This documentary about the 1989 disaster at Sheffield Wednesday’s ground Hillsborough – in which 96 fans of the football team Liverpool tragically lost their lives while attending an FA Cup semi-final match – was originally made in 2014. It has recently been updated to reflect the findings of the latest in a series of long-running inquests, as well as a jury-led ruling that the 96 who died were unlawfully killed, thereby exonerating the behaviour of fans on the day after a 27-year-long campaign by the families of victims. (Among other things South Yorkshire Police – along with the Conservative government at the time – had stated that the blame for the disaster lay with drunk and ticketless fans who had forced their way in and caused the fatal crush; this has since been proven to be untrue.) Director Daniel Gordon’s 120 minute film is exhaustive and upsetting, mixing interviews with surviving family members, campaigners and policemen who were working at the ground on the day with archive footage of the disaster and the events which followed. There are too many gripping and moving accounts to list here, so suffice it to say you’re left with plenty of respect for the family members and others who have fought tirelessly for close to three decades for justice, and admiration for the actions of some of the policemen, some of whom are still traumatised by what they saw. Gordon’s film is meticulous in its re-telling of the past 27 years, and quitely damns the figures and institutions that were behind the lies. The one moot point for me is that Hillsborough includes dramatic recreations of past conversations or incidents, which is a device I often view suspiciously or feel is unnecessary, particularly within documentaries that are otherwise concerned with cold, hard facts.

Directed by: Daniel Gordon.
Cinematography: Nick Bennett.
Editing: Andy Worboys.
Music: Tim Atack.
Certificate: Unknown.
Running Time: 121 minutes.
Year: 2016 (originally released in 2014).