Sydney 2017: Documentary Overview

The 64th Sydney Film Festival

June 7-18

Approximately 60 new documentaries screen out of a lineup consisting of over 150 features.

The event opens with Warwick Thornton’s WE DON’T NEED A MAP (pictured), an essay film exploring the loaded sociocultural meanings of Australia’s Southern Cross. Other special presentations at the fest include Jennifer Peedom’s MOUNTAIN, which looks at humanity’s fascination with scaling the tallest heights; and Gaylene Preston’s MY YEAR WITH HELEN, about New Zealand’s first elected female Prime Minister.

National nonfiction is recognized in the Documentary Australia Foundation competition, which includes: Tom Zubrycki’s HOPE ROAD, which follows a lost boy of Sudan’s efforts to build a school in his home village; Sascha Ettinger Epstein’s THE PINK HOUSE (pictured), about a brothel which has serviced miners since 1904; Erica Glynn’s IN MY OWN WORDS, a look at a literacy program for adult Aboriginal students; Karina Holden’s BLUE, a call to action about the health of our oceans; Su Goldfish’s THE LAST GOLDFISH, the story of the filmmaker’s discovery of her Jewish family background; and Kate Hickey’s ROLLER DREAMS, a look back at the short-lived 1980s phenomenon of roller dancing.

The festival offers a wide range of international nonfiction programming; among the titles that have not been noted on this site in the past are: Kaspar Astrup Schröder’s BIG TIME, which follows a famed Danish architect as he takes on the new World Trade Center; Behrouz Boochani and Arash Kamali Sarvestani’s CHAUKA PLEASE TELL US THE TIME (pictured), a chronicle of life in a refugee detention center; Roger Donaldson’s MCLAREN, a portrait of the 1960s Formula One legend; and Manuel von Stürler’s LUST FOR SIGHT, in which the filmmaker explores his impending blindness.

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Filed under Documentary, Film, Film Festivals, Overviews, Recommendations

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