By David Walsh, 18 September 2018
Hal Ashby (1929-88) was an American film director, generally underrated or unrecognized today, responsible for a number of valuable or, in some cases, provocative works in the 1970s.
Separated: Children at the Border highlights the horrific human costs of the bipartisan war on immigrants
By Meenakshi Jagadeesan, 3 August 2018
The latest PBS Frontline documentary shows the effect of family separations and traces the roots of Trump’s “zero tolerance” policy.
By Clara Weiss, 6 July 2018
The documentary amounts to an appeal to the Kremlin, Washington and the liberal intelligentsia, to make peace and negotiate an orderly transition from the Putin presidency.
By James Brewer, 13 April 2018
Central Michigan University sociology professor Cedrick Taylor presented his new documentary at the University of Michigan in Flint.
By Fred Mazelis, 5 March 2018
The movie, directed by Yale Strom, seeks to turn Debs’ revolutionary message into its opposite.
By Richard Phillips, 23 February 2018
Emma Franz’s film is a fascinating overview of Frisell’s creative work and his constant search for new musical challenges.
The Carter Family, Mississippi John Hurt, Lydia Mendoza, Joseph Kekuku and more …
By Matthew Brennan, 11 July 2017
All three episodes—The Big Bang, Blood and Soil and Out Of The Many The One—contain important recollections and at times powerful archival footage.
“All these people worked all night, every night, crazily, obsessively”
By David Walsh, 27 June 2017
Sara Fishko is an executive producer and host at WNYC, a public radio station in New York. Her film sheds fascinating light on artistic life in the 1950s and 1960s.
By David Walsh, 19 May 2017
Poitras’ film about Julian Assange and WikiLeaks, the four lawyers contend, undermines the credibility of the organization at a critical moment and exposes the documentary’s subjects “to considerable legal jeopardy.”
By Richard Phillips, 14 April 2017
Pilger’s documentary exposes something of Washington’s escalating war plans against China but suggests that protests can prevent a nuclear conflagration.
By Joanne Laurier and David Walsh, 17 March 2017
British filmmaker Margy Kinmonth is out of her depth in her documentary about Russian avant-garde art.
By Clara Weiss, 6 March 2017
In a profoundly moving, intimate and disturbing way, Joshua Oppenheimer’s film deals with the long-lasting and devastating impact of the mass murder of up to one million Communists and suspected Communists.
By Joanne Laurier, 9 November 2016
Sonia Kennebeck’s film, whose title suggests that drones should now be considered the US national emblem, is a documentary that brings to the screen the story of three whistleblowers.
Werner Herzog’s Lo and Behold: Reveries of The Connected World
By Kevin Reed, 8 October 2016
The movie examines the origins and implications of the Internet and related technologies such as artificial intelligence, robotics, the Internet of Things and space travel.
By Kevin Martinez, 12 September 2016
Veteran documentarian Barbara Kopple has returned with a lively and inspiring film about soul singer Sharon Jones and her battle with pancreatic cancer.
By Bernd Reinhardt, 17 August 2016
In April of last year, the Ukrainian violinist and composer Mark Chaet, accompanied by a small film crew, travelled from Berlin to his home in Eastern Ukraine.
By Robert Stevens, 14 May 2016
The documentary reconstructs key events and includes harrowing footage of the crush and its aftermath, as well as interviews with family members, survivors and police officers on duty.
By Joanne Laurier, 8 April 2016
The damage of post-traumatic stress disorder inflicted by the Iraq and Afghanistan wars on US soldiers is addressed in this immersive documentary by French filmmaker Laurent Bécue-Renard.
By Mark Witkowski and Fred Mazelis, 29 December 2015
If nothing else, Wiseman’s new documentary is a reminder of the fact that, even in this wealthiest city in the world, the working class makes up the vast majority of the population.
By Joanne Laurier, 14 November 2015
Denny Tedesco’s lively documentary is a heartfelt tribute to a group of studio musicians in Los Angeles, nicknamed the Wrecking Crew, who were behind some of the biggest hits of the 1960s.
By Clare Hurley and Fred Mazelis, 9 October 2015
Riveting video footage along with complacent commentary adds up to a misleading account.
By Andrea Peters, 9 September 2015
The half-truths, omissions and hypocritical expressions of moral indignation that characterize this supposed exposé of Putin are intended to make the case for regime-change in Russia.
What Happened, Miss Simone?: The life of African-American singer, pianist and civil rights activist Nina Simone
By Helen Hayes and Fred Mazelis, 22 July 2015
Simone did not so much move between different genres—jazz, gospel, blues and folk—as combine them into her own unique and powerful style.
By Eric London, 21 May 2015
The PBS series’ May 19 episode is a chilling account of the CIA’s torture of hundreds of detainees during the Bush administration.
By Christoph Dreier, 28 February 2015
While the film shows how the troika engineered a social catastrophe, it promotes the policies of Syriza and other bourgeois critics who support the EU austerity program.
By Joanne Laurier, 12 December 2014
IndiePix Films has recently released a one-hour documentary about American novelist Edith Wharton (1862-1937), featuring fascinating, never-before-seen archival footage.
By Paul Mitchell, 15 November 2014
The central problem with the documentary is its promotion of the state capitalist Socialist Workers Party’s perspective, which lets the Labour Party and the unions entirely off the hook for the betrayal of the miners.
By Isaac Finn, 27 August 2014
The HBO documentary reveals how the FBI and mainstream media worked to get four impoverished men in New York state convicted of a “terrorist plot.”
By Joanne Laurier, 20 August 2014
The documentary, directed by cousins Tracy Droz Tragos and Andrew Droz Palermo, movingly chronicles the lives of three boys living in an impoverished, rural southwestern Missouri town.
