Back in May 2019, I made an important decision. Rather than reviewing films from a broad range of genres, I decided to focus my attention on documentary film.
Why? Well for two reasons really.
First, I absolutely love (love, love) documentaries and I really just want to talk/write about these incredible films. Second, while so many fiction films get popcorn bucket loads of attention, docs often fly under the radar.
As a result, I created Doc 7. You can find out all about Doc 7 here but, long story short, Doc 7 is a collection of documentary films based on a specific theme.
My first Doc 7 collection explored climbing. My inspiration was Free Solo. Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi and Jimmy Chin’s stunning (and Oscar-winning) film follows the attempt by their friend, Alex Honnold, to climb El Capitan's 900-metre vertical rock face at Yosemite National Park - without ropes.
Free Solo is an incredible cinematic experience. Watching this film I (almost) felt that I was climbing alongside Honnold. Meanwhile, Free Solo also examines the ethics and responsibilities of documentary making.
Documentaries like Free Solo, Meru, K2: Siren Of The Himalayas and Sherpa offer a taste of the beauty, danger and intensity of some of the world's highest locations. These very real stories have more heart, emotion and edge of your seat thrills than many (many) fiction films.
After my Doc 7 series on climbing, I travelled through many doc themes including
As a result, I have decided to make a second documentary film collection. All of my doc reviews are now in one place and listed in alphabetical order. You can find this documentary film collection here.
So, if you ever fancy a documentary… just click here and you will find a host of superb films that are gripping, entertaining, thought provoking, full of life and, critically, well worth your precious time.
Meanwhile, if you have a documentary that you would like to recommend, please do let me know. Leave me a note in the comments section below or let’s chat about all things documentary film on Twitter. You can find me @500DaysOf Film.