documentary

With these documentaries, the BBC has lost any claim to impartiality

14 September 2019 9:00 am

Because the rise of the Nazis is a topic so rarely mentioned these days, least of all in schools, the…

Amnesia rave, Coventry, 1991. Image: Tony Davis / Pymca / Shutterstock

I agree with Jeremy Deller – the birth of acid house was a revolution that changed Britain

17 August 2019 9:00 am

Jeremy Deller’s Everybody in the Place: an Incomplete History of Britain 1984-1992 (BBC4) began with some footage of kids queuing…

Young love: Ihlen and Cohen in the 1960s

Uncomfortable and distasteful: Marianne & Leonard reviewed

27 July 2019 9:00 am

Marianne & Leonard: Words of Love is Nick Broomfield’s documentary chronicling the muse-artist relationship between Marianne Ihlen and Leonard Cohen.…

Steve Bannon will be thrilled by The Brink

13 July 2019 9:00 am

The Brink is Alison Klayman’s documentary portrait of Steve Bannon, Donald Trump’s former chief strategist (he shaped the ‘America First’…

Moonwalking: Rufus Wright as Neil Armstrong in 8 Days: To the Moon

Reminds you how uncomplicatedly thrilling the first moon landing was: BBC2’s 8 Days reviewed

13 July 2019 9:00 am

As the title suggests, 8 Days: To the Moon and Back (BBC2, Wednesday) comprehensively disproved the always questionable idea put…

Kanye wipes the floor with David Letterman

6 July 2019 9:00 am

My plan to cut the BBC out of my life entirely is working well. Apart from the occasional forgivable lapse…

Why did no one think the premise of Mums Make Porn was questionable?

23 March 2019 9:00 am

What can parents do about the avalanche of pornography available to their children on tablet, phone and laptop? This question…

It’s shocking how many Michael Jackson fans are still determined to take his side

16 March 2019 9:00 am

Halfway through the first part of Channel 4’s extraordinary documentary Leaving Neverland (Thursdays), I flicked through the comments on social…

Making a Murderer 2's mesmerising dea ex machina Kathleen Zellner

Thanks to Making a Murderer, Wisconsin’s bovine incompetence has been exposed

10 November 2018 9:00 am

I wonder if Wisconsin has any idea what an international embarrassment it has become? By rights it ought to be…

Monkey business: Jane Goodall

An exceptional new film about Jane Goodall unearths a remarkable love story

2 December 2017 9:00 am

There are times when our national passion for cutting people down to size is a little tiring. I left Brett…

Don’t believe the sales figures – DVDs are thriving

4 November 2017 9:00 am

According to the accountants’ ledgers, DVDs are dying. Sales of those shiny discs, along with their shinier sibling the Blu-ray,…

Amazing Grace

28 October 2017 9:00 am

In the first scene of this distinctly odd documentary, Grace Jones meets a group of fans, who squeal with delight…

High life

16 September 2017 9:00 am

I’m in Venice for the film festival that just ended and, as an American humorist once wired his paper: ‘Streets…

1967 and all that

29 July 2017 9:00 am

As you may have spotted, the BBC is marking the 50th anniversary of the decriminalisation of male homosexuality with an…

Hound of love: Lolabelle gets old and Lolabelle goes blind and keyboards are laid out on the floor so that she can bash them with her paws, and enjoy the sounds

Weird, wise, thought-provoking and hypnotic: Heart of a Dog reviewed

21 May 2016 9:00 am

Heart of a Dog is a film by Laurie Anderson and it’s a meditative, free-associating rumination on life, loss, love…

Even the sternest Leavisite critic would find it hard to resist BBC2's Peaky Blinders

7 May 2016 9:00 am

The big returning show of the week began with servants laying out the silverware at a large country house in…

Inside the Portland Hospital

Downton Abbey with epidurals: BBC2's Five Star Babies reviewed

23 April 2016 9:00 am

Five Star Babies: Inside the Portland Hospital won’t, I suspect, have been a hard sell to BBC2’s commissioning editors. Childbirth…

Prime suspect: Steven Avery, whose case is the subject of the Netflix documentary ‘Making a Murderer’

Netflix's Making a Murderer is fascinating - but is it true?

30 January 2016 9:00 am

On the face of it, the Netflix documentary serial Making a Murderer should only take up ten hours of your…

What’s it like to have a Nazi for a father?

21 November 2015 9:00 am

This is a documentary in which three men travel across Europe together, but they’re not pleasurably interrailing, even though there…

Electrifying: Marlon Brando as a young man

Self-pitying, despairing, often delusional: the real Marlon Brando

24 October 2015 9:00 am

Listen to Me Marlon is a documentary portrait of Marlon Brando that has him burbling into your ear for 102…

Was BBC1’s Rooney show more scripted reality than documentary?

10 October 2015 9:00 am

Close to the Edge (BBC4, Tuesday) feels very much like an idea conceived during a particularly good night in the…

A demonstrator is arrested during an anti-nuclear protest at Greenham Common air base in 1983. (Photo: D. Jones/Express/Getty)

All that postwar anxiety about being vaporised by a nuclear bomb was a complete waste of emotion

8 August 2015 9:00 am

When I was growing up in the 1970s, my three main fears were: being blown up by the IRA; being…

Adi Rukun tests the eyes of one of the men who killed his brother

Stunning, riveting, horrifying: Joshua Oppenheimer's The Look of Silence reviewed

13 June 2015 9:00 am

With Joshua Oppenheimer’s The Act of Killing you’d be minded to think that’s it, that’s the Indonesian genocide (1965–66) done,…

We Are Many reviewed: does anyone think this anti-Iraq War film will change anything?

23 May 2015 9:00 am

Big-screen documentaries never change the world. Blackfish has not shortened the queues to see maltreated killer whales leap through hoops…

Spirited, indomitable and proud: matriarch Julie Young

Benefits Street reviewed: if anyone’s being exploited, it’s the taxpayers, says James Delingpole

16 May 2015 9:00 am

My favourite scene in the first episode of the new series of Benefits Street (Mondays, Channel 4) — now relocated…