NZIFF Booklet

Films by Section

Framing Reality

Alice Cares

Ik ben Alice

Sander Burger

Can a robot establish a ‘human’ relationship with someone? In this account of a Dutch pilot study, we see three elderly women become attached, with varying degrees of resistance, to a caredroid named Alice.

Awake: The Life of Yogananda

Paola di Florio, Lisa Leeman

Paramahansa Yogananda (1893–1952) is known as the ‘Father of Yoga in the West’. In this fascinating documentary, produced by the Self-Realization Fellowship who continues his work, we learn about his extraordinary life.

Beats of the Antonov

Hajooj Kuka

Astounded by the vibrant music and dance he encountered working in refugee camps in south Sudan, Sudanese filmmaker Hajooj Kuka captures an abundance of fiercely articulated cultural identity in this inspiring documentary.

Cartel Land

Matthew Heineman

“Matthew Heineman’s troubling documentary about vigilante groups on both sides of the border in the porous region between Mexico and the Southwestern US – an area increasingly taken over by drug cartels – is explosive stuff.” — New York

Censored Voices

Mor Loushy

This testimony of shattered young veterans of Israel’s 1967 Six-Day War was taped at the time in a project headed by author Amos Oz – and immediately suppressed in the interests of national morale by the Israeli army.

The Chinese Mayor

Zhou Hao

With remarkable access, Chinese documentary filmmaker Zhou Hao shadows the mayor of the most polluted city in China and his problematic plan to rehabilitate its image, relocating half a million people to create a historic heritage park.

Democrats

Camilla Nielsson

“The quasi-Kafkaesque administration holding Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe’s corrupt dictatorship in place finally gets the first-hand scrutiny it merits in Camilla Nielsson’s riveting documentary.” — Guy Lodge, Variety

Iraqi Odyssey 3D

Samir

Tracing the emigrations of his family over more than half a century, expatriate Iraqi Samir pays homage to the frustrated democratic dreams of a people successively plagued by dictatorship, war and foreign occupation.

The Look of Silence

Senyap

Joshua Oppenheimer

Joshua Oppenheimer follows his extraordinary The Act of Killing with an equally revelatory documentary in which boastful perpetrators of Indonesia’s 1965 massacres are confronted by the brother of one of their victims.

Merchants of Doubt

Robert Kenner

Scoring its points through clearly stated arguments and pithy humour, Merchants of Doubt examines the methods corporations use to stymie political actions that would be good for public health, but bad for their bottom lines.

Pervert Park

Frida Barkfors, Lasse Barkfors

In this challenging yet open-minded doco by a young Swedish-Danish couple, Florida sex offenders preparing to re-enter society talk about their guilt and the barriers to rehabilitation. Special Jury Award winner at Sundance.

Prophet’s Prey

Amy Berg

This unsettling look into indoctrination within the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is another essential work from one of the world’s finest documentary filmmakers. Music and narration by Nick Cave.

The Russian Woodpecker

Chad Gracia

The Sundance Grand Jury prizewinner for World Cinema Documentary is a scarier-than-fiction investigation of the Chernobyl disaster, headed up by an eccentric young artist, and abetted by the fearless filmmakers.

The Silences

Margot Nash

New Zealand-born Margot Nash scrutinises the memories and mementoes of her childhood to understand the unhappiness of her parents, and the corrosive instability of the household from which she fled as a young woman in the early 70s.

Tell Spring Not to Come This Year

Saeed Taji Farouky, Michael McEvoy

Winner of the Panorama Audience Award in Berlin, Tell Spring Not to Come This Year takes us into the dark heart of the forgotten ‘War on Terror’ as Afghani forces struggle to fight on after foreign forces have evacuated.

Welcome to Leith

Michael Beach Nichols, Christopher K. Walker

A tiny North Dakota town wakes to a nightmare when a notorious white supremacist moves in and tries to take over in this gripping portrait of conflicting notions of freedom in a community under siege.

William Yang: Blood Links

Martin Fox

Raised a child of ‘White Australia’, photographer and performer William Yang traces his genealogy as born-again Chinese in this charming documentary tribute to the sustaining power of family ties.

The Wolfpack

Crystal Moselle

In this stranger-than-fiction doco, we meet six brothers who have spent their entire lives locked by their father into their Manhattan apartment – where they watch movies obsessively and film their own ingenious re-enactments.