Documentaries

    Explore all films and interactive documentaries that have been shown at IDFA over the years. Many are available to watch online (by using the filter Watch Online), some for free! We're working hard to keep the selection as broad and accessible as possible, but unfortunately, some titles are available to stream within the Netherlands only.

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    Anamnesis

    • Chris Wright, Stefan Kolbe
    • Germany
    • 2021
    • 111 min
    • Best of Fests

      An original portrait of a murderer during his last year in jail. The film confronts us with questions about the impact of our past and whether there is such a thing as “the truth.”

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      As I Want

      • Samaher Alqadi
      • Egypt, Norway, France, Palestine, Germany
      • 2021
      • 88 min
      • Best of Fests

        In January 2013, two years after the popular revolt on Tahrir Square, an explosion of sexual violence prompts rage and protests. What does it mean to be a woman in Egypt today? Filmmaker Samaher Alqadi exposes the ubiquitous sexism.

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        Citizenfour

        • Laura Poitras
        • United States, Germany
        • 2014
        • 114 min
        • Top 10

          A real-time documentary thriller about the large-scale illegal surveillance practices of the NSA, disclosed in 2013 by whistleblower Edward Snowden through filmmaker Laura Poitras and Guardian reporter Glenn Greenwald.

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          The City Was Asleep and It Had a Dream

          • Mariam Natroshvili, Detu Jincharadze
          • Georgia
          • 2021
          • 20 min
          • DocLab: Liminal Reality, IDFA DocLab Competition for Immersive Non-Fiction

            A virtual tour shows how the city of Tbilisi has changed since the end of the Soviet Union. The old communist architecture is being overrun by new neoliberal construction projects. The clash of two ideological systems is giving birth to a new city.

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            Courage

            • Aliaksei Paluyan
            • Germany, Belarus
            • 2021
            • 90 min
            • Best of Fests

              Despite mass protests, in August 2020 Alexander Lukashenko was declared the winner of the Belarus presidential election. A portrait of the courage of the protesters, as seen through the eyes of three perceptive theater practitioners.

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              The Empty Center

              • Hito Steyerl
              • Germany
              • 1998
              • 62 min
              • Focus: unConscious Bias

                For her 1998 graduation film, Steyerl turned her perceptive gaze to the history of central Berlin. After the fall of the Wall, this former no man’s land became Europe’s biggest construction site, a place where new, invisible walls were built.

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                Les Enfants terribles

                • Ahmet Cupur
                • France, Turkey, Germany
                • 2021
                • 93 min
                • Best of Fests

                  An intimate and gripping account of fierce generational conflict in a Turkish village. The filmmaker’s young sister Zeynep is struggling with her parents and their traditional values. The film won the Special Jury Award at Visions du Réel.

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                  The First 54 Years – An Abbreviated Manual for Military Occupation

                  • Avi Mograbi
                  • France, Finland, Israel, Germany
                  • 2021
                  • 110 min
                  • Masters

                    How to occupy a country? Avi Mograbi provides a step-by-step guide based on the now 54-year-long Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories. Supported by archive material and confessions, the resulting film is factual, instructive, and shocking.

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                    F@ck This Job

                    • Vera Krichevskaya
                    • United Kingdom, Germany
                    • 2021
                    • 104 min
                    • Best of Fests

                      In 2008, the Russian socialite Natasha Sindeeva embarked on an adventure with her well-to-do husband: she set up an independent TV channel. The Russian government proves to be less than pleased about this, and Natasha begins a long, exhausting battle.

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                      Handbook

                      • Pavel Mozhar
                      • Germany, Belarus
                      • 2021
                      • 26 min
                      • IDFA Competition for Short Documentary

                        The Belarusian police dealt brutally with protesters demonstrating against the re-election of President Lukashenko in August 2020. The protesters’ re-enacted testimonies form a dry but impactful instruction video.

                        More info

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