Films by Language

English

Ain't in It for My Health: A Film about Levon Helm

Jacob Hatley

Up close and personal with The Band’s legendary, plain-speaking drummer and singer. “A captivating look at a musician hanging onto his art for dear life… The performances included are wonderful.” — Hollywood Reporter

Another Earth

Mike Cahill

A second, parallel Earth appears in the sky – where there may be alternate selves for each one of us. “A gripping, intimate story to which science fiction adds a provocative, philosophical context.” — Hollywood Reporter

Anton Chekhov’s The Duel

Dover Kosashvili

Superbly acted English-language adaptation of an 1891 Chekhov novella brings shrewd understanding to its ageless tale of indiscretions, infidelity, rivalry and blackmail at a summer holiday resort. “Very satisfying.” — NY Times

The Autobiography of Nicolae Ceausescu

Autobiografia lui Nicolae Ceauşescu

Andrei Ujika

An ingenious found-footage film which audaciously documents the Romanian dictatorship of Nicolae Ceauşescu solely by repurposing his own official propaganda films. “Transfixing, illuminating and haunting.” — Time Out

Autumn Gold

Herbstgold

Jan Tenhaven

Five indomitable athletes aged 82 to 100 defy boundaries on the track and in life, overcoming obstacles with passion, determination and youthful vigour. This delightful film won Amsterdam Doc Festival’s youth jury award.

Beats, Rhymes & Life: The Travels of A Tribe Called Quest

Michael Rapaport

“Poignant and powerful, complex and melancholy… Michael Rapaport’s riveting hip-hop documentary gets uncomfortably close to A Tribe Called Quest, one of the most important and influential groups of the past 25 years.” — AV Club

Beauty

Skoonheid

Oliver Hermanus

This ferocious, compact drama of repression by a young South African director electrified and divided audiences at Cannes. A tough, buttoned-down married Afrikaner develops a disturbed obsession with his friends’ handsome son.

Beginners

Mike Mills

Ewan McGregor, Mélanie Laurent and Christopher Plummer in a rich, romantic comedy of second chances. “A sad, sweet, funny and ultimately unforgettable love story about a man and a woman and a father and son.” — Salon.com

Being Elmo: A Puppeteer’s Journey

Constance Marks

Inspiring story of how shy boy Kevin Clash pursued his dream to become a puppeteer on Sesame Street. “A rare documentary that will connect across generations and cultures to delight viewers worldwide.” — Hollywood Reporter

Better This World

Katie Galloway, Kelly Duane de la Vega

This provocative documentary investigates the charges against two young activists arrested while protesting the 2008 GOP Convention. “Both a compelling news documentary and a stunning character study.” — Austin Chronicle

The Black Power Mixtape 1967–1975

Göran Hugo Olsson

An amazing treasure trove of previously unseen footage (shot for Swedish TV) provides startling new insights into the American civil rights movement and the ascendancy of Black Power.

Bobby Fischer Against the World

Liz Garbus

The fascinating and turbulent life of chess master – and unlikely Cold War hero – Bobby Fischer. “It is a strange and complex story of a brilliant but deeply troubled man, full of bizarre twists and turns.” — Screendaily

Boxing Gym

Frederick Wiseman

Frederick Wiseman’s doco admires values and skills instilled in a neighbourhood gym. “Rather than a fixation on the violence of the sport, there’s a serene appreciation of muscle, sinew, and movement.” — Slant Magazine

Brother Number One

Annie Goldson

Olympian and transatlantic rowing champion Rob Hamill travels with filmmaker Annie Goldson (Punitive Damage) to Cambodia seeking justice for his eldest brother Kerry, who was murdered by the Khmer Rouge regime in 1978.

Buck

Cindy Meehl

This inspiring encounter with the legendary horse whisperer takes us on the road as he runs clinics and ‘starts’ rogue colts. “There are no problem horses, just horses with people problems.” — Buck Brannaman

Cave of Forgotten Dreams

Werner Herzog

Werner Herzog gains exclusive access to film inside the Chauvet caves of southern France, capturing the miraculously preserved, oldest known pictorial creations of humankind, maybe 32,000 years old.

