sat 17/08/2019

documentary

Diego Maradona review - entertaining but skin-deep

There's something unsatisfying about the fact that Asif Kapadia's new documentary on the controversial 1980s sporting legend Diego Maradona has a two-word title. It would have created a neat synchronicity with his previous two films (Amy and Senna...

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Eating Animals review - a compelling tale of imminent disaster

Eating Animals begins as a David and Goliath tale of independent farmers versus industrial farming. Frank Reese specialises in rare-breed turkeys and chickens. He calls his farm the "Good Shepherd Poultry Ranch" because, for him, his traditional way...

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63 Up, ITV review - age is beginning to wither them

The first film in this extraordinary series, Seven Up!, was made for Granada Television’s World in Action in 1964. It picked 14 seven-year-old British children from different social backgrounds, aiming to revisit them every seven years to see how...

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Freedom Fields review - Libya’s next freedom fighters

Set in the months and years after the Libyan revolution, Freedom Fields follows several women aiming to compete in international football. The documentary finds the players excitedly preparing for their first overseas tournament. However, it soon...

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Blu-ray: The Best of British Transport Films

The British Transport Commission was created in 1948 by the Atlee government, an ambitious attempt to organise rail, road and water transport under a single unwieldy umbrella (for a time it was the world’s largest employer, with a staff of over 900,...

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Cannes 2019: Diego Maradona review - entertaining but skin-deep

Director Asif Kapadia's documentary on the controversial 1980s sporting legend Diego Maradona premiered at Cannes this week, and there's something unsatisfying about the fact it doesn't have a one-word title. It would have created a neat...

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Thatcher: A Very British Revolution, BBC Two review - demolishing the boys' club

Is there some tongue-in-cheek irony in BBC Two starting a five-part biographical documentary on Margaret Thatcher this Monday? Mrs Thatcher was Britain’s first female Prime Minister, Conservative to boot, and regardless of gender her years of...

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Leah Hazard: Hard Pushed review - a midwife's tales

This layered medical memoir by practicing midwife Leah Hazard unpacks riveting tales of all kinds of deliveries and is underpinned by distress at the parlous nature of the understaffed and overworked NHS.Medical tales (including Adam Kay’s This is...

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Director Jason Barker: ‘Trans lives are often portrayed so bleakly’

When Jason and Tracey were trying for a baby, the worst happened. Tracey was diagnosed with breast cancer, and although she eventually recovered, was unable to carry a child. For Jason, the answer was clear - as a trans man, he would become pregnant...

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The Beatles: Made on Merseyside, BBC Four review - when the Fab Four were five

Documentaries about the 20th century’s most fabled quartet keep coming. There’s no special call for The Beatles: Made on Merseyside (BBC Four), which looked at the group’s Liverpool beginnings, though at a stretch it could be argued that in the 50th...

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Minding the Gap review – profound musings on life

Where would you go for a devastating study on the human condition? The home movies of teenage skaters would be very low down on that list. But most of those movies aren’t filmed, compiled and analysed by Bing Liu, the director of Minding the Gap....

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Sleeping with Extremists: The Far Right, Channel 4 review - insightful but flawed documentary

It’s always interesting to see how presenters make their presence known in documentaries. Louis Theroux hovers on the sidelines like an ethereal presence, Stacey Dooley connects immediately on an emotional level, and one-time host Keith Allen...

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