Documentaries

“It's as if the producers went looking for a real-life David Brent [The Office] and found one with an evil sister.” - The Independent Husband and wife team John and Ann Armstrong run U-Fit, Coventry's third-largest double-glazing company. They are the typical small business owners: Hard-working, driven to succeed against the odds… and innately distrustful of their employees. From spying on their w... Read more
"If Madonna and Angelina Jolie can do it, why can't performance artist Vanessa Beecroft adopt an exotic Third World baby?" - Variety ... Vanessa Beecroft's work has always been provocative. Her nude tableau - photographs of dozens of naked women standing motionless in stark locations - both attracted controversy and made her a celebrity; the critics could never decide if it was feminism or exploit... Read more
At a time when Australia has again followed the United States into a nilitary adventure in a part of the world of which neither Australia nor the US has much comprehension, As The Mirror Burns is particularly timely. A film about contemporary Vietnam which shows an aspect of that country which is still poorly understood in Australia, it avoids the common view of Vietnam as merely the place where w... Read more
Mahinder Watsa is 93 years old and the Mumbai Mirror's resident sexpert. Vaishali Sinha introduces us to a man who's heard it all and is fighting for a fairer, freer and more loved-up India. ... Since 1976, Mahinder Watsa has been India's foremost sexologist, a straight-talking skewerer of tradition and superstition who has dished out frank and funny sex advice to generations of confused Indians. ... Read more
"Infuriating, heartbreaking and vital, Audrie & Daisy is required viewing." – The Guardian ... In 2012, 15-year-old Audrie Pott and 14-year-old Daisy Coleman were sexually assaulted in unrelated but all-too-similar instances in different American towns. Both went to parties, passed out after drinking alcohol, and were taken advantage of by guys they thought were their friends. Footage of both inci... Read more
"I wanted to make the world a better place by inventing a perpetual motion machine. At the front during WWII I realised that there is only one perpetual motion machine: the weapon"—Michail Kalashnikov. ... Automat Kalashnikov is a documentary portrait of a weapon which, unlike any other, has become the embodiment of a global political ideal. The AK47 is cheap, extremely reliable in all conditions ... Read more
A fetishistic, slyly humorous history of one of America's great war machines, the B-52 bomber. Director Harmut Bitomsky is as fascinated by this gargantuan jet's place in the global power structure as he is by the sensuous curves of wings and fuselage. ... Bitomsky pieces together a complete chronology of the 'Stratofortress' from initial design in 1948 to the current digitally equipped weapon. Th... Read more
Bach in Auschwitz is a sobering account of the experience of 40 women who survived the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp of World War II by belonging to a group known to both prisoners and Nazis alike as 'the ladies of the orchestra', The women were from all over Europe. One thing kept them bound together and out of the hands of their potential executioners: their musical talents. ... Knowing ... Read more
The dancers of the Ballets Russes were Russians who never performed in their homeland. Ballets Russes is a tribute to those remarkable individuals and the revolutionary dance company - more accurately, companies - that launched and buoyed their careers. You don't need to be an aficionado of dance to be transported by this absorbing doco. It charts the fractured history of the ballet company since ... Read more
“A front-row seat to a landmark Erin Brockovich-style trial.” - Variety ... Following a historic first court case in the Los Angeles Superior Court and ending with a verdict still under appeal, Bananas!* highlights a classic scenario of First World practices exploiting Third World workers. ... Juan ‘Accidentes' Dominguez is a Los Angeles personal injury attorney facing the biggest challenge of his... Read more
On a hot August afternoon in 1972, John Wojtowicz rushed into a Brooklyn bank, demanding money in a desperate effort to finance his lover's sex-change operation. So began a chain of events that became the basis for Sidney Lumet's 1972 film, Dog Day Afternoon. What had begun as a quick robbery soon turned into a sensational hostage hold-up drama, a 14-hour war of nerves in which not only the police... Read more
Basque Ball, Skin Against Stone (La Pelota Vasca, la Piel Contra la Piedra) Spain 'This film aims to be an invitation to discussion. This film has been conceived with respect towards all opinions. This film is independent. It is due entirely to personal initiative. This film declares its solidarity with those who suffer violence related to the Basque conflict. This film will always miss those who ... Read more
"Riveting ... A treat for fans of opera, the performing arts, and documentaries about process." - Variety ... A film for anyone interested in the creative process and the collaborative nature of theatre, Becoming Traviata is as much an engrossing behind-the-curtains look at the contemporary staging of an opera classic - even for those who aren't normally fans of the art form - as it is a rare insi... Read more
Having stirred the emotions of MIFF audiences fast year with his debut feature The Hanging Garden, Thorn Fitzgerald blends documentary and fiction in an entertaining and provocative homage to 1950s muscle magazines. This Berlin Film Festival hit demonstrates his wide cinematic palette; taking on different styles and genres, Fitzgerald delves into an era before his birth, when being gay meant eithe... Read more
"Remarkable, powerful ... Drawing as much on music and poetry as cinema, Behemoth works like a symphony." – Screen Daily ... In remote regions of Inner Mongolia, vast coal mines and iron factories mar formerly grass-covered landscapes. This is Chinese industry in all its terrifying power: a purgatory of controlled explosions, toxic dust and the deep red of liquid ore. ... Zhao Liang (Petition, MIF... Read more
Behind the Curve ... USA ... Journey to the centre of the Flat Earth movement, where the only thing they fear is sphere itself. ... If you thought belief in a flat Earth had been left behind in the dark ages, think again! In a world of fake news, science denial and anti-intellectualism, a resurgent Flat Earth movement is taking its place at the top of the conspiracy food chain. Leading the charge ... Read more
Behind The Mask is a unique collaborative production commenced in London, shot in Belfast and completed here in Melbourne. The film initially started life as a project to be made for British television. Frank Martin had gained the co-operation of several key former IRA members who agreed to discuss their lives and the legacy of their involvement with the Republican movement. ... Filming was underw... Read more
"There are Piggy people in the world, and Kermit people, and Grover people, but Elmo people are everywhere." - Variety ... Red, furry and with an infectious laugh that teaches children to hug, Elmo is one of Sesame Street's smallest and most loved puppets. But behind the cuddly monster is Kevin Clash, a gentle giant of a man who brought Elmo to life. ... Charting Clash's lifelong interest in puppe... Read more
"A hilarious anti-epic about Berlusconi's Mafia connections and the way in which his politics of moral debasement via tabloid television have transformed Italy for the worse." – Film Comment ... Somewhere on the island of Sicily, Franco Maresco has gone missing; the documentary he was working on – an exploration of alleged links between former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi and local Maf... Read more
This film is one of the first comprehensive looks at the student movement of the 1960s as seen from the Berkeley campus. A small student movement becomes a cause celebré when the House Un-American Activities shows a film on campuses across the country about the "communist spies" on the Berkeley campus. Far from having the desired effect, students from all over the country flock to Berkeley to get ... Read more
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