The Circle

  • Lanre Malaolu
  • United Kingdom
  • 2019
  • 15 min
  • International Premiere
  • IDFA School Program

If you grow up as a black kid in a Hackney, East London housing project, you face prejudice all your life. Choreographer and filmmaker Lanre Malaolu knows this only too well. His short film is a portrait of two 17-year-olds who live in his neighborhood, the twins David and Sanchez Smith. They talk about their relationship, their family, the problems they face, their mental health, their dreams and other sensitive topics.

The boys aren’t used to being this open. By incorporating modern dance in the portrait, Malaolu manages to delve deeper and reveal the soft side beneath their tough exterior. The gap between how they’re perceived and how they feel inside determines both the form of and the subject of the film. All isn’t what it seems, as even gloomy Hackney is bursting with ideas.


  • 15 min
  • color
  • DCP
  • Spoken languages: English
  • Subtitles in: English
Lanre Malaolu
Elizabeth Benjamin
Executive producer
Lisa Marie Russo for Doc Society
Monika Jastrzębska
Monika Jastrzębska

IDFA history

International Premiere
IDFA School Program
International Premiere
IDFA Competition for Short Documentary

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IDFA history

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