Daytime Tiger

Costa Botes

Costa Botes’ portrait of New Zealand writer Michael Morrissey is indeed a tiger-ride – an up-close encounter with an extremely intelligent man in the grip of bipolar disorder.

Drive

Nicolas Winding Refn

Hollywood reclaims the Embassy screen in style with our Closing Night screening of the film that took the Best Director’s laurels at Cannes this year.

Fire in Babylon

Stevan Riley

This doco about the West Indies’ late 70s ascension from happy-go-lucky ‘calypso cricketers’ to world beaters is such riotous fun you won’t need to know your googlies from your bouncers to get a big kick out of it.

The First Grader

Justin Chadwick

The right to education is rousingly dramatised in the true story of an 84-year-old Mau Mau veteran’s bid for literacy. “An unknown story seems certain to stir the hearts of audiences worldwide.” — Hollywood Reporter

The Future

Miranda July

In this delicately cracked comedy from Miranda July (Me and You and Everyone We Know) a 30-something LA couple give up their jobs for a last taste of freedom – before adopting a cat. “Surreal, precious, devastating and brilliant.” — The Playlist

The Guard

John Michael McDonagh

The Guard is a fish-out-of-water story, an upside-down Irish Western, a crime drama, a diabolically self-aware comedy and a marvelously acted character study.” — Hitfix.com

Guilty Pleasures

Julie Moggan

A fond, good-humoured doco about Mills & Boon romance novels and how they bear on the love lives of a handful of writers and readers. “A movie about fantasy: creating it, living in it, and learning its limitations.” — SlantMagazine.com

Guy and Madeline on a Park Bench

Damien Chazelle

The on, off, and possibly on-again affair of a young African American jazz trumpeter and a Euro-American waitress and aspiring performer, shapes this lovely, loose pastiche of Hollywood musical, French New Wav and urban vérité.

The Holy Roller

Patrick Gillies

Shot on location inChristchurchin early 2009 with a cast of some of the city’s best known faces, Patrick Gilles’ comic urban fairytale is based on Australian co-scripter/lead actor Angus Benfield’s own experiences as a pastor.

Hot Coffee

Susan Saladoff

Everyone has heard about the little old lady in Albuquerque who spilled hot coffee in her lap, sued McDonald’s for millions, and won. This cogent doco about the decline of civil justice in America has worldwide resonance.

How Much Does Your Building Weigh, Mr Foster?

Carlos Carcas, Norberto López Amado

Admiring, hugely enjoyable, superbly shot doco displays the work and traces the global success of Britain’s most successful and influential architect. “A visually striking tribute to an intrepid social utopian.” — Empire

How to Die in Oregon

Peter D. Richardson

This Sundance-winning doco showing Oregon’s Death with Dignity legislation in action is a trenchant, impressively honest work of advocacy. “A hard but incredibly moving, even transformative watch.” — Boston Globe

If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front

Marshall Curry

Superb investigative doco about the perils of activism examines the case of the ‘eco-terrorist’ Earth Liberation Front, who torched timber industry property in the US Northwest. “An intriguing and important film.” — Filmmaker

Illustrious Energy

Leon Narbey

A beautiful new restoration of Leon Narbey’s dramatic tribute to the Chinese immigrants who came to Central Otago for gold in the 19th century. “Magical, dream-like… holds you there, mesmerised.” — NZ Listener

Incendies

Denis Villeneuve

Searching for the brother they never knew they had, a brother and sister unravel the mystery of their Middle Eastern mother’s war-torn past. “A spectacular experience… a Greek tragedy delivered to modern times.” — Film Threat

The Innkeepers

Ti West

From the creator of the stunning The House of the Devil comes a devilishly spooky show set in the last days of a run-down inn that many believe to be one of New England’s most haunted hotels.

Jig

Sue Bourne

This Spellbound-style doco takes us into the world of competitive Irish dancing as we meet some dazzling (and charming) dancers, boys and girls from all over the world preparing for the 2010 World Championships in Glasgow.

Joseph Brodsky: In the Prison of Latitudes

Jan Andrews

This new film about Nobel Prize-winning poet and essayist Joseph Brodsky blends interviews, cityscapes and audio of Brodsky reciting his own work to create a poetic homage to one of the 20th century’s great literary talents.

