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Directed by Michael Powell, Emeric Pressburger

United Kingdom 1946 104 mins.

“Set in a gorgeously photographed Technicolor England and a monochrome heaven, A Matter of Life and Death took the imaginative daring of jointly credited writer-producer-directors Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger to new heights. David Niven plays a British airman who survives a plane crash and falls in love with an American radio operator (Kim Hunter), only to be summoned to the afterlife by a heavenly ‘Conductor’ (Marius Goring). But is heaven just a hallucination brought on by brain injury? Powell and Pressburger layer breathtaking visual tricks on top of this whimsical premise, such as a celebrated point-of-view shot in which our hero’s eyelid closes over the camera lens. The film also works as a sly satire on Anglo-American relations at the end of WWII. This was the first feature photographed by the great cinematographer Jack Cardiff, previously camera operator for their The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp (1943).”—British Film Institute. New digital restoration.

Genres: Comedy, Drama



The Northwest Film Center recognizes and honors the Indigenous peoples of this region on whose ancestral lands the museum now stands. These include the Willamette Tumwater, Clackamas, Kathlemet, Molalla, Multnomah and Watlala Chinook Peoples and the Tualatin Kalapuya who today are part of the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde, and many other Native communities who made their homes along the Columbia River. We also want to recognize that Portland today is a community of many diverse Native peoples who continue to live and work here. We respectfully acknowledge and honor all Indigenous communities—past, present, future—and are grateful for their ongoing and vibrant presence.