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Documentaries

From actuality to direct cinema and the film essay, the documentary form is one of cinema’s pre-eminent mediums.

Places and people are the focus of this subscription collection, and filmmakers themselves come under the spotlight in our series of films about cinema.

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Documentaries
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View 100 Years of Japanese Cinema
100 Years of Japanese Cinema

100 Years of Japanese Cinema 1996

Archive propels argument in this fascinating exploration of the social and cultural importance of Japan's film heritage.

52 mins United Kingdom Director. Nagisa Oshima

View 2 x 50 Years of French Cinema
2 x 50 Years of French Cinema

2 x 50 Years of French Cinema 1995

Six regions, six films appraised for cultural and historical meaning. Produced by Jean-Luc Godard.

50 mins France

View Anger Me
Anger Me
HD

Anger Me 2006 15

Like all good magicians, the life and work of Kenneth Anger, the Magus of underground film, is crowded with mystery and myth.

72 mins Canada Director. Elio Gelmini

View Lotte Reiniger's Art
Lotte Reiniger's Art

Lotte Reiniger's Art 1970

The short documentary gives us a wonderful insight into the enchanting animated film world of Lotte Reiniger.

12 mins United Kingdom

View Before Stonewall
Before Stonewall

Before Stonewall 1984 15

Documenting the testimonies from those who dared to challenge the world and helped create the modern gay community.

83 mins USA Director. Greta Schiller

View Finisterre
Finisterre

Finisterre 2003 12

A journey from London’s suburbs to its heart, charting the influence of the city on indie pop band Saint Etienne.

57 mins United Kingdom Director. Paul Kelly, Kieran Evans

View From the Sea to the Land Beyond
From the Sea to the Land Beyond
HD

From the Sea to the Land Beyond 2012 U

This fascinating and moving film by award-winning director Penny Woolcock is a lyrical portrait of Britain's coastline which features a score by British Sea Power.

73 mins United Kingdom Director. Penny Woolcock

View Heart of the Angel
Heart of the Angel

Heart of the Angel 1989

Molly Dineen’s wry, humorous and sometimes touching look at the trials faced by the staff and passengers of London’s dishearteningly dilapidated Angel tube station, before its modernisation

40 mins United Kingdom Director. Molly Dineen

View Hit So Hard
Hit So Hard

Hit So Hard 2011

Patty Schemel, one-time drummer of grunge band Hole, recounts her turbulent years on tour with the band, piecing together a compelling tale of rock and roll excess, and the personal story of one woman’s survival.

103 mins USA Director. P. David Ebersole

View I Am Divine
I Am Divine
HD

I Am Divine 2013 15

A unique documentary about a unique person – follow Divine’s life from humble Baltimore beginnings to superstar status as the Queen of Cult.

USA Director. Jeffrey Schwarz

View Les Invisibles
Les Invisibles
HD

Les Invisibles 2012 15

French gay men and women in their 60s and 70s talk about their lives in Sébastien Lifshitz’s documentary.

112 mins France Director. Sébastien Lifshitz

View London
London

London 1994 U

The first in Patrick Keiller’s highly imaginative trilogy of films is a photographic trip through London, recounted by our unseen narrator.

90 mins United Kingdom Director. Patrick Keiller

View London the Modern Babylon
London the Modern Babylon
HD

London the Modern Babylon 2012 15

The story of London told through a century of popular music and film archive treasures.

127 mins United Kingdom Director. Julien Temple

View Memories of John
Memories of John

Memories of John 2012

A short documentary featuring some of John Cassavetes' key collaborators, actor Peter Falk and producer Al Ruban.

USA Director. Doug Headline

View My Voyage to Italy (part one)
My Voyage to Italy (part one)

My Voyage to Italy (part one) 2001 12

Martin Scorsese’s two-part love letter to Italian cinema is epic and sprawling in scope but also a deeply personal and moving testament to his passion for film.

119 mins Italy Director. Martin Scorsese

View My Voyage to Italy (part two)
My Voyage to Italy (part two)

My Voyage to Italy (part two) 2001 12

The second part of Martin Scorsese’s deeply personal love letter to Italian cinema.