Khodorkovsky

Cyril Tuschi

Eye-opening doco about the Russian oil oligarch, widely seen as a challenge to Putin and now in a Siberian prison. “Thoroughly researched and highly entertaining… a pungent portrait of contemporary Russia.” — Variety

Kill List

Ben Wheatley

Get Carter meets The Wicker Man. “A brilliantly constructed horror-drama that is put together in such a way that its grim twists surprise and engage.” — Screendaily

Knuckle

Ian Palmer

Jaw-dropping (and -smashing) doco. “A brilliantly brutal and intriguingly insightful look into the bare-knuckle fights staged between a series of Irish Traveller families as they prolong a long-running feud.” — Screendaily

La dolce vita

Federico Fellini

Fellini fans, rejoice. The maestro’s 1960 exposé of Roman society high and low, La dolce vita returns in a stunning new restoration. “Once you’ve caught a glimpse of it, it’s where you want to live.” — NY Times

Love Story

Florian Habicht

Florian Habicht (Kaikohe Demolition) returns from New York with a one-of-a-kind Love Story embracing doco, fiction, summer, sex, romance, New York and a host of camera-ready New Yorkers in one gregarious, greedy, joyous hug.

Magic Trip: Ken Kesey’s Search for a Kool Place

Alex Gibney, Alison Ellwood

Colour footage shot by Ken Kesey and the Merry Pranksters on their legendary 1964 bus trip across America is seen for the first time, collated by Oscar-winning documentarian Alex Gibney. Turn on, tune in, drop out!

Mana Waka

Merata Mita

In tribute to the late Merata Mita, the New Zealand Film Archive presents a rare screening of her breathtaking documentary, fashioned from archival footage, detailing the construction of waka for the 1940 Waitangi centennial.

The Man from Nowhere

Ajeossi

Lee Jeong-beom

This flawless action film features career-making performances by heartthrob Won Bin (Brotherhood, Mother) and Kim Sae-ron as the child he’s trying to protect. Its action sequences will leave you gasping.

Martha Marcy May Marlene

Sean Durkin

A fragile young woman seeks refuge from a cult with her estranged sister in this Sundance winner. “Elizabeth Olsen steps onto the radar as a seriously accomplished actor in this mesmerizing drama.” — Hollywood Reporter

A Matter of Taste: Serving Up Paul Liebrandt

Sally Rowe

Ten years in the rollercoaster career of Paul Liebrandt, a brilliant young English chef in New York, documented by expat Kiwi Sally Rowe. “Liebrandt makes a charismatic focus… a gastronomic thriller.” — Wall St Journal

Meek's Cutoff

Kelly Reichardt

Based on fact, Kelly Reichardt’s beautiful, eerily poetic alt-Western follows three families heading west in 1845. With Michelle Williams, Bruce Greenwood, Will Patton.

Melancholia

Lars von Trier

Danish iconoclast Lars von Trier stages a disastrous society wedding in the face of interplanetary collision. “A magnificent apocalyptic fable… gorgeous, profoundly emotional and often very funny.” — Salon.com. Best Actress (Kirsten Dunst), Cannes Film Festival 2011.

Merle Haggard: Learning to Live with Myself

Gandulf Hennig

Forthright portrait of the country star who penned the ageless anti-hippie anthem ‘Okie from Muskogee’. With Keith Richards, Dave Alvin, John Carter Cash, Robert Duvall, John Fogerty, George Jones and Merle's wives, past and present.

Michael Smither: Into Perspective

Tony Hiles

Painter and composer Michael Smither is a lucid and engaging commentator on his own work and life in the third of a series of short documentaries about him by filmmaker Tony Hiles.

The Mill & the Cross

Lech Majewski

Bruegel’s immense frieze of rustic life, The Way to Calvary, lives and breathes in this visually ravishing recreation. “An extraordinary imaginative leap… a unique, immersive museum-meets-cinema experience.” — Variety

Miss Representation

Jennifer Siebel Newsom

Wanting a better world for her baby daughter, filmmaker Jennifer Siebel Newsom embarks on an unashamedly personal journey to figure out why women are so under-represented in the media and what can be done to change this.

