Films by Language

English

49 Up

Michael Apted

The most riveting real-life television series of them all began 42 years ago with the documentary 7 Up, about the expectations of a group of seven-year-old British children. Meet them again, at 49.

51 Birch Street

Doug Block

As widower father moves out of the family house, filmmaker son unpacks the secrets of his parents’ 55-year marriage. One of the year’s most involving and moving investigative documentaries.

5 Days

Yoav Shamir

In an impressive cinematic operation, Yoav Shamir (Checkpoint) records the Israeli army’s eviction of Jewish settlers from their homes on the Gaza Strip.

American Cannibal: The Road to Reality

Michael Nigro, Perry Grebin

A documentary for everyone who hates reality television – two struggling sitcom writers sell their souls to pitch a show in which contestants may have to eat each other.

American Hardcore

Paul Rachman

Riveting documentary follows sarcastic, anarchistic rebels on a sonic assault from Los Angeles to NYC for the birth of Straight Edge – the early 80s American answer to punk rock.

Angry Monk: Reflections on Tibet

Luc Schaedler

The myth of Tibet as a peaceable kingdom is shaken by this documentary portrait of Gendun Choephel (1903-1951) an angry, sensualist monk who riled the Tibetan government.

Ans Westra: Private Journeys/Public Signposts

Luit Bieringa

Ans Westra, whose photographs of New Zealanders constitute a uniquely expressive record of who we are and have been, contemplates her career with amusement and gratitude.

The Archive Project

John Hughes

John Hughes’ fascinating documentary about dissent in Cold War era Australia offers a timely commentary on the challenges facing oppositional voices in dark times.

Avenge But One of My Two Eyes

Nekam achat mishtey eynay

Avi Mograbi

Israeli director’s inflammatory documentary critique of his own nation’s continuing reverence for suicidal Zealots in the face of rising terrorism. “Explosively provocative.” — Screendaily

Bad Blood

Mike Newell

We revisit British director Mike Newell’s 1982 dramatisation of the 12-day manhunt for mass-murderer Stanley Graham on New Zealand's remote West Coast.

The Balanda and the Bark Canoes

Molly Reynolds, Rolf de Heer, Tania Nehme

This fascinating “making of” the wonderful Ten Canoes, is quite unlike any other you’ve seen as balanda filmmaker Rolf de Heer learns the traditions of aboriginal storytelling on the job.

Ballets Russes

Dayna Goldfine, Dan Gellar

Rich, lovely history of the rival ballet companies, originally founded in Paris in 1909, whose troupes toured the world in costumes by Dali, Picasso and Matisse.

Beijing Bubbles: Punk and Rock in China's Capital

George Lindt, Susanne Messmer

Filmmakers survey Beijings’s surprising underground punk rock scene in a celebration of gutter trash wannabes, throat-singing rockers and all-girl expletive-ridden riff magnets.

Black Gold

Marc Francis, Nick Francis

Eye-opening documentary explores the world coffee trade – from the glitzy World Barista Champs to the Ethiopian farmers who grow the world’s finest coffee but live in near starvation.

Black Sun

Gary Tarn

Documentary inspired by the experience of artist Hugues de Montalembert, who was blinded by muggers in 1978. “A film about blindness that makes us see the world hungrily, deeply, anew.” — Daily Telegraph

The Blood of My Brother

Andrew Berends

Visceral documentary traces the radicalising effect of the US occupation on one Shi-ite family. “A revealing insight into the war in Iraq from the locals' point of view.” — Variety

Brick

Rian Johnson

Joseph Gordon-Levitt channels Bogart to investigate the disappearance of his ex-girlfriend in this inspired fusion of teenage confidential and film noir set in a Southern California high school.

Bubble

Steven Soderbergh

Steven Soderbergh shoots gripping true crime on high-def video in a small town near the Ohio-West Virginia border, proving he is one of America’s most restless and inventive filmmakers.

