10 films about film and cinema

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    Documentaries about film and cinema will always be part of IDFA’s fabric. With these films, filmmakers not only reflect on the medium itself, but also on the impact that cinema has on society. Or simply relish in film history’s countless fascinating stories. This IDFA selection consists of ten documentary films, each highlighting a different aspect of this subject.

    An ode to filmmakers and cinema

    This selection features films such as Cinema Jenin about the unique role cinema can have for a community, as well as the search for the secrets of Stanley Kubrick’s classic The Shining in Room 237. Films like The Banality of Grief and Claude Lanzmann: Spectres of the Shoah zoom in on the impact filmmaking has on the filmmakers behind them.

    From the festival screen to your home cinema

    The IDFA Collection consists of a number of documentary films about film and cinema. Below you will find a selection of ten unique films on the subject that have screened at the festival in recent years—now available online for free or for a small fee.

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    Ana Ana

    • Petr Lom, Corinne van Egeraat
    • 2013

      Immediately following the 2011 revolution, four young Egyptian women share their experiences.

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      The Banality of Grief

      • Jon Bang Carlsen
      • 2021

        After his wife dies, the renowned Danish documentary filmmaker Jon Bang Carlsen starts work on a new film. But everything he sees reminds him of her absence. His film thus becomes “a little stammering love letter."

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        Bridges of Time

        • Kristine Briede, Audrius Stonys
        • 2018

          This poetic group portrait of the “Baltic New Wave” goes in search of what it means to be a documentary filmmaker.

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          Cinema Jenin

          • Marcus Vetter
          • 2011

            A German filmmaker in Jenin tries to breathe new life into a run-down cinema, with the help of the local population.

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            Claude Lanzmann: Spectres of the Shoah

            • Adam Benzine
            • 2015

              Claude Lanzmann devoted 12 years of his life to directing Shoah. This film explores the difficult process of making his magnum opus.

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              The Earth Is Blue as an Orange

              • Iryna Tsilyk
              • 2020

                With bombs falling all around their home in Ukraine, Anna and her four children manage to keep the chaos of war at bay by making a film about their experiences.

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                Hotel of the Stars

                • Jon Bang Carlsen
                • 1981

                  With its population of dreamers and wannabe’s, the Montecito Hotel in Hollywood symbolizes the wide gap between dream and reality, poverty and succes in American society.

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                  John McEnroe: In the Realm of Perfection

                  • Julien Faraut
                  • 2018

                    Tennis and cinema become one in this unorthodox hybrid of sports documentary and visual essay about John McEnroe’s heyday.

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                    Marceline. A Woman. A Century

                    • Cordelia Dvorák
                    • 2018

                      A portrait of Marceline Loridan-Ivens, a writer and filmmaker who, having survived the Holocaust, never let anyone constrain her again.

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                      Room 237

                      • Rodney Ascher
                      • 2012

                        An entertaining search for hidden messages in Stanley Kubrick’s classic 1980 film The Shining, exploring everything from the symbolism of tins of baking powder to subliminal images in cloud formations.

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