Nick Broomfield: Documenting Icons


This six-disc box set covers documentary-maker Nick Broomfield's work from the early '80s through to the late '90s, before he took to heckling higher profile media circuses (Kurt And Courtney, Biggie And Tupac).

Soldier Girls sees our passive-aggressive antagonist picking up the strange, sorry stories of recruits at an all-female boot camp in Georgia, while Chicken Ranch is a claustrophobic little film about the vivacious, damaged "ladies" at a legal brothel on the outskirts of Las Vegas. He really hits a groove with 1991's The Leader, His Driver And The Driver's Wife, boldly striding into the Afrikaner heartland of post-Apartheid South Africa to confront the monstrous Eugene Terreblanche and his shambling ranks of bigots. Tracking Down Maggie, meanwhile, sees Broomfield honing his stalker approach for an extended pester of Tory harpy Mrs Thatcher; Fetishes is an amusing peek at thrill-seekers and discipline-dealers at a New York S&M parlour.

All are spirited and startling, but it's Heidi Fleiss: Hollywood Madam that trailblazed the idea of the doc as event movie. Broomfield flirts for England with the asexual Tinseltown procurer, gradually hauling up a stubborn rock to reveal Hollywood's squirming underworld of users and abusers.

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