#SoReal - December 20th

Something Frozen

Fellow explorers of documentary land. Put your plans on ice, float across the ocean of your living room, mount the couch iceberg, then abseil into a cosy crevice to witness these glacially cool docs. 

The Expedition to the End of the World

A crew of seafaring artists, scientists and philosophers sail to one of the most remote and beautiful areas in the world—the frozen fjords of northern Greenland—to ponder provocative questions about our place in the world.

Dir. Daniel Dencik (2012)

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US: GooglePlay / YouTube / Amazon / iTunes UK: Direct

Nanook of the North

Adventurer turned documentarian Robert Flaherty spent a year living with Inuit hunters in the harsh conditions of Canada’s Hudson Bay, and emerged with an enchanting, controversial film that’s perhaps the father of all documentaries.

Dir. Robert J. Flaherty (1922)

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US: Archive.org UK: Archive.org

#SoReal - December 12th

Something NYC

New York has always been a bastion of cultural fusion: this flamenco krump hybrid interpretation of a Greek play we encountered is quite a testament to the creative crossroads of city. So get into the New York state of mind, or not, and watch these two urban tales of dancing and finding yourself.


Spanning more than five years on the streets of New York City, this intimate story of survival follows Lucky Torres, a homeless mother masked in tattoos who longs to rise from a life of darkness.

Dir. Laura Checkoway (2014)

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US: iTunes / Amazon / Vimeo on Demand UK: Vimeo On Demand

Flex is Kings

Join a group of fearless young dancers on an emotional journey as they vie to make something of themselves and their communities by competing in awe-inspiring battles of strength, grace and creativity.

Dirs. Deidre Schoo, Michael Beach Nichols (2013)

Watch Now:

US: Vimeo On Demand / iTunes / Microsoft / Youtube / Googleplay UK: iTunes / Vimeo On Demand

#SoReal - December 6th

Something Magical

Drifting into the jolly season of mythical elves, white-bearded saints, zombie shopping and flying reindeer, we embrace rational abandonment by offering two stories of magical dreamers. 


Sepideh Hooshyar, an Iranian teenager, dreams of becoming an astronaut, but cultural and economic factors make her goal difficult to achieve.

Dir. Berit Madsen (2013)

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US: iTunes UK: iTunes

A Spell to Ward Off the Darkness

An unnamed character wanders through three seemingly disparate moments in his life: on a small Estonian island, in isolation in the majestic wilderness of Northern Finland and during a concert in Norway.

Dir. Ben Rivers & Ben Russell (2013)

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US: Fandor / Amazon / iTunes / Youtube UK: Curzon Home / BFI Player

#SoReal - November 29th

Something Environmental

As millions of citizens join the global climate march today, we bring you two powerful stories direct from the front lines of climate change. 

A River Changes Course

A cinematic journey into the lives of three young Cambodians as they struggle to overcome new environmental and economic adversity.

Dir. Kalyanee Mam (2012)

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US: Direct / iTunes / Amazon UK: Direct / iTunes / Youtube / Vimeo on Demand

This Changes Everything

This epic attempt to re-imagine climate change asks the question: What if confronting the climate crisis is the best chance we’ll ever get to build a better world?

Dir. Avi Lewis (2015)

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US: Direct / iTunes / Amazon / Youtube / Googleplay UK: Direct / iTunes

#SoReal - November 20th

Something Cinephile

2015 has seen the passing of some cinema greats, from the experimental Chantal Akerman to the genre defining Wes Craven. In ode to these filmmakers we offer two docs where worlds are shaped by magic and mystery of cinephilia. 

Beyond Clueless

Beyond Clueless is a dizzying journey into the mind, body and soul of the teen movie, as seen through the eyes of over 200 modern coming-of-age classics. 

Dir. Charlie Lyne (2014)

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US: Netflix / iTunes UK: Netflix / iTunes

The Wolfpack

A coming of age story following the six Angulo brothers who have spent their entire lives locked away from society in an apartment on the Lower East Side of Manhattan.

Dir. Crystal Moselle (2015)

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US: VUDU / Googleplay / Youtube / Amazon / iTunes UK: BFI Player / iTunes

#SoReal - November 8th

Something Migrating

The ongoing story of the summer in the Europe has been one of migration. Many reports on this subject speak only of policies and statistics, so this week we are offering two true stories of personal experiences.

Hull's Angel

An intimate, frank and probing look into the uneasy relationship between British citizens and asylum seekers through the eyes of an unconventional family. 

Dir. Sean McAllister (2002)

Watch Now:

US: Vimeo On Demand UK: Vimeo On Demand


Journalist Vargas chronicles his journey to America from the Philippines as a child and his public struggle as an immigration reform activist.

Dir. Jose Antonio Vargas (2013)

Watch Now:

US: Vimeo On Demand / Assemble / Youtube / Amazon / iTunes UK: Vimeo On Demand / Assemble

#SoReal - October 30th

Something Haunting

Good evening guys and ghouls. It's time to don your halloween costume, lock the doors, light a dripping candle and see something haunting from the comfort of your cavern.

