If You Feel Like Combining Entertainment and Education: IDFA Film Recommendations

Editor’s Note: This piece is part of a collaboration between The Herring and AUC’s film committee CUT.

By Patrīcija Keiša

The International Documentary Filmfestival Amsterdam takes place from 14th to the 25th of November this year, offering a large scale caleidoscope of cinematic visions. These visions, carefully selected from all over the world, are both excellent and diverse. The documentary genre appears to be the exact space where entertainment and artistic vision meet education and social engagement, marrying them together in interdisciplinary curiosity. Since the search for excellence, diversity and interdisciplinarity is what has brought us, AUC students, to Amsterdam in the first place, IDFA provides a unique opportunity to further this pursuit and engage with what is going on in the city itself.

To make the orientation in the vast program of the festival easier, the CUT film committee hereby offers a mood based suggestion list.

(Don’t procrastinate on buying the tickets though, they are selling out quickly. All screenings are 8,50 with a student discount.)

If you feel like overanalyzing the society we live in…

A Strange Love Affair with Ego

A reflective visual essay about the increasing importance of ‘the self’ in our society, it explores the relationship between self-confidence, narcissism and the real ‘self’.


Now Something is Slowly Changing

An exploration of the growing self-help and mindfulness industry which coincides with the decrease of religious belief. “Now Something is Slowly Changing” inquires about the search for meaning in the modern society.


If you’re both intrigued and concerned by the current political affairs…

American Dharma

An extensive interview with the CEO of the 2016 Trump campaign and “the architect of Trumpism” in an attempt to understand the path that has lead him to become a leading figure of the alt-right movement.


Putin’s Witnesses

A close-up account of Vladimir Putin’s first year as Russian president in 2000, examining his rise to power and the development of his political agenda.


If you feel like reflecting on what it means to be female in the world we live in…

#Female Pleasure

In search for sexual liberation, this films carefully follows the stories of five women from all around the world.


If you want to feel young, wild & free…

Quand tout le monde dort

A group of young people in Paris search adventure and true freedom of expression by organising extraordinary underground parties.


If you are wondering about what the future might bring…

Earn a Living

Seven short documentaries exploring the concept of Universal Basic Income and its possible repercussions.


If you feel like exploring the borders of intimacy…

Touch me not

Blurring the line between reality and fiction, this film is an exploration of the human need for intimacy and varying perceptions of beauty. This film is the winner of the grand prix of the Berlin International Film Festival 2018.


Jonathan Agassi Saved My Life

A portrait of the Israeli gay porn star Jonathan Agassi, following his unusual career but also the extreme lifestyle and childhood traumas hiding behind the impression of success and happiness. There is also a unique screening followed by a discussion with Jonathan himself and the film’s director.


If you wonder what life in the Netherlands is like outside Amsterdam…

Sheep Hero

The film follows one of the last traditional Dutch shepherds who struggles to maintain his eco-friendly way of life in late stage capitalism.


If you want to ponder the poetic diversity of our world…

Shorts: Is It a Dream?

A selection of four visually poetic international short films dealing with the aftermaths of war, transformation of memories, the human relation to nature and an ironic vision on the consumerist entertainment industry.

These films are connected by their strength of image and, with their seeming lack of thematic relatedness, they remind about the vastly different realities that always exist in parallel to the world as we know it.


Special thanks to Sofie Keijzer who is currently pursuing an internship at the IDFA.

Photo source

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