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Documentaries

'Images of Elvis', the pinnacle of the Elvis impersonator's art, a cutthroat competition staged in Memphis to determine the worlds finest 'Elvis' (almost). This cheeky documentary, loaded with pathos, plumbs the dedication, desire and devotion of Elvis fandom, specifically a half dozen ... Read more
Sometimes, jail is the only place you can be free. ... In Russia, 15-year-olds convicted of criminal acts get sent to adult prisons; for anyone younger it's reform school. Alone in Four Walls takes us inside one such complex in rural Russia, packed to the rafters with 10- to 14-year-old boys ... Read more
Does America have a ruling class? How does one join it, and should one even want to? Written by Lewis Lapham, American Ruling Class explores the US's most taboo topics: class, power and privilege in the nominally democratic republic. The dramatic documentary satire stars Lapham, the renowned ... Read more
Illegal screenings of the unfinished Amongst Equals have taken place in a variety of forums across the country since January when controversy erupted in the media. But the issue remains unresolved and Amongst Equals will be shown in an innovative form for the first time at this festival. This new ... Read more
"I'm always drawn to incidents that if unpacked, reveal a lot about a moment and a culture, and I felt this was one of them." - filmmaker Annie Goldson. ... They called him the White Angel. John Scott was the director of the Fijian Red Cross. His courage was lauded during a coup in 2000 when in the ... Read more
21 women were murdered in a single year in the Iranian holy city of Mashad. Strangled, their bodies were cocooned in their long, black chadors, knotted at both ends and dumped beside roads or in sewers. Iranian media referred to the events as 'The Spider Killings'. Saeed Hanaei, a 39 year old ... Read more
Flying in the face of popular clichés of a Shangri-la-like Tibet is the errant monk, Gendun Choephel. In 1934, Choephel rejected his monastic life in search of new lands and challenges where he formed a conviction about the importance of Tibet's engagement with the world and modernity. An outsider ... Read more
... ... Anne Frank has been described as one of the "major icons of the twentieth century" with her diary the second most-read book of Western non-fiction after the bible. ... ... ... Jon Blair's film is effective in placing Anne's story firmly in its twentieth century context. This is not just her ... Read more
The Ants won an humanitarian award for Outstanding Documentary at this year's Hong Kong Film Festival. ... Waich Okumura is an 80 year-old Japanese man who fought in China's civil war after World War II. The question still remains unanswered: Why did the Japanese join the Chinese conflict between ... Read more
Ethan Minsker's documentary investigates the ideas, attitudes and goals of women in the New York underground music scene. 15 bands, mostly unsigned acts with colourful names like Tribe 8, Vitapup and The Voluptuous Horror of Karen Black, are filmed going through their paces - everything from ... Read more
"Moving, complex and brutal... an outstanding film about men at war." - Empire ... In forward operating base Armadillo, a posting of young Danish soldiers are on campaign against the Taliban. Gaining incredible access, director Janus Metz chronicles six months of their everyday lives in ... Read more
“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 ... 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 ... 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 ... 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 ... 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 ... 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 ... 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 ... 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. ... 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 ... 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 ... 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 ... 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 ... 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 ... 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 ... Read more
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