The Russian Woodpecker

An eccentric Ukrainian artist and survivor of Chernobyl discovers a dark secret and has to decide whether to risk his life by revealing it.

Dir. Chad Gracia (2014)

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US: Youtube / Googleplay / Amazon / VUDU UK: Vimeo On Demand

The Nine Muses

The Nine Muses is a modern recasting of Homer's epic as a song cycle on journeys, on migration, on memory and the power of elegy.

Dir. John Akomfrah (2011)

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US: iTunes UK: iTunes / Blinkbox

#SoReal - October 16th

Something Educated

'The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. Intelligence plus character - that is the goal of true education.' Martin Luther King. Here are two powerful films about the importance of education. 

American Promise

This intimate documentary follows the 12-year journey of two African-American families pursuing the promise of opportunity through the education of their sons.

Dirs. Joe Brewster, Michele Stephenson (2013)

Watch Now:

US: Netflix / iTunes / VUDU / Amazon / Googleplay UK: Netflix

Approaching the Elephant

An eye-opening view into the inaugural year of a Free School, where all classes are voluntary and rules are determined by vote – adults and children have an equal say.

Dir. Amanda Rose Wilder (2014)

Watch Now:

US: Netflix / iTunes UK: Netflix / iTunes

#SoReal - October 8th

Something Petty

The close bond between humans and domesticated animals may seem petty to some. Look deeper, spend some time with our pet friends and surreal things can happen. Sit the cat on your lap and chase a mouse over to these two films tonight.

Gates of Heaven

This quirky film showcases workers in the animal burial industry while dealing with heavier existential questions regarding mortality and the afterlife.

Dir. Errol Morris (1978)

Watch Now:

US: Sundance Doc Club / iTunes / Amazon UK: Sundance Doc Club


Fascinating, beguiling creatures like buffalo, hyenas, zookeepers, zebras, taxidermists, rhinos, and ostriches silently inhabit uncluttered, beautifully composed frames of a locked-off camera. 

Dir. Denis Côté (2011)

Watch Now:

US: SundanceNow / Fandor UK: Vimeo On Demand

#SoReal - October 2nd

Something Predictable

This week the gloriously ridiculous 'Back to the Future' film turned 30. So we are zapping over an electronic mail with a documentary about another possible future and one that foresaw a future past.

Dial H-I-S-T-O-R-Y

This experimental documentary details the history of plane hijackings as portrayed by mainstream television media.

Dir. Johan Grimonprez (1997)

Watch Now:


Future My Love

A poetic road trip through the financial collapse by exploring a radically different economic and social model.

Dir. Maja Borg (2012)

Watch Now:

US: Vimeo On Demand UK: Distrify / Vimeo On Demand

#SoReal - September 25th

Something I Said

The poetry of self-expression often walks and talks a pliable path between truth and fantasy. Here are two films bursting with words, sometimes spoken, sometimes shouted and mostly inspiring.

We Are Poets

We Are Poets presents a moving and poignant story of youth, art and freedom of expression, as it intimately follows six young poets from youth literary group, Leeds Young Authors.

Dir. Alex Ramseyer-Bache (2012)

Watch Now:

US: Vimeo On Demand UK: Vimeo On Demand

The Great Hip Hop Hoax

A compelling documentary about truth, lies and the legacy of faking everything in the desperate pursuit of fame. This is the story of how a hip hop duo from Scotland manufactured American identities and duped the music industry.

Dir. Jeanie Finlay (2013)

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US: iTunes / Amazon / Youtube / Googleplay UK: iTunes / Amazon Instant

#SoReal - September 16th

Something Sibling

A recent art installation in Sheffield, England brought together the worlds of unholy brothers and holy sisters. Thus we've given birth to a holy communion of related documentaries for your home nurturing. 

Brother's Keeper

This compelling documentary details the strange-but-true murder trial of Delbert Ward, accused of the mercy killing of his brother in rural upstate NY.

Dirs. Joe Berlinger, Bruce Sinofsky (1992)

Watch Now:

US: Sundance Doc Club / Amazon UK: Sundance Doc Club

Sister Helen

A vivid portrayal of the complex love/hate relationship between this tough-as-nails nun and the men who both fear her and rely on her to help them battle their own inner demons.

Dirs: Rebecca Cammisa, Rob Fruchtman (2004)

Watch Now:

US: Amazon / Hulu / iTunes UK: iTunes

#SoReal - September 3rd

Something Geometrical

On Sunday, after a right-angled snooze, we listened to this podcast in a quiet corner. It realigned our minds into Euclidean space and before us, in a black box, appeared a line and a square. So we thought we'd share them in the form of film.

The Thin Blue Line

In 1976, Randall Adams was wrongly sentenced to death for the murder of a Dallas policeman. Errol Morris' stunning documentary exposed the truth of the case and is credited with overturning Adams' conviction.

