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Documentaries at Sundance London

In less than three weeks time Robert Redford will bring his legandary film festival Sundance to London for the first time. For four days starting Thursday 26 April, film lovers will be able to see some of the best films that were part of the festival’s original line-up in Utah in January right here in the capital’s O2 Arena.

Though simply speaking a smaller version of its US sister, the organisers promise to bring you only the best. And indeed, there are some good documentaries on offer you do not want to miss, such as the much acclaimed The Queen of Versailles and The House I live In.

Tickets are now on sale for the festival and in order for you to make a wise decision while booking we thought we’d give you a little overview of what is on offer. Mind  you, we only give you the low-down on the documentaries but the festival promises a lot more with feature films and bands such as Placebo making a live appearance. Check out the Sundance UK website for more information and to book tickets.

Chasing Ice

How can we proof that there is such a threat to our existence as climate change? A good start would be watching Chasing Ice, In this beautiful documentary National Geographic photographer James Balog conducts his Extreme Ice Survey and discovers undeniable evidence of our changing planet. Following Balog across the Arctic as he deploys revolutionary time-lapse cameras designed to capture a multi-year record of the world’s changing glaciers we undeniably see mountains of ice in motion as they disappear at a breathtaking rate. Traveling with a young team of adventurers by helicopter, canoe and dog sled across three continents, Balog risks his career and his well-being in pursuit of the biggest story in human history.

Finding North

The general thought is that we are much better off than 50 years ago. Nobody in the Western world is forced to suffer hunger. Or so it appears anyway. Perhaps, as this film shows us, we’ve only been better in hiding society’s weaknesses. Fact is that one in six Americans doesn’t get enough to eat on a regular basis and Finding North unveils the human stories behind the statistics. A rancher juggling two jobs and a small-town policeman rely on food pantries to survive between paychecks; a single working mom can’t afford consistent meals for her children; a short-order cook must travel more than an hour to purchase fruits and vegetables – who looks after them?

The House I Live In

In the past 40 years, the war on drugs has accounted for over 45 million arrests, made America the world’s largest jailer and destroyed impoverished communities at home and abroad. Yet drugs are cheaper, purer, and more available today than ever. Where did we go wrong, and what can be done? The House I Live In was filmed in over 20 US states and hears views from the whole spectrum of people involved, from the dealer on the street to the judge that sends him to prison.

The Queen Of Versailles

Lauren Greenfield followed billionaires Jackie and David’s rags-to-riches story to uncover the innate virtues and flaws of the American dream and how one crisis can make a difference. From everything to nothing, from nothing back to everything. The Queen of Versailles is a jaw-dropping portrait of a couple who dared to dream big but lose, still maintaining their unique brand of humility.

Shut Up And Play The Hits

The question “If you start a band, do you already imagine how it will end?” gives a pretty good summary of this amazing documentary. In April last year LCD Soundsystem performed one last time at Madison Square Garden, the band’s last ever gig. The documentary Shut Up and Play the Hits documentas that concert and beautifully combines it with an intimate portrait of James Murphy as he gets ready to prepare for it.

Under African Skies.

In Under African Skies Paul Simon returns to South Africa to explore the incredible story behind his his album Graceland. Directed by Joe Berlinger the documentary looks at the political backlash Simon received for allegedly breaking the UN cultural boycott of South Africa and the controversy it sparked worldwide. On top of featuring heaps of music and interesting interviews with people like Opera Winfrey and Paul McCartny, it is this background that makes the film more than ‘just another music documentary’.




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Alexandra Zeevalkink is a Dutch-born journalist living in London who founded DocGeeks in August 2011 in order to have a legitimate excuse to watch every documentary under the sun. She freelances for various publications and writes mainly about documentaries and the film production industry. When she is not blogging or watching films, she enjoys theater, photography and reading loads of books. She is always on the look out for potential partnerships with other creative minds.

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