Documentaries often explore life's fundamental questions and, of course, no questions are more fundamental than those concerning the matter of life and death.
Does anyone ever have the right to take a human life?
Is capital punishment ever justified? Does your answer change if a person is guilty? How should we punish someone who has committed a truly monstrous act? What happens when a justice system fails or is simply not fit for purpose?
There are many stunning and thought-provoking documentaries about crime and punishment that consider these questions (and more). Here are seven of my favourites…
The nominations for this year’s Academy Awards were - as they often are - problematic. Many categories featured the obligatory “snubs” and “surprises” and were criticised for lacking diversity.
However, as the dust settles on those nomination disappointments, a silver lining appears. For better or worse, the Oscars get us talking about film - and, as I think we can all agree, that has to be a good thing.
Once again, the nominations for Best Documentary Feature and Best Documentary Short Subject have bucked the trend favouring white male recognition. For example, four out of the five films nominated for best documentary feature were directed or co-directed by women.
Before we take a closer look at this year’s nominees, a small complaint. While the Best Picture category features nine movies, the Best Documentary Feature category only recognises five films.
That being noted, let’s look at the Academy Award nominations for Best Documentary Feature:
I don’t know about you but the end of a decade fills me with existential dread. Where did the time go? What have I achieved? What does the future hold…
Thankfully, I experience no dread when I look back over the past ten years of documentary film. Here are my 7 favourite films of the decade!
At this time every year, the internet goes mad for lists… everywhere you look you see the top 20 this or the top 10 that. It's exhausting!
While I hate to add to the list mania, I would like to share my favourite 7 documentaries that were released in the UK in 2019.
My reasons are pure, I promise.
I do not claim that these films are the “best” - I am far from qualified to make such absolute judgements. However, I would like to bring these films (listed in no particular order) to your attention… they are all well worth your time.
Celebrating this year's best nonfiction films and programmes, the International Documentary Association (IDA) Awards take place on 7th December.
IDA received 785 submissions this year - including 375 documentary features, 153 documentary shorts, 124 documentary series, 89 student films, 48 music documentaries and 44 podcasts.
The ten nominees for best feature were announced on 23rd October. The list of films is impressive - ranging from a legendary moon landing to a portrait of the last female wild beekeeper in Europe.
Each one would make a worthy winner, each one is more than worth your time.
500 Days Of Film Reviews Documentary, Won’t You Be My Neighbor?