Miriam Makeba is an artist, a symbol, and a woman in the fractured documentary Mama Africa, but never all three at once. Mika Kaurismäki toggles between these roles in his 2011 biography of the South African singer and civil rights activist.
Documentarians Kate McIntyre Clere and Mick McIntyre take fellow Australians to task for their treatment of kangaroos, the free-roaming indigenous animals that elicit loathing as much as wonderment.
The feature debut of Howard L. Weiner, an eminent neurologist who directed the documentary What Is Life? The Movie, is a compassionate portrayal of lives stripped down to bare essentials by aging, illness, and loss.
Focusing on Billy’s vulnerability as much as his flamboyance (Alex Lawther handles both with aplomb), Trudie Styler charts his hard-won maturation with sobering insights into his warring parents and fellow students cowed into obedience.
Love Beats Rhymes is more of a showcase for star Azealia Banks than director RZA, but his influence is still felt in this formulaic hip-hop romance, which exudes the generosity of an experienced artist putting a young musician in the best possible light. Banks’s first film isn’t a self-congratulatory star vehicle.