Dir. Errol Morris (1988)

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US: iTunes / Amazon / Sundance Doc Club UK: Netflix / Sundance Doc Club

The Square

A group of Egyptian revolutionaries battle leaders and regimes, risking their lives to build a new society of conscience.

Dir. Jehane Noujaim (2014)

Watch Now:

US: Netflix UK: Netflix

#SoReal - August 28th

Something Japanese

Rumour has it, there's big trouble stirring in little Japan. Here are two digital docs about other troubles altogether: love, the economy and earthquakes. 

Japan: A Story of Love And Hate

Yoshi, Naoki and Sean work long hours to tell a love story of survival in the world's second richest economy.

Dir. Sean McAllister (2008)

Watch Now:

US: Vimeo On Demand UK: Vimeo On Demand

The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom

Following the tsunami that devastated Japan in 2011, the arrival of cherry-blossom season is a beacon of hope to survivors in even the hardest-hit areas.

Dir. Lucy Walker (2011)

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US: Vimeo On Demand UK: Vimeo On Demand

#SoReal - August 23rd

Something Radical

After a brief trip to Venice to experience some radical, political art we're back in town with this duet of docs about extreme activism.

The Weather Underground

An eye-opening history lesson charting the remarkable rise and fall of the American radical organization The Weathermen.

Dir. Sam Green (2003)

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US: iTunes / Amazon / Sundance Doc Club / Fandor UK: Sundance Doc Club

If a Tree Falls

Using never before seen archival footage and intimate interviews, this doc asks hard questions about environmentalism, activism, and the way we define terrorism.

Dir. Marshall Curry (2011)

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US: iTunes / Amazon / Microsoft / Fandor UK: Netflix / Blinkbox / iTunes

#SoReal - August 14th

Something Metal

This week we discovered that some brassy town planners in China have forged some rather wonderful forgery. Let's celebrate the art of twisted metal with these two hand-crafted docs. 

Bending Steel

Overcome by an unwavering determination to become a professional Oldtime Strongman, Chris Schoeck trains out of his basement to prepare for his first performance at New York’s historic Coney Island.

Dir. Dave Carroll (2013)

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US: GooglePlay / Youtube / VUDU / iTunes / Amazon UK: Vimeo On Demand / VHX

Pumping Iron

This pivotal 1977 documentary follows 28-year-old Arnold Schwarzenegger's bodybuilding progress as he competes for his sixth and final title.

Dirs. George Butler, Robert Fiore (1977)

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US: Youtube / Googleplay / Amazon / iTunes UK: Amazon / iTunes / Netflix

#SoReal - August 4th

Something Working

The British Labour Party, once the great supporter of workers and national health care, is descending into a push and pull struggle for a 21st century vision. So put your feet up and get to work watching these two archive docs celebrating the toil and triumph of yesteryear. 

The Spirit of '45

This rousing documentary illuminates and celebrates a period of unprecedented community spirit in the UK, the impact of which endured for many years and which may yet be rediscovered today.

Dir. Ken Loach (2013)

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US: iTunes UK: Curzon Home / iTunes / Dogwoof TV / BFI Player

The Miners' Hymns

An inspired documentary depicting the ill-fated mining community in North East England. The film depicts the hardship of pit work and the role of Trade Unions in organizing and fighting for workers' rights.

Dir. Bill Morrison (2014)

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US: iTunes / Amazon / Microsoft UK: iTunes

#SoReal - July 24th

Something Wei Wei

After four years without a passport, we are celebrating the freedom of an artist by sending these two great films your way way. 

Ai Wei Wei The Fake Case

This turbulent portrait follows Ai Wei Wei's battle against the gigantic lawsuit thrust upon him by the Chinese government in an effort to silence him.

Dir. Andreas Johnsen (2013)

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US: Youtube / Amazon / VUDU / iTunes UK: iTunes / Vimeo On Demand

Ai Wei Wei: Never Sorry

The inside story of a dissident for the digital age who inspires global audiences and blurs the boundaries of art and politics.

Dir. Alison Klayman (2012)

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US: Netflix / Amazon / iTunes / Sundance Doc Club UK: Sky

#SoReal - July 21st

Something Sweet

A gentleman with a name as wild as his world once warbled: "Come with me and you'll be in a world of pure imagination. Take a look and you'll see into your imagination." Join us this week and indulge your eyes in these two tales about searching for sweet stories behind a name.

The Sweetest Sound

Alan Berliner is tired of being mistaken for people who might share his name and decides to rid himself of the dreaded Same Name Syndrome. His solution: invite all the Alan Berliners in the world over to his house for dinner.

Dir. Alan Berliner (2001)

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US: Fandor / Sundance Doc Club UK: Sundance Doc Club

Searching for Sugar Man

Unveils the incredible and mysterious story of Rodriguez, a ‘70s US rock icon who disappeared into oblivion and rose from the ashes decades later as a megastar on another continent.

