documentary

A TV doc that is truly brave: BBC1's Ian Wright – Home Truths reviewed

8 May 2021 9:00 am

Ian Wright: Home Truths began with the ex-footballer saying that the home he grew up in was ‘not a happy…

A redemption song, conventionally sung: Sky's Tina reviewed

1 May 2021 9:00 am

It has never been easy for women in the music industry. Once upon a time the evidence was largely anecdotal.…

A very watchable doc cashing in on Line of Duty: BBC2's Bent Coppers reviewed

24 April 2021 9:00 am

If you’re after an exciting, twisty programme about police corruption that doesn’t also feel a bit like sitting an exam…

Contains nothing you couldn't get from Wikipedia or YouTube: Netflix's Pelé reviewed

27 February 2021 9:00 am

Pelé is a two-hour documentary about the great Brazilian footballer — the greatest footballer ever, some would say — who…

Makes me nostalgic for an era when music was more than a click away: Teenage Superstars reviewed

13 February 2021 9:00 am

In Teenage Superstars, a long and slightly exhausting documentary about the Scottish indie scene of the 1980s and ’90s, there…

Incoherent and conspiracy-fuelled: Adam Curtis’s Can’t Get You Out of My Head reviewed

13 February 2021 9:00 am

‘History,’ wrote Edward Gibbon, ‘is, indeed, little more than the register of the crimes, follies, and misfortunes of mankind.’ In…

It’ll blow you away: Collective reviewed

28 November 2020 9:00 am

When I recommend this documentary to people, telling them it follows the journalistic investigation into a fire that broke out…

A gripping portrait: Billie reviewed

14 November 2020 9:00 am

This documentary about Billie Holiday is transfixing. Not just because it’s about Billie Holiday — I am not into jazz…

A convincing and hair-raising depiction of showbiz at its most luridly weird: I Hate Suzie reviewed

29 August 2020 9:00 am

Fifteen minutes into the first episode of I Hate Suzie, main character Suzie Pickles was doing a photoshoot in her…

Fascinatingly weird – but not satisfyingly weird: Herzog’s Family Romance LLC reviewed

4 July 2020 9:00 am

In the past Werner Herzog has given us a man pushing a ship up a mountain, a 16th-century conquistador going…

Jeffrey Epstein really was a streak of slime

13 June 2020 9:00 am

Did Jeffrey Epstein kill himself or was he murdered — and frankly who cares? Actually, having watched the four-part Netflix…

The art of the incel

13 June 2020 9:00 am

The roots of incel subculture – and its magnificent memes – stretch back to Goethe’s Werther and beyond, says Nina Power

Not merely funny but somehow also joyous: Sky One's Brassic reviewed

9 May 2020 9:00 am

Danny Brocklehurst, the scriptwriter for Sky One’s Brassic, used to work for Shameless in its glory days — although if…

An extraordinary tale: BBC2’s The Countess and the Russian Billionaire reviewed

11 April 2020 9:00 am

There can’t be many programmes that bring to mind quotations from both Henry Kissinger and Boney M., but BBC2’s The…

Taylor Swift is fascinating – but you really wouldn't want to be her

4 April 2020 9:00 am

There had been some question about whether Taylor Swift’s Netflix special would actually appear. Last year it seemed that the…

Understated, unashamedly patriotic and heartbreaking: The Windermere Children reviewed

1 February 2020 9:00 am

One of the many astonishing things about the BBC2 drama The Windermere Children (Monday) was that the real-life story it…

Undeniably eye-popping: BBC2’s Louis Theroux – Selling Sex reviewed

18 January 2020 9:00 am

Victoria, a single mother in her early thirties, is getting her children ready for school — ensuring an equitable distribution…

Is the patriarchy as all-powerful as it’s cracked up to be? The Baby Has Landed reviewed

30 November 2019 9:00 am

Anybody who watched the opening episode of The Baby Has Landed (BBC2, Wednesday) might have found themselves wondering if the…

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…