Moving

Park Kiyong

Korean filmmaker Park Kiyong interviews a Christchurch Korean couple about their decade-long struggle to establish a successful CBD restaurant business – and the impact of the February 22 earthquake.

My Reincarnation

Jennifer Fox

This epic doco, spanning 20 years and 17 countries, studies the relationship between Tibetan Buddhist master Chögyal Namkhai Norbu and his Italian-born son, Yeshi, who resists following his father’s footsteps.

Mysteries of Lisbon

Mistérios de Lisboa

Raúl Ruiz

A sumptuous immersion in the labyrinthine romantic intrigues and perfidies of 19th-century Portuguese nobility, priests and pirates. “Terrific costumed epic... Storytelling of breathtaking scale and grandeur.” — Empire

Netherwood

Cristobal Araus Lobos

Set in a fictional backwater and filmed in the beautiful limestone hills of Waipara, north of Christchurch, Netherwood stirs a hefty dose of hardboiled Southern Man stoicism into a modern day Western thriller.

Over Your Cities Grass Will Grow

Sophie Fiennes

Sophie Fiennes’ documentary immerses us in the monumental wasteland being created by German painter and sculptor Anselm Kiefer – and shows us the artist at work. “Ravishingly hypnotic.” — Sight & Sound

Page One: Inside the New York Times

Andrew Rossi

The world’s most famous newspaper tangles with WikiLeaks and grapples with the digital revolution in this fascinating all-access doco. “Slick, fun, and surprisingly sexy.” — Vanity Fair

Passione

John Turturro

Actor/director John Turturro takes us on a dramatic musical tour of Naples. “It took an Italian-American to capture with such force the soul and, above all, the suffering and joy of Neapolitan music.” — Il Messaggero

Pina

Wim Wenders

Wim Wenders’ tribute to the late choreographer-dancer Pina Bausch stages some of her best-known pieces in thrilling 3D. “The camerawork is as sublime as the performances… It’s a beautiful and moving film.” — Time Out

POM Wonderful Presents: The Greatest Movie Ever Sold

Morgan Spurlock

Docu-prankster Morgan (Super Size Me) Spurlock plunges into the billion-dollar business of product placement in Hollywood by branding himself and making a film financed entirely from product placement.

Project Nim

James Marsh

Can a non-human learn to speak? In 1973 Nim, a baby chimp, was deposited into a Manhattan family home in order to find this out. In this intriguing doc from the maker of Man on Wire the important people in Nim’s life tell his story.

Rumble & Bang

Jeff Smith, Simon Ogston

Archive-laden tribute to Chants R&B, a short-lived garage rock combo that thrived in 60s Christchurch.

Senna

Asif Kapadia

You don’t have to be a petrolhead to ‘get’ the legend of Formula One racer Ayrton Senna. Ask any Brazilian – or check out the most enthralling big-screen sports documentary since When We Were Kings.

Shut Up Little Man! An Audio Misadventure

Matthew Bate

This is the hilarious and true story of Raymond and Peter, the world’s oddest couple and how their surreal arguments, taped by the students next door, became a worldwide viral phenomenon in the era of the audio cassette.

Sing Your Song

Susanne Rostock

With intimacy, style and classic performance clips, Susanne Rostock’s documentary surveys the inspiring life of singer, actor and activist Harry Belafonte. “Personal, candid, historic, and impassioned.” — Reverse Shot

Sleeping Beauty

Julia Leigh

This icily erotic modern fairytale by Australian novelist Julia Leigh was a controversial contender at Cannes. “A brave and beautiful calling card for both filmmaker and star.” — Empire

Snowtown

Justin Kurzel

“Buyer beware: Snowtown is no ordinary ‘serial killer’ movie. There is no charismatic Hannibal Lector… Director Justin Kurzel has brilliantly recreated scenes from Australia’s most notorious killing/torture spree.” — Screendaily

Something Ventured

Dan Geller, Dayna Goldfine

Venture capitalists who enabled maverick entrepreneurs to start and grow such companies as Intel, Apple, Genentech and Atari speak frankly about risk, loss and gain in this surprisingly entertaining doco.

