IN THE DARK

Dir: Sergei Dvortsevoy

In a small flat in Moscow, an 80-year old man is making woollen bags. His work is difficult: not only is he blind, but his knitting is constantly unravelled by his only companion, a small white cat. When he takes his bags down to the street to sell, nobody wants them - everyone is carrying plastic bags. The latest masterpiece by Sergei Dvortsevoy (Paradise, Bread Day, Highway) is a moving metaphor for a Russia in transition.

"And obviously we gave him the wrong advice, didn't we?" retorts Bev, stepmother of Guantanamo Bay prisoner David Hicks, "because the next we heard he was on his way to Afghanistan to join the Taliban." Australian David Hicks, incarcerated in a cell in Guantamano Bay for over two years, has been refused access to a normal trial hearing, and has had no contact with any family members. 

Australian filmmaker Cathy Henkel returns to Johannesburg where fourteen years ago, her mother was sexually assaulted and beaten in her suburban home by a local teenager. Henkel's despair at an ineffective police investigation as well as her mothers' inability to recover from this violent attack drives her to seek out and confront her mother's attacker. A disquieting film about justice, healing and bond between mother and daughter.

DIG!

Dir: Ondi Timoner

A hit of the festivals, DIG! was shot over seven years and follows the lead singers of the Dandy Warhols and The Brian Jones Massacre; star crossed friends and bitter rivals. From the moment they met, the two bands quickly bonded over their refusal to conform to the tastes of the recording industry. Yet the bands' choices over how to express their creativity and originality in a profit-driven industry eventually put them at irreconcilable odds. 

THE RAMONES: END OF THE CENTURY

Dir: Jim Fields & Michael Gramaglia

In 1974, the New York City music scene was shocked into consciousness by the violently new and raw sound of a band of misfits called The Ramones. This film traces the band from its unlikely origins, through its star-crossed career, its bitter demise and the sad fates of Joey and Dee Dee. End Of The Century is a vibrant, candid document of one of the most influential groups in the history of rock.

Sometime in the 1960's, in the heart of Africa, a new animal was introduced into Lake Victoria as a scientific experiment. The Nile Perch extinguished almost the entire stock of the native fish species. 

Baghdad,1998 and the pressure is intense. Hundreds of journalists are in town and Sean McAllister is one of them.But instead of focusing on the talking heads and the staged demonstrations, McAllister turns his camera on two "minders", those assigned by the Iraqi Ministry of Information to patrol what foreigners see and do not see. 

WAR FEELS LIKE WAR

Dir: Esteban Manzanares Uyarra

A compelling account of the brutalities of 21st Century war, told through the eyes of independent journalists. Esteban Uyarra's film documents the lives of reporters and photographers who subverted military media controls to get access to the real Iraq War.

The film interweaves the stories of four obsessive men, each driven to create eccentric worlds of their dreams, all involving animals: Dave Hoover, a lion tamer who idolizes the late Clyde Beatty, and who shares his theories on the mind of wild animals; George Mendonça, a topiary gardener who has devoted a lifetime to painstakingly shaping bears and giraffes out of hedges and trees; Ray Mendez, who is fascinated with hairless mole-rats, tiny buck-toothed mammals who behave like insects; and Rodney Brooks, an M.I.T. scientist who has designed complex, autonomous robots that can crawl like bugs without specific instructions from a human controller. 

Agnès Varda's exuberantly inventive follow-up to her critically lauded essay film, in which she revisits characters from the original and further explores what it means to be a "gleaner." Varda's own ruminations on her life as a filmmaker (a gleaner of sorts) give her a connection to her subjects that creates a touching human portrait.

Roger and Me is a feature-length documentary film chronicling the efforts of the world's largest corporation, General Motors, as it turns its hometown of Flint, Michigan, into a ghost town.

SALESMAN

Dir:  Albert Maysles & David Maysles & Charlotte Zwerin

A landmark American documentary, Salesman captures in vivid detail the bygone era of the door-to-door salesman. While laboring to sell a gold-embossed version of the Good Book, Paul Brennan and his colleagues target the beleaguered masses—then face the demands of quotas and the frustrations of life on the road. Following Brennan on his daily rounds, the Maysles discover a real-life Willy Loman, walking the line from hype to despair.

CHRONICLE OF A SUMMER

Dir: Jean Rouch & Edgar Morin

Few films can claim as much influence on the course of cinema history as Chronicle of a Summer. The fascinating result of a collaboration between filmmaker-anthropologist Jean Rouch and sociologist Edgar Morin, this vanguard work of what Morin termed cinéma- vérité is a brilliantly conceived and realized sociopolitical diagnosis of the early sixties in France. 

NIGHT MAIL

Dir: Harry Watt & Basil Wright

Night Mail remains one of the most popular and instantly recognised films in British film history, and was one of the most critically acclaimed films to be produced with the British documentary film movement. Night Mail is an account of the operation of the Royal mail train delivery service, and shows the various stages and procedures of that operation.

COAL FACE

Dir:  Alberto Cavalcanti

An exploration of miners' living conditions and the mining industry of interwar Britain, Coal Face was the first influential film to be made by the GPO Film Unit.