Alongside the influx of school-holiday kids movies, it’s an unusually rich time for documentaries right now.

From never-before-seen Beatles footage, to endurance tickling and scuffles with Scientologists, the truth is way more entertaining than fiction.

The Beatles: Eight Days A Week – The Touring Years

It would be impossible to tell the entire story of The Beatles in one documentary, so director Ron Howard focuses on the years during which things were at their peak. In some ways, the calm before the storm.

Set between 1962 and 1966, The Beatles: Eight Days A Week – The Touring Years documents the band’s rise to fame and the spread of Beatlemania. Released for a limited season only, the film features rare and exclusive footage from private collections and from the band members themselves.

The Beatles Eight Days A Week – The Touring Years is screening at Dendy Cinemas, Event Cinemas, Palace Cinemas and Hayden Orpheum.

A Beautiful Planet 3D

Short but sweet at 47 minutes, A Beautiful Planet shows our home in a way usually reserved only for a very select few. Filmed from the International Space Station by astronauts trained by cinematographer James Neihouse, the film weaves together a story of human versus habitat and shows the impact we’ve had on our planet. Narrated by Jennifer Lawrence and screened in IMAX 3D, A Beautiful Planet is a captivating and spectacular journey.

A Beautiful Planet is screening at IMAX.

Embrace

Before and after pictures usually follow a certain narrative. The “before” pic should show an unhappy woman, clearly ill at ease with her body. The “after” picture portrays her beaming, slender and probably in a bikini.

Body-image activist Taryn Brumfitt turned this idea on its head by posting an after picture of herself that bucked societal expectations and went viral. Embrace is Brumfitt’s honest exploration of how women’s bodies are viewed by society, and how the time has come for deeply held ideas to be challenged.

Embrace is showing at Event Cinema Castle Hill, Campbelltown and Liverpool; Palace Verona; Roseville Cinemas; Randwick Ritz.

bodyimagemovement.com

Louis Theroux: My Scientology Movie

When documentary maker Louis Theroux tweeted he was looking to line up some interviews about the Church of Scientology, the response was mixed. Fans flooded him with warnings and plaudits, while the church remained staunchly silent. This divide is evident throughout this strange and endlessly entertaining film.

Faced with an uncooperative organisation, Theroux attempts to piece together a coherent narrative via interviews with former church members and colourful re-enactments – all the while fending the church off. Then it become apparent the church is making its own film – about him.

Louis Theroux: My Scientology Movie is screening at Dendy Newtown, Randwick Ritz, Palace Norton, Hayden Orpheum.