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Mark Thackeray (Poitier) is a West Indian, who in the 1967 film had taken teaching in a London East End school. He spent twenty years teaching and ten in administrative roles. He has taught the children of his former pupils, but is now retiring.
Brian Cox stars as Jacques, the curmudgeonly owner of a gritty New York dive bar that serves as home to a motley assortment of professional drinkers. Jacques is determinedly drinking and smoking himself to death when he meets Lucas (Dano), a homeless young man who has already given up on life. Determined to keep his legacy alive, Jacques deems Lucas is a fitting heir and takes him under his wing, schooling him in the male-centric laws of his alcoholic clubhouse: no new customers, no fraternizing with customers and, absolutely no women. Lucas is a quick study, but their friendship is put to the test when the distraught and beautiful April (Isild Le Besco) shows up at the bar seeking shelter, and Lucas insists they help her out.
Hector has been living on the motorways for years. His once comfortable family life has been replaced by a never-ending tour of service stations that offer him shelter, anonymity, washing facilities and food. The story follows his journey south from Scotland on his annual pilgrimage to a temporary Christmas shelter in London where he finds comfort, friendship and warmth. Over the course of his Homeric journey, Hector decides to reconnect with his long estranged past. As his previous life catches up with him, the story of how he came to be leading a marginal life begins to emerge.
The story is loosely based on a 17th century erotic Chinese story named The Carnal Prayer Mat and follows a young scholar named Yangsheng who gets married to the beautiful daughter of a local merchant. When their sex life proves unsatisfactory, Yangsheng leaves home and journeys to the Pavilion of Ultimate Bliss.
Afghanistan. War correspondent Elsa Casanova is taken hostage by the Taliban. Faced with her imminent execution, a Special Forces unit is dispatched to free her. In some of the world’s most breathtaking yet hostile landscapes, a relentless pursuit begins between her kidnappers who have no intention of letting their prey escape them and a group of soldiers who risk their lives in pursuit of their single aim – to bring her home alive. This strong, independent woman and these men of duty are thrown together and forced to confront situations of great danger that inextricably bind them – emotionally, violently and intimately.
David Hare concludes his trilogy of films about MI5 renegade Johnny Worricker with another fugue on power, secrets and the British establishment. Johnny Worricker goes on the run with Margot Tyrell across Europe, and with the net closing in, the former MI5 man knows his only chance of resolving his problems is to return home and confront prime minister Alec Beasley.