“I’d never share a rope with him” is about as damning a comment as anyone can make about a fellow mountaineer. Sir Edmund Hillary’s words about Earle Riddiford in his last autobiography set the uneasy tone of this nuanced documentary by Earle’s son Richard Riddiford.
- Artist Cinema
- Based on Books
- Coming of Age
- Crossing Borders
- Family Stories
- Films About Films
- Found Footage
- Gala Premieres
- Human Rights
- Love Stories
- Rural Life
- Science Fiction
- War Zones
- World Premiere
Turner Ross and Bill Ross IV (Western, NZIFF15) turn their instinctive, unblinking documentary lens on the patrons of a grimy Las Vegas bar enjoying one last round – a glorious snapshot of Americana that’s at once dark, moving and flat-out funny.
“Algorithmic justice” is one of the most important civil rights issues today, says computer scientist and digital activist Joy Buolamwini, in this accessible and compelling documentary about artificial intelligence and the biased algorithms that power it.
The untold story of Baltimore club music is brought to ecstatic life against the backdrop of the city’s depression, and through the black and LGBTQI+ communities galvanised by musical expression, in TT the Artist’s bristling documentary.
Playing outside the boundaries of drama and documentary, this adventurous self-portrait of a 20-something artist and dancer asks the question, “if you could star in the film of your life, how would you rewrite the script?”
Demain est à nous
These bright young activists are the voices of their generation, fighting against extreme poverty, social inequalities and climate change. They are the children who will change the world.
In the increasing public discourse on mental health, Leanne Pooley’s inspiring and fearless documentary tracks an extraordinary young woman’s journey from suicide survivor to advocate for those struggling. The fact it leaves you hopeful and with tangible advice makes it vital viewing.
Vivid and strikingly objective, Zhou Bing’s in-the-field documentary covering both sides of Hong Kong’s pro-democracy Umbrella Movement examines the personal and political identities at odds in this ongoing conflict.
Lauren Greenfield (The Queen of Versailles, NZIFF12) harnesses extraordinary access and the boastful, unrepentant nature of her subject, Imelda Marcos, in this unsettling chronicle of ill-gotten wealth and political corruption.
Intrigued by cruise ships and the people who frequent them, Sophie Dros’ fascinating documentary focuses on an extravagant Scottish Baron whose love of luxury liners masks a very human need for affection and validation.
In this fresh cinephilic appreciation, French film critic Michel Ciment’s taped interviews with Stanley Kubrick breathe new life into the legacy of one of the most celebrated and studied directors of all time.
Unpacking one of the landmark films of the 1970s, William Friedkin talks big on the secrets and success of The Exorcist in this stellar cinematic essay, framed around an epic six-day interview with the maverick director.
This surprisingly touching romantic odyssey documents charismatic Jola, a stylish sexagenarian embracing newly won love and liberation after an abusive, decades-long marriage.
Director Anna Marbrook honours the last voyage of the great waka maker, sailor and mentor Ema Siope, whose journeys between Aotearoa and Sāmoa in search of healing, and her family’s reckoning with systemic abuse, are powerfully documented.
A belated and buoyant documentary portrait of Martin Margiela, celebrated for his trailblazing designs and humble, enigmatic persona within the flamboyant fashion world.
By turns comedic and Kafkaesque, this fly-on-the-wall doco observes the fortunes of Ramallah, an epicentre of Palestinian commerce and culture, and its tireless mayor, whose work to better the city is met with danger and frustration.
In this genuinely powerful and illuminating documentary, we step inside an outpatient mental health clinic run by a sympathetic elderly doctor to pull back “the invisible curtain” obscuring the world of Japan’s mentally ill.
The saga of The Band, whose iconic farewell concert was immortalised in The Last Waltz, continues to captivate in this new documentary shaped from the perspective of guitarist-songwriter Robbie Robertson, only one of two surviving members.
A peek behind the curtain of the self-proclaimed “Disneyland for Retirees”, first-time director Lance Oppenheim’s humorous and bittersweet documentary follows four recent arrivals as they search for the American Dream.
Compiling rare found-footage into an unnerving visual essay on Stalin’s cult of personality, this disquieting film observes the notorious Soviet leader’s 1953 funeral procession – and with it, the end spectacle of a tyrannical regime.
Ze Noemen me Baboe
Indonesia’s shifting colonial landscape is examined through startling archival footage and the remarkable story of one nanny who, while caring for a Dutch family, braved occupation and social upheaval to find her own independence.
Lala Rolls’ fascinating quest to examine what happens to a Tahitian high priest and navigator when he travels across the pacific – and further on towards England as a translator and guest (or is it as a living trophy?) – aboard Captain James Cook’s HMS Endeavour.
The great Ai Weiwei, giant of contemporary Chinese, activist and human rights art, directs with breathtaking outrage this soul-searching documentary on the devastation of a Mexican community gutted by a mass abduction of students.
Aasta täis draamat
Nourishing and unexpectedly moving, director Marta Pulk’s documentary takes us to theatre-mad Estonia, where a young, inexperienced woman wins a job to watch and critique every theatre production in a calendar year.
This essential follow-up to Soda Kazuhiro’s taboo-breaking documentary on mental illness in Japanese society revisits the pillar of that film, Dr Yamamoto Masatomo, as he prepares to bid his patients farewell and enter into retirement.