5 uplifting films

Need a little cheer this holiday season? We have five uplifting films to recommend, that you can watch right now with your library card!


MAVIS! is the first documentary on gospel/soul music legend and civil rights icon Mavis Staples and her family group, The Staple Singers.  At 75, she’s making the most vital music of her career, winning Grammy awards, and reaching a new generation of fans. Her message of love and equality is needed now more than ever.


IRIS pairs legendary documentarian Albert Maysles (GREY GARDENS, GIMME SHELTER) with Iris Apfel, the quick-witted, flamboyantly dressed 93-year-old New York style icon and muse. More than just a fashion film, it is a story about creativity, design and how her soaring free spirit continues to inspire. IRIS portrays a woman whose enthusiasm for fashion, art and people are life’s sustenance and reminds us that dressing, and indeed life, is nothing but an experiment.


MARY MEETS MOHAMMAD is the story of an unlikely friendship. Australia’s first asylum-seeker detention centre in Tasmania opens, and local knitting club member Mary is a pensioner and devout Christian who does not welcome the 400 male asylum seekers from Afghanistan.

Mary unexpectedly finds herself in regular contact with Mohammad, a 26 year old Muslim man, after her knitting club donates beanies to the detainees. Mary sheds many of her prior beliefs as her relationship with Mohammad deepens. Despite this Mary remains uncomfortable with Mohammad’s Islamic religion. When knitter Joy, hosts them at her fishing shack for a few days, will a connection of common humanity prevail for Mary and Mohammad?


MISTAKEN FOR STRANGERS is a truly hilarious, unusual, and moving film about two brothers, Matt and Tom Berninger.

Matt, the lead singer of the critically acclaimed rock band The National, finally finds himself flush with success. His younger brother, Tom, is a loveable slacker – a filmmaker and metal-head still living with his parents in Cincinnati. On the eve of The National’s biggest tour to date, Matt invites Tom to work for the band as a roadie, unaware of Tom’s plan to film the entire adventure.


THE TOPP TWINS: UNTOUCHABLE GIRLS is  a revealing look into the lives of the World’s only comedic, country singing, dancing, and yodeling lesbian twin sisters. As well as rarely seen archive footage and home movies, the film features a series of special interviews with some of the Topp’s infamous comedy alter-egos including candid chats with the two Kens, Camp Mother and Camp Leader, the Bowling Ladies and the Posh Socialite sisters, Prue and Dilly.

These films and many more are available to stream for free with a Fremantle City Library membership.