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HIDDEN FIGURES ****
Directed by Theodore Melfi, this is a slightly sentimental version of a
true story of three African American women, and one in particular, who made
a significant contribution to the Space programme in the USA. Set in NASA at
a point when the Russians had taken
first place by getting a man in Space,
our black heroine's effectiveness is
impaired by the racist reservations
of her `peers' and her necessity
to use a Ladies loo restricted to
`Coloreds' 800 yards from her office! It didn't win any
Oscars but it's a big hit at the Box Office and deservedly so.
VICEROY'S HOUSE ***
Directed by Gurinder Chadra, who became famous for `Bend it
like Beckham', this is an ambitious but illuminating piece of 20th
Century history the partition of India in 1947. Hugh Bonneville
plays the last Viceroy Earl Mountbatten of Burma, while Gillian
Anderson plays his wife, with a cut-glass English accent. They
are surrounded by historic Hindus,
Sikhs and Muslims and supported
by heavyweight actors like Michael
Gambon and Simon Callow with
contrasting ethics. It is a period
piece with production values on a
grand scale, as well as a Romeo and Juliet-style sub-
plot. The director's personal connection with the story
is revealed right at the end and is very poignant. Well
worth seeing if you get the chance!