Guy Westwell

Senior lecturer, Film Studies, Queen Mary University of London

UK

Voted in the critics’ poll

Voted for

Apocalypse Now

1979

Francis Ford Coppola

Battle of Algiers, The

1966

Gillo Pontecorvo

Divine Intervention

2002

Elia Suleiman

Hidden

2004

Michael Haneke

Lone Star

1995

John Sayles

Man with a Movie Camera

1929

Dziga Vertov

Règle du jeu, La

1939

Jean Renoir

Singin' in the Rain

1951

Stanley Donen/Gene Kelly

Spirit of the Beehive, The

1973

Víctor Erice

Tout va Bien

1972

Jean-Luc Godard/Jean-Pierre Gorin

Comments

To be truly great a film must seek to change the world for the better. For me this is more important than technical or aesthetic innovation and authorial cleverness. Most critics accept this to be true and that is why they don’t vote for the most obvious candidate for greatest film ever made, D.W. Griffith’s The Birth of a Nation. However, I feel that a film’s political commitment is rarely emphasised enough and for this reason my list is unapologetically left-wing.

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