TWO JEWS ON A CRUISE: A WONDERLAND FILM
“One of the warmest, funniest, wisest and most improbable love stories you could ever hope to see…an unmissable portrait of a rich and remarkable relationship”. The Times
WONDERLAND: A HASIDIC GUIDE TO LOVE, MARRIAGE AND FINDING A BRIDE
“A gemstone in the marshes of the May-time viewing schedules, a documentary brimful of life, joy and sweetness. In one sense this was straight-up anthropology, a no-frills peek inside a fascinating community. However it aimed much higher than that and achieved much more, taking us behind the frock coats and the rituals to the beating hearts of the people beneath.” Daily Express
“Paddy Wivell gained astonishing access for his film, which feature two very different Hasidic men philosophising on love, matrimony and religion. It’s fascinating to press your nose up against a window onto a closed community, especially when its people have their guard around their ankles.” Radio Times
“While some would have settled for an ‘aren’t they weird’ storyline in A Hasidic Guide… Paddy Wivell looked for common ground. It made me realize the next time I’m passing through Stamford Hill, I’ll be seeing individuals and stories, not lumping everyone together into some kind of alien tribe.” Metro
“There’s a warmth and joyfulness running all the way through this documentary that belies its forbidding exterior. Whereas second-rate television sneers at the unfamiliar and wallows in its strangeness, this film finds a shared and delightful humanity.” The Times
“The latest dispatch from the off-kilter documentary strand is so charming that you have to wonder why the BBC has scheduled it at the same time as its rating behemoth The Apprentice. The result is a fascinating film that delves into a community that most know very little about.” The Sunday Telegraph
“Paddy Wivell’s terrific documentary challenges expectations of what these individuals are like in a film packed with humour.” The Mail on Sunday
“There are no conclusions or generalisations on life as a Hasidic Jew – each man represents only himself. Viewers instantly warm to them through their imperfections.” The Jewish News
“To make this memorable film, Paddy Wivell spent three months with the Hasidic Jewish community of Stamford Hill and the result is an engaging mix of wisdom, tradition, history and humour. Recommended.” The Observer
“A sympathetic study of lives that were simultaneously alien and familiar – a reminder that even the most strenuous attempts to separate yourself from the world at large can’t mask the universals of parenthood and marriage.” The Independent
“A film that works as both entertaining character study and serious theological research project.” Time Out.
“Wonderland gave us a highly engaging hour starring some highly engaging Orthodox Jews.” The Times
“Paddy Wivell offers a tantalising glance at Hasidic making customs, which show how this unique group blends religious law with modern daily life.” The Guardian.
“There have been previous incursions into the tightly knit Hasidic Jewish community in north London, but Paddy Wivell’s ‘A Hasidic Guide…’ must be one of the deepest.” The Independent
CUTTING EDGE: THE AIR HOSPITAL
“As this film shows, the perilous and horrendous circumstances in Afghanistan are matched only by the heroism and humility of those forced to endure them. It’s a distressing and stark reminder of the horrors of war…an incredibly humbling doc.” Time Out.
“The documentary follows some of their stories and reflects the extraordinary commitment and humour of the medical crew.” Express
“This was one of those films that couldn’t help but make you feel worthless in what you do.” The Guardian.
“The terrible, shameful price of war was exposed in the sobering Cutting Edge film, The Air Hospital which offered a revealing, angry and despairing look at the war in Afghanistan…evoked an abiding sense of hopelessness, of lives damaged and ruined by a never ending nightmare.” The Scotsman
“There have been some gripping documentaries about the war in Afghanistan in recent years and this is one of the best.” The Oracle.
“This is the sort of film that creeps up on you…it adds up to an obliquely powerful insight into the life of soldiers caught up in a terrible environment.” Radio Times
“Powerful…the empathy and professionalism of the medics is overwhelming to watch…” The Times
“Paddy Wivell”s quietly powerful ‘Cutting Edge’ documentary…” The Independent
“…a shocking insight into the war in Afghanistan.” TV Times
“A powerful insight into the life of soldiers’ caught up in a terrible environment.” TVWales
“The original idea of The Air Hospital (Channel 4) was to show us the work of the C-17 Globemaster…which would have made for a powerful enough documentary on its own. Yet by chance, the programme also happened to cover one of the most disturbing stories of the whole war…a compelling and intimate documentary.” The Daily Telegraph
CUTTING EDGE: ALEX – A PASSION FOR LIFE
“It’s hard to find words to describe how inspiring this film is. You’ll?just have to watch it.” The Times
“A heart-warming and poignant reminder that life is for living… an extraordinary?new film.” Daily Mail
“A wonderful, life-affirming film.” Radio Times Documentary of the Week
LOUIS THEROUX: LAW AND DISORDER IN JOHANNESBURG
“Who’d have thought it? Just when his trademark faux-naif questioning of dizzyingly vacuous celebrities and mad people was getting to look a little tired, Theroux has reinvented himself as a fearless investigative reporter. And, my goodness, it works. He brilliantly portrays a society that leaves him – and us – confused, shocked, enlightened. An award-winner surely.” The Observer
LOUIS THEROUX’S AFRICAN HUNTING HOLIDAY
“A surprisingly earnest Louis Theroux sniffed out all sorts of people, including bone-dry, slightly sinister South Africans in khaki shorts and beefy, blue collar Americans in search of a kudu head or zebra skin to adorn their walls. Louis should have had a field day with these types. But that doesn’t seem to be his bag these days. ?Instead, our presenter seemed genuinely concerned to know what made them tick. Rather than making fools of them, he took them to the point where they bared their souls.
