Category: Documentary

May 15, 2024 / Documentary

This film is a moving blend of blues music and images recounts the journey of the millions of African-Americans who made their way from the Mississippi Delta to cities in the North during the 1930s and 1940s. It was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Documentary Short.

May 14, 2024 / Documentary

This film celebrates the life and work of one of Cornwall’s best-loved artists, Alfred Wallis (1855-1942). We’re invited to look afresh at his paintings in light of the land and seascapes that inspired him. Reminiscences by friends and relatives are the focus rather than appraisal of his work by an authoritative art critic – aptly enough for an artist who worked outside the ‘establishment’.

April 3, 2024 / Documentary

A Year in the Life of Franek W. is a 1967 Polish documentary film directed by and based on a screenplay by Kazimierz Karabasz. The film depicts a year in the life of a twenty-year-old boy from a small village, Franciszek Wróbel, who emigrates to large industrial Silesia to join the Voluntary Labor Corps. Karabasz’s method was based on careful and impartial observation of the protagonist’s fate; the only commentary was provided by letters read by Wróbel himself.

April 3, 2024 / Documentary

Roger Graef and The Thaldomide Society’s groundbreaking film about Brett, a boy born without arms, introduced the plight of Thalidomide children to the world. We see touching and personal scenes from his home life – rough and tumble with his brothers, meal times and other practical activities, revealing Brett’s extraordinary dexterity with his feet and his determination. Brett’s mother’s deeply personal narration describes how family life has been affected and how hurtful people’s comments can be – both to her, as a mother who took thalidomide, and in relation to Brett’s physical appearance.

April 3, 2024 / Documentary

Leading statesmen, generals, terrorists and others who made the headlines in one of history’s most bitter and enduring struggles tell the story of the Arab-Israeli conflict in The 50 Years War: Israel and the Arabs. Opening with the U.N decision to partition Palestine in 1947, the program charts the ensuing half-century of enmity, warfare, mediation and negotiation.

March 27, 2024 / Documentary

A leading director of the Czech film renaissance provides a philosophical meditation on life and death, set amidst complex hospital apparatus and the sadness, hope, or resignation of the patients. Existentialist rather than optimist, the approach is one of humanistic atheism, accepting death as part of life. Interviews with doctors and nurses explore their outlook; all speak of death as a fact, without either sentimentality or religiosity. The studied objectivity of the film only imperfectly hides an intense emotionality.

March 27, 2024 / Documentary

HOBO is a travelogue of sorts, a portrait of life lived by homeless men on and off the railways in America. John T. Davis spent three months travelling on the boxcars with his principal subject, Beargrease, who each year leaves his home to ride the rails and scavenge for food. It is a world mostly populated by men, many of them ‘misfits’, who for various reasons find life on the margins of settled society easier than being a part of it. The film confronts the romance and mythology created by the many songs about life as a hobo, but finds romance and beauty in the landscapes of the American west.

March 27, 2024 / Documentary

This film documents the journey of actress Jane Fonda and her husband – future California state senator Tom Hayden – through North and South Viet Nam in 1974. They travel from villages to towns talking with ordinary Vietnamese about their lives and the effects of the war on their lives, families, and communities.