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The Sheffield culture guide written by in-the-know locals

Doc/Fest Selects: Rebellions

Full access £36/£30 concession. £18 per strand. Individual films £4.50/£3 concession. Exchange films/Q&As free

United Voices

Sheffield Doc/Fest 2020 presents its first series of films online with its new streaming platform Sheffield Doc/Fest Selects, with pay-per-view and subscription options.

Read on for our top picks of the festival's Rebellions strand – and see the full programme and watch on Doc/Fest Selects.

Rebellions features films that try to decipher the world while being an agent of change: either through the promise of revolution by both collective and individual beings, as an act of resistance and protection, or as a refusal to forget. A rebellion can take different forms. It can be collective but also individual, global or local, loud or silent, and it can happen either in the social and political realm, or in the poetic one. Either way, it is a gesture against the norm, against power, and against that which is generally accepted. The history of art and the history of rebellion are strangely connected – non-fiction cinema is, in many ways, an interesting field for that reflection. How does that transform the practice of filmmaking?

Welcome to Chechnya
Since 2017 Chechnya’s leader Ramzan Kadyrov has waged an operation to “cleanse the blood” of LGBTQI+ Chechens, overseeing a government-directed campaign to detain, torture and execute them. With no help from the Kremlin and only faint global condemnation, activists take matters into their own hands. This documentary exposes this atrocity and tells the story of an extraordinary group of people confronting evil. Available until Sunday 28 June.
View on Doc/Fest Selects

United Voices & We're Still Here
A pair of films. We’re Still Here looks at people standing up for their place in the city as London's housing comes under attack, with developers, along with councils and housing associations, demolishing social housing to replace it with unaffordable apartments. It documents the impact of a system that puts profit before people, and looks towards those who are fighting back. United Voices looks at trade unionism being reimagined for the current climate, as work in the UK gets more precarious due to outsourcing and exploitative contracts. This film charts a new resistance – through personal stories from the member-led grassroots union United Voices of the World.
View on Doc/Fest Select


Leaving one’s family at 7, 12 or 16 years old. Taking up residence in front of a shop, in a video store, outside a bus station. Learning to do drugs, beg, steal, flee, and fight. Making friends and enemies. Integrating into a new world. Five Bakoroman on the road from their village to Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso’s capital city, in pursuit of a better life.
View on Doc/Fest Selects

Bakoroman is also part of Doc/Fest's Focus on Simplice Herman Ganou
Simplice Herman Ganou’s films, though few in number, exist as a shining piece of beauty, empathy, and absolute trust in cinema as a way of connecting with the world. Living and working and Burkina Faso, having studied in Senegal, Ganou’s cinema is made with a unique sense of time and place, as in a stroll through the spaces and the words that bind people together. Doc/Fest invites audiences to discover this exceptional filmmaker through his first two films – Bakoroman and The Koro of Bakoro: The Survivors of Faso – available online from June within the Rebellions strand. As part of the autumn programme, Doc/Fest will also host the UK Premiere of Ganou's latest film The Unknown.
View Focus on Simplice Herman Ganou

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