Although we've previously picked our 15 top picks for this year's JDIFF, we felt we needed to go back and do another list because there's literally that much to choose from.

So, for something a little different, we've picked seven documentaries that you definitely need to check out at this year's festival.


7. THE LAST MAN ON THE MOON - Sunday, March 29th

In 1972, Eugene Cernan became the last man to set foot on the Moon. That's quite an achievement, but what happens after? And before? What's the personal cost of making that achievement? Using archive footage, deeply personal interviews and dramatic reconstructions, The Last Man On The Moon tells an incredible story of love, ambition and heartbreak. Moon landings were never this interesting.


6. THE GREAT WALL  - Monday, March 23rd

Told using snippets from Kafka's The Great Wall of China, this documentary explores how the European Union has slowly divided the continent and drawn up borders and ideological boundaries between it and the rest of the world. 


5. RED ARMY - Friday, March 20th

If your only exposure to ice hockey has been The Mighty Ducks, this documentary will definitely broaden your knowledge of the game. Focusing on the USSR's efforts to create the greatest ice hockey team in the world, Red Army is an examination of the disturbing lengths Soviet Russia went to win. Brutal training regimes, KGB collusion and banishment were a common occurrence for these guys. Definitely NOTHING like Mighty Ducks, so.


4. THE DECENT ONE - Friday, March 20th

It's almost a cliche in movies, but the villain rarely thinks he is one. The same is horrifyingly true in real-life. The Decent One is a case study of Heinrich Himmler, one of the chief architects of the Nazi concentration camp programme and right-hand to Hitler. Using the private letters of Himmler and his family, as well as restored footage from Nazi archives, it paints a grim and unflinching look at the insanity of Himmler's beliefs and how he believed himself and the German people to be above the rest of mankind.


3. SHOULDER THE LION - Thursday, March 26th.

Shoulder The Lion focuses on three artists who've experienced huge loss and challenges to completing their work - a musician with tinnitus, a photographer who has lost vision and a sculptor who suffered massive brain injury. However, instead of the standard documentary view, Shoulder the Lion uses haunting imagery and protracted scenes meshed with an esoteric soundtrack to create something unlike any documentary you're likely to see.


2. 6 DESIRES - Wednesday, March 25th

Narrated by Mark Cousins, Gillian Moreton and Pulp's Jarvis Cocker, 6 Desires tells the story of writer / painter DH Lawrence and his time spent in Sardinia. Lawrence's work in the remote island is considered to be some of his greatest work and paints a vivid picture of a man desperately attempting to leave his life and the world behind.



Fans of Studio Ghibli will know that mastermind Hayao Miyazaki has publicly announced that he is retiring for good. With that in mind, The Kingdom of Dreams and Madness offers us a view into the world of Miyazaki. The documentary has unfettered access to Ghibli and Miyazaki, with insight and interviews from animators and those he's worked with throughout the years. If you're a fan of Ghibli's work, or even animation in general, this is definitely recommended.