Telluride 2019: Documentary Overview

The 46th Telluride Film Festival

August 30-September 2

This year’s festival unspools 18 documentaries among its 39 offerings of new features.


Show, the influential event’s main program, presents new work including: Taghi Amirani’s COUP 53, which explores secrets from the 1953 Anglo-American coup of Iran; Dror Moreh’s THE HUMAN FACTOR, an inside look at the Israel-Palestine peace process; Davis Guggenheim’s INSIDE BILL’S BRAIN, on Bill Gates; Ric Burns’ OLIVER SACKS: HIS OWN LIFE, on the well-known neurologist; and Ed Perkins’ TELL ME WHO I AM, about an amnesiac and his unreliable twin.

THE AUSTRALIAN DREAM | Photo: Andrew White/AFL Media

Other doc offerings in Show are of titles that have already debuted elsewhere: the late Agnès Varda’s review of er career, VARDA BY AGNÈS; Lauren Greenfield’s portrait of Imelda Marcos, THE KINGMAKER; Asif Kapadia’s portrait of a soccer legend, DIEGO MARADONA; an episode of Ken Burns’ COUNTRY MUSIC; Mark Cousins’ epic WOMEN MAKE FILM: A NEW ROAD MOVIE THROUGH CINEMA; and Daniel Gordon’s incendiary look at the incessant racism hurled against Aboriginal Australian football player Adam Goodes, THE AUSTRALIAN DREAM.


Several additional docs appear in the more intimate Backlot program, primarily retrospective titles by Agnes Varda and Les Blank, as well as films that have already premiered over the past year, such as Alan Elliott’s release of Sydney Pollack’s AMAZING GRACE (DOC NYC), Werner Herzog’s NOMAD: IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF BRUCE CHATWIN (Tribeca); Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman’s LINDA RONSTADT: THE SOUND OF MY VOICE (SXSW); Thom Zimny’s THE GIFT: THE JOURNEY OF JOHNNY CASH (SXSW); and Michael Apted’s 63 UP (ITV). New nonfiction in Backlot includes James Erskine’s Billie Holiday portrait, BILLIE; and Jesse Dylan’s George Soros profile, SOROS.

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

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