This month, JB Hi-Fi celebrates those that have left an indelible impression on their chosen fields – from music and motorsport, to building a better future – with a selection of must-see documentaries that dig deep and illuminate their extraordinary achievements.
BROCK: OVER THE TOP
Director Kriv Stenders (Danger Close) is behind the wheel of this candid and insightful documentary feature on Australia’s “messiah of motorsport”, the legendary Peter Brock. Featuring rare archival footage and revealing interviews with Brock’s colleagues and nearest and dearest, Stenders paints an intimate portrait of the Aussie icon, whose legend was cemented following his record-breaking six lap victory at Bathurst in 1979. Available to own on August 26 – pre-order your copy now.
THE AUSTRALIAN DREAM
An unflinching account of the events that drove Adam Goodes – one of the AFL’s most decorated players – into early retirement. When Goodes singled out a young supporter for a racist slur, it created a media circus and national debate that led to persistent booing from crowds, ultimately sending him into self-imposed exile. Featuring interviews with media commentators, fellow Indigenous players and other greats of the game, this is a powerful and sobering wake-up call on racism that every Australian should see.
THEY SHALL NOT GROW OLD
Peter Jackson brings World War One into the 21st century with this incredible project that transforms historical footage into living colour. Moreover, Jackson sets the entire film in the trenches on the Western Front, eschewing the viewpoint of generals and politicians to instead tell the story of the ordinary soldier. This astonishing technical achievement is a visual time machine that breathes life and vitality into one of the bloodiest conflicts in history in a way never seen before.
This Oscar-winning documentary feature captures the daring Alex Honnold’s unprecedented climb on the sheer face of El Capitan in Yosemite National Park in 2017 – scaling over 900m of this majestic formation unaided by rope. It’s a remarkable combination of technique, sheer grit and courage and your palms will sweat as you experience every vertiginous moment, breathtakingly captured by filmmakers Jimmy Chin and Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi.
Filmed in 1972, over two nights, inside LA’s New Temple Missionary Baptist Church, Amazing Grace documents the Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin (aged 29), recording her album of the same name – the most popular gospel album of all time and also Aretha’s highest-selling record. Her medley of You’ve Got a Friend and Precious Lord, Take My Hand wonderfully showcases her amazing, God-given gift. May Aretha’s spiritual legacy live on…
MYSTIFY: MICHAEL HUTCHENCE
Michael Hutchence was a born rockstar just waiting for the songs that would propel him onto the world stage. Filmmaker Richard Lowenstein’s documentary on the late INXS frontman is an oral history complemented by visual montages of rarely seen footage and scenes from intimate home movies, with audio commentary supplied by family members, managers, producers, friends, and ex-girlfriends (including Kylie Minogue).
THE JINX: THE LIFE AND DEATHS OF ROBERT DURST
True Crime buffs should not miss this gripping and startling six-part series that delves into the seven-year investigation involving New York real estate scion Robert Durst – the prime suspect in the disappearance of his wife in 1982 and two subsequent brutal murders. Dig into police evidence, archival and contemporary interviews, private prison recordings, and be prepared for a shocking twist…
For progressives, US Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and her colleague Sonia Sotomayor are the last line in defence against a conservative onslaught to rewrite long established legal precedence. This inspiring portrait of RBG is testimony to her strength of character, achievements, and why she’s still fighting the good fight.
Conceived as a visual letter to his four-year-old daughter, Aussie filmmaker Damon Gameau’s documentary feature demystifies climate change and explores what the future might look like if we simply embraced the best solutions already available to us to improve our planet. A good – albeit more user-friendly – companion piece to Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth (2006).