New History and Film Studies Documentaries on Into Film+ Premium

25 Oct 2023 in Into Film+

7 mins

A hand-picked selection of documentaries that support cross-curriculum learning for History, Music and Film Studies are now available to stream on Into Film+ Premium. The films have been chosen by our curation, resources and training teams for their engaging approach and their relevance to topics covered in the National Curriculum for England. 

The newly-added titles include stunning video reportage from National Geographic, behind-the-scenes access to the world's biggest theatre stages and film studios, eye-opening archival footage and much more.

We are producing short bite-sized resources that help educators to apply the content of these documentaries directly to the National Curriculum for England and exam specification assessment objects for GCSE and A level teaching. Look out for Premium Extras which will be linked on the documentary resource pages.


The immersive nature of the audiovisual format allows learners to be guided through episodes of history that may feel remote or unfathomable. Ancient, fossilised relics become animated and visceral through storytelling, 3D modelling and sound design can help visualise the inside of pyramids. This selection of documentaries includes factual programmes about early civilisations, suitable for Primary and lower Secondary school audiences learning about Ancient EgyptStonehenge, and Pompei.

Creative and engaging presentations of archive material demonstrate how important it is to preserve history for future generations to learn from. The expertly restored footage in these documentaries re-create a vivid atmosphere of what it was like to live through wartime. The following films uncover the Second World War through soldiers' experiences on the Front, as well as the story behind German propaganda filmmaking. The social, political, and technological changes in post-war Britain are explored in a documentary by Ken Loach.

Several of the newly added titles offer the opportunity to delve deeper into the backgrounds of individual historical figures, including German philosopher Karl Marx, American Civil Rights campaigner Martin Luther King Jr., and Nigerian musician Fela Kuti. These portraits explore the political context and the cultural legacy of the people who shaped history.

Seeing powerful portrayals and inclusive representation on TV broadcasts and on stage can also help young people identify with history's protagonists. The documentaries examine the impact of history's trailblazers, be it though ground-breaking political journalism, by empowering women in STEM professions, or by inspiring a hit Broadway show that retells history through hip-hop.

Film Studies

This selection of documentaries passionately and proudly explore the multifaceted world of films and filmmaking and a number of them give an insightful overview of various aspects of how film tells stories and the way that these stories can shape our understanding of the world and wider media. The positive effect of cinema on mental health and the power of our most popular modern genres are entertainingly examined whilst the strength and curiousity that cinema can give young people alongside the complications of the documentary genre are also spotlighted.

Through informed exploration of some of the the key figures throughout film's storied history, we can learn so much about a medium that can seem so elusive. Hitchcock gives us so much to consider that there are no less than three documentaries to peruse, focusing on everything from his entire career through to specific scenes or his life philosophy. Additionally Ken Loach, one of Britain's most important directors, has his own, very different, outlook on film that is more than worth exploring too.

Alternatively, we can learn about careers in film through detailed probing of its key components and disciplines and this last selection of films is a fantastic way to build a knowledge base of how the both the artform and the industry operate. Film is, of course, not just a visual medium and we have two documentaries that delve into the aspects of both film sound and film music whilst the advantages of zeroeing in on a filmmaker's career is a rewarding and enlightening experience. Lastly, we cannot forget that art cannot exist without criticism, giving us the chance to celebrate one of cinema's greatest thinkers.

This Article is part of: Into Film+

Find out all about the Into Film+ streaming platform, and check out the latest films added and available to stream.

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