Summer has finally arrived! And with it, a month's worth of brilliant docs and events to keep you informed and entertained at DocHouse this June. Showcasing a diverse range of films from Chile to Iran, Vietnam to Italy, read on to find out what our June programme has in store.
From the intimate to the historic, this Thursday 8th we’ll welcome Ukrainian director Sergei Loznitsa for the UK premiere of The Natural History of Destruction – his provocative, archival exploration of the bombing of civilians as a war tactic, dating back to WWII. This Q&A screening is presented by Pushkin House, as part of their Witnessing History, a comprehensive programme celebrating Sergei Loznitsa’s multifaceted oeuvre.
From Friday 9th, we’ll be showing the latest film by Patricio Guzmán, who, 50 years ago, documented the 1973 military coup in Chile, before fleeing to Europe. In My Imaginary Country, he traces the unprecedented social protest movement that swept the country in 2019-2021, leading to constitutional reform and the prospect of dismantling the legacy of Pinochet’s regime. To coincide with the release of this elegant, momentous film, we have a very rare, one-off screening of Guzmán’s epic chronicle of the events of 1973, The Battle of Chile on Saturday 17th.
In February, we were preparing to show My Name is Happy – a doc about Mutlu Kaya, a young Turkish singer who survived a shooting but refused to lose her voice – when the Turkey-Syria earthquake struck, and the film’s UK release was cancelled. We’re extremely pleased to have the re-arranged Q&A coming up on Wednesday 14th, when co-directors Ayse Toprak and Nick Read will be in conversation with BAFTA’s Mariayah Khaderbhai.
From Friday 16th, Seven Winters in Tehran highlights the treatment of women in Iran through the case of Reyhaneh Jabbari, who was charged with murder for killing a man in self-defense. A stirring film about a young woman who became a symbol of resistance, told through her evocative letters, and the brave, dignified testimony of her family.
In the same week, discover the world’s largest cave, Hang Sơn Đoòng in Vietnam. A Crack in the Mountain explores something far more complicated than the cave system, addressing the potential for tourism, exploitation and development in the region, and asking who gets to benefit from the natural phenomenon, and with what consequences.
Our Sunday Sessions strand continues this month with a rare little gem of a film which re-cuts behind-the-scenes footage of Thelonius Monk being interviewed for French TV in the 1969, revealing a stifling power dynamic between the jazz legend and his white, jazz-expert interviewer, Henri Renaud. Rewind & Play shows on Sunday 18th.
Nobel prize-winning author Annie Ernaux reflects on the period of her life when, with young children and a troubled marriage, she developed her voice and her confidence as a writer and published her first novels. Compiled entirely from the Ernaux family’s home movies and narrated by Annie Ernaux in her characteristically reflective, incisive and intimate voice, The Super 8 Years plays from Friday 23rd. Screens with the short film Ida Western Exile (Courtney Stephens, 2014, 9 mins).
On the weekend of 24th – 25th June, we’ve got an Italian take-over. We’re proud to host Cinecittà’s Italian Doc Season, showcasing the best, recent Italian documentaries with three UK premieres and all directors in attendance for Q&As. On Saturday 24th, at 4pm we’ll be showing A Steady Job (Il Posto) + Q&A with directors Mattia Colombo and Gianluca Matar, and at 6.30pm Wake Me Up At Midnight (Svegliami A Mezzanotte) + Q&A with director Francesco Patierno. On Sunday 25th at 3.30pm we’ll be showing Bella Ciao + Q&A with director Giulia Giapponesi.
There’s one final Q&A to highlight at the end of the June, and it’s a great one for all lovers of books and the folk who sell them! Hello, Bookstore steps into devoted owner Matt Tannenbaum’s independent bookshop in Lenox, Massachusetts, as he tries to weather a storm and leans on the very community that he has created. Our screening on Tuesday 27th will be followed by a Q&A with both director A. B. Zax and Matt Tannenbaum himself, with more screenings to follow from Friday 30th.