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Friday 1 November, 2019

It's getting cold outside, but things are hotting up at Bertha DocHouse as we roll into November, with new releases from Werner Herzog and Kim Longinotto, treats for lovers of music and film, a whole host of Q&As and a dose of magic - or is it just sleight of hand?

We start the month looking behind-the-scenes and beneath-the-makeup with our favourite 'Ru Paul's Drag Race' winner in Trixie Mattel: Moving Parts, which opens this evening, Friday 1st Nov.  We also take a deep dive into sound design in Making Waves: The Art of Cinematic Sound, hearing from pioneers and masters of the art, including Walter Murch, as well as directors they've worked with, from George Lucas to David Lynch.

The gal-dem Film Club continues on Tuesday 5th with Priya Sen's Yeh Freedom Life, filmed in a South Delhi suburb over the course of a year, as two women tread love's turbulent path and pursue their 'freedom lives'. The screening will be followed by a Skype Q&A with Priya Sen.

On Wednesday 6th, we play the rarely seen companion piece to October's 'Nightcleaners'. '36 to '77 uses time lapse portraits and audio interviews to focus on Myrtle Wardally - one of the women involved in the 1972 Cleaners strike. The filmmakers will join us for a Q&A to discuss their avant-garde work, completed in 1978.

Playing from Friday 8th, get close up to the artistic process of PJ Harvey, in photojournalist Seamus Murphy's A Dog Called Money. Murphy captures the alchemy of Harvey's song-writing, from inspiration through to recording, in this unconventional take on the music doc.

Never knowingly missing an opportunity to see Werner Herzog in action, we'll be showing his latest, Meeting Gorbachev, daily from the 8th. On Sunday 10th, don't miss co-director (and 7 Cavendish Square inhabitant!) Andre Singer's post-screening Q&A, marking 30 years since the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Next up, we're hosting two screenings as part of the UK Jewish Film Festival, both celebrating creative virtuosos: while Forman vs Forman (screening Saturday 9th) charts the rise to fame of Czech-born film director Milos Forman, who won Oscars for both One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest and Amadeus, Shut Up and Play the Piano (screening Wednesday 13th) exuberantly profiles boundary-breaking composer and performer Chilly Gonzales. 

A series of Chinese eco-documentaries form the basis of the 'Earth in Crisis' tour, which comes to DocHouse in November. Director Fan Jian joins us on Thursday 14th for The Next Life, filmed in the aftermath of the Great Sichuan Earthquake, and on Wednesday 20th Wang Libo will be here to discuss his doc on construction of China's Three Gorges Dam, Oh, The Sanxia

Festival favourite The Hottest August opens on Friday 15th, bringing musings from a cross-section of locals in a sweltering New York City to the cool of the DocHouse screen. Also playing from the 15th, and continuing our reflection on the reunification of Germany 30 years on, Berlin Bouncer meets three of the city's legendary doormen, delving into the club scene that emerged in the wake of the Wall.

Director Ben Berman reminds us that nothing in nonfiction is ever as it appears as he trails magician Amazing Johnathan on his farewell tour. Follow the twists and turns in The Amazing Johnathan Documentary, followed by a satellite Q&A hosted by Louis Theroux on Tuesday 19th, and then playing daily from Friday 22nd. 

Also opening on the 22nd, Here For Life shows performance of a very different kind, as a group of Londoners come together to share their stories, centred around the common ground of Shoreditch's Nomadic Community Gardens. 

From Tuesday 26th we're showing Mike Figgis' new doc on Stones guitarist and all round rock legend Ronnie Wood. Somebody Up There Likes Me features frank interviews with the man himself, as well as friends and collaborators including Mick Jagger, Rod Stewart and Damian Hirst.

We're partnering with UCL's Urban Laboratory on a special preview of The Street - Zed Nelson's moving portrait of East London's Hoxton Street - on Tuesday 26th, followed by a panel discussion. There will be plenty more chances to see the film when it opens on release from Friday 29th.

The final Friday of the month also sees the latest film from documentary great Kim Longinotto. Shooting the Mafia focuses on Sicilian photographer Letizia Battaglia, whose extraordinary body of work bears witness to decades of brutality by the Cosa Nostra. The film will play daily from Friday 29th, but look out for details of a special screening and discussion in the works for December.

An image from the documentary Trixie Mattel: Moving Parts.