DocPlay: new films streaming this week

Your guide to the best documentaries to stream on DocPlay from 8 to 14 July 2024.

New to DocPlay this week

Ablaze (8 July)

Tiriki Onus finds a 70-year-old film believed to be made by his grandfather, Aboriginal leader and filmmaker Bill Onus. Tiriki pieces together the film’s origins and discovers more about Bill’s fight for Aboriginal rights.

Read: Academic, advocate, singer and filmmaker Tiriki Onus discusses the film made by his grandfather William ‘Bill’ Onus and the documentary it inspired:

It’s interesting that a lot of the work Bill and his contemporaries were doing in the early and middle part of the 20th century in cultural reclamation was about finding smart and innovative ways to practise culture and tell stories,’ he says.

‘For a lot of that time, across a lot of Australia, it was illegal for people to speak their language, to engage in ceremony and dance. Oftentimes, they weren’t even allowed to fraternise with their own family members.’

Tiriki Onus wraps his daughter Ninda in a possum skin cloak in Ablaze.

Beyond hoping that Ablaze resonates with audiences, Onus would like it to help more stories to resurface.

‘I hope it spurs people to ask questions about what they’ve missed out on,’ he says, ‘living here, enjoying the benefits of this country and our communities, but at the same time wondering about the stories we could have been telling had all of us collectively, black, white, brindle, wherever we’re from, had the opportunity to engage more deeply.

‘I’m really pleased that opportunity hasn’t slipped away.’

Tiriki Onus discusses Ablaze on ScreenHub

Mabo: Life of an Island Man (8 July)

Mabo – Life of an Island Man is the story of a small island and an extraordinary man, Eddie Koiki Mabo. Directed by Trevor Graham.

Added recently to DocPlay

In Restless Dreams: The Music of Paul Simon (4 July)

The definitive musical biography of Paul Simon – one of the greatest songwriters and performers in the history of rock ‘n roll. From Oscar-winning director Alex Gibney.

Second to None – Episode Three (1 July)

Series. After years of riding in the shadow of their male counterparts, one team of incredible athletes must band together, overcome the low, and ride the highs to claim their place at the top of the professional cycling world. Episode 3 follows Australian Olympian and national champion Amanda ‘Spratty’ Spratt as she prepares to race the notorious Tourmalet hill stage.

ReadDocPlay launches first original commission: Second to None

Helicopter Warfare (13 June)

Featuring stories from the Vietnam, Falklands, Afghanistan and Iraq wars, Helicopter Warfare tells the stories of some of the most daring helicopter missions of all time.

Stop Making Sense (4K) (13 June)

Newly restored in 4K to coincide with its 40th anniversary, the 1984 film was directed by renowned filmmaker Jonathan Demme and is considered by critics to be the greatest concert film of all time.

The Art of Silence

The first feature-length documentary about Marcel Marceau and his work, which inspired and accompanied several generations of artists.

Second to None (17 June)

With an all-access-pass, Second to None follows the elite Lidl-Trek women’s cycling team, which includes two-time Australian Olympian and three-time national champion Amanda Spratt, as they prepare for and race the thrilling Tour de France Femmes. With women’s sport on the agenda more than ever, this gripping series is incredibly timely and the perfect companion piece to watch ahead of the men’s Tour de France beginning June 29.

The Last Goldfish (20 June)

A daughter’s search for her lost family stretches from Australia to Trinidad and WWII Germany. Rich with archival images, Australian director Su Goldfish’s autobiographical documentary echoes through all those touched by forced migration.

Paul Dalgarno is author of the novels A Country of Eternal Light (2023) and Poly (2020); the memoir And You May Find Yourself (2015); and the creative non-fiction book Prudish Nation (2023). He was formerly Deputy Editor of The Conversation and joined ScreenHub as Managing Editor in 2022. X: @pauldalgarno. Insta: @dalgarnowrites