Documentaries

Frederick Wiseman. Andrea Arnold. Anthony Bourdain. Helmut Newton. Dash Snow. David Wojnarowicz. The gig economy. A neglected gender- transgressing pioneer. Istanbul’s dogs. Competitive table setting.

Truth is definitely stranger than fiction with MIFF 69’s Documentaries strand, which presents – and probes – the many facets of real life. From famous and not-so-famous faces to spectacular and far-flung places, these films are inspiring, blood-boiling, educational, eye-opening, emotional, entertaining and true.

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All Light, Everywhere

All Light, Everywhere

A visionary exploration of the inherent biases in surveillance technology from one of North America’s most fascinating and inventive documentary filmmakers.

Bulletproof

Bulletproof

Hot Docs award winner Todd Chandler examines disturbing evolutions in today’s USA, where schools operate in the shadow of mass shootings.

Captains of Zaatari

Captains of Zaatari

This ode to sport and friendship takes us to the world’s largest Syrian refugee camp, where two soccer-obsessed teens see the game as their way out.

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City Hall

City Hall

Veteran filmmaker Frederick Wiseman offers a fascinating longform insight into the dramas, frustrations and triumphs of local government.

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Come Back Anytime

Come Back Anytime

Food lovers won’t be able to resist this tantalising story of a master ramen chef and his legendary Tokyo noodle shop.

Cow

Cow

Festival favourite Andrea Arnold gets up close and personal with a dairy cow to unveil a surprising and unknown world.

The Gig Is Up

The Gig Is Up

Subtitled A Very Human Tech Doc, this timely documentary exposes the true cost of the gig economy quietly powering our everyday lives.

Girls | Museum

Girls | Museum

A guided tour through art history as seen through the female gaze – and a savvy, subversive rejoinder to centuries of representation from the eyes of the male beholder.

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Helmut Newton: The Bad and the Beautiful

Helmut Newton: The Bad and the Beautiful

Misogynist or champion of women? This expansive portrait of a controversial fashion icon captures both light and shade.

He's My Brother

He's My Brother

Winning a Special Mention at CPH:DOX, this moving, poignant film is a love letter to a deaf and blind brother from his younger sister.

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James & Isey

James & Isey

Ahead of her 100th birthday, Isey and her devoted son James prepare for the party of a lifetime.

JFK Revisited: Through the Looking Glass

JFK Revisited: Through the Looking Glass

Oliver Stone knows who really killed the president. Now, his new documentary sets out to convince you.

Le temps perdu

Le temps perdu

A book group of Proust superfans elevate the art of collective reading and sharing to delightful new heights.

Moments Like This Never Last

Moments Like This Never Last

Director Cheryl Dunn

Dash Snow epitomised “live fast, die young”, ascending from New York’s fringe to the major international art scene during his brief existence.

The Monopoly of Violence

The Monopoly of Violence

This timely, intelligent and emotional examination of state-sanctioned violence reveals a disturbingly universal story.

Mr Bachmann and His Class

Mr Bachmann and His Class

Director Maria Speth

This sprawling, tender documentary captures the inspiring relationship between an unorthodox German schoolteacher and his culturally diverse teenage class.

My Name Is Pauli Murray

My Name Is Pauli Murray

Before Thurgood Marshall, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Rosa Parks, there was Pauli Murray. Remember their name.

North by Current

North by Current

Part road movie, part video essay, this lyrical tour-de-force from Angelo Madsen Minax finds catharsis in confronting family drama.

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Notturno

Notturno

From the director of Golden Bear winner Fire at Sea comes an achingly poetic, humane meditation on life in the shadow of war and the Islamic State.

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President

President

This tense and timely docu-thriller, which won a Sundance award for vérité filmmaking, plunges into the chaos of Zimbabwe’s first democratic elections.

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The Reason I Jump

The Reason I Jump

This Sundance 2020 Audience Award winner is a revelatory, immersive adaptation of Naoki Higashida’s memoir of a neurodiverse life.

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Roadrunner: A Film About Anthony Bourdain

Roadrunner: A Film About Anthony Bourdain

An intimate portrait of the life and death of beloved globe-trotting television presenter Anthony Bourdain from the Oscar-winning director of 20 Feet from Stardom.

Sabaya

Sabaya

This daring Sundance Directing Award winner tracks a band of volunteers out to rescue ISIS sex slaves from an infamous Syrian border camp.

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Set!

Set!

In the ruthless world of competitive table-setting, it’s knives at 20 places.

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Stray

Stray

Hot Docs 2020’s Best International Feature Documentary winner offers a dog’s-eye view of life in Istanbul.

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Street Gang: How We Got to Sesame Street

Street Gang: How We Got to Sesame Street

Sweep the clouds away with this joyous origin story of your favourite childhood TV show.

Under the Volcano

Under the Volcano

Director Gracie Otto

Go behind the music at the sunny Caribbean studio that birthed some of the biggest hits of the 1980s.

The Witches of the Orient

The Witches of the Orient

The acclaimed filmmaker behind John McEnroe: In the Realm of Perfection serves up the story of the Japanese women’s volleyball team who became icons.
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Wojnarowicz

Wojnarowicz

Director Chris McKim

Artist, outsider, writer, queer activist. David Wojnarowicz was all of these things and more, as Chris McKim captures in his fiery documentary.