Ten Documentaries to See at BFI London Film Festival 2017

The Dead Nation, Radu Jude

The Dead Nation, Radu Jude


Here's my list of top 10 documentaries to look out for at the BFI London Film Festival. Other documentaries worth seeing that I couldn't squeeze into my top 10 list include Bamseom Pirates Seoul InfernoDolores and  Here to be Heard: The Story of the Slits

Click on each title for more information, schedule and ticket details. 

Dir Alexandre O. Philippe
2017 | USA | 91min

Crack open the chocolate syrup, Mrs Bates is coming to stay.  

David Stratton: A Cinematic Life
Dir Sally Aitken
2017 | Australia | 97min

A galaxy of Aussie stars pay tribute to Australia’s leading film critic, as David Stratton takes us on a journey through the nation’s cinema.  

The Dead Nation
Dir Radu Jude
2017 | Romania | 83min

Romanian life prior to the outbreak of the Second World War is the subject of Radu Jude’s fascinating archive documentary.  

Distant Constellation
Dir Shevaun Mizrahi
2017 | USA-Turkey-Netherlands | 80min 

Residents of a retirement home in Istanbul share their memories in this arresting and artful documentary.    

Ex LibrisNew York Public Library
Dir Frederick Wiseman
2017 | USA | 197min

An immersive journey into the New York Public Library with great documentarian Frederick Wiseman.  

Faces Places
Dir-Scr Agnès Varda, JR
2017 | France | 89min  

Agnès Varda teams up with artist JR for a road-trip across France, in this moving meditation on friendship, cinema and the power of art on people’s lives.  

Dir Tony Zierra
2017 | USA | 94min

A fascinating account of working alongside Stanley Kubrick – by one of his closest collaborators.    

Gray House
Dir Austin Lynch, Matthew Booth
2017 | USA | 76min  

A spell-binding exploration of the human experience, visually dazzling, combining documentary and video art.    

Promised Land
Dir Eugene Jarecki
2017 | USA-Germany | 117min  

Comparing Elvis’s life and times with everyday existence in Trump’s America, this slyly amusing road movie documentary is a treat for the eyes and ears.     

Take Every Wave: The Life of Laird Hamilton
Dir Rory Kennedy
2017 | USA | 118min  


A cinematic treat exploring the life and career of Laird Hamilton, a pioneer in big waves surfing.      

Images and text via BFI London Film Festival 2017.