Film reviews and more

Rhys Handley

Film Review: One Child Nation

★★★☆☆ As a first-time mother, documentarian Nanfu Wang takes on a behemoth task to reconcile the sins and legacy of her parents’ generation in One Child Nation. This Amazon-produced investigation is a sprawling and ambitious look under the surface of Chinese society in the late 20th century, grappling with the one-child policy that for decades defined family life under the […]

Sheffield Doc/Fest 2019: For Sama review

★★★★★ Waad al-Kateab moved to Aleppo, Syria, at the age of 18 to go to university. She fell in love with a doctor, they had a child and moved into a house they lovingly made their own. The house today is barely left standing, as the devastating airstrikes on her city have forced al-Kateab and her family from their […]

Sheffield Doc/Fest 2019: Property review

★★☆☆☆ For six years, director Matthias Lintner lived in one of Berlin’s last squatter communities with a handful of absurd and colourful characters for neighbours. Clinging onto the last remnants of a bygone way of life, his film Property is as much a lament as it is a musing on what it truly means to live somewhere. Squatting had its heyday […]

Doc/Fest 2019: Don’t Be A Dick About It review

★★★★★ Brotherhood takes a lot of patience. Such is the nature of masculinity as a collective construct that fraternity can be at once one of the most powerful and fragile of bonds. Autistic 23-year-old Peter and his teen brother Matthew live a relatively comfortable life in an affluent Maryland suburb, but the turbulence that defines their relationship surely resonates […]

Film Review: Diego Maradona

★★★★☆ Sound design is crucial to the success of Asif Kapadia’s Diego Maradona. Every thunk, thud and crunch on the pitch resounds – the rapid, superficial nature of observing a football match from the stands or through the TV screen is subverted and given weight in the echoes and distortions that come with impact. It allows Kapadia to narrow in […]

Film Review: Honeyland

★★★★☆ Hatidze’s skinny middle-aged frame is almost swallowed up by the jagged expanse of rural Macedonia as she scrapes her way across the landscape. The untamed, harsh terrain stretches up into the mountains, which this tiny figure claws her way along using the most precarious and fragile nooks and crannies. Resolute and steady, she reaches a crevice up high, […]

Sheffield Doc/Fest 2019: Our programme highlights

This Thursday (6 June) the seven hills of Sheffield will once again open up to the innovators and icons of documentary cinema as UK festival season gem Doc/Fest returns for 2019. From the sweeping to the specific, highlights among this year’s programme promise to open the lens on the world we live in and how we arrived here – […]