Filmmaker Nick Broomfield

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    Nick Broomfield (London, 1948) acquired a reputation with his strong presence in his films, making the creative process part of the documentaries. In The Leader, His Driver and the Driver's Wife (1991) for instance, he showed his futile attempts to interview Eugène Terre'Blanche, the founder and leader of the far-right Afrikaner Weerstandsbeweging.

    Broomfield studied law at Cardiff and political science at Essex University before going on to study film at the National Film School. As a documentary maker he was initially influenced by the observational style of filmmakers like Frederick Wiseman and D.A. Pennebaker. More or less by accident, through an experiment while making Driving Me Crazy (1988), he developed his own style in which he places himself in the story. Broomfield likes to focus his camera on public figures. He made his most famous documentary Kurt & Courtney (1998) about Kurt Cobain and Courtney Love, without ever having spoken to them. A few years earlier he tried to interview British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and recorded the process in Tracking Down Maggie (1994). Race and class issues also often have his attention, like in Too White for Me (1992) or Proud to be British (1972). The British filmmaker likes to look for the dark side of people and society, preferably in a somewhat light-footed way - see his view on fetish sex. In 1998 IDFA presented a retrospective of his work.

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    Items in this selection

    Who Cares

    • Nick Broomfield
    • 1970

    The residents of an old neighborhood in Liverpool are forced to move to a suburban flat.

    Behind the Rent Strike

    • Nick Broomfield
    • 1973

    Broomfield mingles with the residents of the underprivileged district of Kirby in Liverpool and, without sparing himself, sketches the widening gap between politics, education and media on the one hand and the duped working classes that rise up on the other.

    The Leader, His Driver and the Driver's Wife

    • Nick Broomfield
    • 1991

    In 1991, Nick Broomfield tries in vain to interview Eugene Terre’Blanche, leader of the extreme rightwing South African organization AWB. But he does manage to get acquainted with his driver.

    Too White for Me

    • Nick Broomfield
    • 1992

    Colourful portrait of the successful black South African pop musician Chicco Twala.

    Driving me Crazy

    • Nick Broomfield
    • 1988

    Revealing glance behind the scenes of the American theatre musical Body and Soul.

    Battle for Haditha

    • Nick Broomfield
    • 2007

    A reconstruction of the bloodbath that American soldiers caused on 19 November 2005 in the Iraqi village of Haditha, after a roadside bomb killed one of them.

    Chicken Ranch

    • Nick Broomfield, Sandi Sissel
    • 1982

    The ins and outs of drive-in brothel the Chicken Ranch in the desert near Las Vegas.

    Tattooed Tears

    • Nick Broomfield, Joan Churchill
    • 1978

    Gripping account of daily life in an American detention centre.

    Lily Tomlin: the Film Behind the Show

    • Nick Broomfield, Joan Churchill
    • 1986

    American actress and comedienne Lily Tomlin is followed during the realisation of her one-woman show.

    Tracking Down Maggie: The Unofficial Biography of Margaret Thatcher

    • Nick Broomfield
    • 1994

    Broomfield pursues former prime minister Margaret Thatcher to find out who she really is.

    Biggie & Tupac

    • Nick Broomfield
    • 2002

    Controversial documentary filmmaker Nick Broomfield in search of the truth behind the killings of rap stars Tupac Shakur and Biggie Smalls.

    Aileen Wuornos - The Selling of a Serial Killer

    • Nick Broomfield
    • 1993

    The life story of a woman who is suspected of murder is turned into a genuine media hype.

    Aileen: Life and Death of a Serial Killer

    • Nick Broomfield, Joan Churchill
    • 2003

    For the second time, Nick Broomfield focuses on the tragic fate of Aileen Wuornos, "America’s first female serial killer."

    Fetishes: Mistresses and Domination at Pandora's Box

    • Nick Broomfield
    • 1996

    In a sumptuous SM salon in New York, the most bizarre sexual desires are fulfilled.

    Kurt & Courtney

    • Nick Broomfield
    • 1998

    Revealing documentary about Kurt Cobain and his widow Courtney Love.

    Proud to Be British

    • Nick Broomfield
    • 1972

    Ironical but disconcerting inquiry into class consciousness, racism and nationalism in and around Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire, where the National Film and Television School is located.


    • Nick Broomfield
    • 2006

    A dramatised reconstruction of the drama that befell Chinese migrants in Great Britain in early 2004.

    Shooting Ghosts - The Making of Ghosts

    • Marc Hoeferlin
    • 2006

    In this making of Nick Broomfield's docudrama Ghosts, we see how close reality sometimes brushes with fiction, and vice versa.

    Sarah Palin - You Betcha!

    • Nick Broomfield, Joan Churchill
    • 2011

    Nick Broomfield, uncrowned king of tough subject matter, bites his teeth into the image of Sarah Palin, the popular hockey mom from Alaska who almost became Vice President of the United States.

    Juvenile Liaison

    • Nick Broomfield, Joan Churchill
    • 1975

    A police team in Great Britain employs a questionable deterrent for juvenile delinquents.

    Juvenile Liaison 2

    • Nick Broomfield, Joan Churchill
    • 1990

    Sequel about the children from Juvenile Liaison, fifteen years after the first film was banned.

    Soldier Girls

    • Nick Broomfield, Joan Churchill
    • 1980

    Critical documentary about women in the American army follows four soldiers during a crash course.

    His Big White Self

    • Nick Broomfield
    • 2006

    Fourteen years after The Leader, His Driver and the Driver's Wife, documentary filmmaker Nick Broomfield revisits the extreme right-wing AWB leader Eugene Terreblanche in a changed South Africa.

    Monster in a Box

    • Nick Broomfield
    • 1991

    Comic monologue by American cult writer, actor and performer Spalding Gray.

    Sex My British Job

    • Nick Broomfield
    • 2013

    An intimate and shocking glimpse into the disenfranchised lives of undocumented Asian immigrants in London's brothels, seen through the eyes of an undercover reporter wearing spy camera glasses.

    Tales of the Grim Sleeper

    • Nick Broomfield
    • 2014

    A revealing investigation into the police ineptitude surrounding a serial killer, this film is also a scathing social critique of the notorious South Los Angeles neighborhood.