The Interrupters is one gang violence film that manages to avoid showing much in the way of gang violence. Set in areas of Chicago run by prominent local gangs renowned for fatal conflicts, the film captures a year in the lives of three “violence interrupters”, Ameena, Cobe and Eddie. They work for CeaseFire, an organisation which claims to treat violence as infectious diseases are treated: that is, to interrupt it at the source. Relevant much?
After the astonishing success of 2008’s Man On Wire James Marsh turns his documentary lens to the remarkable story of Nim, a chimp who became the centre of an experiment into whether language can indeed be acquired by animals. Without probing too much into the moral issues of such an experiment, Marsh presents this story with an extremely even hand, allowing us to be the judges of the characters, human and animal.
If you have any interest in the history of the nuclear arms race and how it affects us today, go and see the new eye-opening documentary by Lucy Walker as it talks through the miscalculations and madness of nuclear bombs and politics in a film that educates, campaigns, and shocks.
“The writing’s on the wall for graffiti artists” – so reads the tired and predictable tabloid punch line. But despite years of media hysteria and clean-up operations, graffiti remains a part of urban life throughout the developed world. Jon Reiss’ documentary Bomb It proposes to explore not only the tremendous diversity of global wall writing but the wall itself – posing the question ‘who owns public space, anyway?’.
Best For Film Towers loves Jig, a mesmerising peek into the vivid and hugely disciplined world of the Irish Dance World Championship. Sue Bourne lets us into a world so secret you need to creep through a cupboard full of fur coats till you hit the lamppost in the back to gain entry to it.
Over the next six weeks, Guardian Film (in association with Christian Aid) is launching six new documentaries about global poverty today. To open the series, we follow the life of a young gay man named Melvin, fighting homophobia as well as the AIDS epidemic in a very intolerable Kenya. It doesn’t make easy watching, but it’s vital stuff all the same.
How Much Does Your Building Weigh, Mr Foster? is a film about architecture. And while architecture’s great, and we all love to walk the Man On Wire tightrope between being entertained and fully engaged like unbearable brainiacs, we have to ask: where are the action sequences? Where’s the exposed flesh? Sure, without architecture, we’d probably all be living in rickety bamboo shacks, looking a bit like Tom Hanks during the later stages of his stay in Castaway, and attempting to eat raw chicken. However, spending 72 minutes of our lives forcing ourselves to be impressed with a film about it is another matter entirely.
A sweet, gentle and slightly morally ambiguous documentary about life as an Irish woman-sort, His And Hers presents its fair subjects as well-meaning, inherently good-hearted eccentrics. Which is all fine. Though it means you can’t quite shake the feeling they’d all be a lot more comfortable in the studio of Creature Comforts.