Three documentaries on minimalism

July 9, 2020

Live with little, experiment big. The following three documentaries available in Guidedoc’s online catalog are true examples of minimalist films, both thematically and aesthetically. Seeing them is an exercise of positive detachment and spiritual growth.

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In The Open


A prison is not exactly an honest reference of life in austerity. Its inhabitants are forced to live with little, a condition that is even part of their sentence.

But this prison is different from the rest. Inmates who are sent to Corsica Island are not completely confined to four walls.

This jail is a place of seclusion in the open air, with trees, nature and horizon. Being here can be a sanctuary of healing through the minimalism of what surrounds us and not a simple concrete purgatory.

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In this short film premiered at the Rotterdam Film Festival - known for giving a showcase to the youngest and most experimental voices in world cinema - is a piece that shines for its narrative economy.

In just 6 minutes, director Jessica Beshir puts us very close to Yussuf, a man in Ethiopia who has a strong spiritual bond with his wild hyenas.

A fire, a human face and those of several of these African hyenas are the only elements within a poetic frame filmed in a contrasting black and white. A minimalist gem.

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What space can be more minimalist than a ski park? Small human figures descend the majesty of a mountain covered in snow. A pair of pine trees that dot the white landscape.

A telecommunications tower barely visible in the haze of the area. This short film is a cold and poetic observation about this mountain ecosystem.

Set in the Swiss Alps, the documentary is a sensory exploration of the human footprint over an immeasurable geography.

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