This month having spent my time with a couple of docs with a broken thumb, I’m going to recommend you some of my favourite docs currently available on Netflix.
Stories We Tell (★★★★★) – Polley directs this candid documentary about her deceased mother and a family rumour that never went away. The structure of the film is what sets it apart, which includes fascinating and open interviews with all of her family. To say any more about it unfortunately slightly spoils it, but trust me, it is definitely worth a watch and was my favourite film of last year.
Bobby Fischer Against The World (★★★★) – The bizarre and ultimately downright tragic story of Bobby Fischer, a once world-renowned chess champion and “sports” icon for the West during the Cold War, who ended up falling apart and eventually hated by the ones who once idolised him.
There’s absolutely amazing archive footage abound; including a personal favourite clip of a TV broadcast with two people commentating on one of his matches with no rights to the footage, suddenly Soccer Saturday looks almost cinematic in comparison.
Beware of Mr. Baker (★★★½) – Ginger Baker, drummer with Cream and Blind Faith among many others, gets a retrospective look from Rolling Stone writer, Jay Bulger.
Great archive footage and animation is interspersed with interviews with a very spiky and aggressive Ginger, whose putdowns are particularly tasty, and we get plenty of his crazy rock’n’roll life and even crazier personal life.
The Queen of Versailles (★★★½) – The tale of the Siegels, a billionaire family, who attempt to make the largest family home in America but whose dreams are shattered by the collapse of the economy in 2008.
The film captures them at their highest and lowest ebb, so you see them at their most excessive and then their attempts to steady the flow of money draining away from their finances, which include some equally laugh out loud and then sympathetic moments. The film also cleverly illustrates the impact of their failing business on everyone involved, friends, housekeepers, nannies, drivers and employees of their timeshare company among others.
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