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Great Documentaries

What are some documentary recommendations you have? It's probably my favourite type of film and I'm always looking for new ones.

by Anonymousreply 9306/01/2019

This popped up in my youtube recommendations. I'd already seen it some time ago. The time a supercarrier almost blew up and sank with John McCain on board..

by Anonymousreply 104/14/2019

Searching for Sugarman

by Anonymousreply 204/14/2019

Czech Dream

by Anonymousreply 304/14/2019

I watch all kinds of documentaries. I like the ones that are more like podcasts and you don't need to look at the screen. There is a wiki just about documentaries. that lists documentaries on file sharing networks.

Now I am watching an enjoyable and fascinating one called Ancients Behaving Badly. Its 10 years old and has cheesy music and a pulpy narrator and the stories are good. Its about madmen leaders - narcissists and psychopaths from ancient history. It's good food for thought, nowadays and always, really.

by Anonymousreply 404/14/2019

I love all of Joanna Lumleys overseas travel docos, eg. Japan, Greece, India, Silk Road.

by Anonymousreply 504/14/2019

Simon Schama's Power of Art

Journey to the Edge of the Universe

The Salt of the Earth

The Story of Film

Indie Game: The Movie

by Anonymousreply 604/14/2019


by Anonymousreply 704/14/2019


by Anonymousreply 804/15/2019

The minimalists and free solo

by Anonymousreply 904/15/2019

The Man Who Skied Down Everest

Touching the Void

by Anonymousreply 1004/15/2019

I am eager to hear more docs on this thread. I love them. My vote for one of the best is an old one but oddly relevant these days: Manufacturing Consent by Noam Chomsky. Although old now, the statement on media and its power is valid even today.

by Anonymousreply 1104/15/2019

Something's the Matter with Aunt Diane

Robin Williams: Come Inside My Mind


Grey Gardens

by Anonymousreply 1204/15/2019

Really enjoyed RBG.

by Anonymousreply 1304/15/2019

The Sorrow and the Pity

Epic account of Vichy France.

by Anonymousreply 1404/15/2019

Team Foxcatcher was a very odd haunting documentary that I actually found to be more gripping than the feature film. Blackfish , Roman Polanski :Wanted and Desired, Man on Wire, and The Rachel Divide were all pretty interesting.

by Anonymousreply 1504/15/2019

There was one about the Beslan school massacre but can't find the video anymore. Harrowing, heartbreaking and horrific.

Oh, and any animal ones. Blue planet, Nat Geo, etc. Tons of clips on YT.

Obviously just google documentaries and watch to your liking. Everyone has a specific taste or wanting too see and learn from.

by Anonymousreply 1604/15/2019

Truth or Dare

by Anonymousreply 1704/15/2019

The Imposter

by Anonymousreply 1804/15/2019


In the Realms Of the Unreal

Hell House

Eyes of Tammy Faye

by Anonymousreply 1904/15/2019

The Wild and Wonderful Whites of West Virginia

by Anonymousreply 2004/15/2019

Helvetica, a documentary about typeface.

I second The Sorrow and the Pity.

by Anonymousreply 2104/15/2019

Yes, Helvetica was interesting.

by Anonymousreply 2204/15/2019

Winged Migration.

by Anonymousreply 2304/15/2019

Grey Gardens

Gimme Shelter

Grizzly Man

The act of killing

by Anonymousreply 2404/15/2019

Alone in the Wilderness

by Anonymousreply 2504/15/2019


by Anonymousreply 2604/15/2019

"Paris Is Burning" is an old documentary that I recently saw for the first time. I think it holds up. I later found out that Dorian Corey (one of the characters) had a dead body in his apartment (discovered after Corey died).

by Anonymousreply 2704/15/2019

20+ years ago, R25, I’d just smoked a bowl and began flipping through the channels. I stopped on PBS where an old looking film had just started. It was Alone in the Wilderness. I enjoyed it so much! It’s still one of my most memorable TV watching experiences.

