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Documentaries

From actuality to direct cinema and the film essay, the documentary form is one of cinema’s pre-eminent mediums.

Places and people are the focus of this subscription collection, and filmmakers themselves come under the spotlight in our series of films about cinema.

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Our New PresidentOur New President

Documentary201878 minsDirector: Maxim Pozdorovkin

The Russian media's obsession with the election of Donald Trump is told entirely through clips, in this fascinating essay on news bias, pop culture and the power of images.

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ArcadiaArcadia

Documentary201779 minsDirector: Paul Wright

A folk horror wrapped up in an archive film, set to a soundtrack by Adrian Utley (Portishead) and Will Gregory (Goldfrapp).

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Room 237Room 237

Documentary2012103 minsDirector: Rodney Ascher

Rodney Ascher's enigmatic essay film weaves together the contrasting theories of five different narrators who believe Stanley Kubrick deliberately buried hidden messages in his 1980 adaptation of Stephen King’s novel.

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Are You Proud?Are You Proud?

Documentary201896 minsDirector: Ashley Joiner

Celebratory yet reflective documentary charting the LGBTQ+ movement's momentous journey towards equality.

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New Town UtopiaNew Town Utopia

Documentary201781 minsDirector: Christopher Ian Smith

From Utopian dreams to concrete realities; charting the challenging, funny, and sometimes tragic story of the British new town of Basildon, Essex.

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Back to BerlinBack to Berlin

Documentary201876 minsDirector: Catherine Lurie

Riding on their steel steeds, eleven bikers expose their family pasts, as they power through eight countries from Tel Aviv to the infamous 1936 Berlin Olympic stadium, in this compelling and cathartic documentary.

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Welcome to LeithWelcome to Leith

Documentary201586 minsDirector: Michael Beach Nichols

What would you do if a Nazi moved next door? This chilling documentary follows the white supremacist takeover of a tiny Dakotan town.

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This Our Still LifeThis Our Still Life

Documentary201156 minsDirector: Andrew Kötting

23-year-old Eden is shown drawing and painting still lifes in her Pyrenean family home.

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A Cambodian SpringA Cambodian Spring

Documentary2017127 minsDirector: Chris Kelly

Filmed over 6 years, Chris Kelly's BAFTA-nominated documentary follows the lives of three people caught up in violent land-rights protests, in this illuminating record of a neglected tragedy.

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A Moving ImageA Moving Image

Drama201674 minsDirector: Shola Amoo

The gentrification of London’s Brixton is examined in this probing and stylistically ambitious debut feature.

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Island of the Hungry GhostsIsland of the Hungry Ghosts

Documentary201898 minsDirector: Gabrielle Brady

A therapist helps traumatised refugees detained on a remote island where powerful natural and tribal rituals prevail, in this extraordinary mix of fact and fiction.

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Dispossession: The Great Social Housing SwindleDispossession: The Great Social Housing Swindle

Documentary201782 minsDirector: Paul Sng

Maxine Peake narrates this forthright polemic on the consequences of the 1980s Right-to-Buy scheme on the nation's affordable housing.

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Before StonewallBefore Stonewall

Documentary198484 minsDirector: Greta Schiller

Documenting the testimonies from those who dared to challenge the world and helped create the modern gay community.

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I Am DivineI Am Divine

Documentary201390 minsDirector: Jeffrey Schwarz

A unique documentary about a unique person – follow Divine’s life from humble Baltimore beginnings to superstar status as the Queen of Cult.

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London London

Animation & Artists Moving Image199485 minsDirector: Patrick Keiller

The first in Patrick Keiller’s highly imaginative trilogy of films is a photographic trip through London, recounted by our unseen narrator.

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The Stuart Hall ProjectThe Stuart Hall Project

Documentary201399 minsDirector: John Akomfrah

Composed of film, music and photographs from the archives, a fascinating portrait of the life and times of the founder of cultural studies and the New Left Experience.

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Buena Vista Social ClubBuena Vista Social Club

Documentary1999101 minsDirector: Wim Wenders

Cuba’s rich and colourful past comes vividly to life in this legendary, Oscar-nominated documentary from director Wim Wenders (Paris, Texas, Wings of Desire).

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I Am BelfastI Am Belfast

Documentary201584 minsDirector: Mark Cousins

Mark Cousins’ dreamlike evocation of his home city discovers a capital of rich history and startling beauty.

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Two in the WaveTwo in the Wave

Documentary200992 minsDirector: Emmanuel Laurent

Jean Luc-Godard and Francois Truffaut: the story of a friendship, a break-up and the birth of a new cinematic movement that would sweep the world.

