2018 Sydney Film Festival Documentary Strand

27 June 2018

Image: Three Identical Strangers
Image: Three Identical Strangers

Written by Sophie Zielinski, Film Studies honours student

This year's Sydney Film Festival program has brought audiences an exciting range of Australian and international documentaries that give insight to a wide range of diverse subjects, contemporary issues and fascinating stories. These are some of the highlights.

Stephen Loveridge's Matangi/Maya/ M.I.A and Mila Turajlić's The Other Side of Everything examine history's effect on the individual, while Tony Zierra's Filmworker and Heather Lenz's Kusama - Infinity take a humanistic approach in grappling with the human stories beneath celebrated artistic icons. I especially enjoyed the approach of Bart Layton's hybrid doco-drama, American Animals, which delightfully combines genre aesthetics in a clever experimental form.

Amy Adrion's Half the Picture is a powerful documentary made by women, about women, and for all audiences. Adrion reveals the heart-breaking struggles of females in the filmmaking industry that constantly fall on deaf ears. Giving audiences this insight, Half the Picture shows a wonderfully supportive and empowering range of women filmmakers in their relentless fight for passion, art and equality.

Tim Wardle's Three Identical Strangers is one of the most captivating and entertaining films in the program. The tale of the New York triplets separated at birth for a psychoanalytical study and the incredible circumstances in which they found one another is told through wonderfully enthralling and charismatic interviews. If the story itself wasn't enthralling enough, Wardle's even-handed treatment of re-enactments and interviews will mesmerise audiences as they are taken on this deeply emotional journey.

As in previous years, this year's documentary program sees a rich and diverse selection of films that continue to push the boundaries of the genre. The result is a series of moving cinematic experiences that both inform and provoke the viewer.

For more information about our partnership with the Festival, visit the USYD Sydney Film Festival website. The University of Sydney was an Education Partner of the 2018 Sydney Film Festival.