Dir. Malik Bendjelloul (2012)

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US: iTunes / Amazon / Youtube / Vudu UK: Amazon / iTunes / Blinkbox

#SoReal - July 13th

Something Disastrous

Impending disaster, ridiculous explosions and unimaginable destruction have long been the fodder of Hollywood dramatics, but even the wildest scenarios originate in the real. After a short trip to this sublime Bruce Conner show in London, we recommend these two Earth shattering docs.

Radio Bikini

While the U.N. debated strategies for control of atomic energy, the U.S. Navy was preparing for nuclear tests on Bikini Island, forcing residents to move away for more than 40 years.

Dir. Robert Stone (1988)

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US: iTunes / Amazon / Sundance Doc Club UK: Netflix

Disaster Playground

Hollywood relies on Bruce Willis to save the world in Armageddon, but who are the real-life heroes seeking to save our civilisation from the next major asteroid impact?

Dir. Nelly Ben Hayoun (2014)

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US: iTunes / Amazon / Googleplay UK: Googleplay / Vimeo on Demand

#SoReal - July 7th

Something Edible

Our daily bread can be both art and sustenance, but should never be wasted. Here are two freshly baked stories about feeders and foodies.

Jiro Dreams of Sushi

Revered sushi chef Jiro Ono strives for perfection in his work, while his eldest son, Yoshikazu, has trouble living up to his father's legacy.

Dir. David Gelb (2013)

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US: iTunes / GooglePlay / Amazon / VUDU UK: Curzon Home / Amazon Instant

Cooking History

A captivating portrait of different military cooks from all over Europe who served in various armies and have witnessed the great European wars of the 20th century.

Dir. Peter Kerekes (2009)

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US: DocAlliance UK: DocAlliance

#SoReal - June 29th

Something Money

The Greek philosopher Heraclitus wisely said 'Everything changes and nothing stands still.' Thus as the financial drama of Greece nears a scene of tragedy this week, we offer two stories of money, corruption and flux.

Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room

The inside story of the scandal involving one company's manipulation of California's energy supply and how its executives stole a billion dollars out of the resulting crisis.

Dir. Alex Gibney (2006)

Watch Now:

US: Sundance Doc Club / Youtube / Amazon / Vudu UK: iTunes / Netflix

Inside Job

Inside Job traces the rise of a rogue global financial industry and unveils the relationships which have corrupted politics, regulation, and academia.

Dir. Charles Ferguson (2010)

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US: GooglePlay / Youtube / VUDU / Amazon / iTunes UK: iTunes

#SoReal - June 21st

Something Addictive

There are few aspects of society that drug abuse has failed to infiltrate, corrupt and corrode.  In recent weeks allegations have even tarnished the name of a globally admired sports coach. Here are two powerful behind the scenes films about the culture of drugs and drug culture.


Oxyana is a harrowing front line account of a community in the grips of an epidemic, told through the voices of the addicts, the dealers and all those affected.

Dir. Sean Dunne (2014)

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US: Youtube / Vimeo On Demand / iTunes / Googleplay UK: iTunes / Vimeo On Demand

Narco Cultura

Narco Cultura takes viewers behind the scenes of the most explosive and violent music subculture in America.

Dir. Shaul Schwarz (2013)

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US: iTunes / YouTube / Amazon / VUDU UK: iTunes

#SoReal - June 14th

Something Newspaper

On seeing this series of cluttered images we pondered a future where the crisp rustle of dull inked headlines turned between finger and thumb has dissolved into swipes and glare. Here are two films about the age of the newspaper. 


The film follows stranger-than-fiction adventures of Joyce McKinney, a former “beauty queen” whose single-minded devotion to the man of her dreams leads her across the globe and directly onto the front pages of the British tabloid newspapers.

Dir. Errol Morris (2011)

Watch Now:

US: iTunes / SundanceNow UK: iTunes / Netflix / Dogwoof TV

Page One: Inside the New York Times

In an era when newspapers are becoming increasingly obsolete, this film offers a glimpse behind the scenes of the newsroom that has kept America informed for generations yet now struggles to remain relevant as more readers turn to the Internet to stay informed on current events.

Dir. Andrew Rossi (2011)

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US: iTunes / VUDU / Sundance Doc Club / Youtube / Amazon UK: Dogwoof TV / iTunes

#SoReal - June 7th

Something Self-Portrait

The camera art of self-portraiture is presently having a moment with the magic wand of narcissism (the selfie stick) and a certain machine of loving grace (the selfie drone). The craft is as old as the technology: this reflective photograph by fauvist Henri-Jacques-Edouard Evenepoel dates back to 1898. Indulge in some more self-indulgence with these two performative documentaries.

Beaches of Agnes

Returning to the beaches which have been parts of her life, Agnès Varda invents a kind of self-portrait-documentary. 

Dir. Agnès Varda (2008)

Watch Now:

US: Sundance Doc Club / iTunes / Fandor UK: Doc Alliance / Sundance Doc Club

David Holzman's Diary

A groundbreaking work of docu-fiction. Idealistic young filmmaker David Holzman decides to document every waking moment of his life in an attempt to understand himself and his world. 

