Oscar Image
Oscar Image


The Queen of Basketball by Ben Proudfoot (2021) (US) (22m)

Nominated for the Best Short Documentary Oscar. It tells the story of Lusia Harris, a black woman who led a predominantly white school in Mississippi to three successive championships in basketball, for which she had a natural gift (and being 6'3'' didn't hurt). The archive footage is impressive, showing how talented all the women are, with Lusia an icon to the others. She even led the American team at the Olympics, losing to the USSR in the final, before being invited to trial for a men's NBA team.

Colette by Anthony Giaccino (2020) (USA/Fra/Ger) (25m)

This Oscar-winning short doc follows the eponymous Colette Marin-Catherine, whose family were in the French Resistance during WWII, and who is visiting Germany for the first time at 90. Her journey is instigated by the young French student who is composing biographies of those who died at Neuengamme concentration camp, including Colette's brother. Of course, anything about the death camps is bound to bring a tear to your eye and it is hard to find a unique take on the Holocaust.


Period. End Of Sentence. by Rayka Zehbatchi (2018) (India) (25m)

Period. End Of Sentence. won the Academy Award for best Short Documentary in 2019. It is a shocking indictment of the struggles girls suffer in India when they start, and the mind-blowing ignorance surrounding, menstruation. As the recent feature film White Tiger explored, there is still a massive gap between the rich and poor, often based on caste, and the education enjoyed by each group respectively. Of course, there is also a cultural issue to be overcome when it comes to how periods are educated.

Warriors of Qiugang

The White Helmets by Orlando von Einsiedel (2016) (Pak) (40m)

Mostly made up of tradesmen (builders, blacksmiths etc), the White Helmets try to rescue civilians caught up in the fighting, which of course means they are mostly trying to save people hit by Russian bombs. A little like watching the 2019 Oscar winning feature length documentary, For Sarma, which was also filmed in Aleppo, it is difficult to not be angered by the war crimes being committed by the Syrian regime and its Russian ally (though of course Islamic militants have committed war crimes elsewhere in Syria).

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