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Documentaries

Fresh perspectives on familiar themes give a new relevance, as proven by our choice of the best in modern documentaries.

Documentaries can be as lyrical, expressive and experimental as any work of fiction while presenting different ways of seeing. What unites these choices is the themes of place and identity, focusing on the British landscape, its coastline and cities. History also plays a role thanks the expert use of archive footage from Penny Woolcock and Julien Temple.

"In feature films the director is God; in documentary films God is the director. "

Alfred Hitchcock

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Documentaries

RECOMMENDED

View Who's Gonna Love Me Now?
Who's Gonna Love Me Now?
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HD

Who's Gonna Love Me Now? 2016 15

A heartfelt exploration of one man’s struggle to reconcile with his Israeli family, while finding a new ‘family’ in London Gay Men’s Chorus.

85 mins United Kingdom Director. Barak Heymann, Tomer Heymann

View Notes on Blindness
Notes on Blindness
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HD

Notes on Blindness 2015 U

James Spinney and Peter Middleton's highly original documentary uses cinematic interpretations and textured sound design to express a ‘world beyond sight.’

90 mins United Kingdom Director. James Spinney, Peter Middleton

View The Hard Stop
The Hard Stop
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HD

The Hard Stop 2015 15

The story of Mark Duggan, who was shot and killed in Tottenham in 2011, is brought to the screen in this humane, thought-provoking and topical documentary.

85 mins United Kingdom Director. George Amponsah

View I Am Belfast
I Am Belfast
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HD

I Am Belfast 2015 15

Mark Cousins’ dreamlike evocation of his home city discovers a capital of rich history and startling beauty.

84 mins United Kingdom Director. Mark Cousins

View The Lovers & the Despot
The Lovers & the Despot
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The Lovers & the Despot 2016 PG

Discover one of cinema’s strangest stories: a film director and his star are kidnapped by Kim Jong-il to make movies in the world’s weirdest state.

98 mins United Kingdom Director. Rob Cannan, Ross Adam

View Innocence of Memories
Innocence of Memories
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Innocence of Memories 2015 12

A multi-layered melding of fiction and fact, about Nobel prize-winner Orhan Pamuk and his Istanbul Museum of Innocence.


90 mins United Kingdom Director. Grant Gee

View The Big Melt
The Big Melt
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The Big Melt 2013 PG

Jarvis Cocker and acclaimed director Martin Wallace's feature-length elegy to the men and women who toiled in Sheffield's steelworks is a hymn to Britain's proud industrial past.

70 mins United Kingdom

View The Confession: Living the War on Terror
The Confession: Living the War on Terror
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The Confession: Living the War on Terror 2016 15

A detailed, wide-ranging interview with Moazzam Begg, a British citizen formerly detained at Guantanamo Bay under suspicion of terrorism offenses.

95 mins United Kingdom Director. Ashish Ghadiali

View Dark Horse
Dark Horse
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Dark Horse 2014 PG

The inspirational, larger-than-life true story of how a group of friends in a poor mining village took on the elite 'sport of kings' and breed themselves a racehorse.

85 mins United Kingdom Director. Louise Osmond

View Deep Water
Deep Water
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Deep Water 2006 PG

Riveting account of the disastrous attempt by novice sailor Donald Crowhurst to compete in a round-the-world, solo yachting race.

92 mins United Kingdom Director. Jerry Rothwell, Louise Osmond

View The Epic of Everest
The Epic of Everest
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HD

The Epic of Everest 1924 U

Premiere. A breathtaking and poignant account of the valiant 1924 British assault on the awe-inspiring peak, beautifully restored by the BFI.

86 mins United Kingdom Director. J.B.L. Noel

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 Hockney
Hockney
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Hockney 2014 15

A portrait of the beloved British artist, drawing on his own home-movie footage and with revealing contributions from his friends and colleagues.

113 mins United Kingdom Director. Randall Wright

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 Love Is All
Love Is All
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Love Is All 2014 12

A hundred years of love and courtship on the silver screen, with music created by celebrated Sheffield singer-songwriter-producer Richard Hawley

70 mins United Kingdom Director. Kim Longinotto

View A Man's Story
A Man's Story
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A Man's Story 2010 15

A documentary charting twelve years in the career of Savile Row tailor Ozwald Boateng.

97 mins United Kingdom Director. Varon Bonicos

View Night Will Fall
Night Will Fall
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Night Will Fall 2014 15

An unforgettable, compelling account of the production and subsequent restoration of a withheld film recording the liberation of Nazi concentration camps in 1945.

76 mins United Kingdom Director. André Singer

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 Project Wild Thing
Project Wild Thing
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Project Wild Thing 2013 PG

Crowning himself as Marketing Director for Nature, a father aims to entice his kids away from TV, toys and technology.

83 mins United Kingdom

View Robinson in Ruins
Robinson in Ruins
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Robinson in Ruins 2010 U

The head of a research organisation arranges Robinson’s abandoned research on the English landscape to uncover the origins of capitalist catastrophe.

101 mins United Kingdom Director. Patrick Keiller

View Self Made
Self Made
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Self Made 2010 15

Artist Gillian Wearing’s documentary observes seven people creating (fantasy?) identities in collaboration with a drama teacher. Raw and revealing.

84 mins United Kingdom Director. Gillian Wearing

View The Spirit of '45
The Spirit of '45
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The Spirit of '45 2012 U

Ken Loach's stirring polemical history explores the immense forces that built Britain's Welfare State from the rubble of the Second World War.

98 mins United Kingdom Director. Ken Loach

View The Stuart Hall Project
The Stuart Hall Project
HD

The Stuart Hall Project 2013 12

More startling and relevant than ever, a vivid profile of intellect and insight set to the music of Miles Davis.

98 mins United Kingdom Director. John Akomfrah

View Swandown
Swandown
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HD

Swandown 2012 12

Filmmaker Andrew Kötting and writer Iain Sinclair embark on a quest from Hastings to East London by pedalo.

98 mins United Kingdom Director. Andrew Kötting

View This Our Still Life
This Our Still Life

This Our Still Life 2011 U

23-year-old Eden is shown drawing and painting still lifes in her Pyrenean family home.

58 mins United Kingdom Director. Andrew Kötting

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 Is This Film Called Love?
What Is This Film Called Love?
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What Is This Film Called Love? 2012 12

Mark Cousins’ cine-essay, inspired by Sergei Eisenstein’s 1930s Mexican odyssey, is a poetic meditation on memory, landscape and walking.

80 mins United Kingdom Director. Mark Cousins

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