China Blue

Micha X. Peled

Life in a Chinese garment factory through the eyes of one of its 14-year-old workers. "A must-see film for anyone interested in global politics, economics, and the socio-cultural issues of contemporary China." — Globe and Mail

Dave Chappelle’s Block Party

Michel Gondry

Michel Gondry directs comedian Dave Chapelle’s joyous celebration of all that is affirmative, soulful and triumphant in black music now. Don’t miss the party of the year on the giant screen.

Departure and Return

Claudia Pond Eyley

Sinking of the Rainbow Warrior is commemorated 20 years on at Matauri Bay and filmed by director Claudia Pond Eyley who traces the history of the ship and its campaigners.

Drawing Restraint 9

Matthew Barney

Artworld superstar Matthew Barney, creator of the Cremaster series, joins forces with wife Björk to dumbfound the rest of us with this spectacular epic of bizarre courtship rituals and even weirder consummation.

Factotum

Robert Hamer

Norwegian director of Kitchen Stories gives a lovely doleful glow to beat poet Charles Bukowski’s autobiographical account of his early life as a low-life slob. Starring Matt Dillon.

Fateless

Sorstalanság

Lajos Koltai

A 14-year-old boy adjusts to the horrors of life in a Nazi death camp. “The eerie beauty of Lajos Koltai’s child’s-eye view of the Holocaust as it sank its teeth into Hungary in 1944 is profound." — The Times

Friends With Money

Nicole Holofcener

Delicious, serio-comic tale of four friends in affluent, liberal, west LA takes on an avoided subject: money. Stars Jennifer Aniston as a pot-smoking housecleaner.

Hard Candy

David Slade

The most brutal, disturbing and clever thriller of the Internet age sees a feisty 14-year-old girl turn the tables on the 32-year-old fashion photographer she met online.

Heading South

Vers le sud

Laurent Cantet

Laurent Cantet (Time Out, Human Resources) sets his third film in a beach resort in late 70s Haiti, where middle-aged North American women go to be sexually pampered by young black men.

The Heart of the Game

Ward Serrill

Documentary follows hoop dreams of Seattle schoolgirl team. "A smartly paced chronicle that nails the socialization of girls, the costs of playing ball, and the perils of female adolescence." — San Francisco Bay Guardian

His Big White Self

Nick Broomfield

Public school prat Nick Broomfield attempts to catch up with Eugene Terre’Blanche, leader of the South African neo-Nazi party and subject of his earlier documentary.

The Host

Gue mool

Bong Joon-ho

This Cannes hit from Korea is a full-bodied horror show that's both scary and hilarious.

I Am a Sex Addict

Caveh Zahedi

Documentary filmmaker Caveh Zahedi’s itch for anonymous, commitment-free sex is fatally paired with a need to confess his peccadilloes – ideally to a totally committed girlfriend.

I for India

Sandhya Suri

A young Indian doctor immigrates to England in 1965, leaving behind his distraught family. Forty years later, his daughter tells their moving story, using period Super-8 footage.

In Between Days

So Yong Kim

Korean American So Yong Kim explores the ghost world of teenage alienation with watchful, intelligent minimalism. Judged Best Film in the Sundance dramatic competition.

An Inconvenient Truth

Davis Guggenheim

In a landmark year for hard-hitting activist cinema, Al Gore’s straightforward and devastating film on global warming stands out as exceptionally well-honed and persuasive.

Jindabyne

Ray Lawrence

Ray Lawrence’s follow-up to Lantana is a powerful psychological drama that envelops four men and their families after they discover a murdered woman’s body on a fishing trip.

John & Jane

Ashim Ahluwalia

Globalization gets a human face and an eerie spiritual dimension in this artful documentary about the lives of young Indian workers in a Mumbai call centre.

Jonestown: The Life and Death of Peoples Temple

Stanley Nelson

The rise and fall of the Peoples Temple movement, whose charismatic founder convinced hundreds of his followers in Jonestown, Guyana to participate in a mass ‘suicide’ on November 18, 1978.

