Real Talk: Documentaries at ADLFF

Documentaries give voice of those who aren’t usually afforded volume. They can be raw and personal, objective and discreet, and sometimes straight-up hype machines (we’re looking at you, Michael Moore). Whatever the tone, factual films can educate, entertain and are guaranteed to start conversations.

Our 2015 program is packed with almost 70 short and feature docs, so we’ve picked five of our favourite titles to give you a leg-up.

He Named Me Malala

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A teacher, a book and a pen can change the world.

We’ve got the Australian premiere of the inspirational story of Malala Yousafzai, the teen who was shot by the Taliban after demanding education for all girls. He Named Me Malala shows how an (extra)ordinary young woman overcame adversity, challenged injustice and called out the UN, on the road to becoming the youngest-ever Nobel Prize laureate.

A hit at Toronto International Film Festival, He Named Me Malala is clearly one of the most important films of 2015.

The Pearl Button

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The Pearl Button’s already picked up a slew of prizes from across the globe, and is now a fierce contender for our Flinders University International Documentary Award.

One of the most important elements on earth, water nourishes, cleanses, and makes the world that bit more beautiful. But for the people of Chile it holds extra significance, as the crux of their tragic, oft-forgotten history. Water holds the voices of many, whispering the truths of the Patagonian Indigenous people, the first English sailors, and the political prisoners who mysteriously disappeared, never to be seen again.

Another Country

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Culture interrupted, and the mayhem that ensues.

Join the makers of Another Country for an insightful and thought-provoking film featuring one of Australia’s finest actors, David Gulpilil. Director Molly Reynolds highlights the struggles first Australians face in a country that is rapidly erasing our Indigenous culture. Gulpilil shares his first-hand insight on the internal and external struggles that erupt when two cultures are in conflict.

Deep Time

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Get fracked.

The shale oil industry, and all its repercussions, is a hotly contested topic. The must-see doc Deep Time explores ecology, climate change, and heartland culture in the fracking boom-towns of North Dakota. Can industry, agriculture and sustainability co-exist in the 21st Century? This is essential viewing for environmentalists. Yes, that means you.

The Russian Woodpecker

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They say truth is stranger than fiction, and Fedor’s life sounds like an X File. As a result of the Chernobyl meltdown, he’s stricken with strontium in his bones, and is possessed by an obsession that links the reactor site to a giant, steel pyramid two miles away. Could it be connected to Cold War mind control? Take a trip through the Exclusion Zone with Ukraine’s emerging revolutionaries in The Russian Woodpecker, winner of the World Jury Prize for Documentar at Sundance Film Festival, 2015.

Has that whet your appetite for factual? It’s just a taster of the thought-provoking smorgasbord of docs on offer. Uncover more voices and stories in our full documentary program.

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