Cannes 2017: These are the documentaries selected

April 29, 2017

On next May 17th, the Cannes Film Festival will celebrate its 70th birthday with a new edition that could be one of the most political one in recent years. Although the most important competition in the world of cinema often fills its selection with narrative films, each year several documentaries are part of the programming of the most exclusive theaters of La Croisette. And this year is no exception.

Guidedoc presents the documentary features selected for the Cannes Film Festival 2017.

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An inconvenient Sequel: Truth To Power by Bonni Cohen and Jon Shenk (Out of Competition)


An inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power


As part of the special screenings held at the festival, this sequel to An Inconvenient Truth (2006), Al Gore’s cinematic project for the awareness of climate change, is one of the most anticipated films of this year.

More than ten years have passed since that first documentary that unveiled the greatest threat to life on our planet was premiered in Cannes and later went on to win two Academy Awards.

An inconvenient Sequel: Truth To Power, directed by Bonni Cohen and Jon Shenk, follows the former vice president of the United States in his crusade around the world to create a large network of climate leaders and make visible the small great experiences that alleviate climate change today in many regions in the world.


12 Jours de Raymond De Pardon (Out of Competition)


Behind the scenes of “12 Jours”


Legendary French filmmaker Raymond De Pardon, famous for great documentary films like “Délits Flagrants” or “10e Chambre”, once again looks at the confinement of human beings in a psychiatric hospital, which was also his subject in “San Clemente”.

12 Jours, which will have a special screening out of competition at the festival, refers to the twelve days given by the French law for a person held without his consent in a psychiatric institution until he is finally confined or released. De Pardon filmed the documentary at the Vinatier Psychiatric Hospital in the city of Lyon.


Napalm by Claude Lanzmann (Out of Competition)




Claude Lanzmann, another veteran French documentary filmmaker, will arrive in Cannes to tell the story of the brief encounter between a French member of the delegation of Western Europe and a red-cross nurse at Pyonjang in 1858, after the devastating Korean War. The only word they could both understand in common was “Napalm.”

The 91-year-old director traveled to North Korea and managed to film the images of the film in the capital of the peninsular country without any authorization from the authorities. The film could ignite controversy in Cannes, especially after a recent statement given by Lanzmann’s to the press: “North Korea is not the axis of the evil of Georges W. Bush.” Napalm will have a special screening at the festival.


Sea Sorrow by Vanessa Redgrave (Out of Competition)


“Sea Sorrow”


The octogenarian British actress Vanessa Redgrave will make her directorial debut in Cannes with this documentary about the refugees world crisis, a cause for which she has been fighting for several years as a human rights activist. In Redgrave’s words, the idea of ​​making this film comes from the imperative need to keep the world aware of the struggle for life that thousands of people have on a daily basis.

Sea Sorrow portrays ordinary people who tell their stories of survival after escaping from their homelands to become refugees. In recent statements to The Guardian, Redgrave said that she hopes that the special screening of Sea Sorrow at the festival will help raise awareness in the developed countries to receive more refugees.


Alive in France by Abel Ferrara (Critics’ Week)



The eccentric American director Abel Ferrara will be present in this year´s Critics´Week, a section that runs parallel to the festival, to premiere Alive in France, a musical documentary that follows his band´s tour around France.

After the success of “Pasolini” his film about the Italian director that had its premiere in 2014, Ferrara, who has called himself a failed rocker, brings this film in which he stars as the lead guitarist and singer of light blues and rock and roll band “Statale 66”.


Makala by Enmanuel Grass (Critics’ Week)



After his acclaimed documentary “Bovines”, which earned a nomination for the César Awards, French filmmaker Enmanuel Gras films in Congo the life of Makala, a modest villager who dreams to give his family a better quality of life with his arduous work.

With an unwavering spirit, Makala makes a long and dangerous journey through the jungles that surround him to transport the fruits he harvests in order to sell them in another town. During the journey, Makala will discover the value of his work and the price of his aspirations.

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