The Joy of Life

Jenni Olson

The beauty of San Francisco imbues every frame of Jenni Olson’s compelling hybrid of city symphony, personal lament and political activism against suicide.

Keane

Lodge H. Kerrigan

A man searches for his lost daughter, imprisoned by his own guilt and shame. Haunting, expressionistic psychodrama from the director of Clean, Shaven.

Kirikou and the Sorceress

Kirikou et la sorcière

Michel Ocelot

Michel Ocelot's splendid animated feature from 1998 tells a sensual, guilt-free fairy tale – a West African fable about the power of original innocence.

KZ

Rex Bloomstein

Provocative documentary explores the legacy of Nazi death camp Mauthausen in Austria, which now functions as a major contributor to the local tourist economy.

The Last Resort

Errol Wright, Abi King-Jones

The theme of Paradise Lost gets a local twist in this documentary about foreign ownership of New Zealand land and infrastructure by filmmakers Abi King-Jones and Errol Wright.

Last Supper

Mats Bigert, Lars Bergström

Incisive Swedish documentary explores the worldwide practice of granting prisoners on death row the right to choose a final meal, hours before execution.

Last Train to Freo

Jeremy Sims

Australia’s tautest, most cunningly scripted psychological thriller since The Interview unfolds over the course of one hot summer night on the midnight train to Freemantle, Perth.

A Lion in the House

Steven Bognar, Julia Reichert

Five real life dramas from the pediatric oncology centre at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital testify to the resources of science, moral imagination and compassion dedicated to the care of children with cancer.

Lonesome Jim

Steve Buscemi

Failed writer Jim (Casey Affleck) heads home for a nervous breakdown, where kind-hearted nurse (Liv Tyler) takes a shine to him. Steve Buscemi directs this deadpan comedy with downbeat charm.

loudQUIETloud: A Film about the Pixies

Steven Cantor, Matthew Galkin

Boston band The Pixies reunite for a world tour, 12 years after their acrimonious split. “Onstage … they sound as good – if not tighter, leaner and actually better – than ever.” — salon.com

Mary

Abel Ferrara

Abel Ferrara (Bad Lieutenant) takes on Mel Gibson style showbiz religiosity, starring Matthew Modine as a man who directs a movie in which he plays Christ, with Juliette Binoche as Mary Magdalene.

Matthew Barney: No Restraint

Alison Chernick

The most baffling film in the Festival (Drawing Restraint 9) is elucidated in this admiring career portrait of artist/filmmaker Matthew Barney.

Maxed Out

James D. Scurlock

James Scurlock’s alarmist exploration of the vastness of the debt that underlies the American economy, is as visceral as it is illuminating.

Memory for Max, Claire, Ida and Company

Allan King

Allan King’s insightful, utterly compassionate film about Alzheimer’s, aging and memory loss was shot over four months at a Jewish geriatric care facility in Toronto.

Metal: A Headbanger's Journey

Sam Dunn, Scott McFadyen, Jessica Joy Wise

Exactly what it says on the label: a bighearted tour of Metal, heavy and otherwise, from fans, critics and legendary performers. "The soundtrack, as might be expected, kicks ass." — Variety

The Method

El Método, aka The Grönholm Method

Marcelo Piñeyro

Seven executives compete in a boardroom until the last suit standing gets the job in this suavely savage corporate thriller that makes Neil La Bute seem sentimental.

Mohammad Hossain's Intensive Care

Geoff Burton

Geoff Burton’s graceful documentary examines the treatment of a student’s life-threatening brain disease shortly upon arriving in Australia, and the quiet stoicism of his wife, a devout young Bangladeshi woman.

Mrs Palfrey at the Claremont

Dan Ireland

Joan Plowright is the 70-something widow who befriends an aspiring young writer in this refreshing look at a friendship that transcends age to focus on kindness and wisdom.

