Documentaries

The rough, simple and cheerily thick lifeguards of Bondi Rescue. Image: Mojo Down Under

All the good non-fiction that was ever on TV was made by middle-aged men

1 September 2018 9:00 am

All the good non-fiction things that were ever on TV — from Kenneth Clark’s Civilisation to David Attenborough’s Planet Earth…

The best documentary series of the past decade

21 October 2017 9:00 am

Any rival reality-TV makers watching Channel 5 on Thursday will, I suspect, have been both mystified and slightly embarrassed at…

‘SS-GB’ takes the commitment to the crepuscular a lot further than most

A drama set in Nazi-occupied Britain really shouldn’t be this dull: BBC1’s SS-GB reviewed

25 February 2017 9:00 am

Rival law-enforcement agencies arguing about which of them should investigate a murder has, of course, been a staple of crime…

Apple Tree Yard (BBC1) didn't always observe the boundary between slow burn and just slow

28 January 2017 9:00 am

The mid-life crisis novel, I think it’s fair to say, is traditionally a male form. But in Louise Doughty’s Apple…

Gloriously compulsive and maddening: Adam Curtis’s HyperNormalisation reviewed

29 October 2016 9:00 am

‘Adam Curtis believed that 200,000 Guardian readers watching BBC2 could change the world. But this was a fantasy. In fact,…

Why was it so hard for Anthony Weiner not to send dick pics? Weiner reviewed

9 July 2016 9:00 am

Anthony Weiner is the American politician who made a comeback after a sexting scandal and stood for New York mayor.…

Is television at its best when it mimics radio?

21 November 2015 9:00 am

Not that long ago the BBC trumpeted a new Stakhanovite project to big up the arts in its many and…

Adi Rukun tests the eyes of one of the men who killed his brother

Stunning, riveting, horrifying: Joshua Oppenheimer's The Look of Silence reviewed

13 June 2015 9:00 am

With Joshua Oppenheimer’s The Act of Killing you’d be minded to think that’s it, that’s the Indonesian genocide (1965–66) done,…

Jack O’Connell in ‘Unbroken’ — out next month — one of the few films today with a star writing team, the Coen brothers

How Hollywood is killing the art of screenwriting

29 November 2014 9:00 am

Cinema is tough right now for writers. Thomas W. Hodgkinson reports from the front line at the Austin Film Festival

Where are the Betjemans de nos jours?

We need more opinionated English eccentrics making documentaries like, ahem, me...

6 September 2014 9:00 am

Is it just me or are almost all TV documentaries completely unwatchable these days? I remember when I first started…