their way to a cultural event, wind up on the doorstep of Dina, a free-spirited cafe owner in a remote Israeli village. After informing them they will be stuck there until the next morning, Dina offers to put them up for the night, with help from other villagers. 

'The Band's Visit' review
Dinner and a Movie: The Band's Visit


Screens in SBS World Movies Music Week: 9.30pm Monday 17 May 

India, 2002
Genre: Bollywood
Language: Hindi
Director: Sanjay Leela Bhansali
Starring: Aishwarya Rai, Shah Rukh Khan, Madhuri Dixit, Jackie Shroff
What's it about?
One of the most lavish and expensive Bollywood films ever made, this is the sweeping tale of soul mates, childhood sweethearts Devdas and Paro, whose love is thwarted by India's rigid class structure. Young Devdas is sent to study in London by his wealthy father. On his return, love blossoms again, but the families oppose the romance.


La Vie en Rose
Screens in SBS World Movies Music Week: 9.30pm Tuesday 18 May 

France, 2000
Genre: Music, Drama, Biography
Language: French
Director: Olivier Dahan
Starring: Marion Cotillard, Gérard Depardieu, Jean-Paul Rouve, Emmanuelle Seigner, Sylvie Testud
What's it about?
A biopic about the legendary international singing icon Edith Piaf (Marion Cotillard), whose voice and talent captivated the world. The remarkable artist was born into poverty but survived using the only gift she had – her voice. Piaf's tragic life was a constant battle to sing and survive, to live and love, with no regrets.  

La Vie En Rose review: You will have no regrets seeing this.


TV Movie Guide: 3 - 9 May
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.
‘Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga’ is a must-watch for Eurovision die-hards
Everything you love about the Eurovision Song Contest in one epic film, with added Ferrell. See it on SBS on 14 May.
SBS World Movies Weekly Highlights 3 - 9 May
Your guide to some of the stories from around the world, screening on Australia's own HD SBS World Movies channel (Digital channel 32).
Movies Leaving SBS On Demand: May 2021
Don't miss your chance to watch these standout feature films leaving SBS On Demand throughout May.