Lampedusa in Winter (Jakob Brossmann, 2015)
A companion piece to Gianfranco Rosi's Fire at Sea (also playing at the festival), Jakob Brossman's documentary offers a look at the small Italian island of Lampedusa.
Buffeted by the elements and broader geo-political forces beyond their control, the small community struggles to cater to the interests of local fishermen and the North African refugees who seek sanctuary there.
This was a pretty good doc, but I felt like I needed to see Fire at Sea to get the complete picture. It always felt like I was watching half the story. Still, worth a look.
Gimme Danger (Jim Jarmusch, 2016)
The NZIFF always has a strong selection of music documentaries, and this year is no exception. Sadly, I won't be able to watch the docs on Frank Zappa and Sharon Jones. Thankfully, the stars aligned and one of my ushering shifts included this little beauty.
Chronicling the life and times of the 'world's greatest rock band', Jim Jarmusch's wry and funny documentary is a superb encapsulation of what makes Iggy Pop and Stooges so wonderfully iconoclastic, important and, most importantly, fun.
Blending interviews with Pop and his bandmates with animated sequences and movie clips, Gimme Danger is as ramshackle and full of energy as the band it is following.