Documentary Film

UW-Madison’s Havens Wright Center for Social Justice hosts a series of documentaries designed to inform and inspire activism. Read more


There are many eerie parallels between the life of Joseph McCarthy and Donald Trump in the upcoming PBS series, “McCarthy.” But Bill Lueders says the documentary missed an opportunity to point them out. Read more

TV & Video

Sharing the stories of working people has defined the remarkable 50-year career of documentarian Julia Reichert. She’s at Cinematheque on Nov. 16 with “Seeing Red: Stories of American Communists.” Read more

Isthmus Cover Stories


Amazing Grace Film: LLC

In 1972, a camera crew led by Sydney Pollack captured a live recording of Aretha Franklin’s gospel album at a Los Angeles Baptist Church. The result is “Amazing Grace,” one of the greatest concert films ever made. Read more



Stephanie Hofmann

From art exhibits to documentaries, stage plays and floating parades, you’d be a fool to miss these wonderful spring events. Read more

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A mental health therapist who struggled with an eating disorder releases a new documentary, “Reclaim Beauty.” It premieres May 15 at Union South. Read more


Isthmus movie critic Kenneth Burns reviews three upcoming documentaries at this year’s Wisconsin Film Festival.“Filmworker,” “Napalm” and “Guerrero.” Read more


We take a look at this year’s documentaries in the Wisconsin Film Festival’s “Wisconsin’s Own” category. The docs cover a wide range, from police shootings to outsider artists. Read more


The documentary “Circle Up” explores the potential of Native American-style talking circles in restorative justice initiatives. Members of the Dane County Timebank hope the film will inspire Madison to expand the programs in operation here. Read more


The FairShare CSA Coalition showcases six documentaries as part of the group’s new Food + Farms Film Festival. Fest is on Tuesday, March 21, at the High Noon Saloon. Read more


What happens when humans behave and live like apes? Or when Madisonians see a movie about a beloved recording studio? Craig Johnson, of Blame Society’s “Welcome to the Basement,” checks out the first weekend of the 2016 Wisconsin Film Festival. Read more


​Since a Madison police officer killed Tony Robinson last March, the 19-year-old has been portrayed in many different ways. A local filmmaker will offer another portrayal with his film, "19, The Tony Robinson Shooting, A Case of Deadly Bias." Read more

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​The new documentary, “The Amazing Nina Simone,” is a fine introduction to the talented musical prodigy who led a troubled life. Read more


The riveting documentary “Listen to Me Marlon” is narrated by Brando himself, using cassette recordings the iconic actor made throughout his life. Read more


I'd always heard Adolf Hitler referred to as a failed painter, but I'd never realized just how resentful he was about it until I saw The Rape of Europa, a documentary about the role that art and architecture played in his thinking. Read more


When the credits finished rolling, spectators at the Wisconsin Film Festival's Saturday night screening of It's Happiness: A Polka Documentary might have thought the polka dancing was over. Read more


War is hell, and as ably documented in The Rape of Europa, it can be particularly hard on art. Read more