Category: Documentary

All feathered things, great and small

GLOWING, YET UNDERSTATED magic comes of a particular kind of candid, descriptive writing that doesn’t stoop to sensationalism or bald self-promotion. You can find this in George Orwell’s domestic diaries, but you can also find it in Adam Riley’s Birds of South Africa. This current publication offers an […]

Lost and found: My baby girl

It was any woman’s absolute worst nightmare. And it was a story that rocked South Africa to its core. In April of 1997, Celeste Nurse gave birth to her first baby at Groote Schuur Hospital in Cape Town. A beautiful little girl. Amidst the blur of giving birth […]

To land in the dark, baton in hand

PICTURE THE SCENARIO. A performance of Gustav Mahler’s first symphony, the Titan, composed in 1888, is about to begin. The bassoonists stand poised, the trumpets in the wings. All due time hewn established pomp and ceremony is de rigueur; performers are in black. The audience is quiet, in […]

Putin and he-who-shall-not-be-named

CONTEMPORARY RUSSIA. A land under the thumb of a relentless dictator. A land, seemingly on a crash course that might take the whole world with it. But what if you had the opportunity to shift that crash course? What if that opportunity came with the ultimate price tag? […]

Ode to the minds that sway

YOU MAY HAVE your opinion about how other people lead their lives or live within the confines of their bodies, but have you ever really considered taking the proverbial ‘stepping into someone’s shoes’ all the way? Stripping its narrative of sweet or sweeping platitudes, Jerry Rothwell’s film The […]

The bloody roots of green trees

WHICHEVER WAY YOU look at it, the little sliver of land at the heart of the Middle East is a hot potato. Enough to get otherwise intelligent and rational people spouting vicious invectives at strangers who have different opinions about it. Or its right to exist. That’s Israel […]

How to live one day at a time

SHE SQUINTS HER beautiful eyes and frowns gloriously. Her tan body is health and lithe, playful, watchful, vulnerable, tough. This is Zeytin, a mixed breed large dog in Istanbul, central to an extraordinary piece of filmography called Stray, made by Elizabeth Lo, which features on this year’s Encounters […]