A selection of the most impressive recent documentary films from around the world.
Joan Rivers: A Piece Of Work and Nostalgia For The Light
12th & Delaware
(Country: US; Year: 2010; Director: Rachel Grady, Heidi Ewing), Official Site
The abortion battle continues to rage in unexpected ways on an unassuming corner in America.
12 Angry Lebanese - The Documentary
(Country: Lebanon; Year: 2009; Director: Zeina Daccache)
A multiple award winning documentary looking at a drama project in a Lebanese prison.
(Country: Brazil; Year: 2009; Director: Bruno Safadi, Noa Bressane)
A look at the remarkable film legacy of Julio Bressane and Rogerio Sganzerla, unseen in its time due to pressure from the military dictatorship.
Big Birding Day
(Country: US; Year: 2010; Director: David Wilson)
A group of men aim to break the world record for the largest number of bird species heard in 24 hours.
(Country: US; Year: 2010; Director: Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman)
An internet flirtation leads to a complicated romance in which things are not as they appear.
Hope and Quadrangle
(Country: US; Year: 2010; Director: Etienne Sauret)
Ageing scientist Alexander Sasha Shulgin discusses his invention of MDMA and his wife talks about the importance of being able to make love on the new drugs they experiment with.
Fragments Of A Lost Palestine
(Country: France; Year: 2010; Director: Norma Marcos)
A filmmaker visiting her ailing mother aims to show the vibrant, positive side of Palestinian culture that goes on even in times of conflict.
(Country: Brazil; Year: 2010; Director: Anna Azevedo)
An introduction to the devoted fans of Flumensiese football club.
(Country: Turkey; Year: 2010; Director: Rodi Yüzbasi)
A visit to a Turkish village scarred by war whose cyclical approach to time is confounded by the young people's desire to leave for the city.
Jean-Michel Basquiat: The Radiant Child
(Country: US; Year: 2010; Director: Tamra Davis)
The story of artist Jean-Michel Basquiat, whose work defined, electrified and challenged an era, and whose untimely death at age 27 has made him a cultural icon.
The Mystery Of Flying Kicks and My Perestroika
Joan Rivers: A Piece Of Work
(Country: US; Year: 2010; Director: Ricki Stern, Annie Sundberg; Stars: Joan Rivers, Melissa Rivers)
Honest and open portrait of the groundbreaking comedienne.
The Kids Grow Up
(Country: US, UK, Germany, Netherlands; Year: 2009; Director: Doug Block; Stars: Doug Block, Lucy Block)
Director Doug Block explores his relationship with his daughter Lucy and his distress at the realisation that one day she will leave home.
(Country: Iran; Year: 2010; Director: Mahvash Sheikholeslami)
An elderly shepherd discusses his self-appointed mission to protect an ancient Elamite temple and its archaeologically precious engravings.
Life With Murder
(Country: Canada; Year: 2010; Director: John Kastner; Stars: Brian Jenkins, Leslie Jenkins, Mason Jenkins)
A look at the consequences of a couple's decision to support their son after he was convicted of the murder of their daughter.
Love In One Breath
(Country: Turkey; Year: 2010; Director: Kahraman Gunes, Dicle Atan, Aysenur Yalcin, Gokay Gurtunca)
An introduction to the ney, a type of reed flute, exploring its importance to Mevlevi philosophy.
The Oath and The "Socalled" Movie
The Miscreants Of Taliwood
(Country: Australia; Year: 2009; Director: George Gittoes)
A trip to the Pakistan-Afghanistan borderland where filmmakers risk their lives to make the social melodramas and comedies loathed by the Taliban.
(Country: Australia; Year: 2010; Director: Lesley Branagan)
A Somalian immigrant to Australia explores his identity through landscape paintings.
(Country: US, UK, Russia; Year: 2010; Director: Robin Hessman), Official Site
Five Muscovites talk about their lives and the changing state of Russia over the past 35 years.
Nostalgia For The Light (Nostalgia De La Luz)
(Country: France, Germany, Chile; Year: 2010; Director: Patricio Guzmán)
A documentary about astronomers in Chile's Atacama Desert who gather to consider the stars while beneath the ground lie the remnants of ancient civilisations.
(Country: US, Cuba, Yemen; Year: 2010; Director: Laura Poitras)
The story of two men whose fateful encounter in 1996 set them on a course of events that led them to Afghanistan, Osama bin Laden, 9/11, Guantanamo, and the US Supreme Court.
Once Upon Our Time
(Country: Tunisia; Year: 2010; Director: Hichem Ben Ammar)
A father is prepared to do anything to help his violin prodigy son achieve success, but is gradually losing him in the process.
Player Hating: A Love Story
(Country: US; Year: 2009; Director: Maggie Hadleigh-West)
A documentary about young hip hop artist Half-a-Mill and his struggle to deal with an aggressive, highly competitive environment.
(Country: US; Year: 2009; Director: Amy Grappell)
Two couples recount their complex sexual and romantic involvement.
(Country: Georgia, Germany, Norway; Year: 2010; Director: Olga Konskaya, Andrei Nekrasov)
An investigation into Russian actions during the 2008 war in Georgia, revealing the little known story of the ethnic cleansing in the region since the dissolution of the Soviet Union.
Secrets Of The Tribe
(Country: Brazil; Year: 2010; Director: José Padilha)
Is the academic Anthropology community capable of generating real knowledge about mankind? The scandals and the infighting regarding the representation of indigenous Indians in the Amazon Basin seems to indicate that the answer may be a resounding no.
Sex Magic, Manifesting Maya
(Country: US; Year: 2010; Director: Jonathan Schell, Eric Liebman)
A sex shaman asks his lovers to help him in using sex magic to recover his one true love.
The "Socalled" Movie
(Country: Canada; Year: 2010; Director: Garry Beitel)
The story of rapper Josh Dolgin, alias Socalled, and his fusion of hip hop with traditional Jewish music.
Sons Of Perdition
(Country: US; Year: 2010; Director: Tyler Measom, Jennilyn Merten), Official Site
In the polygamist community cultivated by the notorious (and now incarcerated) “prophet” Warren Jeffs, women are a commodity, children are reared to be ignorant, and free thought is surrendered. For a group of teenage boys, the desire for autonomy means banishment from their homes and families. This fascinating documentary explores the heartbreaking losses and hopeful determination of these exiles as they struggle to make new lives in mainstream America.
(Country: Singapore; Year: 2009; Director: Sherman Ong)
A docudrama about an ambitious young woman who travels to Singapore to sell cinema tickets in the hope of becoming a movie star.
Vapor Trail (Clark)
(Country: US; Year: 2010; Director: John Gianvito; Stars: John Gianvito)
John Gianvito explains his dedication to uncover and challenge the military negligence that has harmed generations of people in the Philippines.
Waiting For Superman
(Country: US; Year: 2010; Director: Davis Guggenheim)
examines the crisis of public education in the United States through multiple interlocking stories—from a handful of students and their families whose futures hang in the balance, to the educators and reformers trying to find real and lasting solutions within a dysfunctional system.
The Wilderness Downtown
(Country: US; Year: 2010; Director: Chris Milk)
An experimental interactive animation.
William S. Burroughs: A Man Within (William S Burroughs: A Man Within)
(Country: US; Year: 2010; Director: Yony Leyser; Stars: William S. Burroughs, Peter Weller)
A biopic of revolutionary writer William S. Burroughs, exploring his drug use, his sexuality, his methods, his madness and his work.