Dir. Jim McBride (1968)

Watch Now:

US: Amazon / Sundance Doc Club / Fandor UK: Sundance Doc Club

#SoReal - May 31st

Something Possible

Yesterday an experimental aircraft took to the skies to cross the Pacific ocean powered only by human dreams and sunlight beams. Thus we are carefully landing two more stories of personal discovery and experimentation directly in your inbox. 

Signer's Suitcase

An experimental road movie across Europe magically charged with creative contours and explosions. This is a film about immersing yourself, letting yourself be infected, then travelling on.

Dir. Peter Liechti (1996)

Watch Now:

US: Doc Alliance / Fandor UK: Doc Alliance

The Possibilities Are Endless

This sensory film puts the viewer inside musician Edwyn Collins' experience as he fights back from the brink of death. The result is an intimate journey of rediscovering art, music and love.

Dir. James Hall, Edward Lovelace (2014)

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US: Amazon / iTunes UK: iTunes / Googleplay / Curzon Home / Distrify / BFI Player

#SoReal - May 21st

Something Shut Up

Contemporary life rarely affords us the luxury of absolute silence, but perhaps that's a good thing. Here are two noisey narratives to vibrate your perceptive devices this week. 

Shut Up Little Man

When two punk friends tape record their violently noisy neighbours, they accidentally create one of the first 'viral' pop-culture sensations.

Dir. Matthew Bate (2011)

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US: Amazon / VUDU / iTunes UK: Vimeo on Demand

Shut Up and Play the Hits

A high energy concert film capturing the final 48 hours of LCD Soundsystem, a band in complete control of its destiny.

Dirs. Dylan Southern and Will Lovelace (2012)

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US: iTunes / Amazon / Googleplay UK: iTunes / Volta

#SoReal - May 14th

Something Legal

After spending £400,000 the British Government lost a legal battle against a Freedom of Information Act request. The result was this week's publication of Prince Charles' correspondence with MPs revealing requests to preserve huts and albatrosses but cull badgers. Here are two more revealing portraits of mysterious laws in action.

The Law In These Parts

Through a series of frank interviews this film explores the four-decade-old Israeli military legal system in the Occupied Territories.

Dir. Ra'anan Alexandrowicz (2012)

Watch Now:

US: Direct / iTunes / Amazon / Fandor / Sundance Doc Club UK: iTunes

Public Hearing

Shot entirely in cinematic close-up on black-and-white 16mm film, a cast of actors and non-actors reenact and ironic debate over the replacement of an existing Wal-Mart with a super Wal-Mart.

Dir. James N. Kienitz Wilkins (2012)

Watch Now:

US: DocAlliance UK: DocAlliance

#SoReal - May 7th

Something Democratic?

Today the British are forming an orderly queue and voting with their stomachs in a rather tasty general election. So cook up a political storm and watch one of these freshly served documentary films tonight.

Putin's Kiss

A rising star in Russia's nationalist youth movement begins to have a change of heart about the Russian president and her organization.

Dir. Lise Birk Pedersen (2012)

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US: iTunes / Googleplay / HuluPlus / Amazon UK: Blinkbox / iTunes / Dogwoof TV

The Island President

The story of President Mohamed Nasheed of the Maldives, a man confronting a problem greater than any other world leader has ever faced - the literal survival of his country.

Dir. Jon Shenk (2012)

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US: iTunes / Amazon UK: Blinkbox / Netflix / iTunes / Dogwoof TV

#SoReal - May 1st

Something War

This week marked the centenary of an ill-fated military campaign where thousands of young men perished on Turkish shores. Here are two moving windows upon the nature of contemporary warfare and the lives it affects. 

Dirty Wars

Fearless journalist Jeremy Scahill leads us on a thrilling globe-trotting mission, exposing the truth behind America's secret wars.

Dir. Rick Rowley (2013)

Watch Now:

US: iTunes / Youtube / Sundance Now / Googleplay / Netflix UK: Direct / iTunes / Vimeo on Demand / Curzon Home / Netflix

Hell and Back Again

From his embed with US Marines Echo Company in Afghanistan, photojournalist and filmmaker Danfung Dennis reveals the devastating impact a Taliban machine-gun bullet has on the life of 25-year-old Sergeant Nathan Harris.

Dir. Danfung Dennis (2011)

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US: Sundance Doc Club / iTunes / VUDU / Amazon / Googleplay UK: iTunes / Sundance Doc Club

#SoReal - April 23rd

Something Worshipped

In April this article asked whether it's possible to worship religious art without belief, and these images of ancient idols being hammered out of existence shocked lovers of historic art globally. Pull up a pew for some sacredly profane documentary time this week.


A fascinating examination of segments of the Italian population who are consumed by a creepy world of celebrity worship.