Mutual Appreciation

Andrew Bujalski

Perceptive comedy around an incipient ménage-a-trois set on the fringes of the indie-pop world in hipster Brooklyn. “Nails the walk and talk of twentysomething iPeople like nothing else.”— Slate

The New World

Terrence Malick

In the great Terrence Malick’s (Badlands, The Thin Red Line) new film, the romance of Pocahontas and Captain John Smith (Colin Farrell) becomes a breathtaking ode to Eden before the fall. Ravishing.

Ngāti

Barry Barclay

The great Barry Barclay’s landmark feature film centred on a Māori community in the 1940s.

No More Heroes

Andrew Moore

A loving and bittersweet tribute to the asphalt desperadoes of Aotearoa in the 70s who took skateboarding from a fun pursuit into a full blown national phenomenon.

OilCrash

A Crude Awakening

Basil Gelpke, Ray McCormack

In this well-constructed barrage of terrifying information and images, energy experts and oil industry authorities detail just how close we are to imminent global oil collapse.

Once in a Lifetime

The Extraordinary Story of the New York Cosmos

Paul Crowder, John Dower

The rise and fall of the short-lived North American Soccer League gets juiced-up E!-style coverage in this often hilarious account of 70s excess.

Our Daily Bread

Unser Täglich Brot

Nikolaus Geyrhalter

This visually startling window on the world of industrial food production in Europe is an ambiguous ode to the staggering efficiency of modern harvesting – as well as a substantiation of Western gluttony.

The Passenger

Professione: reporter

Michelangelo Antonioni

Restored version of Antonioni’s brilliant hybrid of Hollywood thriller and existential mystery. The hippest film of 1975 was inexplicably withheld from circulation until now by its owner and star Jack Nicholson.

Patu!

Merata Mita

We present Merata Mita's incendiary documentary on the 1981 Springbok tour protests – a landmark in New Zealand film history.

Police Beat

Robinson Devor

An immigrant cop from Senegal patrols a David Lynch-like Seattle on a bicycle. Strange and hauntingly memorable. “A deceptively quiet, and completely genuine thing of beauty." — Film Comment

The Road to Guantánamo

Michael Winterbottom, Mat Whitecross

True story of the British Muslim boys who went to Pakistan for a wedding in September 2001 and ended up as tortured prisoners of the US Army. “Ferocious, partisan, and moving.” — The Guardian

The Sasquatch Dumpling Gang

Tim Skousen

With more nerd chic than Napoleon Dynamite, this tale of three geeks who dig laser tag and medieval swordfighting is hilariously off-kilter and chock-full of wholesome fun.

A Scanner Darkly

Richard Linklater

Richard Linklater’s much anticipated adaptation of Philip K. Dick’s nightmarish 1977 novel has an all-star rotoscoped cast: Keanu Reeves, Robert Downey Jr. and Winona Ryder. Direct from Cannes.

ScaredSacred

Velcrow Ripper

Canadian filmmaker Velcrow Ripper takes us on an engaging personalised tour of the planet's dark side in search of hope, reconciliation and rebirth in the wake of catastrophe.

The Science of Sleep

La science des rêves

Michel Gondry

Michel Gondry’s follow up to Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind is super-kinetic lark starting Gael Garcia Bernal as a shy guy whose dream world overlaps with reality.

Shortbus

John Cameron Mitchell

John Cameron Mitchell’s Cannes sensation is a joyous and expressive tragicomedy of sex and sexuality in New York City.

Sketches of Frank Gehry

Sydney Pollack

Hollywood director Sydney Pollack provides an engaging personal introduction to one of the most popular architects of our time, his close friend 77-year-old Frank Gehry.

Squeegee Bandit

Sándor Lau

Sandor Lau’s energetic documentary portrait of South-Auckland car-windscreen cleaner Starfish, who pounces with the speed and grace of a tiger.

Struggle No More

Costa Botes

A kiwi cultural institution for as long as the Film Festival, Rick Bryant and the Windy City Strugglers finally get their close-up in Costa Botes’ funny, affectionate musical documentary.

Ten Canoes

Rolf de Heer, Peter Djigirr

Covet not the senior tribesman’s wife. Most perfectly realised of the many films Dutch expat Rolf de Heer has made in Australia, this time with Aboriginal story-tellers in the Northern Territory. Special Jury Prize Cannes.