by Anonymousreply 2804/15/2019

The everlasting "friendship" of Kinski and Herzog : the contrast between the two main chatacters makes it comic. A great laugh (sometimes).

by Anonymousreply 2904/15/2019

Harlan County USA

Three Identical Strangers

Thirty Feet From Stardom


In The Year Of The Pig

by Anonymousreply 3004/15/2019

Jesus Camp

Dark Star: Inside H.R. Giger’s World

Marwencol (the original documentary, not the stupid Steve Carrell film based on it.)

by Anonymousreply 3104/16/2019

I love whores glory and love at the twilight motel

by Anonymousreply 3204/16/2019

Herb and Dorothy.

This documentary is great for anyone, but especially art lovers.

by Anonymousreply 3304/16/2019

Byzantium: A Tale of Three Cities

by Anonymousreply 3404/16/2019

THe World at War series

by Anonymousreply 3504/16/2019

Most films by Frederick Wiseman.

by Anonymousreply 3604/16/2019

all docs start and end with Shoah...

by Anonymousreply 3704/16/2019

Dear Zachary

Friends of God and The Trials of Ted Haggard

by Anonymousreply 3804/16/2019

2018 BBC Mark Kermode's Secrets of Cinema

This 5 parter is a very enjoyable and informative review of 5 movie genres in cinema history. I've been a movie fan and film scholar for decades and I learned insights. He's very straightforward and it's non-stop clips from a very wide range of movies, old favs to ones you've never heard of, including very recent movies.

You can use this documentary as your own good film survey class, he does all the work, and very little theory - it's for the general population but by my no means dumbed down.

by Anonymousreply 3904/16/2019

Steven Johnson's How We Got To Now.

Clean, cold, light, time, sound, glass.

It's semiotics of engineering and science in economic and social history, though he never uses any theory. Charming, pleasant and interesting discussion of developing human civilization.

by Anonymousreply 4004/16/2019

Adam Curtis - very whacked out British documentary maker. Try his last, Hypernormalisation. In my opinion it takes Althusser Marxist theories - our inescapable interpellation by ideological state apparatuses - and then does a sort of Baudrillard look at today's "simulation" of "society" (fake world) run by international capital (real world). It's all silly and conspiratorial but his movies build up a wonderful trance like feeling with surreal images and music and droning narration. Somewhere along the way, you'll think a few times, "but it's all horrible true!" "what a nightmare!"

by Anonymousreply 4104/16/2019

Anything by David Attenborough.

The Jinx

by Anonymousreply 4204/16/2019

Eyes on the Prize - great PBS series on the Civil Rights Movement

The Civil War - one of the few Ken Burns documentaries I enjoyed

Ditto for The Vietnam War series by Ken Burns

These are documentaries for people interested in American History.

by Anonymousreply 4304/16/2019

R43 Eyes on the Prize is fabulous.

I also love Muscle Shoals - a must if you’re even a little interested in music.

by Anonymousreply 4404/16/2019

Trinity and Beyond, about nuclear weapons, narrated by William Shatner in a very subdued way. Great footage, beautiful original soundtrack.

by Anonymousreply 4504/16/2019

Two of Werner Herzog's very best Land of Silence and Darkness & Grizzly Man

by Anonymousreply 4604/16/2019

Two great PBS series about art, The Shock of the New and American Visions, written and hosted by Robert Hughes.

The American Nightmare, an original documentary shown on IFC about 20 years ago, great analysis of classic 70s horror films and the cultural/political climate which spawned them, featuring interviews with Tobe Hooper and John Carpenter among others.

The Loss of Nameless Things, about avant-garde theater director Oakley Hall III, who was on track to to become one of the big name directors of the 1970s, when a fall from a bridge (probably a drunken accident but maybe an attempted murder) left him brain damaged.

The Woodmans, about a family of artists, and how the parent's coped with the suicide at age 22 of their daughter Francesca, who has bén posthumously recognized as one of the greatest photographers of her generation.

