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documentary films

Frederick Wiseman’s Utopian Vision of Libraries in “Ex Libris”

Richard Brody on Frederick Wiseman’s new documentary, “Ex Libris,” a wide-ranging examination of the New York Public Library.

“The Rape of Recy Taylor”: An Essential, Flawed Documentary at the New York Film Festival

Richard Brody reviews Nancy Buirski’s documentary film “The Rape of Recy Taylor,” which reconstructs events from the abduction and rape, in 1944, of a young black woman in rural Alabama.

The Last Testament of a Former I.R.A. Terrorist

Patrick Radden Keefe writes that the documentary film “I, Dolours,” which premières this weekend, sheds new light on the murder of Jean McConville, one of the most infamous acts during the Troubles in

An Astounding Romanian Documentary About One Man’s Quest to Change the Rules of Soccer

Richard Brody reviews the documentary film “Infinite Football,” from the Romanian filmmaker Corneliu Porumboiu, which is screening at the Art of the Real series at Film Society of Lincoln Center.
New film Border Politics follows the path of the world's refugees – video trailer

New film Border Politics follows the path of the world's refugees – video trailer

Australian lawyer Julian Burnside travels the globe to examine the treatment of refugees. What role do anti-terrorism laws play in how borders are policed? And how do these policies affect these
The 21 Best Documentaries on Netflix

The 21 Best Documentaries on Netflix

We go from cartel kingpins to Olympic-sized scandals in this list of the best documentaries on Netflix.
This Is Congo review – distressing story of a humanitarian crisis

This Is Congo review – distressing story of a humanitarian crisis

Daniel McCabe’s potted documentary about the DRC takes in colonial history, independence and its dire modern struggles. It’s a difficult, necessary watchPhotographer-turned-filmmaker Daniel McCabe’s

“The Most Unknown”

Sarah Larson reviews “The Most Unknown,” a gorgeous, amiable documentary directed by Ian Cheney.
Franco's cruel legacy: the film that wants to stop Spain forgetting

Franco's cruel legacy: the film that wants to stop Spain forgetting

The Silence of Others, backed by Pedro Almodóvar, seeks to end amnesia over dictator’s victimsChato Galante, who was stripped of his youth in the prison cells and torture rooms of Franco’s Spain,
Tel Aviv's central bus station: 'There's a society inside the building'

Tel Aviv's central bus station: 'There's a society inside the building'

It is vast, decayed and dirty, but the bus station has become a space for diversity in the Israeli cityMost Israelis pass through the central bus station in south Tel Aviv as fast as they can. It is
The Trap – the deadly sex–trafficking cycle in American prisons

The Trap – the deadly sex–trafficking cycle in American prisons

The Trap investigates how prisons and jails across the US have become recruiting grounds for human traffickers, who are targeting incarcerated women and moving them out of correctional facilities and

Playing Hockey Against Vladimir Putin

Ben McGrath writes on the documentary filmmaker Jon Alpert’s furtive attempt to play in an annual charity exhibition hockey game in Russia in which the Russian President, Vladimir Putin, participates.
Claude Lanzmann: the man who told the story of Shoah

Claude Lanzmann: the man who told the story of Shoah

The Holocaust documentarist, who died in Paris last week aged 92, is remembered by his friend Agnès Poirier‘Come and have dinner, I’ll cook Bresse chicken. You don’t hold any grudge against Bresse
​One or Two Questions review – gripping doc gets to heart of Uruguay

​One or Two Questions review – gripping doc gets to heart of Uruguay

Kristina Konrad’s four-hour epic is an unsettling but vital exploration of the effectiveness of referendums – and what peace means in a democracyThis gruelling but vital film should be required
Generation Wealth review – how rich is too rich?

Generation Wealth review – how rich is too rich?

Lauren Greenfield’s frustrating documentary about the super-wealthy makes grotesques of her interviewees and offers no real analysisPhotographer and film-maker Lauren Greenfield created an instant
Orson Welles: actor, director… painter?

Orson Welles: actor, director… painter?

The great film-maker was also a fine artist. His rarely seen images feature in a film by lifelong fan Mark Cousins, who tells here of finding treasures that reveal a whole new Citizen Welles • Click
Real to reel? The ‘true-life’ heist movie that steals the facts

Real to reel? The ‘true-life’ heist movie that steals the facts

American Animals, a thrilling tale of rare book theft, is a startling mix of fiction and reality. In the age of ‘alternative facts’ is this the way ahead for the documentary?The first thing that
One Day in the Haram review – a fascinating glimpse inside Islam's holiest site

One Day in the Haram review – a fascinating glimpse inside Islam's holiest site

This insider’s look at the day-to-day workings of the Great Mosque of Mecca is reverent and impressiveWith a release timed to coincide with Muharram, the Islamic new year, on 11 September, this very
The 20 best music documentaries – ranked!

The 20 best music documentaries – ranked!

We rate the best films on the music scene down the decades, from Bob Dylan to Blur, Anvil to Amy WinehouseCharming Belgian TV presenter Marcel Vanthilt tries to get to grips with the New York rap
​MIA and Lily Allen: staying loud in a world that silences women

​MIA and Lily Allen: staying loud in a world that silences women

In a thought-provoking documentary and a no-holds-barred memoir, these forceful music stars counter the ceaseless barrage of bile that has been directed their way since their debuts more than a decade