Documentaries in May Celebrating the Art and Craft of Photography

TVO is celebrating the art and craft of photography all month long in May with these enlightening and eye-popping documentaries featuring stunning photographs and brilliant photographers. Documentaries available now include National Geographic Photographers: The Best Job in the WorldDorothea Lange: Grab a Hunk of LighteningConflictCinema Through the Eye of MagnumWhich Way Is the Front Line from Here? – The Life and Time of Tim HetheringtonBeautifully Broken: The Life and Work of Rafael Goldchain, Raghu Rai: An Unframed Portrait, and Finding Vivian Maier.

Watch these documentaries now and look for more throughout May including profiles of Iranian war photographer Saeid Sadeghi, social documentary photographer and photojournalist Sebastião Salgado, photographer and documentary filmmaker Robert Frank, and King Tut excavation photographer Harry Burton.

Stronger than a Bullet

As a photojournalist, Saeid Sadeghi documented the Iran-Iraq War from 1980 to 1988. Today he is tormented by regret for his support of the Iranian Revolution, and searches for survivors to confront this pain. This film portrait directed by Maryam Ebrahimi is also an essay on ideology, propaganda and the power of the image.

The Man Who Shot Tutankhamun

Margaret Mountford travels to Egypt’s Valley of the Kings to explore the story of an unsung hero of photography – Harry Burton, the man whose images of the Tutankhamun excavation created a global sensation in the 1920s.

Salt of the Earth (Video available ’till June 24)

For 40 years, Brazilian photographer Sebastião Salgado has been travelling across the continents in the footsteps of humanity. He has witnessed some of the major events of recent history: international conflicts, starvation, and exodus. This biographical documentary directed by Wim Wenders and Juliano Ribeiro Salgado, the subject’s son, follows four decades of the photographer’s work and the start of a huge project that pays tribute to grandiose landscapes.

Finding Vivian Maier (Video Available until June 10, 2018)

Tracing the story of a career nanny whose previously unknown cache of 100,000 photographs earned her a posthumous reputation as one of the most accomplished and insightful street photographers. 

Raghu Rai: An Unframed Portrait

A documentary portrait of Magnum photojournalist Raghu Rai and his 50-year journey capturing the history of India as it unfolds. Rai’s story is told through the eyes of his daughter, emerging filmmaker Avani Rai, who accompanies him across Kashmir to cover civil unrest in the region.

National Geographic Photographers: The Best Job in the World (Video available ’till June 3, 2018)

For 125 years, men and women with cameras slung around their necks have tramped every corner of the planet to bring back photographs that will grace the pages of National Geographic magazine. 

Dorothea Lange: Grab a Hunk of Lightening (Video available ’till June 3, 2018)

Exploring the life, loves and work of iconic photographer Dorothea Lange. In 1933, unable to stand the discrepancy between her profitable, safe portrait studio and what was happening in the Depression-torn streets of San Francisco, Lange set herself a challenge: to go into the streets to photograph what was really there. Lange’s granddaughter, Dyanna Taylor, directed this documentary that reveals the personal price of Lange’s photographic achievements.


The world’s best conflict photographers take us behind the lens and into their lives. Witness their personal and professional battles to engage with, understand, handle, capture and present different forms of conflict in the hopes of making the world better.

Cinema Through the Eye of Magnum

Capturing the intimate and previously undocumented encounter between the photojournalists of the Magnum agency and the world of cinema. For 70 years, these photographers from the world of documentary and war reporting have observed the world of movie stars – from James Dean to Marilyn Monroe to Orson Welles, Kate Winslet and Sean Penn – as they would any conflict, social issue or country on the map.

Which Way Is the Front Line from Here – The Life and Time of Tim Hetherington

Shortly after the release of his documentary, photographer Tim Hetherington was killed in Libya. Colleague and filmmaker Sebastian Junger traces Hetherington’s work across the world’s battlefields to reveal how he transcended the boundaries of image-making to become a luminary in his profession.

Beautifully Broken: The Life and Work of Rafael Goldchain

Documenting the intimate connection between the renowned Canadian contemporary photographer’s life and his body of work. Rafael Goldchain’s photographs have been exhibited in in the National Gallery of Canada, the Museum of Modern Art, and the Bibliothèque in Paris.