Latest film reviews

Sugar: The sweetest poison?
(Sugar Coated, Sugar Blues)

Should sugar be regarded as a toxin equal to that of tobacco? Two documentaries focus on the sweet drug's damaging effects and on the sugar industry's attempt to trivialise them.

The houses we were, the cities we are
(The Houses We Were / DIALOGUE)

Two important but very different documentaries from 2018 showcase the power of the short film form.

The overlooked «in-betweener»
(Topo y Wera / Centar)

Two highlights of Doclisboa 2018 were documentaries from an often-overlooked category – the mid-length film.

What do you really know about Donbass? (Other than what you read in the news)
(Donbass)

Loznitsa's journey through the Donbass region is composed of a series of crazy adventures in which the grotesque and the tragic merge.

Sugar: The sweetest poison?
(Sugar Coated, Sugar Blues)

Should sugar be regarded as a toxin equal to that of tobacco? Two documentaries focus on the sweet drug's damaging effects and on the sugar industry's attempt to trivialise them.

The houses we were, the cities we are
(The Houses We Were / DIALOGUE)

Two important but very different documentaries from 2018 showcase the power of the short film form.

The overlooked «in-betweener»
(Topo y Wera / Centar)

Two highlights of Doclisboa 2018 were documentaries from an often-overlooked category – the mid-length film.

Taking down a regime
(Light a Candle, Write a History)

South Korean citizens made history when – armed with lighted candles and demands of justice – they brought down president Park Geun-hye and her conservative party in 2017. Director Nungcool and her crew documented the experience.

The Cuban veteran for whom the Revolution lives on
(To War)

As his country slowly moves past its communist decades, a Cuban veteran is stuck in the past.

Intimacy versus American convention
(Reconstructing Utøya/ 22 July)

Between the two recent films depicting the Utøya massacre, Reconstructing Utøya is the one that succeeds.

A hilarious examination of the human condition
(Mussolini’s Sister)

An intimate portrait of a sarcastic elderly Palestinian woman's life, relationships, regrets and bitterness enlightened by flashes of dark humour.

To set out for the Moon
(Hamada)

Hamada turns the attention to the rocky, wind-eroded desert of the Western Sahara, where the Sahrawi people have resided in refugee camps for more than 40 years.

Orwa Nyrabia – International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA)

The new artistic director at IDFA talks about the new features of the documentary industry and how watching a documentary can turn into a life-changing experience.

A pop doc out of the ordinary
(Matangi/Maya/M)

«Why are you a problematic pop star? » director Stephen Loveridge asks M.I.A. in his documentary. The answers provided by the film point towards more than an uncompromising and sometimes challenging personality.

A powerful cry for justice
(Police Killing (Auto de Resistencia))

Forensically detailed catalogue of state-sponsored killings paints a dark picture of the life and death for poor, black youngsters in Rio's sprawling shanty-towns.

How the toleration of crime can change everything
(Camorra)

A film revealing the many faces of decades of organised crime in Southern Italy.

Day-to-day life amongst a pro-Russian battalion in Ukraine
(Their Own Republic)

Their Own Republic by Russian director Aliona Polunina caused quite a fury at this year‘s Doclisboa due to its pro-Russian stance. The documentary nonetheless offers an interesting insight into the side of the Ukrainian conflict rarely portrayed in western media.

Intimacy versus American convention
(Reconstructing Utøya/ 22 July)

Between the two recent films depicting the Utøya massacre, Reconstructing Utøya is the one that succeeds.

Zero conference and Nobel prices

If you are prone to dismiss warnings about environmental destruction as exaggerations, you might as well stop reading right away.

Does the end justify the means?
(A River Below)

The power of science versus the power of television in the attempt to save the pink river dolphin.

A female role model

A new year, new opportunities. 17 years ago, Charlotte Horton left the UK for Italy, where she’s devoted her time to restoring Potentino castle. We meet to discuss the ecological attitude to life, local traditions, democracy and micro-politics.

From the editor

The Cuban veteran for whom the Revolution lives on
(To War)

As his country slowly moves past its communist decades, a Cuban veteran is stuck in the past.

A hilarious examination of the human condition
(Mussolini’s Sister)

An intimate portrait of a sarcastic elderly Palestinian woman's life, relationships, regrets and bitterness enlightened by flashes of dark humour.

To set out for the Moon
(Hamada)

Hamada turns the attention to the rocky, wind-eroded desert of the Western Sahara, where the Sahrawi people have resided in refugee camps for more than 40 years.

Orwa Nyrabia – International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA)

The new artistic director at IDFA talks about the new features of the documentary industry and how watching a documentary can turn into a life-changing experience.

A powerful cry for justice
(Police Killing (Auto de Resistencia))

Forensically detailed catalogue of state-sponsored killings paints a dark picture of the life and death for poor, black youngsters in Rio's sprawling shanty-towns.

How the toleration of crime can change everything
(Camorra)

A film revealing the many faces of decades of organised crime in Southern Italy.

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