Documentary films

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Val review – unusual doc offers fractured portrait of actor
Val Kilmer’s life and career is illustrated via the actor’s own recordings in an often curious yet incomplete mosaic of a biopic

Benjamin Lee

23, Jul, 2021 @6:36 AM

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The Bourdain AI furore shouldn’t overshadow an effective, complicated film | Adrian Horton
Despite anger over a decision to deepfake the voice of the much-loved star in a new documentary it’s a haunting and difficult film that deserves to be seen

Adrian Horton

21, Jul, 2021 @3:38 PM

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Reset review – beautiful footage of extreme-sports thrill-seekers
French director Thierry Donard, ‘the Fellini of adventure film-making’, shoots four sets of daredevils throwing themselves headlong into intense experience

Cath Clarke

21, Jul, 2021 @9:00 AM

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Bill Onus: rediscovered footage casts new light on a groundbreaking life and legacy
Onus is remembered as a leading Indigenous activist – but a new documentary by his grandson reveals he blazed another trail

Steve Dow

20, Jul, 2021 @5:30 PM

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Phil Liggett: The Voice of Cycling review – Tour de France stalwart meanders off route
Narrator of key moments in cycling since the mid-70s, Liggett’s story includes his controversial support of Lance Armstrong

Andrew Pulver

20, Jul, 2021 @3:00 PM

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A Day for Susana review – Paralympic swimmer’s remarkable resilience in adversity
Following Brazilian swimmer Susan Schnarndorf’s road to the 2016 Games, we see the athlete’s willingness to deal with the impact of multiple system atrophy

Phuong Le

19, Jul, 2021 @9:00 AM

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Summer of Soul review – the best concert film ever made?
Questlove’s magnificent documentary features rediscovered footage of Stevie Wonder, Mahalia Jackson, Nina Simone et al in their prime

Mark Kermode Observer film critic

18, Jul, 2021 @7:00 AM

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Anthony Bourdain documentary sparks backlash for using AI to fake voice
Roadrunner director Morgan Neville revealed he used AI to create three lines of voiceover by the late celebrity chef

Maya Yang

16, Jul, 2021 @6:45 PM

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Boarders review – philosophical skateboard hopefuls offer some nice moves
An unexpectedly reflective film charts the skateboarders’ chaotic buildup to the Tokyo games and captures their eclectic personalities

Phil Hoad

16, Jul, 2021 @9:57 AM

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‘We have a hostility to being boring’: Sparks, still flying in their 70s
Their Adam Driver musical sent Cannes into raptures and Edgar Wright has made an all-star documentary about them. The Mael brothers explain why they’ll always be hopelessly in love with pop

Daniel Dylan Wray

16, Jul, 2021 @5:00 AM

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Stevie, Gladys, Nina … Summer of Soul uncovers a festival greater than Woodstock
As the US boiled with violence, 1969’s Harlem cultural festival nourished spirits with soul, jazz and gospel. Now, Questlove has turned lost footage of it into a brilliant, pertinent documentary

Stevie Chick

15, Jul, 2021 @2:00 PM

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‘It’s about a triumph in the face of struggle’: the enduring power of Bill T Jones’s Aids-era ballet
A new documentary looks at a contemporary restaging of D-Man in the Waters, a defining 1989 performance piece about defying a devastating epidemic

Radheyan Simonpillai

15, Jul, 2021 @6:32 AM

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