Category Archives: Documentary

Falling for Stradivari

We had the privilege of going to a screening of this little masterpiece followed by a Q&A with the film’s director, Gerald Fox,  and the wonderful Antonio Pappano (music director of the ROH) who was Dutch virtuoso violinist’s Janine Jansen’s accompanist and moral support.
Janine’s  musical odyssey is to record pieces on 12 of the world’s […]


Best Film, Best Director and Best Actress: Nomadland won all these in the 2021 Oscars. Did it deserve them?
Nomadland’s docu-fiction classification is unique. It tells the story of Fern (Frances McDormand), a widow who has had to leave her life behind when the mine in her home-town in rural Nevada went bust. With no money […]

Poly Styrene: I am a cliché

This is a heart-breaking yet inspiring  movie made by Celeste Bell about her mother, Poly Styrene. Poly, born Marianne Elliot-Said to a Somali father and white-British mother, had a Damascene conversion to punk at a Sex Pistols concert in Hastings in the sizzling summer of 1975. Aged only 19 and unashamed of her braces, she […]

Family Romance, LLC

I came unprepared to this film, knowing nothing of its background apart from its famed director, Werner Herzog, and it is set in Japan, the home of so many good movies.

In the opening scene a smart-suited man is waiting in a Tokyo beauty spot for a 12-year-old girl dressed in a hoodie. She is his […]

Soho Is

This documentary is a paean to Soho, ‘the most cosmopolitan place on earth, a precious jewel’ according to Robert Elms. In December 2014 Westminster Council closed and repossessed Madame JoJos, that iconic venue which was the heartbeat of the LBGTQI community that breathed life into that ‘golden territory’ we call Soho.

In response local musician and […]

Apollo 11

This is the 50thanniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing and there will be no end of documentaries and dramas to celebrate it. I suspect this will be the film to beat.

Todd Douglas Miller has trawled through the NASA archives covering 11,000 hours of film that have been hidden away since 1969. The results of […]


We saw this Oscar-nominated documentary in an open-air cinema, perched on the Fort Canning hillside in Singapore.  It was a magical way to see an, at times, heart-stopping film about the gorillas in Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

In 2007 we had the privilege of visiting their cousins round the mountain in […]


This cannot be an objective review. Amy and our daughter. Louise, died within a few months of each, both from drugs. Her poison was alcohol, Louise’s was ketamine. They used to hang out in Camden together, playing pool at The Good Mixer. There is even a scene in the film with one of Louise’s friends. […]

Searching for Sugarman

I missed this when it first came out in London; not surprising as it played for a very short time and the buzz hadn’t hit the streets yet. Now it has won the Best Documentary Oscar, everyone is talking about Searching for Sugar Man. And rightly so.

Very much in the style of two recent documentaries, Marleyand The Imposter(both […]


Everyone in the world has heard of Bob Marley – now. But it was not always so; most of his life Marley had no Black following outside of Jamaica and his international concerts were populated by white, dope-smoking hippies. Now Bob Marley is the ubiquitous voice of reggae – which, we learn in this film, […]