This 2019 the continent that produces the highest number of documentaries worldwide has not stopped working. The directors of the following documentaries look at everywhere, they look at other latitudes but also at the core of their own countries. Here are the five best European documentaries of 2019 according to Guidedoc.
Asif Kapadia will always be a favorite for an Oscar nomination after winning a statuette with his documentary Amy, about the singer Amy Winehouse. Just as he did back then, in Maradona the British filmmaker resorts to the editing of a large ammount of archive material to build the portrait of a celebrity: Maradona, the God of world football.
Having recently won the best director award at IDFA, the most prestigious documentary-only film festival in the world, this documentary is an ode to the deeply realistic tradition of the British documentary school. The film makes a portrait of a nonprofit organization that helps construction workers who are victims of the Black Lists in Britain, a system that prohibits them from working in the industry.
This documentary was the winner of the Best Documentary of the European Film Awards, which the German filmmaker Wim Wenders chaired this year. The film is half British half Syrian, since the story occurs entirely in Aleppo, the most dangerous city of the Syrian War. From there, the filmmaker Waad al-Kateab (the co-director) films a long video letter addressed to her little daughter, though which she documents her life from the center of the most important conflict of this decade.
Earth by Nikolaus Geyrhalter
Having premiered at the Berlin International Film Festival and after being the winner of the prestigious Sheffield Doc Fest, this ecological documentary not only has the merit of its recognitions, but it also has the value of showing us another side of the global environmental crisis. This Austrian documentary focuses on the consequences of the global mining industry and its permanent geological trail on our planet.
Heimat is a Space in Time by Thomas Heise
Veteran German director Thomas Heise digs through his family's four-generation archives to build a sensory essay on the changes his country has undergone since the fall of the Berlin Wall. The documentary won the first prize of the prestigious Swiss festival Visions Du Réel and was also screened at the Berlinale and the Toronto International Film Festival.
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