After a year of breakout docs, the following 12 months offer up a tantalising variety of subjects from Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to comets

At this point last year, few could have predicted the unprecedented commercial success of documentaries in 2018, with four surprise hits breaking out of the arthouse and into the multiplex. Free Solo, RBG, Three Identical Strangers and Won’t You Be My Neighbor? have amassed $60m between them and next week will battle it out for Oscar nominations in one of the most competitive documentary categories for years.

While it’s notoriously difficult to predict which docs might have a similar impact this year, here are 12 films that look set to provide compelling views on a range of wildly varying topics.


Schadenfreude anyone? This Netflix doc about the infamous festival promises to give the whole story of the event that stranded bourgeois partygoers on an island without food or sanitation. It details the corrupt deals made by the amoral planners that led to sun-drenched nightmares for those who attended, and the stories that it dredges up – including that of a hotel owner who was bilked out of $136,000 that she has yet to get back – make a convincing case that rich dupes were not the only people hurt in this debacle.

Knock Down the House

Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez became one of last year’s most talked-about political figures and with her star on the rise, it feels fitting that she’s also appearing on the big screen. In this doc, premiering at Sundance, she features alongside three other female candidates who ran for office against establishment Democrats, breaking down barriers and facing up to rampant misogyny. The film tells how they overcame the hurdles they faced.

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