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Speaking of BuñuelSpeaking of Buñuel

Documentary200099 minsDirector: José Luis López Linares

José Luis López-Linares and Javier Rioyo’s incisive documentary about Luis Buñuel.

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Celluloid ManCelluloid Man

Documentary2012156 minsDirector: Shivendra Singh Dungarpur

A tribute to film archivist and obsessive cinephile P.K. Nair, and his long, hard fight to preserve India's precious film heritage.

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A Personal Journey... Part 1A Personal Journey... Part 1

Documentary199572 minsDirector: Martin Scorsese

The first part of Martin Scorsese's 'personal journey' through American Cinema.

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A Personal Journey… Part 2A Personal Journey… Part 2

Documentary199579 minsDirector: Martin Scorsese

The second part of Martin Scorsese's 'personal journey' through American Cinema.

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A Personal Journey… Part 3A Personal Journey… Part 3

Documentary199574 minsDirector: Martin Scorsese

The third part of Martin Scorsese's 'personal journey' through American Cinema

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My Voyage to Italy (part one)My Voyage to Italy (part one)

Documentary2001120 minsDirector: Martin Scorsese

Martin Scorsese’s two-part love letter to Italian cinema is epic and sprawling in scope but also a deeply personal and moving testament to his passion for film.

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My Voyage to Italy (part two)My Voyage to Italy (part two)

Documentary2001126 minsDirector: Martin Scorsese

Martin Scorsese’s two-part love letter to Italian cinema is epic and sprawling in scope but also a deeply personal and moving testament to his passion for film.

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From the Sea to the Land BeyondFrom the Sea to the Land Beyond

Documentary201273 minsDirector: Penny Woolcock

This fascinating and moving film by award-winning director Penny Woolcock is a lyrical portrait of Britain's coastline which features a score by British Sea Power.

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Of Time and the CityOf Time and the City

Documentary200874 minsDirector: Terence Davies

Brilliantly mixing archive film and music, Liverpool-born director Terence Davies reflects with wit and wisdom on a times of change, for good or ill

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London the Modern BabylonLondon the Modern Babylon

Documentary2012128 minsDirector: Julien Temple

The story of London told through a century of popular music and film archive treasures.

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Letters from BaghdadLetters from Baghdad

Documentary201691 minsDirector: Sabine Krayenbühl

Tilda Swinton narrates the extraordinary journey of Gertrude Bell, a singular woman who played a significant – often unrecognised – role in British imperial policy making in Iraq.

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Night Will FallNight Will Fall

Documentary201475 minsDirector: André Singer

An unforgettable, compelling account of the production and subsequent restoration of a withheld film recording the liberation of Nazi concentration camps in 1945.

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Shoah (First Era)Shoah (First Era)

Documentary1985274 minsDirector: Claude Lanzmann

Claude Lanzmann's monumental chronicle of the Holocaust has been acclaimed by many as the greatest documentary ever made.

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Shoah (Second Era)Shoah (Second Era)

Documentary1985293 minsDirector: Claude Lanzmann

Claude Lanzmann's monumental chronicle of the Holocaust has been acclaimed by many as the greatest documentary ever made.

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A Syrian Love StoryA Syrian Love Story

Documentary201576 minsDirector: Sean McAllister

The inspiring journey towards freedom of Raghda and Amer, a couple brought together by the turmoil of the Syrian Civil War.

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Brand: A Second ComingBrand: A Second Coming

Documentary2015105 minsDirector: Ondi Timoner

Russell Brand ponders his political awakening and messianic tendencies in Ondi Timoner’s perceptive and very funny documentary.

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Why We FightWhy We Fight

Documentary200499 minsDirector: Eugene Jarecki

An unflinching and award-winning look at the anatomy of American war-making.

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SwandownSwandown

Documentary2012107 minsDirector: Andrew Kötting

Filmmaker Andrew Kötting and writer Iain Sinclair embark on a quest from Hastings to East London by pedalo.

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Room 666Room 666

Documentary198446 minsDirector: Wim Wenders

Wim Wenders invites a group of filmmakers at the 1982 Cannes Film Festival – including Godard, Fassbinder, Herzog and Spielberg – to discuss cinema.

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Tokyo-GaTokyo-Ga

Documentary198592 minsDirector: Wim Wenders

Profiling one of the great directors of World Cinema, Wim Wenders delivers this moving portrait of Japanese auteur Yasujiro Ozu.