Dir. Erik Gandini (2009)

Watch Now:

US: Amazon / Sundance Doc Club / Vudu / Snagfilms / iTunes UK: Blinkbox / iTunes / DogwoofTV

Jesus Camp

An extraordinary exposé about Evangelical Christian indoctrination of children in heartland America.

Dirs. Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady (2006)

Watch Now:

US: Vimeo on Demand / iTunes / Amazon / Snagfilms UK: Vimeo on Demand / iTunes / Netflix

#SoReal - April 14th

Something Dreamed

The late and wonderful mind of Mr Márquez observed 'It is not true that people stop pursuing dreams because they grow old, they grow old because they stop pursuing dreams.' Here are two dreamers blowing your way fresh out of the windy city.


An exploration into the cycle of neglect, violence and exploitation which each year pushes thousands of girls and women into prostitution and the individuals who strive to help them.

Dir. Kim Longinotto (2015)

Watch Now:

US: DIRECTV / ShowTime UK: iTunes / Dogwoof TV

Hoop Dreams

Tells the story of two ordinary inner-city kids who dare to dream the impossible—professional basketball glory.

Dir. Steve James (1994)

Watch Now:

US: Sundance Doc Club / Netflix / iTunes / Hulu / Amazon / Vimeo UK: Sundance Doc Club / Netflix / Vimeo

#SoReal - April 9th

Something Unequal

Barely a day goes by in the US or UK without the devastating affects of inequality in our societies being reported. Here are two powerful human documents showing the polar lives of the rich and the poor as they are today.

Rich Hill

Follows the tumultuous existence of three boys and the bonds that sustain them throughout the more difficult moments encountered while living in an impoverished town in the Midwest.

Dir. Tracy Droz Tragos, Andrew Droz Palermo (2014)

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US: iTunes / VUDU / Amazon / Youtube / Googleplay UK: iTunes

Master of the Universe

A top banker gives a disturbing insider’s account of his emotions, motivations and predictions. Revealing a parallel universe of extreme income and merciless pressure.

Dir. Marc Bauder (2013)

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US: iTunes / VUDU / Amazon / Youtube / Googleplay UK: iTunes

#SoReal - April 2nd

Something Wild

Pop music is often derided as cheap and nasty, yet it has provided a space for some of culture's most eccentric figures to beat our mental drums and shake our hypnotic bums. Here are two offbeat portraits of wild pop masters. 

Wild Combination: A Portrait Of Arthur Russell

A visually absorbing portrait of the seminal avant-garde composer, singer-songwriter, cellist, and disco producer Arthur Russell.

Dir. Matt Wolf (2008)

Watch Now:

US: Vimeo on Demand / VHX UK: Vimeo on Demand / VHX

Stop Making Sense

A remarkable concert film that captures the enormous energy and joyous highs of the Talking Heads live performance.

Dir. Jonathan Demme (1984)

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US: Vudu / Sundance Doc Club / iTunes / Amazon / Youtube / Googleplay UK: Sundance Doc Club

#SoReal - March 27th

Something Buzzin

Small black and yellow fellows are reported to be packing some new kit to understand and counter their population decline. This week we bring you two very different interpretations of the 'buzzin' lifestyle.


Several beekeepers around the U.S. learn to cope with colony collapse disorder - the phenomenon that has caused millions of bees to mysteriously disappear.

Dir. Carter Gunn, Ross McDonnell (2009)

Watch Now:

US: GooglePlay / SundanceNow / YouTube / Amazon / iTunes UK: Sundance Doc Club

The Stone Roses: Made of Stone

With unprecedented access to previously unseen archive footage, MADE OF STONE is a revealing journey through the life of one of the most revered and influential bands in British music history.

Dir. Shane Meadows (2013)

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US: Youtube / GooglePlay / Amazon / iTunes UK: iTunes / Blinkbox / BFIplayer

#SoReal - March 18th

Something Transported

The well groomed and well travelled Scotsman Robert Louis Stevenson once remarked "To travel hopefully is a better thing than to arrive." Here are two visually stunning films of hopeful journeys: migration and pilgrimage.

Winged Migration

A visually dazzling film that records the flight of dozens of different birds as they follow their navigational instincts and make the taxing journey to more temperate climates in the fall.

Dirs. Jacques Cluzaud, Michel Debats, Jacques Perrin (2001)

Watch Now:

US: iTunes / VUDU / Amazon / Xbox UK: iTunes / Amazon


High above a jungle in Nepal, pilgrims make an ancient journey by cable car to worship Manakamana.

Dirs. Stephanie Spray, Pacho Velez (2013)

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US: GooglePlay / YouTube / Fandor UK: DocAlliance / iTunes / Amazon Instant

#SoReal - March 12th

Something Curious

This week we bring you two gloriously inquisitive stories searching for paternal answers, in memory of one of the most curious fathers of modern documentary cinema.

Nobody's Business

Alan Berliner takes on his reclusive father as the reluctant subject of this poignant and graceful study of family history and memory. What emerges is a uniquely cinematic biography that finds both humor and pathos in the swirl of conflicts and affections that bind father and son.

