It is tempting to feel a sense of hope as we enter a new year, despite the continued uncertainty. I so hope that we can move out of these dark times. I hope that our lives can (safely) return to “normal”. I hope that we can all visit the cinema once again…
2020 was so difficult on so many levels. However, it did offer us a ray of light - a host of superb documentaries. From Dick Johnson Is Dead, to Collective, from The Mole Agent to The Painter And The Thief, we have been spoiled for choice (click here for the best documentaries of the year!).
So, what will 2021 bring? Here are some must-watch documentaries (based on confirmed UK release dates) to watch out for at the start of this new year!
I am ashamed to admit that, before watching Mayor, I knew very little about the Palestinian city of Ramallah. What I did know came from headlines and news reports about conflict, violence and division. I was, therefore, eager to watch David Osit’s film about Musa Hadid, the city’s Christian mayor. This is an entertaining, heartwarming and inspiring documentary. The perfect way to start the year.
Release Date: 1st January 2021
Sing Me A Song
After centuries of isolation, Bhutan - a Buddhist kingdom on the eastern edge of the Himalayas - was the last nation on earth to introduce television and the internet. Sing Me A Song explores some of the more unfortunate consequences of the adoption of online technology in the country.
Release Date: 1st January 2021
MLK/FBI uncovers the extent of the FBI's surveillance and harassment of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Release Date: 15th January 2021
Set in the early days of the COVID-19 outbreak, this raw and intimate documentary captures the struggles and human resilience in the battle to survive the pandemic in Wuhan, China.
Release Date: 22nd January 2021
An account of the two women convicted of assassinating Kim Jong-un's half-brother, Kim Jong-nam. Were they trained killers or simply pawns?
Release Date: 29th January 2021
The Truffle Hunters
Watching The Truffle Hunters is like stepping into a mysterious magical world, almost straight out of a fairytale. This is a place steeped in tradition and untouched by modernity.
Michael Dweck and Gregory Kershaw's wonderful documentary follows a group of men in their seventies and eighties as they hunt the forests of Piedmont, Italy for the rare and expensive white Alba truffle. The truffles are highly prized, having (so far) resisted all human attempts at mass cultivation.
Release Date: 5th February 2021
When Washington Post journalist, Jamal Khashoggi, disappeared after entering Saudi Arabia's consulate in Istanbul, his fiancée and dissidents around the world were left to piece together the clues to a brutal murder and expose a global cover-up perpetrated by the very country he loved.
Release Date: 5th March
Following three stray dogs - Zeytin, Nazar and Kartal - through the streets of Istanbul, Stray takes us on a beautiful and soulful journey.
Release Date: 12th March
Following the daily life of a pig, two cows and a one-legged chicken.
Release Date: 30th April
What Docs Are You Looking Forward To In 2021?
This list is, of course, by no means comprehensive. These are the films that, at the time of writing, have a confirmed UK release date. I am really looking forward to adding more titles as we progress through 2021 :)
What documentary films are you looking forward to watching in 2021? Let me... you can find me over on Twitter @500daysoffilm.
Happy New Year!