The BBC’s Storyville international documentary strand has announced the nine films for its summer and autumn season.
Lead Commissioning Editor for BBC Storyville, Emma Hindley, said: “Storyville’s summer and autumn season is as eclectic, entertaining and energetic as ever. With bold, beautifully told stories from around the world which range from a film about the UK’s grime scene, to one about a Dutch woman who rose to the top of one of the world’s most notorious guerrilla groups. The latest slate also includes an investigation into what might happen when machines outsmart humans and a film about the adventures of Italian twins with learning difficulties.”
8 Bar: The Evolution of Grime
Grime. Coined, “Young black kids punk rock”, a genre that radio stations would not play and records that labels refused to sell. But Grime would not be stopped. With machine gun lyrics that shred eardrums and syncopated electronics that pound the chest like a sledgehammer, Grime was a product of social unrest, urban culture and disenfranchised youth colliding in the UK in the early 2000’s. It did not just rouse a grassroots, underground audience; today Grime is surging in popularity all over the globe and widely influencing music culture. This is the story of the genre’s roots and origin.
1 x 90, Directed by Ewen Spence and David Upshal / My Accomplice.
Artificial Intelligence now permeates every aspect of our lives but only a handful of people have any control over how it’s changing our world. With unique access to some of the most powerful pioneers of the AI revolution, iHuman asks whether we know the limits of what Artificial Intelligence is capable of and the true extent of its consequences.
1 x 90, Directed by Tonje Hessen Schei / Up North Films.
Blue Box is a brave account of how the Jewish National Fund acquired land in Palestine before and after the creation of the State of Israel. Filmmaker Michal Weits’ great-grandfather Joseph was a key figure in the organisation. In her family and across Israel, he is celebrated as the father of the country’s forests, taking ‘a land without a people for a people without a land‘, but when Michal finds his private diaries, she discovers a very different story. In conversations with her family, she questions her great-grandfather’s actions, resulting in an exploration of Israel’s past and an uncomfortable truth.
1 x 90, Directed by Michal Weits / Norma Productions.
Joshua and Benjamin and the Crown Shyness
Benjamin and Joshua Israel, two Jewish Italian identical twins have just left high school. Being in your twenties and having natural charisma combined with a sassy attitude is not enough if you have a learning disability – the world makes it hard for you to fit in. In a striking portrait of their 20th year together, Benjamin and Joshua confront the limits imposed on them. Josh wants to have sex for the first time and a number of hilarious confrontations ensue when he orders escorts and sex toys on his Dad’s credit card. Benjamin meanwhile wants to fall in love and sets his heart on a young woman in his peer group. The twins style themselves in fantastic 1980’s hip hop tracksuits and sweats, they appear in their own music videos and although all of it is real, you sometimes wonder. Even if the twins are often in conflict with each other, their bond is impossible to break. As the year progresses, they learn that growing up also means giving your twin space but without casting a shadow.
1 x 90, Directed by Valentina Bertani / Diaviva / Movieplus.
Winning Hearts and Minds
In the aftermath of the war in Afghanistan, Western troops were part of a NATO force, working alongside the then new Afghan authorities to help ‘win the hearts and minds’ of locals. In this Storyville film, a former Danish soldier turned filmmaker goes back to Musa Qala, the Capital of Helmand, where British and Danish troops had been based, to investigate allegations that the Afghan police abused young boys and men. With access to the then local Chief of Police, to former members of the military and to some of the alleged victims, this is a powerful and painful exploration in a bid to shed light on why Western forces did not win the hearts of minds of Afghanis.
1 X 75, Directed by Nagieb Khaja and Martin Tamm Andersen / Plus Pictures (Denmark).
Tanja: Terrorist or Freedom Fighter?
What would make a middle-class Dutch woman want to join a revolutionary struggle thousands of miles from home? This Storyville film tells the story of Tanja Nijmeijer, a former teacher who travelled to Colombia and became a member of the one of the most notorious terrorist organisations in the world – the FARC, rising to become one of its most senior leaders and later a campaigner for peace.
1 x 100, Directed by Marcel Mettelsiefen / Dreamer Joint Venture.
If the Streets Were on Fire
This is London from an exhilarating, rarely seen perspective. With knife violence rising, social activist Mac sets up BikeStormz, a movement for young people across the City to express themselves beyond any threats of violence. As they come together, gliding through the capital on their bikes, doing wheelies, tricks and death-defying acrobatics -the kind of liberation that surfers and skateboarders eulogize– they are challenged with the threat of arrest by the police and accusations of anti-social behaviour.
1 x 90, Directed by Alice Russell / Dorothy Street Pictures.
Songs of Earth
This epic nature documentary follows in the footsteps of the Director’s 84-year-old father, as he hikes during all four seasons, through raw and magnificent meditative landscapes in the mighty Oldedalen valley in Nordfjord, Western Norway.
1 x 90, Directed by Margreth Olin / Speranza Film
Made of Steel
Wheelchair Rugby League describes itself as the most inclusive sport, with teams of disabled and non-disabled players competing against each other. The 2022 Wheelchair Rugby World Cup, dominated by arch-rivals, England and France, saw fierce clashes between players on and off the pitch. With privileged access to both teams, this film follows their journeys in the competition – a study of grit, sacrifice and determination, but above all about a fierce sporting rivalry between old foes who are both intent on coming out top.
1 x 75, Directed by Nick Mattingly and Emma Everitt / Noah Media Group Ltd.
Share this story