This week on the Film at Lincoln Center podcast, we’re featuring a Q&A on Secrets & Lies with director Mike Leigh from our recent retrospective on the British filmmaker. Moderated by FLC programmer Dan Sullivan. They discussed the trajectory and making of Leigh’s “most commercially successful” film, working with actors, and more.

The acclaimed winner of the 1996 Cannes Film Festival’s Palme d’Or, Mike Leigh’s mid-’90s masterpiece cemented his status as the poet laureate of modern family life. The story concerns Cynthia (Brenda Blethyn, awarded Best Actress at Cannes), a working-class white woman whose personal and interpersonal lives are transformed when she learns that a Black optometrist is the child she gave up for adoption 27 years prior. Created, like Leigh’s other films, after long months of intensely collaborative improvisation, Secrets & Lies is remarkable for its lived-in warmth and humor, and above all for its unflinching honesty in capturing the everyday evasions and deceptions that can define our lives. Secrets & Lies is now playing on The Criterion Channel.

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Watch/listen to the discussion below and don’t forget to subscribe on iTunesSpotify, or Stitcher for more filmmaker conversations.