Dir. Alan Berliner (1996)

Watch Now:

US: Fandor / Amazon Prime / VUDU / Sundance Doc Club UK: Sundance Doc Club

Stories We Tell

Deeply affectionate filmmaking.

A film that excavates layers of myth and memory to find the elusive truth at the core of a family of storytellers.

Dir. Sarah Polley (2013)

See more resources about this film 

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US: Netflix / Redbox / Amazon / iTunes / GooglePlay / VUDU UK: Netflix / Curzon / iTunes / Blinkbox

#SoReal - March 3rd

Something Thingy

In the week following a piece of material causing the downfall of a material girl, we shop window two movies about the material world and its wonders. 


An insight into our complex relationship with manufactured objects and, by extension, the people who design them. It’s a look at the creativity at work behind everything from toothbrushes to tech gadgets.

Dir. Gary Hustwit (2009)

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US: iTunes / GooglePlay / Amazon / VHX UK: VHX / iTunes


Outside a small bar in Kingston, NY, Mark Hogancamp was beaten nearly to death, his memories wiped away. Seeking recovery, he builds Marwencol, a miniature World War II-era town filled with doll versions of his friends, fantasies, and even his attackers.

Dir. Jeff Malmberg (2010)

Watch Now:

US: Sundance Doc Club / iTunes UK: Sundance Doc Club / iTunes

#SoReal - February 26th

Something Golden

This week a certain documentary maker deservedly found 'golden ken' in her arms, yes golden ken, not Ken Golden. Discover some golden oldies from this very same filmmaker below.

The Oath

The crosscut tale of two men whose fateful meeting propelled them on divergent courses with Al-Qaeda, Osama bin Laden, 9/11, Guantanamo Bay Prison and the U.S. Supreme Court.

Dir. Laura Poitras (2010)

Watch Now:

US: Fandor / iTunes / Sundance Doc Club UK: Sundance Doc Club / Blinkbox / Dogwoof TV

My Country, My Country

Unfolding like a narrative drama, the film follows the gradual descent of one man caught in the tragic contradictions of the U.S. occupation of Iraq and its project to spread democracy in the Middle East.

Dir. Laura Poitras (2005)

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US: Amazon / Fandor / Sundance Doc Club UK: Sundance Doc Club / Dogwoof TV

#SoReal - February 20th

Something Photographed

In each film we recommend the story lasts 90 or so minutes. Each flashing second you see is made up of 24 or more individual frames per second. Thus on average you might see 130,000 still images whilst viewing just one of these moving images. This week we spent long long hours at an exhibition in London, powerfully reminding us that each frame is a story in itself.

Everybody Street

Illuminates the lives and work of New York’s iconic street photographers and the incomparable city that has inspired them for decades. The documentary pays tribute to the spirit of street photography through a cinematic exploration of New York City.

Dir. Cheryl Dunn (2013)

Watch Now:

US: Vimeo On Demand UK: Vimeo On Demand

Manufactured Landscapes

A striking portrait of renowned photographer Edward Burtynsky, who's internationally acclaimed for his large-scale pictures which turn civilization’s materials and debris into beautiful art.

Dir. Jennifer Baichwal (2007)

Watch Now:

US: iTunes / GooglePlay / VUDU / Youtube UK: Sundance Doc Club

#SoReal - February 16th

Something Revisited

In recollection of Edmund Burke's words "Those who don't know history are destined to repeat it." We offer two astonishing films that are facing history and forging the future of memories. 


This epic documentary recounts the story of the Holocaust through interviews with witnesses - perpetrators as well as survivors. The filmmaker spent ten years making the film, criss-crossing the world in search of interviewees and the film has become a commemorative act.

Dir. Claude Lanzmann (1985)

Watch Now:

US: Sundance Doc Club UK: BBCiPlayer

The Act of Killing

The filmmakers examine a country where death squad leaders are celebrated as heroes, challenging them to reenact their real-life mass-killings in the style of the American movies they love. An unsettling journey deep into the imaginations of mass-murderers and the shockingly banal regime of corruption and impunity they inhabit.

Dir. Joshua Oppenheimer (2013)

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US: iTunes / VUDU / Amazon / VHX / Vimeo on Demand UK: iTunes / Dogwoof TV

#SoReal - February 4th

Something Pastoral

Rural life has long inspired a creative response, presenting romantic visions beyond the hard graft of flock and field. These two films will enchant you with moving images of sheep, goats, hills and shepherds.


An unsentimental elegy to the American West, Sweetgrass follows the last modern-day cowboys to lead their flocks of sheep up into Montana's Absaroka-Beartooth Mountains for summer pasture.

Dirs. Ilisa Barbash, Lucien Castaing-Taylor (2009)

Watch Now:

US: Fandor UK: iTunes

Le Quattro Volte

An ineffably beautiful meditation on the mysterious cycles of life. Set in Italy's mountainous region of Calabria, the film traces the path of one goat-herder's soul, as it passes from human to animal to vegetable to mineral.

