TIFF 2016: Documentaries

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1. Abacus: Small Enough to Jail (2016)

88 min | Documentary

8.3
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
72 Metascore

A small financial institution called Abacus becomes the only company criminally indicted in the wake of the United States' 2008 mortgage crisis.

Director: Steve James | Stars: Neil Barofsky, Ti-Hua Chang, Jiayang Fan, Roman Fuzaylov

Votes: 80

2. All Governments Lie: Truth, Deception, and the Spirit of I.F. Stone (2016)

91 min | Documentary

7.4
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
63 Metascore

A look at the life and work of American journalist, I.F. Stone, who leads a one-man crusade against government deception.

Director: Fred Peabody | Stars: I.F. Stone, Chris Hedges, Leslie Moonves, Jeff Cohen

Votes: 129

3. Amanda Knox (2016)

TV-MA | 92 min | Documentary, Crime

7.0
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  
78 Metascore

American exchange student Amanda Knox is convicted and eventually acquitted for the 2007 death of another student in Italy.

Directors: Rod Blackhurst, Brian McGinn | Stars: Amanda Knox, Meredith Kercher, Raffaele Sollecito, Giuliano Mignini

Votes: 9,753

4. An Insignificant Man (2016)

96 min | Documentary, Thriller

8.8
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.8/10 X  

A political drama chronicling the spectacular rise of activist Arvind Kejriwal from a whistle blower to a controversial vigilante-politician, An Insignificant Man follows the birth of the newest political force in India - The Common Man's Party ( AAP).

Directors: Khushboo Ranka, Vinay Shukla | Stars: Arvind Kejriwal, Santosh Koli, Manish Sisodia, Yogendra Yadav

Votes: 251

5. Bellas de Noche (2016)

92 min | Documentary

7.7
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

An honest portrait of five women who go through the night looking for other possibilities of beauty, while discovering the passing of time, lost youth, the mirage that is fame and the chance for happiness.

Director: Maria Jose Cuevas | Stars: Olga Breeskin, Lyn May, Rossy Mendoza, Wanda Seux

Votes: 236

6. Bezness as Usual (2016)

93 min | Documentary

7.5
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

What is it like to be a child of a Tunisian playboy and a Dutch mother? Are expectations and cultures on both sides compatible?

Director: Alex Pitstra

Votes: 29

7. Black Code (2016)

90 min | Documentary, Action, Crime

7.4
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A look at the global impact the internet has on free speech, privacy and activism.

Directors: Nicholas de Pencier, Nicholas de Pencier | Stars: Felipe Altenfeldor, Akinyele Caldwell, Adriana Castillo, Ron Deibert

Votes: 19

8. Chasing Trane: The John Coltrane Documentary (2016)

99 min | Documentary, Biography, Music

8.2
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
69 Metascore

The film explores the global power and impact of the music of John Coltrane and reveals the passions, experiences and forces that shaped his life and revolutionary sounds.

Director: John Scheinfeld | Stars: Denzel Washington, Common, Bill Clinton, Carlos Santana

Votes: 57 | Gross: $0.19M

9. Citizen Jane: Battle for the City (2016)

Not Rated | 92 min | Documentary, Biography, History

7.1
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
72 Metascore

Writer and urban activist Jane Jacobs fights to save historic New York City during the ruthless redevelopment era of urban planner Robert Moses in the 1960s.

Director: Matt Tyrnauer | Stars: Thomas Campanella, Mindy Fullilove, Alexander Garvin, Paul Goldberger

Votes: 96 | Gross: $0.20M

10. Forever Pure (2016)

85 min | Documentary

7.5
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

One season and one football team in crisis, as power, money and politics fuel a club spiralling out of control.

Director: Maya Zinshtein | Stars: Eli Cohen, Arcadi Gaydamak, Ariel Harush, Dzhabrail Kadiyev

Votes: 198

11. Gaza Surf Club (2016)

87 min | Documentary

7.6
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

In a country locked between Egypt and Israel, Gaza's youth are drawn to their beaches. Weary of the daily 'state of emergency' they seek meaning and perspective to their lives through surfing.

