Must-watch documentaries for 2018

Originally published by Amnesty International UK, with files added by Amnesty International Canada

So you binge-watched the new series of Black Mirror before 2017 had even finished. What next? Here are six films for you to seek out over the next 12 months that’ll keep you entertained and informed, while making you think about the world we live in.  

Human Flow

‘Being a refugee…is the most pervasive kind of cruelty that can be exercised against a human being.’ The opening remark of the trailer for Ai Weiwei’s new documentary about migrants seeking safety is a poignant reminder of the fact that right now, tens of millions of men, women and children have been displaced from their homes – and that we must do more to help them. Watch the trailer below, and click here to see how you can watch it at home

Our People Will Be Healed

Prolific Abenaki filmmaker Alanis Obomsawin’s latest documentary gives a renewed sense of hope for First Nations children. Our People Will Be Healed focuses on the Helen Betty Osborne Ininiw Education Resource Centre, an innovative school in Manitoba’s largest First Nations community, Norway House, located 800 km north of Winnipeg. The school receives a level of funding that few other Indigenous institutions enjoy, since First Nations education is estimated to be under-funded by $665 millions dollars per year. Children thrive in this environment where they are able to learn their Cree language, history,culture and practical lessons about living off the land, while still taking more traditional classes. The film will be available for screening on the National Film Board of Canada website later in 2018. 

Fahrenheit 11/9

Oscar-winning filmmaker Michael Moore returns with an explosive new documentary about Donald Trump. While the title is reminiscent of Moore’s critically-acclaimed Fahrenheit 9/11 from over a decade ago, it is actually a reference to 9 November 2016, the date Trump was declared president of the United States. The film has been shrouded in secrecy with a release date yet to be announced, so it’s certainly one to look forward to later in the year. 

XY Chelsea

We were thrilled when prominent American whistleblower Chelsea Manningwalked free from Fort Leavenworth’s detention centre last year, so we’re keen to see what XY Chelsea has to show about her life and career. The documentary follows the fight to get her out of prison, and her experience as a trans woman, both in and out of jail. Granted unique access to Chelsea herself, filmmaker Tim Travers Hawkins said: ‘With Chelsea emerging from confinement, the journey of this film has reached its most historic and exciting moment.’

A Better Man

Attiya Khan was 18 years old when she fled her boyfriend Steve who had been abusing her on a daily basis. In her ground breaking documentary she meets up with Steve 22 years later to find out whether or not he will take responsibility for his violent actions towards her. This movie takes a fresh look at the healing that can come from men taking responsibility for their actions. Amnesty International Canada will be hosting screenings of A Better Man across Canada later this year, (sign up here to receive an email when Amnesty events will be taking place in your city) and it can also be streamed on TVO. If you are interested in hosting a screening of this movie please contact Jackie Hansen, or find out more by clicking here


Swedish rapper Silvana Imam is the star of this this refreshing documentary that follows the unique artist over three years. The film begins during Sweden’s 2014 election in which a nationalist group becomes the country’s third biggest party. Against this context, Silvana’s mixed Lithuanian and Syrian heritage provides an interesting commentary on Sweden’s relationship with race. At the same time, her budding romance with fellow pop star Beatrice Eli also propels her to icon status within her country’s LGBTQ community, creating a compelling insight into the life of one person standing up for the minority communities she counts herself a part of. Check out the trailer below.