Entertainment

Where to Watch Every Documentary Nominated For This Year's Oscar

Netflix
Netflix
Netflix

With a nonstop news cycle and a spin machine set to “sensational,” there’s never been a more urgent time for documentaries that take their time and lean on extensive research. And it’s never been easier to watch such documentaries; nearly every one of the 45 films we named the best documentaries of 2017 are available to stream on Netflix, Hulu, HBO, Amazon Prime or another instant-watch platform. 

Where should you start? With Academy Awards less than a month away, the five films vying for the Oscar is an obvious way into the documentary conversation. This year’s batch range from heart-racing, investigative portraits to intimate explorations of family and friends. For your viewing pleasure, here are the nominees, and where to stream them.

PBS Distribution
PBS Distribution
PBS Distribution

Abacus: Small Enough to Jail

Director: Steve James (Hoop Dreams)
Why it’s great: Spotlighting a lesser-known tale of the financial crisis, this unapologetically Capra-esque film presents the story of Abacus Federal Savings Bank, the only institution to face criminal charges, rather than a beneficial bailout, for its involvement in the subprime mortgage debacle. Easily taken for granted because it’s not a broader or more hard-hitting work, the perfectly conventionally doc is in fact quite revealing of systemic racism and other grander issues in America and its judicial system. But it’s also primarily just a portrait of a single family coming together against an unfortunate situation and the goliath government prosecutors looking to make an example out of their business, a pillar of New York’s Chinatown community.
Where to see it right now: Stream on Amazon Prime; rent on iTunes, Amazon, and VUDU
Watch the trailer

Cohen Media Group
Cohen Media Group
Cohen Media Group

Faces Places

Directors: Agnès Varda (The Gleaners and IEllis)
Why it’s great: Agnès Varda is such a delightful little woman, charming every moment of this whimsical collaboration whether she’s jauntily chatting with strangers or expressing heartache about an old friend or her deteriorating eyesight. She and famed photographer JR, 55 years her junior, embark together on an art project field trip, snapping portraits of people in villages and on farms and in factories, then plastering giant prints of these works on building walls. Faces on facades. Varda and JR look like a mismatched pair, yet their loving respect for each other gives them terrific chemistry, making them the duo of the year, regardless of whether their endeavors are as interesting as they are.
Where to see it right now: In theaters
Watch the trailer

Netflix
Netflix
Netflix

Icarus

Directors: Bryan Fogel (Jewtopia)
Why it’s great: Fascinated by doping scandals and Lance Armstrong’s fall from grace, Fogel, a playwright and amateur cyclist, fell deeper into the chemical trend than he could have possibly imagined after connecting with Dr. Grigory Rodchenkov, who would reveal himself to be the director of the Russian laboratory in charge of aiding Olympic athletes. Icarus traces a line through a history of doping and Rodchenkov’s whistleblowing, which ignited fury in Russia and turned him into a political target. Fogel’s film is the rare science-minded doc that also plays like a Tom Clancy thriller.
Where to see it right now: Stream on Netflix
Watch the trailer

Grasshopper Films
Grasshopper Films
Grasshopper Films

Last Men in Aleppo

Director: Firas Fayyad, Steen Johannessen, and Hasan Katan
Why it’s great: We got a tease of the Syrian Civil Defence with the Oscar-winning short documentary film The White Helmets, but this feature-length showcase of the unbelievably courageous rescue workers provides a whole other experience, one that is almost overwhelming in its footage of death and destruction and also recovery. Not only does the film spotlight three of the brave White Helmets digging and saving and avoiding bombs themselves, but the filmmakers — including directors Fayyad and Katan and cinematographers Fadi al-Halabi, Thaher Mohamad and others — who capture the SCD’s stories deserve extra praise just for embedding and endangering their own lives to produce such a display of heroism and smuggle it out to be edited by their co-director, Johannessen, in Europe.
Where to see it: Stream on Netflix
Watch the trailer

Netflix
Netflix
Netflix

Strong Island

Director: Yance Ford
Why it’s great: First-time director Yance Ford takes a first-person approach to documenting the case of his brother’s murder in this emotionally gut-wrenching film memoir. It’s a true-crime doc, but it’s also an autobiographical family portrait — Ford’s main interview subjects are himself and his mother. It’s one of the more intimate profiles of a senselessly terminated black life, arriving at a time when many similar stories have entered the current social discourse. We obviously don’t get to meet William Ford, but we get to know the man before he was killed over a dispute about auto repairs. The film feels handmade in a tactile sense, as archival photographs are shared manually on screen, and Ford centers himself so close up that you can almost touch his tears.
Where to see it right now: Stream on Netflix
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Entertainment

Where to Celebrate Lunar New Year 2023 in Australia

And what it means to be in the year of the Rabbit.

where to celebrate lunar new year australia

Starting with the new moon on Sunday, January 22, this Lunar New Year ushers in the year of the Rabbit. We’ve put together a guide on celebrating the Lunar New Year in Australia.

What is special about the year of the Rabbit?

As you might know, each year has an animal sign in the Chinese Zodiac, which is based on the moon and has a 12-year cycle. This year, we celebrate the year of the rabbit, known to be the luckiest out of all twelve animals. It symbolises mercy, elegance, and beauty.

What celebrations are taking place and how can I get involved?

There are plenty of festivals happening all around the country which you can get involved with. Here they are per state.

New South Wales

Darling Harbour Fireworks
When: Every year, Sydney puts on a fireworks show, and this year, you can catch it on January 28 and February 4 at 9 pm in Darling Harbour.

Dragon Boat Races
When: Witness three days of dragon boat races and entertainment on Cockle Bay to usher in the Lunar New Year. The races will commence on January 27 and finish on January 29.

Lion Dances
When: Catch a traditional Lion Dance moving to the beat of a vigorous drum bringing good luck and fortune for the Lunar New Year. The dance performances will happen across Darling Harbour on Saturday, January 21, Sunday, January 22, and Sunday, February 4 and 5, around 6 pm and 9 pm.

Lunar New Year at Cirrus Dining
When: Barangaroo’s waterfront seafood restaurant, Cirrus, is celebrating the Year of the Rabbit with a special feast menu. Cirrus’ LNY menu is $128pp with optional wine pairing and is available from Saturday, January 21, to Sunday, February 5.

Auntie Philter
When: Hello Auntie’s owner and executive chef, Cuong Nguyen will be dishing out some of the most classic Vietnamese street foods with his mum, Linda. All of Philter’s favourites will be on offer, as well as Raspberry Pash Beer Slushies and other cocktails being served at the Philter Brewing rooftop bar on Sunday, January 22 and Sunday, January 29.

Victoria

Lunar New Year Festival
When: Ring in the Lunar New Year with food, music, arts, and more on Sunday, January 22, from 10 am to 9 pm.

Lunar New Year at the National Gallery of Victoria
When: Celebrate the year of the rabbit at the National Gallery of Victoria’s festival of art, food, and art-making activities for everyone from 10 am-5 pm.

Queensland

BriAsia Festival
When: From February 1-19, Brisbane will come alive with performances, including lion dances and martial arts displays. There will be street food, workshops, comedy and more.

South Australia

Chinatown Adelaide Street Party
When: Adelaide is set to hose a fun-filled day celebrating the Chinese New Year on Saturday, January 28, from 12 pm to 9 pm.

Western Australia

Crown Perth
When: Across January and February, Crown Perth hosts free live entertainment, including colourful lion dances, roving mascots, and drumming performances. The restaurants will also throw banquets and menus dedicated to the Lunar New Year.

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