Directors: Philip Gnadt, Mickey Yamine

Votes: 63

12. Giants of Africa (I) (2016)

77 min | Documentary

Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  

A behind-the-scenes look at a basketball youth program set up in Africa by the General Manager of the NBA's Toronto Raptors, Masai Ujiri.

Director: Hubert Davis

13. Gimme Danger (2016)

R | 108 min | Documentary, Music

7.2
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
72 Metascore

An in-depth look at the legendary punk band, The Stooges.

Director: Jim Jarmusch | Stars: Ewan McGregor, Iggy Pop, Ron Asheton, Mike Watt

Votes: 2,186 | Gross: $0.44M

14. Girl Unbound (2016)

80 min | Documentary

8.9
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.9/10 X  

In Waziristan, "one of the most dangerous places on earth", Maria Toorpakai defies the Taliban - disguising herself as a boy, so she can play sports freely. But when she becomes a rising ... See full summary »

Director: Erin Heidenreich | Stars: Ayesha Gulalai Wazir, Maria Toorpakai Wazir, Shamsul Qayyum Wazir

Votes: 7

15. I Am Not Your Negro (2016)

PG-13 | 93 min | Documentary

7.5
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
95 Metascore

Writer James Baldwin tells the story of race in modern America with his unfinished novel, Remember This House.

Director: Raoul Peck | Stars: Samuel L. Jackson, James Baldwin, Harry Belafonte, Marlon Brando

Votes: 5,023 | Gross: $7.10M

16. I Called Him Morgan (2016)

92 min | Documentary, Drama, History

7.1
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
90 Metascore

An exploration of the relationship between jazz trumpeter Lee Morgan and his wife Helen, who was implicated in his murder in 1972.

Director: Kasper Collin | Stars: Lee Morgan, Helen Morgan, Wayne Shorter, Larry Reni Thomas

Votes: 104 | Gross: $0.10M

17. In Exile (II) (2016)

72 min | Documentary

7.5
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

After filming political footage, a Myanmar filmmaker must flee his country. As refugee amongst refugees in Thailand, his camera becomes the most important tool to survive and overcome the many days away from home.

Director: Tin Win Naing | Stars: Ma Tin Cho, Ma Htay Htay, Myint Thein, Kyaw Moe Win

Votes: 11

18. India in a Day (2016)

86 min | Documentary

8.4
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

Crowdsourced material from millions edited with documentary footage from India on 10th October 2015 make this lyrical portrait of a country. It gives a heartfelt image of the people across a vast nation with their joys and troubles.

Director: Richie Mehta

Votes: 54

19. Into the Inferno (2016)

104 min | Documentary

7.2
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
76 Metascore

An exploration of active volcanoes around the world.

Director: Werner Herzog | Stars: Werner Herzog, Clive Oppenheimer, Katia Krafft, Maurice Krafft

Votes: 3,408

20. Karl Marx City (2016)

89 min | Documentary

7.2
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
73 Metascore

A filmmaker journey through the former East Germany looking into her father's 1999 suicide.

Directors: Petra Epperlein, Michael Tucker | Stars: Christa Epperlein, Petra Epperlein, Uwe Epperlein, Volker Epperlein

Votes: 52

21. Mali Blues (2016)

90 min | Documentary, Music

6.8
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Mali's Music defines the country's cultural identity. Radical Islamists are threatening the musicians. Together with the stars of Malian Global Pop - Fatoumata Diawara, Bassekou Kouyaté ... See full summary »

Director: Lutz Gregor | Stars: Fatoumata Diawara, Ahmed Ag Kaedi, Bassékou Kouyaté, Master Soumy

Votes: 43

22. Mostly Sunny (2016)

94 min | Documentary

5.7
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

Mostly Sunny is a documentary that tells the remarkable story of Sunny Leone, the Canadian-born, American-bred adult film star who is pursuing her dreams of Bollywood stardom.

