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Documentary
 
 

The Decent One

At the end of World War II, advancing American forces came upon the home of Heinrich Himmler, one-time head of the SS and architect of the so-called ‘Final Solution’ that industrialised the systematic eradication of Europe’s Je...
 
 
 
 
 
 

Life Itself

There is something bizarrely meta about reviewing Life Itself, a film about one of cinema’s most outspoken and respected film critics. Because in charting the fascinating life of Roger Ebert, and in turn his love affair with fi...
 
 
 
 
 
 

Manakamana

The late mountaineer Anatoli Boukreev (he died during an avalanche while climbing in Nepal) once said, ‘Mountains are the cathedral where I practice my religion’. In Manakamana, these two elements blend into one sop...
 
 
 
 
 
 

The Overnighters

Sit down to watch an American film and chances are that, even if said film is supposed to revolve around a ‘normal family’, the characters will own a vast and immaculately decorated home. Switch on the TV to watch an American s...
 
 
 
 
 
 

The Search For Weng Weng

We are so used to on-demand titles, IMDb and such that it’s easy to forget that we didn’t used to have all the answers to hand. Back in the day, when you wanted to find out about an obscure film, it was a quest, you had to work...
 
 
 
 
 
 

Hockney

Documentary film-making can take many forms and embrace many different sets of values. Some documentaries aim to give you the truth while others feed you a line but the one universal value underpinning all documentary film shou...
 
 
 
 
 
 

We Are The Giant

When we watch the news or read stories about conflicts happening across the world, it can be easy to think about the overall picture, or to look purely at numbers and outcomes without seeing the individuals that are directly af...
 
 
 
 
 
 

Finding Vivian Maier

It’s amazing what you can find in car boot sales, auctions and attics – sometimes, among the gnarly Toby jugs and cracked candlesticks, there’s a box full of delights. In 2007 John Maloof found such a box at an auction house in...
 
 
 
 
 
 

20,000 Days On Earth

Of all Australia’s sons and daughters to have found spiritual acceptance in the mother country Nick Cave, star and focus of the fascinating documentary 20,000 Days on Earth, is perhaps the most unexpected. The musician wh...
 
 
 
 
 
 

Supermensch: The Legend of Shep Gordon

Mike Myers and Beth Aala’s debut feature charts the remarkable career of one of the music industry’s most influential and beloved characters and perhaps the most famous person you’ve never heard of, Hollywood agent Shep Gordon....
 
 
 
 
 
 

Lilting

The usual question to ask about any film that involves two people who speak different languages is how much gets lost in translation. Lilting, the debut feature of Cambodian-born, UK-based director Hong Khaou, seems to suggest ...
 
 
 
 
 
 

Visitors

Godfrey Reggio’s Visitors, told in black and white, explores mankind’s relationship with technology, supposedly suggesting that our engagement with technology in modern society has become unhealthily and obsessively out of cont...
 
 
 
 
 
 

The Armstrong Lie

Alex Gibney is one of the most well regarded documentary filmmakers of his generation. Winner of an Oscar in 2007 for Taxi to the Dark Side, his investigative films have chronicled not only the use of torture by American soldie...
 
 
 
 
 
 

The Missing Picture

Director Rithy Pahn was just a young boy when in 1975, Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge seized power in Cambodia. In their effort to transform Cambodia into a radical form of agrarian communism, the Khmer Rouge emptied out their cit...
 
 
 
 
 
 

Fire In The Blood

At the 1996 International Conference on AIDS, an American scientist named David Ho presented data showing that a person infected with HIV produces billions of virions every day they are alive. The heavier a person’s viral load,...
 
 
 
 
 
 

1: Life on the Limit

1: Life On The Limit continues cinema’s current love affair with all things Formula One.  What started with Senna was followed-up with last year’s blistering Rush to put F1 firmly back on the cinematic spectrum where it had pre...
 
 
 
 
 
 

Muscle Shoals

Greg Camalier’s debut feature, Muscle Shoals, charts the unlikely story of a sleepy Alabama town that emerged as the creative epicentre for a signature sound coveted by some of the greatest musicians of all-time. Remarkably the...
 
 
 
 
 
 

Cutie And The Boxer

Zachary Heinzerling’s documentary Cutie and the Boxer shone at the Sundance Film Festival and it is not hard to see why.  The film tells the story of the 40 year relationship of Japanese artist couple Ushio and Noriko Shinohara...
 
 
 
 
 
 

The Pervert’s Guide to Ideology

As a medium traditionally dominated by the visual, film usually engages with ideas by weaving them into the fabric of a narrative. In the majority of cases, these narratives are fictitious and audiences are encouraged to read b...
 
 
 
 
 
 

Blackfish

It sounds almost trite to just come out with it, but Blackfish is a stunning documentary. Directed by Gabriela Cowperthwaite, it explores the dichotomy between popular visions of the Killer Whale – and though there is plenty of...