What's On In December
We've got a lovely full programme for December, with lots to tempt people away from all those festive celebrations and into the cozy darkness of the Bertha DocHouse screen.
Opening on Friday 6th, The Cave goes underground in Eastern Al-Ghouta, Damascus, to the hospital run by Dr Amani Ballour. This is an urgent watch, and a reminder of the devastation still being wrought in Syria, as well as the dedication (in unfathomable circumstances) of heroes like Dr Ballour.
Also playing daily from Friday 6th, The Biggest Little Farm is set a world away on the farm of John and Molly Chester, who sold up their city apartment to try their hand at eco-farming. It’s a big dream and a mammoth task - and a great watch for anyone interested in what it takes to move away from industrialised farming and towards organic sustainability.
Heard of CRISPR yet? We hadn’t either, but you soon will. This huge development in bioengineering makes gene manipulation tantalisingly possible. Human Nature, playing from Sunday 8th, explores the life-changing cures it could enable, and questions the power that it can give us.
If you haven’t yet seen Shooting The Mafia, Kim Longinotto’s portrait of Sicilian photographer Letizia Battaglia, which opened in November, now's your chance as screenings continue this month. On Tuesday 10th, Birds Eye View present a special screening as part of their Reclaim the Frame series, followed by a panel discussion with Lucia Rinaldi, expert in the Italian Crime Narrative in cinema, and film critic and Time Up campaigner Kate Muir.
Taking place on Wednesday 11th, the eve of the general election, The Dirty War on the NHS could not be showing at a more crucial time and we’re looking forward to healthy discussion with director John Pilger following the screening.
If Imelda Marcos didn’t exist, you’d struggle to make her up. Lauren Greenfield's profile of the former First Lady of the Philippines captures her outlandish grandiosity, her delusion and her determined will to power, as well as recalling the brutality of the Marcos regime. The Kingmaker plays daily from Friday 13th.
Awesome in the truest sense of the word, Victor Kossakovsky's Aquarela is a spectacular ode to the beauty and raw power of water, from frozen lakes in Russia to the colossal Angel Falls in Venezuela and calving glaciers in Greenland. Producer Aimara Reques will join us for a Q&A on Friday 13th to kick off Aquarela's run.
The story of oligarch Mikhail Khodorkovsky - from Moscow's elite to a Siberian prison and now life in exile in London - gives Oscar-winning documentary-maker Alex Gibney an extraordinary view onto Russian politics, power and of course Putin. Citizen K is a scorcher and it opens on Friday 20th.
Sunday 22nd is your opportunity to find out everything you ever wanted to know about the much-loved and ever-relevant 'Fiddler on the Roof' - plus a lot more you didn't even know you didn't know, in Fiddler: A Miracle of Miracles.
That brings us almost to the end of the month and the end of the year. As the 'Top Ten' lists begin to circulate, we'll be bringing back some of our favourite docs of the last 12 months in our 'Best of DocHouse 2019' strand. Look out for recent Grierson and Bifa award-winners Minding the Gap and For Sama, catch up on Honeyland, Diego Maradona and Gaza, revel in the joy of Amazing Grace, re-live the wonder of Apollo 11 and spend a little more time with the late, great genius in Varda by Agnes. 'Best of DocHouse 2019' runs from 27th December to 9th January.