Director: Dilip Mehta | Stars: Sunny Leone, Daniel Weber, Sundeep Vohra, Kiran Bedi

Votes: 172

23. Política, manual de instrucciones (2016)

115 min | Documentary

7.1
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

In 2015, a new spanish political party, named Podemos, made history by becoming the third force of the parliament, just two years after its creation. This is how it happened.

Director: Fernando León de Aranoa | Stars: Carolina Bescansa, Manuela Carmena, Ada Colau, Xavier Domènech

Votes: 99

24. Rodnye (2016)

112 min | Documentary

8.0
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

Russian citizen and Soviet-born Ukrainian native Vitaly Mansky crisscrosses Ukraine to explore Ukrainian society after the Maidan revolution as mirrored within his own large Ukrainian ... See full summary »

Director: Vitaliy Manskiy

Votes: 44

25. The 6th Beatle (2016)

100 min | Documentary

Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  

Liverpool concert promoter, Sam Leach, helps the legendary rock 'n' roll band, The Beatles, with their publicity in the early 1960s.

Directors: Tony Guma, John Rose

26. The B-Side: Elsa Dorfman's Portrait Photography (2016)

R | 76 min | Documentary

6.4
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A look at the life and work of photographer Elsa Dorfman.

Director: Errol Morris | Star: Elsa Dorfman

Votes: 45

27. The Cinema Travellers (2016)

96 min | Documentary

7.7
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Showmen riding cinema lorries have brought the wonder of the movies to faraway villages in India once every year. Seven decades on, as their cinema projectors crumble and film reels become ... See full summary »

Directors: Shirley Abraham, Amit Madheshiya

Votes: 68

28. The Ivory Game (2016)

112 min | Documentary

7.9
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
73 Metascore

Wildlife activists in take on poachers in an effort to end illegal ivory trade in Africa.

Directors: Kief Davidson, Richard Ladkani | Stars: Andrea Crosta, Ian Stevenson, Prince William

Votes: 1,583

29. The River of My Dreams (2016)

104 min | Documentary, Biography

6.6
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A look at the life and legacy of Canadian actor, Gordon Pinsent.

Director: Brigitte Berman | Stars: Norman Jewison, Gordon Pinsent, Christopher Plummer, Mary Walsh

Votes: 7

30. The Skyjacker's Tale (2016)

75 min | Documentary

7.5
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

After five citizens of the Virgin Islands are convicted in the 1970s of a massacre at one of the island's fancy country clubs, their ostensible leader stages a skyjacking and escapes to Cuba.

Director: Jamie Kastner | Stars: Ishmael Muslim Ali, Isabella Carr, Bradley Gordon, Martin Huss

Votes: 8

31. The Stairs (IV) (2016)

95 min | Documentary

6.6
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

An in-depth look into the lives of habitual drug users in Toronto's Regent Park.

Director: Hugh Gibson

Votes: 14

32. Before the Flood (2016)

PG | 96 min | Documentary, News

8.4
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  
63 Metascore

A look at how climate change affects our environment and what society can do to prevent the demise of endangered species, ecosystems and native communities across the planet.

Director: Fisher Stevens | Stars: Eddie Albert, Lindsey Allen, Jake Awa, Kelly Ayotte

Votes: 16,348

33. The War Show (2016)

100 min | Documentary, Drama, War

7.4
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A Syrian radio DJ shares her experiences in the aftermath of the 2011 Arab Spring.

Directors: Andreas Dalsgaard, Andreas Dalsgaard, Obaidah Zytoon

Votes: 125

34. Acqua e zucchero: Carlo Di Palma, i colori della vita (2016)

90 min | Documentary

8.6
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  

A look at the life and work of Italian cinematographer, Carlo di Palma.

Director: Fariborz Kamkari | Stars: Bernardo Bertolucci, Christian De Sica, Ken Loach, Michele Placido

Votes: 8