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Documentaries

"A philosophical experiment in portraiture, Derrida avoids becoming a deconstrurtion primer, instead positioning itself as a demonstration of the French thinker's theories. In a series of interviews, Derrida is encouraged to systematically dismantle the documentary process." - Village Voice ... A ... Read more
A journey to the recesses of photographed memory in Chris Marker's impressionistic film, Description of a Struggle, which won the Golden Bear at the 1961 Berlin Festival. ... In his 1960 film Marker travelled to Israel to capture the young country's struggle for identity and to muse on what the ... Read more
It's believed that eight million workers have perished in the mines of Cerro Rico, Bolivia, since it opened in the 16th century. Each day the miners sever their ties with God upon entering the mountain, according to an ancient belief that the devil determines the fate of all who work within the ... Read more
With the common view of the Amish community formed by films such as Peter Weir's Witness - bonnets, buggies and beards - the idea of drunken, speed dealing Amish biker hitmen comes as somewhat of a shock. ... The tradition of 'Rumspringa' encourages Amish youth between the ages of 16 and 21 to ... Read more
Filmed in a single take, Alexander Sokurov's remarkable [Russian Ark] captured the imaginations of film-goers everywhere. This narrator of Russian culture and spirit takes us back to St Petersburg in his beautiful and aurally inspired[ Diary of St Petersburg - Mozart . Requiem]. "The first night of ... Read more
"Filed from the frontlines of the war on terror, documentarian Richard Rowley's astonishingly hard-hitting Dirty Wars renders the investigative work of journalist Jeremy Scahill in the form of a '70s-style conspiracy thriller." - Variety ... Jeremy Scahill is the National Security Correspondent for ... Read more
"The world of reality television wouldn't exist without Frederick Wiseman's lingering examinations of fragments of society. And those who've grown up watching such programs should look at this film to see what it's like to investigate a scene without being rushed. Wiseman's relaxed detachment is ... Read more
"The world of reality television wouldn't exist without Frederick Wiseman's lingering examinations of fragments of society. And those who've grown up watching such programs should look at this film to see what it's like to investigate a scene without being rushed. Wiseman's relaxed detachment is ... Read more
For the past 35 years, Frederick Wiseman has meticulously documented a unique and penetrating view of American social relations and the institutions that try to mediate them. In Domestic Violence, also screening this year at MIFF, he turned his perceptive eye on police responses to brutal abuse ... Read more
Few filmmakers have generated as great a body of lurid gossip, myth and speculation as Donald Cammell. He was the creator and driving force behind Performance, one of fhe most startling and innovative British cult classics. The film starred Mick Jagger and James Fox and is a psychedelic document of ... Read more
... ... In December 1985 two Nevada teenagers car­ried out a suicide pact in the playground of a local church. Ray Belknap succeeded in blow­ing his brains out, but James Vance survived with most of his face blown off, only to die three years later. The cause of death was given as Heavy ... Read more
The all-singing, all-dancing, Takarazuka Revue is one of Japan's foremost musical extravaganzas, with lascivious sets, classically romantic Broadway style shows and an all female cast. The stars of the show, the young women chosen to play the 'male' leads, attain the status of pop icons with ... Read more
Duke Ellington: Reminiscing in Tempo is a portrait of a man who, for over fifty years, led a dance band around the world and created a lasting body of music. A chronicle of social change, the film examines Ellington's subtle role in fighting segregation in U.S. society and challenging the reign of ... Read more
"Wherever we go it has beaten us; wherever we turn, it follows us. We're surrounded by it, it gets inside us, we shed it... it nestles right into the despair of its own existence" - filmmaker Hartmut Bitomsky ... The bane of cleaners and allergy sufferers everywhere, dust is so tiny, so minute ... Read more
An impossibly poetic, moving and memorable film capturing the story of an isolated Aleutian Island port in deeply grained black and white. Simple in structure yet wonderfully evocative, warm in spite of the snowbound isolation it depicts, Dutch Harbour is certain to be one of MIFF 1999's quiet ... Read more
Could you build a career out of your parents' painful and protracted divorce? Gees Krijner can. The young Dutch artist won the prestigious Prix de Rome art prize for a performance piece about the breakup of his family, starring his own mother. The height of conceptual art, or a bizarre form of ... Read more
A historical tragedy meets a personal rebellion in Lech Kowalski's idiosyncratic third instalment of his Wild, Wild East documentary trilogy. East of Paradise opens with a harrowing description by Maria Kowalski - Lech Kowalski's mother - of her transportation from Krakow to the Soviet gulags in ... Read more
Films showing workers singing in fields, teenagers dancing on the beach, or glam­orous working women are not widely associated with socialist European countries. This may change with Dana Ranga's entertaining docu­mentary which reveals that a succession of socialist musicals were made in ... Read more
Who would imagine that Swiss avant-garde yodelling could bring so much joy? Well, it does. Enter the wondrous sonic world of three exceptional Swiss vocal artists whose universe of sound extends far beyond what we would describe as singing. The Alpine vistas are a stage and inspiration for our ... Read more
"Ulmer was nothing if not a self-inventor - by his own fantastic account, he created the first dolly and worked on every major film to come out of Weimar Germany, handily listing himself as an uncredited assistant. But Ulmer's moviemaking influence is incontrovertible. Using a Peter Bogdanovich ... Read more
Lubbock, Texas, has the highest rate of teenage pregnancy in the US. It also has the highest rate of STDs in teenagers. The sex education policy in the schools of this southern, ultra-conservative town is 'abstinence until marriage'. ... This superb and nuanced documentary plots the politicisation ... Read more
A mouthwatering taste of the preparation that went into one of the most imaginative menus in the world. ... Each year over two million people tried to book a table at El Bulli - only a select few ever got one. The coastal Spanish restaurant was a Mecca to food buffs; one which closed every year for ... Read more
"An exquisite study of a rapidly expanding cemetery at the center of Mexico's drug wars." - Variety ... In Mexico, the war on drugs has become a literal war, resulting in the bloodiest conflict since the Mexican Revolution. Nearly 35,000 people have been killed since 2007, and the narco-cemetery at ... Read more
"Elena is one of the most moving, heartrending cinematic experiences I've ever had. Of unusual beauty, it's a film we keep turning to for a long time. It's a must see!" - Walter Salles ... Brazilian director Petra Costa turns an inconsolable memory into a decidedly intimate documentary that echoes ... Read more
“Should render contrite all who say there is nothing left for movies to show us that we haven't seen before.” - Variety ... One thousand men and women live together in unbelievably close quarters in Antarctica, risking their lives and sanity in the name of science. Filmmaker Werner Herzog ... Read more
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