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DOCS TO WATCH: YOU'RE HAVING A LAUGH

Friday 3 April, 2020

While we’re isolating at home, with a constant Covid-19 news stream and a lot of fear and uncertainty, we have been turning our minds to the brilliant documentaries that use humour to reveal their subjects and to entertain. 

From a wry chuckle to a full guffaw, here’s our list of recommended docs to watch online to make you laugh.

We hope with this collection we can make a gloomy, grey day a bit brighter. 

 

Tabloid

Errol Morris / US / 2011 / 87mins

Years before Paris Hilton, Britney Spears or the Kardashians,  Joyce McKinney reigned as Tabloid Queen in the British press with 'The Case of the Manacled Mormon'. 

The former Miss Wyoming was accused of kidnapping a young Mormon missionary in a jaw-dropping crusade for love and personal satisfaction. 

McKinney's surreal tale is one of gunpoint abductions, bondage, and magic underwear – rich pickings for director Errol Morris, who is at his captivating best.

Watch it on YouTube Movies, Google Play or Amazon Prime

 

Bros: After the Screaming Stops
Joe Pearlman, David Soutar / UK / 2018 / 97mins



A film charting Matt and Luke Goss's reunion 28 years on from when they were one of the biggest bands in the world. The Goss twins have hardly spoken and not played together since their split. 


With an incredibly fractured relationship and only three weeks to go until sell-out gigs at the O2 London, will they be able to put their history aside and come together as brothers to play the show of their lives?
 

Watch BROS on YouTube Movies or Amazon Prime

 

Tickling Giants
Sara Taskler / US  / 2016 / 111mins



In the midst of the Egyptian Arab Spring, Bassem Youssef makes a decision that’s every mother’s worst nightmare… He leaves his job as a heart surgeon to become a full-time comedian.


Dubbed “The Egyptian Jon Stewart” Bassem creates the satirical show, Al Bernameg. The weekly programme quickly becomes the most viewed television programme in the Middle East, with 30 million people tuning in per episode.

In a country where free speech is not settled law, Bassem’s show becomes as controversial as it is popular. As Bassem attempts to remain on the air, keep his staff safe, and not get arrested, he continues to let those in power know they’re being held accountable. 


Tickling Giants follows the team of Al Bernameg as they discover democracy is not easily won. The young women and men working on Bassem’s show are fearless revolutionaries, who just happen to be really, really funny.

If you fancy reading more about Bassem Youssef we’ve put together a whole blog post here.

Watch TICKLING GIANTS on YouTube Movies, Google Play or Netflix

 

Fish Story
Charlie Lyne /  UK / 2017 / 14 min



Sometime in the 1980s, Caspar Salmon's grandmother was invited to a gathering on the Welsh island of Anglesey, attended exclusively by people with fish surnames. Or so he says. 


Thirty years later, filmmaker Charlie Lyne attempts to sort myth from reality as he searches for the truth behind this fishy tale.

Watch FISH STORY on Vimeo or YouTube

 

The King of Kong
Seth Gordon / 2008 / US / 79mins



In the early 1980s, legendary Billy Mitchell set a Donkey Kong record that stood for almost 25 years. This documentary follows the assault on the record by Steve Wiebe, an earnest teacher from Washington who took up the game while unemployed. 

 

The top scores are monitored by a cadre of players and fans associated with Walter Day, an Iowan who runs Funspot, an annual tournament. Wiebe breaks Mitchell's record in public at Funspot, and Mitchell promptly mails a controversial video tape of himself setting a new record. 
 

So Wiebe travels to Florida hoping Mitchell will face him for the 2007 Guinness World Records. Will the mind-game-playing Mitchell engage; who will end up holding the record?

 

Watch THE KING OF KONG on YouTube , Google Play or Documentary Mania

 

The Man Who Bought Mustique
Joseph Bullman  / US / 2000 / 78 min



British entrepreneur Colin Tennant  bought the flourishing Caribbean island of Mustique and turned it into a posh resort. 


In the 1960s and 70s the island was visited by royalty and rockstars until Tennant lost his ownership due to poor financial handling. Tennant now re-visits to give his assessment of the island's contemporary inhabitants. 
 

Watch THE MAN FROM MUSTIQUE on Vimeo

 

Fyre - The Greatest Party That Never Happened
Chris Smith / US / 2019 / 97mins

Fyre was supposed to be the most luxurious music festival of all time with the best music acts around the globe, the most extravagant catering and opulent accommodation all set on an island of the Bahamas and attended by the rich and famous.

All to promote a music app - it turned out to be an incredible disaster for everyone involved. 

 

Watch FYRE on Netflix