Sons of Perdition

Jennilyn Merten, Tyler Measom

Documentary portrait of young men struggling in the real world after fleeing or being evicted from Warren Jeffs’ Fundamentalist Latter-Day Saints sect. “A moving, thrilling yarn of heartland life and masculinity.” — Salon.com

Stori Tumbuna: Ancestors’ Tales

Paul Wolffram

Research and traditional lore are neatly interlaced in this film by ethnomusicologist Paul Wolffram, who spent two years recording the culture of the Lak people in the remote southern region of New Ireland, New Guinea.

Strawberries with the Führer

Amy O’Connor

In Amy O’Connor’s lively doco German New Zealander Helga Tiscenko talks about meeting Hitler and the privileges and subsequent travails of growing up the daughter of a loving father who was also a Nazi General.

Submarine

Richard Ayoade

Duffle-coated teenager Oliver copes with being an unappreciated genius in 80s Swansea and pursues the pyromaniac girl of his dreams in this Brit hit directed by IT Crowd comedian Richard Ayoade. “Simply a joy.” — Empire

Tabloid

Errol Morris

In his lightest, funniest doco in years Errol Morris (Fast, Cheap and Out of Control) reactivates the UK tabloid fever generated in the 70s by a former Miss Wyoming accused of kidnapping and raping her Mormon missionary ex-boyfriend.

Take Shelter

Jeff Nichols

Contemporary anxieties about the end of days are brilliantly channelled into Jeff Nichols’ acclaimed psychological thriller. A riveting Michael Shannon plays a small-town working guy driven by visions of apocalypse.

Taxi Driver

Martin Scorsese

Scorsese and De Niro’s great seething vision of 70s New York mesmerises anew in a blazing 35th anniversary restoration. “Taxi Driver still stuns… See it again. And try to have a nice day.” — Village Voice

The Temptation of Rossano Fan

Richard Riddiford

Richard Riddiford's documentary takes us deep into the ambitions and disappointments of painter, erstwhile architect, reluctant market gardener and voluble non-conformist Rossano Fan.

Terri

Azazel Jacobs

Injecting concern with laughter, this high school comedy stars John C. Reilly as a vice-principal who identifies with the biggest losers on campus. “Smart, gentle and instinctively wise.” — Roger Ebert

Tiny Furniture

Lena Dunham

Actor/writer/director Lena Dunham made indie headlines with this autobiographical comedy. “The honest story of a young woman’s vulnerable desires and a bemused satire of real-life Gossip Girlhood.” — Entertainment Weekly

The Tree of Life

Terrence Malick

Brad Pitt stars in Terrence Malick’s audacious, visionary The Tree of Life, Palme d’Or at Cannes. “No one with a genuine interest in the potential of film would think of missing it.” — Rolling Stone

The Trip

Michael Winterbottom

Comedians Rob Brydon and Steve Coogan take a road tour of northern English restaurants. "Hilarious and touching... like a funnier, flakier, madcap British version of My Dinner With Andre." — Entertainment Weekly

Tyrannosaur

Paddy Considine

Drawing riveting performances from Peter Mullan and Olivia Colman, actor Paddy Considine makes a directorial debut that will reward any viewer willing to share his unblinking gaze into the hearts of two violently damaged protagonists.

View from Olympus

Geoffrey Cawthorn

This extended version of Geoffrey Cawthorn's Artsville doco provides a much fuller picture of internationally celebrated Wellington composer John Psathas in conversation and at work at home here and in his native Greece.

Weekend

Andrew Haigh

A brief encounter proves mutually disarming for two young men in a salty, insightful love story buoyed by sex, drugs and testing differences of opinion. “A deftly-played and beautifully-paced little romance.” — The Guardian

Wild River

Elia Kazan

Glorious new restoration of a neglected 1960 masterpiece by Elia Kazan (On the Waterfront) with legendary performances from Jo Van Fleet and Lee Remick and Hollywood icon Montgomery Clift.

Windfall

Laura Israel

The arguments for and against wind turbine power rage through a small rural community in this illuminating saga. “An absorbing, sobering documentary about the lures and perils of green technology.” — The Washington Post

The Woman

Lucky McKee

Notorious and nasty Sundance feral-woman-chained-in-the-cellar shocker. “A girl-power allegory, a cheeky genre-twister, and exploitation cinema par excellence.” — L Magazine