Docubeat

As a filmmakers and journalists, we are very aware of how much a powerful and revealing non-fiction film can struggle to get the visibility it deserves. We are also convinced that the enormous number of documentaries produced worldwide every year have the potential to enrich newspaper websites with the kind of close reporting and visual story-telling unique to documentaries. ‘Docubeat’ combines the two, a unique blend of visual journalism for this generation’s news readers.

Check out the productions featured on The Guardian’s Docubeat website:

MALI LAND GRABS: ‘You can take everything from a farmer but not his land’


An estimated 90% of land in Africa has no registered owner, including areas farmed for generations by the same families in Mali. Multinational companies see opportunities to develop these areas, and governments in Mali and elsewhere hail such projects as bringers of progress. But for villagers who lose their ancestral lands – not just where they have farmed, but where many have buried their forebears – such advances are a catastrophe. In these scenes from Hugo Berkeley and Osvalde Levat’s documentary Land Rush, Malians battle to prevent the increasing acquisition of their land. Watch the full film here

BOLIVIA’S CHILD MINERS: ‘There is no god in the mine, it is a demon. Our breath is what keeps it from collapsing’


Deep within the mines that honeycomb the Cerro Rico mountain in Potosí, Bolivia, children risk their lives plundering the earth for precious metals. Miners, some as young as 11, brave toxic gases and possible tunnel cave-ins to provide for their families, while young girls must also protect themselves from violent, predatory males. Centuries of silver extraction has left the fearsome ‘mountain that eats men’, as Cerro Rico is known, on the brink of collapse. But as one teenager explains in these extracts from Raúl de la Fuente’s documentary Minerita, such perilous work must be endured as mining remains one of the few ways locals can make a living. Find out more about the film here

DANGEROUS ACTS: Belarus Free Theatre battles the KGB, dictatorship and exile 


Dangerous Acts follows a group of actors from Belarus who defied dictator Alexander Lukashenko by setting up an underground company tackling taboo subjects such as sexual orientation, alcoholism, suicide and politics. Their small theatre space in Minsk is in constant danger of being raided by police and many actors are now in exile, where they tour to great acclaim. Film-maker Madeleine Sackler used secret film smuggled out of Belarus to make her film. Find out more about the film and the group

THE GREAT NORTH KOREAN PICTURE SHOW


Behind the scenes of the propaganda movie industry: documentary film-makers Lynn Lee and James Leong followed the making of an anti-Japanese propaganda movie meant to glorify North Korea’s 50 year-old Songun or ‘military first’ campaign. These excerpts from their documentary, The Great North Korean Picture Show, reveal the determination of cast and crew to please the Pyongyang regime. Watch the full film here

YOU CAN’T CURE A RABID DOG: teaching Russian children to hate the ‘terrorists’ 


Russian children learn to hate ‘terrorists’ and love their country at the Kaskad military summer camp. Veterans of the Afghanistan invasion set up the camp to prepare young boys to fight. Many more like it have appeared since Vladimir Putin put nationalism at the centre of Russian politics. In these extracts from the documentary Summer with Anton, filmmaker Jasna Krajinovic follows a 12-year-old boy from the Moscow region as he learns to wield a gun and is told who his enemies are. Find out more here, or watch the whole film here

FIGHT LIKE SOLDIERS, DIE LIKE CHILDREN: Rwanda’s horrific legacy of genocide


In these extracts from Patrick Reed’s documentary Fight Like Soldiers, Die Like Children, he explains how the world ignored the massacres in Rwanda 20 years ago – while former child soldiers explain how they are still used to kill. Find out more about the full film here