• set 11 items

    In the Paradocs section, IDFA showcases 11 of the year’s best experimental documentary artworks. Pushing time to its cinematic limits. Peeling back layers of representation. These films will make you question what you’re really seeing.

    Selected for Paradocs


    • Shinya Isobe
    • 2020

    For five years, filmmaker Shinya Isobe left his camera in exactly the same spot to record a series of time-lapse shots of the sunset. In his hypnotic short film, the images combine to create a unique poetic experience.

    Cause of Death

    • Jyoti Mistry
    • 2020

    A timeless and universal phenomenon: violence against women. This rhythmic montage of women’s bodies from archive footage and animation accompanied by a spoken lament produces an experience that is almost hypnotic.

    Corporate Accountability

    • Jonathan Perel
    • 2020

    A haunting minimalist account of how major national and international companies were actively involved in serious human rights violations under the military dictatorship of Argentina from 1976 to 1983.

    Geographies of Freedom

    • Miguel Peres dos Santos
    • 2019

    A compilation of archival footage and images of the current landscape on Curaçao lays bare the painful historical relationship between the oil refineries of Dutch multinational Shell and the inhabitants of the Netherlands Antilles.

    The Landing

    • Akram Zaatari
    • 2019

    First, there was desert. Then came the houses for a Bedouin community. But now the sand has returned: it seeps through the ruins as three men pluck and scrape to elicit experimental music from this site that sparks the imagination.


    • Ismaël Joffroy Chandoutis
    • 2020

    The suicide bombing on the Brussels subway on March 22, 2016 leaves Sabine in a coma for three months. When she wakes up, there is a black hole in her memory. Her search for explanations is beautifully depicted in this collage of images and sound.


    • Louis Henderson, Olivier Marboeuf
    • 2019

    In the streets of Port-au-Prince, a group of young Haitian actors pay tribute to the 18th-century revolutionary Toussaint Louverture. They reflect on theatrical texts with themes such as colonialism, racism, and identity.

    Purple Sea

    • Amel Alzakout, Khaled Abdulwahed
    • 2020

    A boat sinks off the coast of Lesbos with Syrian artist Amel Alzakout onboard. She shoots dizzying footage from the water: dangling legs and almost nothing to cling onto. An utterly gripping experience.

    Red Moon Tide

    • Lois Patiño
    • 2020

    An unforgettable, mystical portrait of a community on the Galician coast. When a man goes missing at sea, his fellow villagers wait for news, frozen in time, suspended in a twilight zone between life and death.

    There Will Be No More Night

    • Éléonore Weber
    • 2020

    Helicopter pilots and gunners have to make complex decisions during their nighttime missions in war zones. An intense, topical documentary about the tension between observation and interpretation.

    The Works and Days (of Tayoko Shiojiri in the Shiotani Basin)

    • C.W. Winter, Anders Edström
    • 2020

    This meditative marathon film is a comprehensive record of the everyday activities of an elderly couple in the Japanese countryside. As hospital visits increase, the serenity of their lives is tragically disrupted.

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