Like his previous show, which took him around one of America’s toughest prisons, San Quentin, this one didn’t deliver what we’d expected, and was all the better for it.
…But there was also something more mysterious going on – a surreal love affair between the beasts and the men who killed them – something very old, much like those paintings found in French caves. Rather than laugh at it, Louis let it speak for itself.” The Express.
“It is shaped with loving care. If it were a sculpture it would be a Henry
Moore. If it were a steak it wouldn’t have an ounce of fat on it.
Each scene whizzes by and each character zings off the screen.” Radio Times
“Another winner, mixing an intriguing culinary project with a cheeky peek at Oliver’s own full-on lifestyle” Mail on Sunday
“Another raw and intimate film by director Paddy Wivell” The Daily Telegraph
“Powerful” The Times
“Another absorbing story in this five-part series” The Daily Express
“Compelling” Evening Standard
“Tender, Thoughtful” The independent
“Documentary-maker Paddy Wivell spent a year filming Campbeltown’s teen culture. His report outraged many, but has he simply exposed a painful truth about isolated communities?” The Observer
THE CONMAN HIS LOVER AND THE PRIME MINISTER’S WIFE
“A thriller…Gruesome but impossible to ignore” Evening Standard
“Gripping and insightful. An extraordinary piece of work.” Front Row, BBC Radio 4
“Riveting” The Observer
“Jaw –droppingly compulsive” Independent on Sunday
“An insight into the life of two people at the centre of a media whirlwind.” The Daily Telegraph
“Compulsive… Surprisingly poignant” The Sunday Telegraph
BOYS & GIRLS
“A deeply affecting documentary about a troubled girl trying to cope with the cruelty of the playground at a primary school in Hackney, East London. If that sounds entirely bleak, it isn’t. Beautifully shot, it is one of the most optimistic films about an inner-city school. It captures perfectly the shifting allegiances among children as they strive for friendship and belonging; it proves that no child should ever be treated as a lost cause, and it features a head teacher of immeasurable warmth and kindness.” The Times
“A documentary to make you give thanks and say “there but for the grace of God…” Devoid of hang-wringing or judgements, Paddy Wivell’s film shocks and saddens – but in the figure of Tricia it has a reassuring leavening of hope too.” Daily Telegragh
“The attempts we see in Boys & Girls to make an education out of Carla’s love and Jordan’s admiration must be invested before any measurable performance begins at all. Time, energy, emotion: are all spent on just trying to make these children capable of functioning. The teachers are social workers, psychoanalysts, nurses and surrogate parents. No wonder the fight to persuade more people to teach in their schools is one that needs every possible inducement.” Deborah Orr, The Independent
“An eye-opener to more affluent viewers.” The Independent
“The documentary’s strength lies in successfully persuading us to identify with Carla from a very early stage,,,a very touching documentary.” The Observer
“Anybody who still thinks that childhood is a time of blessed innocence and that little girls are made of sugar and spice should have watched Boys and Girls. The programme absorbingly charted dynamics of the playground much as David Attenborough maps the shifting relationships in a pack of monkeys.” Daily Express
“The film clearly reveals how just one person taking an active interest can make a huge difference.” Time Out.
“Terrific.” The Sunday Times
CUTTING EDGE: CLAPHAM COMMON
“What turned this slice of life into a deeply moving portrait of people’s inner lives as they struggled with their hopes and fears were director Paddy Wivell brilliant questions. Never trite he went straight to the heart of what made people tick. It was full of the joys and sadnesses familiar to us all. And it was a masterpiece .” The Daily Mail
“Paddy Wivell’s portrait of Clapham Common was about as perfect a London documentary as you are going to find.” Evening Standard
“A poignant picture of the spaces between people, and the human need for connection” The Guardian
“Paddy Wivell couldn’t direct a column of ants to a melting bar of chocolate.” The Sun
SHORT STORIES: FOR LOVE OR MONEY
“If one of TV’s functions is to offer a look into the lives of others, this should get a Bafta.” The Express
“Paddy Wivell’s direction had me on edge throughout. A starred, first class production. Exactly the sort of enthralling and provocative documentary that Channel 4 was set up to screen. Outrageous and anarchic, yet also intelligent with a delightful depravity reminiscent of Warhol’s film’s in the early 1970′s” Evening standard
“Paddy Wivell’s film is fascinating as much for what it depicts as what it doesn’t. There are none of the clichés about seedy rent boys and it is entirely non-judgemental. Intriguing and tantalisingly short.” Time Out.
“Wivell’s film is a very touching portait of a fragile intimacy.” The Glasgow Herald
“About as candid as it gets, really, short of placing cameras beneath a large glass coffee table.” The Guardian