UK, 1992 (MIFF 2017, Sally Potter)

Director: Sally Potter

Gender, time, class, one’s place in the world: everything is flexible in Sally Potter’s stunning second film, including Tilda Swinton’s triumphant lead performance.

In an actor/director pairing that showcases two immense British talents at their career-defining finest, Sally Potter casts Tilda Swinton in the role she was born to play: the androgynous titular character, who lives for four centuries.

First screening at MIFF in 1993 after winning three awards at the Venice Film Festival, and sumptuously adapted from Virginia Woolf’s 1928 novel, Orlando follows its protagonist on a visually and emotionally eye-opening journey through English history – starting in Elizabethan times, jumping to the 20th century, and wittily exploring the role of women across a period of 400 years.

'This ravishing and witty spectacle invades the mind through eyes that are dazzled without ever being anesthetized ... a model for independent film makers who follow their own irrational muses.' – The New York Times

See also...


'A heartbreaking counterpoint to big war spectacles, beautifully performed by Christina Ricci, Cate Blanchett, Johnny Depp and John Turturro.' – Associated Press ... When Sally Potter examines history... More »


A classic of feminist film theory, Thriller is Sally Potter’s deconstruction of Puccini's La Boheme, flipping the familiar trope of ‘woman as victim’ on its head. ... Mimi, Puccini’s doomed heroine, i... More »


A murder investigation during a New York fashion show causes a host of fashionable characters – Jude Law and Dame Judi Dench heading an outstanding cast – to spill their darkest secrets in Sally Potte... More »


Joan Allen, Sam Neill, Simon Akbarian and Shirley Henderson star in Sally Potter’s rhythmic rumination on love, culture and class – a response to September 11, and one of the most divisive films of he... More »

The London Story

A beautifully choreographed, witty spy spoof revolving around three enigmatic characters and their mission to uncover government duplicity, The London Story also mimes and deconstructs Hollywood conve... More »


Shot one frame at a time, three faces – including a brother and sister – become one. ... More »

Select a festival
Search The Film Archive
Browse By Director