birds of heaven
From: The Fabulous Picture Show

Birds of Heaven

Amanda hosts a special screening of “Birds of Heaven” with features on Nollywood, Apocalypto and Seijun Suzuki

Birds of Heaven


Birds of Heaven traces the story of illegal
immigrants travelling across Europe

Old friends Shad and Otto come from The Ivory Coast to make their fortunes in Europe. But as illegal immigrants the odds are against them, and when Otto is caught by police he is deported. Arriving home in Abidjan without his luggage, let alone any riches, his family are ashamed. Shad, meanwhile, moves around Europe, but must struggle against prejudice – from Europeans and other immigrants.


Former anthropologist Eliane De Latour has directed a moving drama that creates a powerful intimacy between the audience and the often ignored world of Europe’s underclass of illegal immigrants. 


Director Eliane De Latour and lead actors Djedje Apali (Otto) and Fraser James (Shad) talk to our audience about the challenges they faced making the film, including the mainstream movie industry’s lack of interest in a movie with Africans as central characters, and how Fraser James managed to perform in a mainly French language movie when he doesn’t speak a word of the language.





Onwordi is attempting to shoot
Pandora in just two weeks

Nollywood – Nigeria’s Hollywood-  is the third largest film industry in the world, but budgets are small and deadlines are tight. Nigerian journalist Aliyu Musa joins director Leo Onwordi as he attempts to shoot his latest film, Pandora, in under two weeks.


Pandora is the fictional story of a Nigerian village where people are abducted for human sacrifice. Like all locally produced Nigerian films, Pandora will be sold on a market stall for viewing at home.


Unlike Hollywood’s complex distribution system, the man who runs the market stall is also the film’s financial backer and producer, and will withdraw his funding if Leo doesn’t deliver on time.





Apocalypto employs indigenous

Mel Gibson’s Apocalypto takes us back 500 years to the fall of the Mayan civilization. 

Fundamentally a survival and chase film, the story follows Jaguar Paw’s perilous journey as he escapes the brutal tribal rulers who are ravaging villages in search of human sacrifice. 


Shot on location in the jungles of Mexico, Gibson cast over 700 mainly indigenous non-actors who spoke Yucatec, one of the last remaining Mayan dialects. Scenes are shot beautifully, but with a chilling focus on violence which some will find hard to stomach.



Seijun Suzuki


Suzuki is one of Japan’s most
influential directors

Seijun Suzuki is a legend amongst many of today’s most prominent directors, having influenced the likes of Quentin Tarantino, Wong Kar-Wai and John Woo.

Kicked out of Japan’s oldest studio, the Nikkatsu Studio, in the late 60s for being too outlandish and avant-garde, Suzuki is now regarded as the master of the Japanese gangster film.


At 83 years old, Suzuki is still breaking boundaries, having recently made Princess Raccoon – his first musical. Amanda Palmer caught up with the maverick filmmaker to talk about his life, his career and even his death.



This edition of The Fabulous Picture Show will air daily from Saturday 30th December at the following times: 

Saturday 30th Dec – 21:30 GMT; Sunday 31st Dec – 07:00 GMT; Monday 1st Jan – 00:00 & 11:00 GMT; Tuesday 2nd Jan – 20:30 GMT; Wednesday 3rd Jan – 07:30 GMT; Thursday 4th Jan – 05:30 GMT; Friday 5th Jan – 10:30 GMT; Saturday 6th Jan – 08:30 GMT


Watch Part One here:


Watch Part Two here:




Amanda Palmer’s biography
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