sat 24/08/2019

documentary

Blu-ray: For All Mankind

Al Reinert's For All Mankind isn't quite what it seems. In a famous 1962 speech, President Kennedy spoke of the knowledge to be gained and the new rights to be won on the moon to be "for all people", though the plaque left on the lunar surface by...

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Thatcher: A Very British Revolution, Finale, BBC Two review - a heartbreaking account of her decline

The surprisingly touching conclusion to BBC Two’s five-part chronicle of the Thatcher years was a masterpiece of contemporary history. Congratulations to producer Alice Fraser, director Pamela Gordon, and composer Alexandra Harwood for very fitting...

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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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