Dir. Michelangelo Frammartino (2010)

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US: Fandor / Amazon UK: Curzon / iTunes

#SoReal - January 28th

Something Homely

In this book, Mr Bachelard, the bearded bard of domestic reverie wrote 'If I were asked to name the chief benefit of the house, I should say: the house shelters day-dreaming, the house protects the dreamer, the house allows one to dream in peace.

Here are two films about homes of dreaming and regretting.

The Belovs

A tragic and raucous portrait of a Russian farm family. Beautifully shot in vintage black and white, The Belovs tells the story of twice-widowed Anna Belova, who lives with her brother Mikhail. 

Dir. Victor Kossakovsky (1992)

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US: DocAlliance UK: DocAlliance

Herman's House

New York artist Jackie Sumell collaborates with prisoner Herman Wallace on an art project that leads to a remarkable friendship in this documentary examining the horrors of solitary confinement and the incredible power of art to transform our outlook on life.

Dir. Angad Singh Bhalla (2012)

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US: iTunes / VUDU / Xbox / Fandor UK: DocAlliance

#SoReal - January 21st

Something Sublime

William Wordsworth once wrote 'With an eye made quiet by the power of harmony, and the deep power of joy, we see into the life of things.' Sometimes 'looking' is all that is needed to experience the dramatic wonder of this world and beyond. Here are works of two poetic documentarians that give us something to look at.

¡Vivan las Antipodas!

People who live in a wasteland are connected to people dwelling next to a volcano. Landscapes whose splendor touches the soul are juxtaposed with the clamor of a vast city. These antipodes seem mythically connected, united by their oppositeness in this poetic documentary.

Dir. Victor Kossakovsky (2012)

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US: Amazon / YouTube / Googleplay / Xbox UK: DocAlliance


Shot in breathtaking 70mm in 24 countries on six continents, BARAKA is a transcendent global tour that explores the sights and sounds of the human condition like nothing you’ve ever seen or felt before. 

Dir. Ron Fricke (1992)

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US: iTunes / VUDU / Amazon / Youtube UK: iTunes

#SoReal - January 15th

Something Funny

This has been a week to reflect on the challenges of toleration, freedom of speech and expression. Here are two films documenting the lives of comedians who didn't shy away from these boundaries of controversy, as Jon Stewart remarked 'Comedy shouldn't have to be an act of courage.'

Liberté, égalité, fraternité, documentaré.

American: The Bill Hicks Story

A captivating animated documentary drama on the legendary Texas outlaw comic Bill Hicks, whose profound observations on American life changed the face of comedy forever.

Dir: Paul Thomas, Matt Harlock (2009)

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US: iTunes / Amazon UK: iTunes

Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work

A hilarious, entertaining and deliciously dirty look into the fascinating, fast-paced life of the iconic, ground-breaking comedienne Joan Rivers.

Dir. Ricki Stern, Anne Sundberg (2010)

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US: Amazon / Youtube / Sundance Now / Googleplay UK: iTunes / Blinkbox

#SoReal - January 7th

Something Borrowed

After a gourmandising period of the calendar, it's time to take stock, make stock, be frugal, and redistribute those unwanted gifts. So sit back in your thrift shop armchair and enjoy these two films about the culture borrowing, scavenging and reusing. 

RiP!: A Remix Manifesto

An introduction the energetic, innovative and potentially illegal world of mash-up media. Web activist Brett Gaylor and musician Greg Gillis, better known as Girl Talk, serve as your digital tour guides on a probing investigation into how culture builds upon culture in the information age.

Dir. Brett Gaylor (2008)

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US: iTunes / Hulu UK: NFB / Vimeo On Demand

The Gleaners and I

An intimate, picaresque inquiry into French life as lived by the country's poor and its provident. The aesthetic, political and moral point of departure for Varda are gleaners, those individuals who pick at already-reaped fields for the odd potato, the leftover turnip.

Dir. Agnès Varda (1999)

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US: SundanceNow / VUDU / iTunes UK: DocAlliance / Curzon Home

#SoReal - January 1st

Something New

This medium through which I contact you is pretty new, last year the world wide web turned 25. 2015 will see major steps taken to shape the future of this utopian network for everyone. These two films share some of the glorious challenges involved.

We Are Legion

A journey inside the world of Anonymous, the radical "hacktivist" collective that has redefined civil disobedience for the digital age.

Dir. Brian Knappenberger (2012)

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US: Direct / iTunes / Amazon / Vudu UK: Direct / iTunes / Netflix

The Internet's Own Boy

The film follows the story of programming prodigy and information activist Aaron Swartz. This film is a personal story about what we lose when we are tone deaf about technology and its relationship to our civil liberties.

Dir. Brian Knappenberger (2014)

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US: Youtube / Vudu / Amazon / Googleplay / Vimeo UK: Youtube

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