Documented: Families

Documented: Families

Each of the films in this collection see filmmakers directing the camera towards their own families - their parents, siblings, or their extended families. This provides them with a unique level of access to their subjects which, in turn, creates an intimacy that any other director would be unlikely to achieve.

While the collection is very international, with films from South America, North America, Europe and the Middle East, there are many shared themes the films explore. Despite being made thousands of miles apart, the stories being told in the films have a huge amount in common. One example of this is the number of documentaries which examine the secrets, or hidden histories, that exist within families. These secrets stem from not just an individual desire for privacy, but also from a, sometimes misguided, place of love and protection.

There are a number of other themes that interconnect these films, and illustrate the similar challenges families face no matter where in the world they might be, but we'll let you discover those for yourself.

Each of the filmmakers featured in this collection have created fascinating, insightful, and highly personal films - we hope you enjoy them.

Documented: Families
  • Documented: Families Introduction

  • When A Farm Goes Aflame

    Berlin International Film Festival
    BFI London Film Festival

    A filmmaker completes his debut film: A reflection on his parents assumed monogamous long-distance marriage as well as his own Nigerian background and identity. He thereafter accidentally discovers his father’s secret; a second...

  • Cavebirds

    "Gan’s doc is a pained love letter to her artistic, impractical father, with his love of bonsai trees, birds and old poetry." POV Magazine

    Hot Docs International Documentary Festival
    Montreal International Documentary Film Festival

    The key ingredient in bird's nest soup is the hardened saliva o...

  • Manu

    "Emmanuelle Bonmariage delivers a multi-layered documentary about a filmmaker and extraordinary man’s road to remembrance." Cineuropa

    Munich Dok Fest

    The Belgian filmmaker Manu Bonmariage now has Alzheimer's at age 76. As his memory starts to fade, his daughter Emmanuelle goes bac...

  • Silence Is A Falling Body

    International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam
    Filmfest Hamburg
    Brooklyn Film Festival

    Silence Is A Falling Body follows filmmaker Agustina Comedi as she explores hundreds of hours of footage from the videotapes that her father Jaime recorded throughout his life. Her search to learn more abou...

  • The Swing

    "...the kind of intimate portrait that captivates purely on the basis of what it reveals about the pain and the complexity of the human experience." Hollywood Reporter

    Karlovy Vary International Film Festival
    Open City Docs Fest
    El Gouna Film Festival

    Filmmaker Cyril Aris' directs his camera to...

  • Elena

    "a mesmerizing, artful and emotional piece of filmmaking that consistently surprises and awes in its sensitivity." The Playlist

    SXSW Film Festival
    Hot Docs International Film Festival
    Thessaloniki Documentary Festival

    Dreamlike, lyrical and haunting, Petra Costa’s deeply personal film document...

  • Born in Evin

    Berlin International Film Festival
    Hot Docs Film Festival

    Born in Evin follows filmmaker and actress, Maryam Zaree, on her quest to find out the violent circumstances surrounding her birth inside one of the most notorious political prisons in the world. Over forty years have passed since th...

  • P.S. Jerusalem

    Toronto International Film Festival

    Filmmaker Danae Elon was born in Israel to an Austrian Jewish refugee who became a leftist journalist and a mother who has been going to occupation protests since Danae was a child. Her father asks that she never return, but after his death, for reas...