Thank You For Smoking

Jason Reitman

Aaron Eckhart was born to play the fast-talking Washington lobbyist and public affairs frontman for Big Tobacco in this gleefully cynical satire on the black art of spin-doctoring.

This Film is Not Yet Rated

Kirby Dick

Kirby Dick’s gleeful assault exposes the hypocrisy, inscrutability, cronyism and downright wackiness of the all-powerful unregulated, United States film censorship board, the MPAA.

The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada

Tommy Lee Jones

Tommy Lee Jones’ remarkable directorial debut (in which he also stars) dismantles the racism endemic in the western revenge drama genre. Written by Mexican Guillermo Arriaga (Amores Perros, 21 Grams).

Time & Tide

Julie Bayer, Josh Salzman

Thought-provoking documentary on the tiny Pacific nation of Tuvalu, threatened with possible extinction by the twin oppressions of global warming and economic globalisation.

Tristram Shandy: A Cock and Bull Story

Michael Winterbottom

Steve Coogan stars in Michael Winterbottom’s po-mo adaptation of Sterne’s bawdy, untamable, 18th-century novel. “The first great, mind-tickling treat of the new movie year” — Entertainment Weekly

Twelve and Holding

Michael Cuesta

Deeply moving and hilarious tale switches from achingly funny to achingly sad in the twitch of a child’s finger. Could well be this precocious generation’s Stand by Me.

United 93

Paul Greengrass

British director Paul Greengrass’ (Bloody Sunday) harrowing reenactment, in real time, of what might have happened on the one airplane that didn't fulfill the terrorists' intended goals on Sept. 11, 2001.

Wah-Wah

Richard E. Grant

Actor Richard E Grant’s touching and funny movie-memoir of his 60s adolescence amongst the British diplomatic community in Swaziland in Southern Africa. With Gabriel Byrne, Emily Watson.

The Waimate Conspiracy

Stefen Harris

This good humoured, deeply fanciful mock documentary about a land claim has a distinctively Cantabrian flavour.

Waves

The Diaries of Chinese International Students in New Zealand

Li Tao

Absorbing documentary about four Chinese students at New Zealand high school provides a rich and finely nuanced portrayal of cultural displacement.

The White Masai

Die Weiße Massai

Hermine Huntgeburth

The amazingly true romantic adventure of a Swiss woman who marries a Massai warrior and lives with him in his mud hut in the Kenyan bush.

Who Killed the Electric Car?

Chris Paine

Fashioned as a tongue-in-cheek murder mystery, this disarmingly entertaining documentary looks at the optimistic rise and swift demise of the electric car in 1990s California.

Whole New Thing

Amnon Buchbinder

A 13-year-old home-schooled genius falls in love, or thinks he does, with his gifted – and closeted – English teacher. “Consistently surprising ... a coming-of-age film that could become a Canadian classic.” — Now

The Wild Blue Yonder

Werner Herzog

Werner Herzog fashions a sci-fi fantasy of paradise lost around actor Brad Dourif, recutting amazing NASA footage and gorgeous submarine imagery. An unclassifiable oddity.

The Wind That Shakes the Barley

Ken Loach

British social realist Ken Loach picked up the Cannes Palme d’Or for this provocative drama set in County Cork between 1920 and 1922, a dangerous period before the outbreak of civil war in Ireland. “Staggeringly powerful… The Wind That Shakes the Barley had more to say about the world of today than any other film screening in Cannes.” — Scott Foundas, LA Weekly

Workingman's Death

Michael Glawogger

The world’s most horrible, life-endangering jobs are the subject of Austrian Michael Glawogger’s superbly cinematic, confrontingly aestheticised documentary.

You're Gonna Miss Me

Keven McAlester

Funny, heartbreaking documentary charts the tragic tale of Roky Erickson, charming lead singer of the legendary 13th Floor Elevators, who stared into the cosmos and never came back.