Documentaries that will amaze and inform in equal measure.
Carol Channing: Larger Than Life and Better This World
At Night I Fly
(Country: Sweden, Denmark; Year: 2011; Director: Michel Wenzer)
“It’s a place where everything that is fucked up gets deposited. And that’s why I’m here,” says Marty, one of the maximum security inmates in California’s New Folsom Prison. But the Marty of today seems very far from fucked up - he’s one of many articulate, eloquent inmates who has benefitted from the prison’s long running Arts in Correction programme. The group’s acting, rapping and writing help hardened ex gang members get in touch with their humanity – something of utmost importance in this most dehumanizing of institutions. The roaming, meditative camera takes us into every corner of prison life, a life governed by routine and boredom. It’s also ruled by the ever present threat of violence, as racial tension runs high and stabbings are frequent. Above all, New Folsom is about mind over matter, with many of the prisoners struggling to come to terms with the bleakest of sentences: life without the possibility of parole.
Autumn Gold (Herbstgold)
(Country: Germany; Year: 2010; Director: Jan Tenhaven; Stars: Alfred Proksch, Gabre Gabic, Herbert Liedke)
A group of athletes aged between 80 and 100 train to compete in track and field events.
Better This World
(Country: US; Year: 2011; Director: Katie Galloway, Kelly Duane de la Vega; Writer: Katie Galloway, Kelly Duane de la Vega; Stars: Brad Crowder, David McKay, Brandon Darby), Official Site
A dramatic story of idealism, loyalty, and betrayal that reveals a great deal about the culture of protest and the paranoia of post-9/11 America.
The Bengali Detective
(Country: India, US, UK; Year: 2011; Director: Phil Cox; Stars: Rajesh Ji, Minnie Ji, Betu Ji), Official Site
A private detective with a passion for disco tries to clean up the streets of Kolkata in a documentary like no other.
(Country: US; Year: 2011; Director: Cindy Meehl; Stars: Buck Brannaman)
In a story about the power of non-violence, master horse trainer Buck Brannaman uses principles of respect and trust to tame horses and inspire their human counterparts.
This Is Not A Film and Sing Your Song
Carol Channing: Larger Than Life
(Country: US; Year: 2011; Director: Dori Berinstein; Writer: Dori Berinstein, Adam Zucker; Stars: Carol Channing, Harry Kullijian, Betty Garrett, Tippi Hedren, Tyne Daly, Lily Tomlin, Barbara Walters, Phyllis Diller, Angela Lansbury)
Director Dori Berinstein captures the magic and vivacity of the ninetysomething showbiz icon.
Family Portrait In Black And White
(Country: Canada; Year: 2011; Director: Julia Ivanova), Official Site
A middle aged Ukrainian woman raises twenty seven children in a crumbling rural house, whilst racial prejudice threatens the security of many of the adoptees.
Gerhard Richter Painting
(Country: Germany; Year: 2011; Director: Corinna Belz; Stars: Gerhard Richter)
A look at the creative process and inner life of the celebrated abstract painter.
How To Die In Oregon
(Country: US; Year: 2011; Director: Peter Richardson)
A look at Oregonians who choose physician-assisted suicide - and those battling to bring in similar laws in other states.
Into The Abyss: A Tale Of Death, A Tale Of Life
(Country: USA; Year: 2011; Director: Werner Herzog; Writer: Werner Herzog; Stars: None)
Werner Herzog's powerful exploration of violence and its consequences, told through Death Row inmates and others close to their crimes.
Gerhard Richter Painting and Into The Abyss: A Tale Of Death, A Tale Of Life
(Country: Germany; Year: 2011; Director: Cyril Tuschi; Writer: Cyril Tuschi; Stars: Mikhail Borisovich Khodorkovsky, Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin)
A documentary about the mystery surrounding the imprisoned Russian oligarch.
The Mexican Suitcase
(Country: Mexico, Spain, US; Year: 2011; Director: Trisha Ziff; Writer: Trisha Ziff)
A documentary about the mystery of missing negatives created by iconic photographer Robert Capa and his friends during the Spanish Civil War.
Planet Of Snail
(Country: South Korea; Year: 2011; Director: Seung-Jun Yi; Stars: Young-Chan, Soon-Ho), Official Site
Documentary about a deaf-blind man and his wife.
Sing Your Song
(Country: US; Year: 2011; Director: Susanne Rostock; Writer: Susanne Rostock; Stars: Harry Belafonte, Sidney Poitier, Marge Champion, Fran Scott Attaway, Julian Bond, George Schlatter, Adrienne Belafonte-Biesmeyer, Diahann Carroll, Mike Merrick, Julie Robinson, Coretta Scott King, Merv Griffin, Odetta, Gloria Lynne, Robert De Cormier)
Documentary charting the career of Harry Belafonte - singer, actor and political activist.
This Is Not A Film (In Film Nist)
(Country: Iran; Year: 2011; Director: Jafar Panahi, Mojtaba Mirtahmasb; Writer: Jafar Panahi; Stars: Jafar Panahi, Igi, Mrs. Gheirat, Mojtaba Mirtahmasb, Rakhsan, Sima, Micky, Hasan, Jafar Panahi, Igi, Mrs. Gheirat, Mojtaba Mirtahmasb, Rakhsan, Sima, Micky)
Jafar Panahi's postcard from Iran.
The Mexican Suitcase and Family Portrait In Black And White
(Country: USA; Year: 2011; Director: Benjamin Murray, Alysa Nahmias; Stars: Vittorio Garatti, Roberto Gottardi, Ricardo Porro)
In 1961, Fidel Castro commissioned Ricardo Porro, Roberto Gottardi and Vittorio Garatti to design ‘the most beautiful of art schools in the world’. They succeeded beyond his wildest dreams with the National Art Schools built in the grounds of a lavish golf course previously frequented by the rich and privileged. The spectacular, futuristic school became a centre of artistic excellence until 1965 when the revolution changed, the construction was halted and the trio went into exile. Unfinished Spaces reunites the three architects forty years later for emotional recollections of what happened and beautiful images of decaying buildings that deserve to be preserved. A masterful mixture of archive history, politics and hope.