A Life in Documentaries - Masters
poster My father and me
Nick Broomfield • UK • 2019 • 95 min
poster Marianne and Leonard: Words of Love
Nick Broomfield • UK • 2019 • 97 min
poster Tales of the Grim Sleeper
Nick Broomfield • UK • 2014 • 110 min

Nick Broomfield is one of the most influential documentary filmmakers in the world. In a career spanning over five decades, he has directed 35 documentaries investigating stories of iconic celebrities like Kurt Cobain, Whitney Houston, Leonard Cohen, Biggie and Tupac Shakur, politicians like Margaret Thatcher and Sarah Palin or serial killers like Aileen Wournos or Lonnie David Franklin Jr., also known as The Grim Sleeper. He has also made films about underprivileged children, female soldiers and sex workers.

Nick Broomfield started his career as an observational filmmaker and then developed his own signature style - appearing in his own documentaries and making the interaction with his subjects a key part of the film. He openly acknowledges that the intrusion of the filmmaker into the situation that is being filmed inevitably impacts and alters it, but believes that this is a more honest approach than to pretend that the filmmaker is not present. He wants his audiences to be aware of the filmmaker–subject interaction, so they can make up their own minds about where the truth lies. 

Nick Broomfield’s films have won numerous prestigious awards (including BAFTA, Sundance, Royal Television Society Award, Peabody, Grierson, Flaherty) and he has influenced many well-known documentary filmmakers like Louis Theroux and Morgan Spurlock.

Astra Film Festival will show three of his films in a mini-retrospective: Marianne & Leonard: Words of Love (2019), an in-depth look at the relationship between the exceptional musician Leonard Cohen and his Norwegian muse Marianne Ihlen, My Father and Me (2019), a very personal documentary exploring the filmmakers’ relationship with his father, a talented photographer, and Tales of the Grim Sleeper (2014), an investigation into the case of the notorious serial killer known as the Grim Sleeper, who terrorized South Central Los Angeles over a span of 25 years.