The Top 10 Documentaries Of 2018


The Islands and the Whales (Mike Day)

The citizens of the Faroe Islands, an archipelago 200 miles off the coast of Scotland, have traditionally relied on the sea’s fish and birds for food. Now, rising levels of mercury has been found in their catches, and the residents’ practice of whale hunting has been heavily criticised: the Faroese find that the modern world has encroached on their once harmonious and unquestioned way of life. Mike Day details the struggle of the islanders to reconcile their wellbeing with the urgent forces of modernity.

Three Identical Strangers (Tim Wardle)

Raised by their respective adoptive families within a hundred-mile radius of each other, triplets Robert Shafran, Eddy Galland and David Kellman were oblivious to the fact each had two identical brothers until a chance meeting brought them together, aged 19, for the first time since birth. Their astounding story, which became a worldwide sensation in the early 1980s, catapulted them to fame. But even more incredible was the reason, unknown to them at first, that led to their separation in the first place.

MATANGI / MAYA / M.I.A. (Stephen Loveridge)

Drawn from a never-before-seen store of footage spanning decades, old friend Stephen Loveridge creates an intimate portrait of the lives of M.I.A (partly culled from 700 hours of her own home videos): visual artist, polarising persona, innovative musician, political activist.

Evelyn (Orlando von Einsiedel)

Orlando von Einsiedel’s documentary is named after his brother Evelyn, who took his own life at 22 after a schizophrenia diagnosis and intense depression. Set against the stunning backdrop of the British countryside, Einsiedel’s family retrace the routes that Evelyn loved to walk, coming to terms with his suicide after a decade of repression and silence. The Guardian calls this raw, moving film ‘a lesson in the catharsis of letting yourself cry’.

Whitney (Kevin Macdonald)

Whitney Houston’s life and career is explored in this poignant documentary, which features never-before-seen archival footage, exclusive recordings, rare performances and interviews with the people who knew her best, making for a revealing and heartrending watch.

Shirkers (Sandi Tan)

In 1992, teenager and passionate cinephile Sandi Tan shot Singapore’s first road movie with her enigmatic American mentor, Georges, who then absconded with all of the footage. The 16 mm film is recovered 20 years later, much to the consternation, shock and joy of Tan, who uses the opportunity to revisit the film she made when she was seventeen, but never got to see – and to try to understand the man behind its theft.

BRWC is short for battleroyalewithcheese, which is a blog about films.


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