Sheffield DocFest 2022: The Best Films To Watch
Once a year, documentary junkies gather together for the illustrious Sheffield DocFest. Not only is this the UK’s leading documentary festival, but it also one of the world’s most influential markets for new and classic projects.
Each year, DocFest champions the best in documentaries across film, television and art with exhibitions, film screenings, interviews and its own awards show.
From the Thursday 23 June to the Tuesday 28 June 2022, documentary lovers will be given the chance to connect with the medium and also the biggest creators through extended Q&As.
The best thing about this year is that it’s a hybrid situation - meaning cinema lovers can go in person in Sheffield or watch the majority of the documentaries online. It’s hard to narrow down the best films showcasing at the festival this year, but we are going to try. So, here are five of the best documentaries to watch at Sheffield DocFest 2022.
The Fire Within: Requiem for Katie and Maurie Krafft
Werner Herzog is a master of filmmaking, known as a pioneer in the New German Cinema movement as well as having a unique eye for documentaries. In his latest documentary, The Fire Within: Requiem for Katie and Maurie Krafft, Herzog explores the lives of Maurice and Katie Kraff - who were caught in a deadly cloud of hot gas and rock at Japan’s Mount Unzen. The Fire Within plays as a stunning eulogy to the couple, with a personal take from Herzog himself memorialising the two victims who gave their lives for their work.
The Fire Within: Requiem for Katie and Maurie Kraff premieres on Sunday 26 June at 15:15 in the Showroom Cinema. Book tickets here.
All Man: The International Male Story
Male sexuality and masculinity is one that is rarely explored in modern cinema, but directors Bryan Darling and Jesse Finley Reed decided to cover this topic in All Man: The International Male Story. This documentary focuses on the male order catalogue, International Male, for three decades in this nostalgic and colourful peek behind the curtain. The film dives further into a fascinating analysis of post-war American masculinity and an emotional account of the effects of the AIDS crisis.
All Man: The International Male Story premieres on Sunday 26 June at 20:30 in the Light Cinema. Book tickets here.
Before We Move
Directed by Aleksandr M. Vinogradov, Before We Move tells the story of Queer Tango dancers in St. Petersburg who dance in the face of prejudice in the hopes of finding acceptance for the LGBTQI+ community. This film manages to do this in a clever way that takes the popular dance and presents it as both a celebration and provocation. Vinogradov showcases what the dancers are fighting for and what the dangers are for the LGBTQI+ community in St. Petersburg.
Before We Move premieres on Sunday 26 June at 17:45 in the Light Cinema. Book tickets here.
The Business of Birth Control
Over sixty years ago, the contraceptive pill revolutionised women’s lives, but sadly there is a complex relation between hormonal birth control and women’s health and liberation. Directed by Abby Epstein, The Business of Birth Control traces the feminist movement and investigates the pill’s risks as well as the racist legacy of hormonal contraception. Showcased through various stories, this film unpacks the power structures surrounding the reproductive health industry and highlights the dark history behind it all.
The Business of Birth Control premieres on Thursday 23 June at 17:30 in the Showroom Cinema. Book tickets here.
Not a Love Story: A Film About Pornography
Once upon a time in the early 1980s, director Bonnie Sherr Klein decided to examine the pornography industry and the side effects it has on society - which is now explored in Not a Love Story: A Film About Pornography. Klein is joined by professional stripper Lindalee Tracey, and together the two wish to uncover more about pornography. This film offers insights from perspectives of both men and women from the sex industry, as well as outspoken critics - providing a balanced and though-provoking discussion.
Not a Love Story: A Film About Pornography screens on Thursday 23 June at 21:15 in the Showroom Cinema. Book tickets here.