Review: Purple Sea

Directors: Amel Alzakout, Khaled Abdulwahed Stars: Amel Alzakout While fleeing Syria by sea in 2015, the boat carrying Amel Alzakout capsized, plunging her and many other refugees into the water. Attached to her wrist, Alzakout's GoPro captured the event in full, and from a vantage point that we couldn't possibly have been afforded otherwise. Purple Sea … Continue reading Review: Purple Sea

Review: The Most Beautiful Boy in the World

Directors: Kristina Lindström, Kristian Petri With The Most Beautiful Boy in the World, Kristina Lindström and Kristian Petri attempt earnestly to make a documentary about the pitfalls of exploiting the vulnerable for the sake of making art. Yet, in the process, fall into the self-same trap. For modern audiences Björn Andresen is probably most recognisable as the … Continue reading Review: The Most Beautiful Boy in the World

Viewfinder: Only the Winds

Director: Karim Kassem Stars: Karim Kassem, Zeinab Hind Khadra, Lyne Ramadan For a new generation of global filmmakers, the lines that separate drama and documentary have become a fertile ground for experimentation and play. One might feel cautious; that the fidelity of the truth might have become watered down after Trump and everything else. But … Continue reading Viewfinder: Only the Winds

Review: Notturno

Director: Gianfranco Rosi If the world is getting smaller thanks to the freer access to information and ideas, then borders have become the natural pressure points at which differing cultures and sets of values intersect. These geographical lines - which can seem somewhat arbitrary to those looking from afar - are fractal lines of tension … Continue reading Review: Notturno

Review: If It Were Love

Director: Patric Chiha Stars: Gisèle Vienne, Kerstin Daley-Baradel, Sylvain Decloitre The relentless, propulsive rhythms of '90s rave music, out of context, are some of the most purely irritating sounds one can encounter (ever had noisy neighbours?). So guttural and invasive, violent and ceaseless. But with rave music context is everything. It's a genre that is … Continue reading Review: If It Were Love

Review: Dick Johnson is Dead

Director: Kirsten Johnson This year has seen a lot of people lose elderly relatives to the ongoing global pandemic and most families have been unable to say a traditional goodbye through funeral ceremonies. Reduced gatherings, social distancing... these things and more have been barriers at times, stopping us from communing when we most feel the … Continue reading Review: Dick Johnson is Dead

Review: Mute Fire

Director: Federico Atehortúa Arteaga Arteaga initially set out to make a documentary about the origins of Colombian cinema; itself a fertile ground for exploration. In the process of doing so, however, he came to realise that the medium's tentative first steps were inherently connected to the country's history of violence and civil unrest; something that … Continue reading Review: Mute Fire

Review: Varda by Agnès

Director: Agnès Varda Agnès Varda died on 29 March this year at the age of 90. I've seen too few of her films: the ones offered to me by MUBI in the wake of her death... last year's charming Faces Places... her own mini-documentary on the making of partner Jacques Demy's The Young Girls Of … Continue reading Review: Varda by Agnès

Review: Amazing Grace

Directors: Alan Elliott, Sydney Pollack Stars: Aretha Franklin, Reverend James Cleveland, Clara Ward In Stanley Kubrick's 1980 film The Shining there is a scene in which Scatman Crothers' hotel employee Dick Halloran talks to young Danny Torrance about his incredible psychic gift. In order to put it into words that the boy can understand, he likens … Continue reading Review: Amazing Grace

Review: Homecoming: A Film By Beyoncé

Director: Beyoncé Knowles-Carter "I wanted every person who has ever been dismissed because of the way they look to feel like they were on that stage, killing 'em, killing 'em." This quote from Beyoncé, which floats through the first of Homecoming's intervals, should serve to quiet dismissals that this film is merely a concert film. It is … Continue reading Review: Homecoming: A Film By Beyoncé

Review: RBG

Directors: Julie Cohen, Betsy West With biopic On The Basis Of Sex currently playing in cinemas, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is having something of a career victory lap at the movies. Complimenting the dramatised version of her life starring Felicity Jones (or perhaps showing it up) is this delightful documentary from Julie Cohen and … Continue reading Review: RBG

Review: Free Solo

Directors: Jimmy Chin, Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi Renowned climber Alex Honnold is, at first glance, your typical extreme-sports type; gangly, obsessive, prodigiously selfish and prone to describing himself as "stoked". This film, made by Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi in partnership with expert aerial cinematographer Jimmy Chin, documents Honnold. It acts as a character portrait, framed around his … Continue reading Review: Free Solo

Review: Three Identical Strangers

Director: Tim Wardle We've all heard of the theory of six degrees of separation (or six degrees of Kevin Bacon, if you prefer). How society is interwoven to the degree that you can join the dots between any six people and find some form of connection. Tim Wardle's enthused documentary Three Identical Strangers delves into this … Continue reading Review: Three Identical Strangers

Review: American Animals

Director: Bart Layton Stars: Barry Keoghan, Evan Peters, Blake Jenner To what extent are movies culpable in real life crimes? It's a question that rears its head with regularity, particularly when the perpetrator(s) are young. Popular culture has a self-evident influence over our lives, shaping (but not defining) our preferences and politics, and perhaps also … Continue reading Review: American Animals

Review: Strong Island

Director:  Yance Ford In this bold documentary, Yance Ford scrutinises racial prejudices and segregation in the United States by bringing intense humanity to the subject, itemising a family tragedy by way of example. In 1992, his brother William Ford, Jr. was murdered but his killer evaded justice. Now, twenty-five years later, Ford uses his abilities … Continue reading Review: Strong Island