Documentary films

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Sr review – Robert Downey Jr paints an affectionate portrait of his father
Downey Jr starred in Robert Downey Sr’s wacky counterculture movies as an child; now he puts this radical and potent personality in a documentary of his own

Peter Bradshaw

01, Dec, 2022 @9:00 AM

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Lynch/Oz review – curtains pull back to reveal the wizard that is David Lynch
How the auteur was influenced by 1939 classic The Wizard of Oz is examined in witty and insightful expert contributions curated by Alexandre O Philippe

Peter Bradshaw

30, Nov, 2022 @1:00 PM

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Three Minutes: A Lengthening review – fragments of a Jewish town destroyed by war
The forensic analysis of home-movie footage shot in a small community in 1938 Poland is the subject of Bianca Stigter’s arresting documentary

Peter Bradshaw

30, Nov, 2022 @11:00 AM

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Hidden Letters review – Chinese art of secret writing as refuge of female solidarity
The nushu system, still practised in China, reveals a long history of women’s frustrations and the solace this art provides

Phil Hoad

30, Nov, 2022 @7:00 AM

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‘Fifteen years of total insanity’: how Robert Downey Jr made peace with his maverick father
Robert Downey Sr put his son in wild underground movies and gave him access to drugs. So what happened when Downey Jr finally turned the cameras on his dad?

Andrew Pulver

29, Nov, 2022 @3:20 PM

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North Circular review – resonant portrait of a historic Dublin thoroughfare
Luke McManus’s visually striking documentary explores a threatened working-class community and a strong music culture

Peter Bradshaw

29, Nov, 2022 @9:00 AM

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Ximei review – inspiring Ai Weiwei-produced portrait of Chinese Aids activist
Liu Ximei, who was diagnosed with HIV at 10, is shown as a dauntless campaigner whose home provides a warm haven for patients still neglected in China

Phuong Le

28, Nov, 2022 @9:00 AM

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Monsters of doc: Mark Kermode’s top 20 music documentaries
For our festival-averse film critic, movies about concerts and musicians are essential viewing – and he believes we are living through a golden age for the form

Mark Kermode, Observer film critic

27, Nov, 2022 @9:00 AM

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‘A small victory against erasure’: the three minutes that bring an exterminated Jewish past to life
A new documentary extends 200 seconds of home-movie footage shot in Poland in 1938 into a forensic examination of a community obliterated by the Nazis

Jonathan Freedland

24, Nov, 2022 @4:00 PM

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Last Flight Home review – heartbreaking portrait of assisted dying
Documentary maker Ondi Timoner follows her desperately ill father, and his family, after he decides to exercise his right under Californian law

Peter Bradshaw

23, Nov, 2022 @9:00 AM

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Hong Kong: City on Fire review – shocking violence in China’s city of dissent
A new and deeply moving documentary underscores the high price that Hong Kong’s young have paid for their social justice activism

Phuong Le

22, Nov, 2022 @11:00 AM

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Jennifer Siebel Newsom fends off shame-the-victim tactics in Harvey Weinstein rape trial
The same grotesque stereotypes that the documentary film-maker has exposed in her work were deployed against her

Lois Beckett in Los Angeles

20, Nov, 2022 @7:15 PM

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