.reviews

Reviews of documentaries (and some non-fiction films)

A mesmerising portrayal of India’s extreme right

Covering more than a century of Indian history, Patwardhan weaves a story that exposes the roots of Hindu nationalism and the endless war against India’s «imaginary demons».

War is war

The little-seen world of Russian volunteers fighting in Ukrainian rebel provinces.

Fragments of experience

Across Afghanistan, Kosovo, and Washington DC, musician PJ Harvey and photojournalist Seamus Murphy craft a beautifully shot, sensitively edited film on observation, experience, and the creative process.

Colonial voyeurism revisited

It is hard to tell if the archival documentary African Mirror is a rehabilitation of a colonial mind, a critique of colonialism or a piece of essayistic nostalgia over the colonial gaze. Probably it is a mix, and as such, nothing new.

No winners, no losers

While US Democrats, Republicans and the President bicker over a border wall, Chèche Lavi shows what whimsical policy measures mean to real people.

The use of fiction to bring forth reality

«It’s the strangest kind of documentary where the main character was not real but everybody else was», says Eugene Richards about his new film Thy Kingdom Come.

Documentary as a transmission medium

The new documentary Spaces of Exception draws parallels between the experiences of oppression and resistance in Native American reservations and Palestinian refugee camps.

From «success story» to chaos and confusion

But Now is Perfect tells the story of how a small local village in the south of Italy opened up their community and welcomed refugees seeking a better future in Europe. But it is also a story about loss and tragedy.

Touring Port-au-Prince’s graveyard (guided by a goat)

The Haitian goat Britis proves an excellent mute guide at the Grand Cimetière in the Haitian capital Port-au-Prince, squeezing through narrow passageways as he inquisitively scurries from crypt to crypt.

Theo Angelopoulos, the filmmaker of migration

In Letter to Theo, French director Élodie Lélu revisits Angelopoulos’ unfinished film, reminiscing on their collaborative work on the project that was in some ways prophetic of the present-day Greece.
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