San Francisco International Film Festival 2013—Part six
Two very different documentaries: Sofia’s Last Ambulance and Sing Me The Songs That Say I Love You—A Concert for Kate McGarrigle
By David Walsh, 4 June 2013
The recent San Francisco film festival screened a number of documentary films, including these two, contrasting works.
San Francisco International Film Festival 2013—Part one
By Joanne Laurier, 16 May 2013
The 56th San Francisco International Film Festival recently concluded. The event this year screened 158 films from 51 countries, including 67 fiction features, 28 documentary features and 63 short films.
By Christine Schofelt, 11 April 2013
Untold History is a 10-part documentary series that premiered on Showtime in November 2012. Its stated aim is to shed light on little known or deliberately obscured aspects of American history.
By Bernd Reinhardt, 24 January 2013
The tragic story of Vadim K. and his family documents the callous inhumanity of Germany’s immigration authorities and politicians and refugee law.
By Richard Phillips, 3 December 2012
New Australian telemovie falsely marketed as crime drama.
By James Brewer, 11 October 2012
The deindustrialization and dismantling of Detroit is the subject of a new documentary.
By Fred Mazelis, 11 August 2012
A new documentary tells the tale of a Florida billionaire and lifts the lid on a portion of American social reality.
San Francisco International Film Festival 2012—Part 2
By Kevin Kearney, 19 May 2012
The second film by Romanian filmmaker Anca Damian, Crulic—The Path to Beyond, was another noteworthy documentary (or semi-documentary) featured at the 2012 San Francisco film festival.
By Fred Mazelis, 17 February 2012
The director of The Pruitt-Igoe Myth, a documentary about public housing in the US, speaks to the WSWS.
By Fred Mazelis, 1 February 2012
A new documentary film examines the history of a St. Louis housing project.
By Armando Cruz, 13 September 2011
Directed and written by Amanda Gonzales
By Philip Guelpa, 8 July 2011
This documentary affords viewers the ability to experience the interior of Chauvet Cave in southern France, which contains the oldest known cave art anywhere in the world.
100 years since the historic workplace tragedy in New York City
By Charles Bogle, 25 March 2011
The excellent production values of Triangle: Remember the Fire leave an indelible visual memory of one of the greatest tragedies in American workplace. Sadly, the documentary’s limited perspective dishonors the legacy of the tragedy.
100 years since tragic blaze killed 146 garment workers
By Charles Bogle, 12 March 2011
Triangle Fire recreates one of the truly tragic workplace disasters in US history. Producer-director Jamila Wignot offers a compelling portrayal of the inhuman conditions that led to the fire and the loss of 146 lives.
By Paul Mitchell, 4 January 2011
John Pilger’s The War You Don’t See examines the media’s role in wartime and asks whether it has become part of the propaganda machine of the state.
11 November 2010
Joanne Laurier of the WSWS recently commented on the documentary film, Inside Job. A WSWS supporter adds this comment.
Toronto International Film Festival 2010
By Lee Parsons, 14 October 2010
ANPO: Art X War, a remarkable documentary from first-time director Linda Hoaglund, deals with the mass opposition that erupted in Japan in 1960 to the continuation of the US military presence in that country.
American liberalism spearheads the right-wing attack on public education
By Dan Conway, 7 October 2010
Students are protesting today against attacks on public education under conditions of mounting social distress for millions of young people.
By Joanne Laurier, 10 September 2010
Genius Within: The Inner Life of Glenn Gould by Canadian documentarians Michéle Hozer and Peter Raymont is a compilation of previously unseen footage of Gould, as well as hundreds of photographs and excerpts of private home and studio recordings.
By Joanne Laurier, 6 July 2010
The Red Tail, a documentary co-directed by Dawn Mikkelson and Melissa Koch, is a human drama that treats a question of immense importance: the consequences of a globally-integrated economy.
A film about the impact of the economic crisis in the US
By Marge Holland, 9 December 2009
Earlier this year Austin and Brian Chu traveled to every state in the US in an effort to capture the reality of the recession, which was being so under-reported by the American media. The WSWS spoke to Austin Chu recently in San Francisco.
By Mathew Benn, 31 October 2009
Afghanistan, on the Dollar Trail, written and directed by Paul Moreira and produced by Sue Spencer
By Bill Van Auken, 15 October 2009
“Obama’s War,” the hour-long television documentary aired on “Frontline” Tuesday, provides a telling glimpse of the debacle facing the US intervention in Afghanistan, but no real explanation of why the war is being fought.
By Richard Phillips and Ismet Redzovic, 13 July 2009
This is the third in a series of articles on the Sydney Film Festival held June 3-14.
By Peter Kloze, 23 June 2009
Afghan Star, a documentary about Afghanistan’s version of American Idol, the television talent show, includes some interesting human material, but glosses over all the complex questions.
By Joanne Laurier, 31 March 2009
Billy the Kid is an unusual independent film, about a teenager in a small town in Maine.
A documentary film by Eric Friedler and Barbara Siebert
By Emma Bode and Brigitte Fehlau, 29 November 2008
The award-winning The Silence of the Quandts deals with the unscrupulous rise of one of Germany’s richest and most influential families. The family, which owns 47 percent of auto manufacturer BMW, is implicated in the crimes of the Nazi regime.
By Paul Bond, 14 October 2008
On September 16, even as Lehman Brothers and Merrill Lynch were collapsing, Damien Hirst was setting a new record for sales at auction by an individual artist. His private auction at Sotheby’s netted him $197.8 million.
By Debra Watson, 25 September 2008
The Judge and the General tells the story of recent efforts to bring to justice the perpetrators of horrific acts of political repression committed three decades ago under Chilean military dictator Augusto Pinochet.