SIXTEEN Polish squadrons operated within the British Royal Air Force during the Second World War. Just one of these is the focus of Scottish director David Blair’s new film, Hurricane, which flies into cinemas this week.

Hurricane is the story of the No. 303 Polish Fighter Squadron and a group of men who fought both for Britain and in the hope that their country would one day be free of Nazi tyranny.

It is a tale of war in which bravery and valour win out: if the British did not trust ‘the bloody Poles’ at first, they celebrated them as heroes by the end.

Certainly, the No. 303s proved their mettle at the Battle of Britain, becoming not only the highest scoring of the Hurricane squadrons to fly that day but also the one with the highest ratio of enemy aircraft destroyed to their own lost.

Blair’s film is told from the perspective of Jan ‘Donald’ Zumbach, played by Iwan Rheon. The Game of Thrones actor is joined on screen by Milo Gibson (Hacksaw Ridge) and Stefanie Martini (Prime Suspect 1973).

Amid the vast collection of war films that have been produced across the last seven decades, Hurricane’s exploration of the ‘foreign’ fighter experience within the British armed forces has been a long time coming.

It is a film of particular relevance to Craven, in light of the Polish Airforce War Memorial that can be visited on the Leeds-Liverpool Canal, just past Bradley. Among those who are remembered at the site, many served with the 304 Squadron.

From trailers alone, you might not guess that American Animals is no ordinary heist film. It comes from British director Bart Layton, best known for his BAFTA-winning documentary The Imposter, and stars Evan Peters, Barry Keoghan, Black Jenner and Jared Abrahamson as a group of students who plot to rob the library of a university in Kentucky.

Though Layton’s sophomore feature is billed as a drama, it too has documentary DNA running through its veins. This is a true story of a real crime.

Honest origins are not cinematically unusual – next week’s King of Thieves will dramatize London’s Hatton Garden safe deposit burglary of 2015. What sets American Animals apart is that the film’s action is interlaced with interviews from the actual criminal quartet.

Whereas Craig Gillespie staged such interviews with actors for his Tonya Harding biopic last year, Layton has recruited the real people. The result is surprisingly compelling.

- Toby Symonds