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Docs To Look Out for in 2023

Wednesday 21 December, 2022

As 2022 draws to a close, we're looking ahead and gearing up for a 2023 of discovery and wonder in the cinema. 

Here's five docs we're looking forward to seeing and sharing when they reach the Bertha DocHouse screen in 2023.

 



HIDE AND SEEK

Naples is a city often romanticised on screen - the good, the bad, the sensational. Victoria Fiore's evocative debut feature eschews the hype, plunging us into the complex reality of Naples' Spanish Quarter as seen through the eyes of 10-year-old Entoni and his family: it's a city where he roams free, plays, hustles; where families are just scraping by; and where the grip of organised crime ripples through neighbourhoods and through generations.

As Entoni's grandmother reads her fortune-telling cards, the young teen slips deeper into a cycle of state intervention and misbehaviour, and his future path looks as inevitable as fate. 

"Fiore expertly combines observations on wildly different scales — from the details of a Christmas tree on fire to the patterns that repeat across generations — to reach a kind of ecstatic truth that is as beautiful as it is heart wrenching." Cineuropa

Hide and Seek opens at Bertha DocHouse on Friday 20th Jan, with a filmmaker Q&A.
 


ALL THE BEAUTY AND THE BLOODSHED

When a documentary wins the top prize at the Venice Film Festival expectations are sky high, and Laura Poitras's expansive, emotive portrait of artist and activist Nan Goldin doesn't disappoint. Poitras (Citizenfour, Risk) gives equal weight to the story of Goldin's personal and professional life (including resonant use of her curated slide shows) and to her campaign to hold the Sackler family accountable for the US opioid crisis.

Having lived through the AIDS crisis and survived her own oxycontin addiction, the personal is political for Goldin, and vice versa, as is made searingly clear in Poitras's landmark portrait.

"Laura Poitras levels up with a devastating work of shocking intelligence and still greater emotional power." Indiewire

All The Beauty and the Bloodshed is released by Altitude, and plays at Bertha DocHouse from 27th Jan.




NELLY AND NADINE

How to talk about a historical love story that begins in a German Concentration Camp? Nelly & Nadine starts with director Magnus Gertten's obsession with discovering the stories behind the faces captured in a snippet of 1945 newsreel. This leads him to uncover a love affair between two women that began in Ravensbruck and lasted - remarkably, improbably, wonderfully - for a lifetime.

And it is a stirring symphony of a love story, that survives post-war Europe, crosses continents and transcends the societal expectations and pressures of the mid-20th Century. Nelly & Nadine is a bittersweet joy to watch, and a discovery in so many ways.

"Magnus Gertten’s film of forbidden love, Nelly & Nadine, is a deeply-layered and skilfully crafted detective story that sweeps a viewer with waves of emotion." Modern Times

Nelly & Nadine plays at Bertha DocHouse from 10th Feb. 




SUBJECT

A must for all makers and watchers of documentaries, and a fitting one for the Bertha DocHouse screen, Subject puts documentary-making itself in the spotlight. Unpacking some of the current debates around informed consent, decolonising documentary, streaming algorithms and the ethics and responsibilities inherent in documentary filmmaking, this sweeping survey principally focuses (as the title suggests) on the subjects of doc - though the word subject itself is critiqued too.

Jennifer Tiexiera and Camilla Hall meet the participants of The Staircase, Hoop Dreams, The Wolfpack and Capturing the Friedmans amongst others, fleshing out the stories that continue when the films themselves finish. Insightful interviews from Sonya Childress, Assia Boundaoui, Bing Liu and Rebecca Day round out a fascinating watch, giving much food for thought for people on both sides of the camera, and viewers everywhere. 

"A documentary dork’s delight, Jennifer Tiexiera and Camilla Hall’s Subject is one of those films about which my biggest lament is that it could have been five times as long — with the caveat that while I would be down for a 10-part series on documentary ethics, this 96-minute intro will be a thoroughly effective conversation starter." The Hollywood Reporter

Subject is released by Dogwoof in March 2023
 



THE NATURAL HISTORY OF DESTRUCTION

Sergei Loznitsa's arresting film, which premiered at Cannes in 2022, focuses on the bombing of civilian targets during World War II. With a style that will be familiar to Loznitsa fans, The History of Destruction uses only archive material, skillfully pieced together and edited to devastating effect, showing the development of carpet bombing and, inherently, questioning the use of mass destruction as a tool of war. 

Look out for screenings of The Natural History of Destruction in Spring 2023.