125 mins Italy Director. Martin Scorsese

View The Nine Muses
The Nine Muses
HD

The Nine Muses 2010 PG

John Akomfrah mixes archive material, literary and musical quotations and newly shot silent footage in a wry, rapt meditation on memory and migration.

92 mins United Kingdom Director. John Akomfrah

View Of Time and the City
Of Time and the City
HD

Of Time and the City 2008 12

Brilliantly mixing archive film and music, Liverpool-born director Terence Davies reflects with wit and wisdom on a times of change, for good or ill

77 mins United Kingdom Director. Terence Davies

View A Personal Journey with Martin Scorsese... Part 1
A Personal Journey with Martin Scorsese... Part 1

A Personal Journey with Martin Scorsese... Part 1 1995

The first part of Martin Scorsese's 'personal journey' through American Cinema.

72 mins United Kingdom Director. Michael Henry Wilson, Martin Scorsese

View A Personal Journey with Martin Scorsese... Part 2
A Personal Journey with Martin Scorsese... Part 2

A Personal Journey with Martin Scorsese... Part 2 1995

The second part of Martin Scorsese's 'personal journey' through American Cinema.

90 mins United Kingdom Director. Michael Henry Wilson, Martin Scorsese

View A Personal Journey with Martin Scorsese... Part 3
A Personal Journey with Martin Scorsese... Part 3

A Personal Journey with Martin Scorsese... Part 3 1995

The third part of Martin Scorsese's 'personal journey' through American Cinema

73 mins United Kingdom Director. Michael Henry Wilson, Martin Scorsese

View Speaking of Buñuel
Speaking of Buñuel

Speaking of Buñuel 2000

José Luis López-Linares and Javier Rioyo’s incisive documentary about Luis Buñuel.

91 mins Spain Director. Javier Rioyo, José Luis López Linares

View sleep furiously
sleep furiously

sleep furiously 2007 U

Gideon Koppel’s charming documentary about a small farming community in mid-Wales, observing the unalterable rhythms of country life and the monthly visits of a mobile library.

90 mins United Kingdom Director. Gideon Koppel

View This Is Tomorrow
This Is Tomorrow

This Is Tomorrow 2007

The final part of Saint Etienne and Paul Kelly’s London trilogy follows the renovation and reopening of the Royal Festival Hall through 2005-7.

55 mins United Kingdom Director. Paul Kelly

View Two in the Wave
Two in the Wave

Two in the Wave 2009 12

Jean Luc-Godard and Francois Truffaut: the story of a friendship, a break-up and the birth of a new cinematic movement that would sweep the world.

93 mins France Director. Emmanuel Laurent

View A Summer + 50
A Summer + 50
HD

A Summer + 50 2010

Key participants discuss the making of influential cinéma vérite documentary Chronicle of a Summer. Includes unused footage from the film.

74 mins France Director. Florence Dauman

View Vito
Vito
HD

Vito 2011

A profile of LGBT activist, academic and author Vito Russo, the man who changed the face of queer film theory and brought us all out of the ‘Celluloid Closet’.

93 mins USA Director. Jeffrey Schwarz

View We Were Here
We Were Here
HD

We Were Here 2011

We Were Here is the first documentary to take a deep and reflective look back at the arrival and impact of AIDS in 1980s San Francisco.

89 mins USA Director. David Weissman

View Welcome to Britain
Welcome to Britain
HD

Welcome to Britain 1976

Ben Lewin’s 1976 film captures a moment in Britain's evergreen immigration debate, focusing on new arrivals at Heathrow as they wrestle with immigration law.

70 mins United Kingdom Director. Ben Lewin

View What Have You Done Today Mervyn Day?
What Have You Done Today Mervyn Day?

What Have You Done Today Mervyn Day? 2005 12

Paul Kelly’s second collaboration with pop band Saint Etienne traces the hidden history of East London’s Lower Lea Valley before its Olympic makeover.

48 mins United Kingdom Director. Paul Kelly

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