Planning a dip in the Irish sea? You’ll need this app before you head out
Planning a dip in the Irish sea? You’ll need this app before you head out

Jennifer McShane

Stylish dog accessories that won’t disrupt your home’s aesthetic
Stylish dog accessories that won’t disrupt your home’s aesthetic

Megan Burns

I tried PRP therapy, the Vampire Facial for your eyes
I tried PRP therapy, the Vampire Facial for your eyes

Melanie Morris

‘The damage runs deep’: Meghan Markle’s privacy win is a big step forward
‘The damage runs deep’: Meghan Markle’s privacy win is a big step forward

Jennifer McShane

We can’t get enough of woven homeware, so here are 25 pieces we’ve got our eye on
We can’t get enough of woven homeware, so here are 25 pieces we’ve got our...

Megan Burns

This 5-bed house in Rathmichael is on the market for €2.95 million
This 5-bed house in Rathmichael is on the market for €2.95 million

Megan Burns

‘If one of my friends told me they wanted to be single forever, I’d quietly wonder how they might get a mortgage’
‘If one of my friends told me they wanted to be single forever, I’d quietly...

Emily Kielthy

Image / Living / Culture

5 brilliant documentaries made for watching on a lazy Sunday


blank

“Documentary is not a genre, but an entire branch of moviemaking.” Something I read before my addiction to documentaries had taken hold and one that is truly fitting. They differ from a movie but their premise is similar; they aim to educate, inform, excite and, in some cases, have a life-changing effect on their subjects. They are drenched in realism; each one detailing a significant moment in time or a figure (either ordinary or important) who has been witness to or partaken in extraordinary and shocking events. At the most basic level, they seek to answer the questions so many leave unanswered


Below are five documentaries that simply must be seen and are perfect for a weekend duvet day:

The Thin Blue Line

This one is important for so many reasons and was my introduction to the brilliant Errol Morris. When he began this project, he was working as a private investigator, and he uses this and the medium of film to review the case of a murdered Dallas policeman and the man who was put on death row for committing the crime. This case isn’t straightforward, and Morris presents the incident through multiple perspectives and possibilities, each dramatised scenario, slightly changed to represent the different points of view of witnesses to the crime. It considers the perception of the truth and was a landmark documentary in that the evidence Morris submitted changed everything. A riveting watch. 

My Beautiful Broken Brain

When 34-year-old Lotje Sodderland suffered a life-altering stroke, she decided to document everything. And so the viewer is invited to witness her personal voyage into the complexity, fragility and wonder of her brain in the aftermath of her recovery. She completely regressed after the trauma; unable to read, write or even perform the simplest of tasks, thrown into a new existence of distorted reality where words held no meaning and where her sensory perception had changed beyond recognition. Along with director Sophie Robinson, stunning visual effects and the inspiring words of David Lynch, the viewer watches as Lotje struggles, adapts and adjusts to her new life.

West Of Memphis

This film and its two subsequent documentaries are primarily revered for how they eventually helped to free three innocent men. The case was a horrendous triple-homicide involving little boys in West Memphis, Arkansas, and the ensuing trial of the then-teenage suspects is considered a pinnacle achievement in courtroom-focused true-crime documentary reporting. Beginning with an examination into the police investigation into the 1993 murders, filmmaker Amy Berg brings to light new evidence surrounding the arrest and conviction of Damien Echols, Jason Baldwin and Jessie Misskelley. All three were teens at the time and lost 18 years of their lives after being wrongly convicted and imprisoned. The documentation of the story is compelling.

Blackfish

This fascinating documentary examines the life of performing killer whale Tilikum in SeaWorld Orlando, who has caused the deaths of several people while in captivity. It reveals the deception behind the deaths, the extent in which some were willing to go to, to ensure SeaWorld profited by harbouring an animal not meant for captivity. Their treatment of Orcas was inhuman; creatures we know have deep family bonds and high intelligence directly taken from their natural habitat and forcefully turned into an object of family entertainment. A must-watch.

The Innocent Man

Your next true crime obsession is here. In a story that gained national attention with John Grisham’s best-selling non-fiction book, The Innocent Man: Murder and Injustice in a Small Town, the six-part documentary series The Innocent Man focuses on two murders that shook the small town of Ada, Oklahoma, in the 1980s — and the chain of events that followed. Directed by Clay Tweel,  The Innocent Man includes interviews with victims’ friends and families, Ada residents, attorneys, journalists, and others involved in the cases. Developed as a documentary series by Tweel and Ross Dinerstein, it blends new footage with compelling archival video and photos.


Read more: Missing live music? This rousing round-up of live music documentaries might help

Read more: 6 great documentaries to watch on Netflix if you’re really missing sport right now

Read more: The free documentaries and musicals you can stream on YouTube right now

Also Read

Meghan Markle
CULTURE
‘The damage runs deep’: Meghan Markle’s privacy win is a big step forward

The Duchess of Sussex has won the final part of...

By Jennifer McShane

Sandymount home for sale
PROPERTY
This Sandymount home with impeccable interiors and a huge garden is on the market for €3.5 million

The four-bedroom home is spacious inside and out, with a large conservatory and sought-after location adding to its appeal.

By Megan Burns

blank
FOOD & DRINK
Helen James shares her favourite no knead bread recipe

By IMAGE

vases Ireland
INTERIORS
Beautiful vases to complement your favourite spring flowers

These standout vases and jugs will make even a few simple blooms into a focal point in your home.

By Megan Burns

blank
PROPERTY
This impeccably finished Victorian terraced home in Donnybrook is on the market for 1.35 million

The four-bed, 185-square-metre home for sale in Donnybrook has plenty of curb appeal but its got tons of charm inside too.

By Lauren Heskin

fire pits
INTERIORS
Set the right garden mood with these 5 outdoor fire pits (suitable for Irish weather)

Who knows what the weather, or this pandemic, will do...

By Marlene Wessels

blank
CULTURE
WATCH: The first teaser for Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s Oprah interview is here

By Jennifer McShane