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Ali & Ava
Institute of Contemporary Arts
June 2022
Ali & Ava, dir. Clio Barnard, United Kingdom 2021, 94 min., English, 15


Writer-director Clio Barnard (The Arbor, The Selfish Giant, Dark River) returns to her native Yorkshire for this compelling social-realist story of a modern love that crosses boundaries of class and culture.

Ali (Adeel Akhtar) is a lazy-go-lucky landlord drifting through life in Bradford’s close-knit South Asian community without much purpose, his marriage to Runa (Ellora Torchia) fading fast. Through six-year-old Sofia, the child of Ali’s Slovakian tenants, Ali meets Ava (Claire Rushbrook), an Irish teaching assistant still reeling from the memory of her late abusive partner. Sparks fly – until the pair’s respective pasts and backgrounds threaten to come between them.
 
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