.reviews

Reviews of documentaries (and some non-fiction films)

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.

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.

Walls of fear
(The Border Fence)

The Border Fence draws out the anxieties and fears of a community in the grip of a shifting political landscape, provoking unavoidable parallels with an increasingly divisive Europe.

Is it a crime to save lives?
(To the Four Winds)

Acting in the name of human rights has become a criminal act in France.

One of the greatest leaders of the 20th century
(Meeting Gorbachev)

Meeting Gorbachev is an intimate and engaging portrait of the man who unwittingly prompted the collapse of the Soviet Union.