Be Here to Love Me, about the life and times of the hugely influential and famously self destructive singer-songwriter Townes Van Zandt.

by Anonymousreply 4704/16/2019

grey gardens is my altime fave

I have to watch the edies once a year, to make me belive in the lord

by Anonymousreply 4804/16/2019

The King in the Car Park, about the discovery of Richard III’s remains.

by Anonymousreply 4904/16/2019

Food Evolution. Great documentary on GMOs. You may not come away supporting GMOs, but you might be more skeptical of the antis claims.

by Anonymousreply 5004/16/2019

For film lovers:

Scorsese's Il mio viaggio in Italia and his A Personal Journey with Martin Scorsese Through American Movies; also The Story of Film; and Hitchcock/Truffaut; and The Celluloid Closet

Gay documentaries:

Word Is Out; The Times of Harvey Milk

Ken Burns' The Central Park Five; and his The Vietnam War

Josh Fox's How to Let Go of the World and Love All the Things Climate Can't Change; also his two GasLand films

Bleed Out

Meet the Patels

Putin's Revenge (a PBS Frontline documentary)

Capturing the Friedmans

People Like Us: Social Class In America

The Clinton Affair

Hot Coffee

Food, Inc.

God in America

Broadway Musicals: A Jewish Legacy

Completely agree with the previously mentions of Shoah, Eyes on the Prize (and Eyes on the Prize II), Grey Gardens, and Grizzly Man

You'll laugh at this one but I don't care: Sister Wendy's The Story of Painting

by Anonymousreply 5104/16/2019

"Finding Fela" by Alex Gibney

by Anonymousreply 5204/16/2019

Any of the Up series, Agnelli on HBO,

by Anonymousreply 5304/16/2019

The Thin Blue Line

by Anonymousreply 5404/16/2019

HBO - Death on A Factory Farm

by Anonymousreply 5504/16/2019

Hoop Dreams

by Anonymousreply 5604/16/2019

Zoo -- despite its subject matter, I thought it was well-executed.

by Anonymousreply 5704/16/2019

"The Keepers"--on Netflix

"Spellbound"--about kids who go to the national spelling bee

"7 Up" and all the Up Series docs to follow---about British class system and child development into adulthood

"Prohibition" and "Jazz" ---Ken Burns

"My Kid Could Paint That"--Art, children, hype

"Exit Through the Gift Shop"--more art & hype

"Dreams of a Life"--about a woman in London who died in her apartment and wasn't found for 2+ years.

by Anonymousreply 5804/16/2019

Crash Reel

Free Solo

by Anonymousreply 5904/16/2019

LaLee's Kin, now available on youtube. Albert Maisles made the film. That guy was an asshole, but he made a great movie here.

Alexie and the Spring, which i have on VHS (yes, from 2005), and which i cannot find anywhere. About a small Siberian village called Budische, 100km from Chernobyl. One young man (Alexei) stays behind along with all the old people of the village, rejecting a government offer to relocate them to Minsk. The most beautiful and profound film i have ever seen. Made by a Japanese documentarian. Amazing.

by Anonymousreply 6004/16/2019

Agree with R36 about Frederick Wiseman. One of the greatest documentary of the greatest filmmakers, period.

The Academy recently gave him an Honorary Oscar...but the fact that his films can't get through the Best Documentary nominating process just shows how meaningless and middlebrow the Best Documentary Oscar is. Instead, they continue to reward absolute shit like "20 Feet from Stardom" -- a film made with a complete lack of vision, artistry and craft.

His most accessible films might be the recent "National Gallery" or "EX LIBRIS" but if you want to jump right in...his late 60s masterpieces "High School", "Hospital" and especially "Titicut Follies" would be the place to start.

by Anonymousreply 6104/16/2019

R53 Second the Agnelli doc! Really fascinating. I also recommend:


They shall not grow old

Jiro dreams of sushi

Scrum (about a gay rugby team)

by Anonymousreply 6204/16/2019

Jiro Dreams of Sushi and Thin Blue Line are fantastic. Sonis Ken Burns Vietnam War.

Will check out the Agnelli doc and have bookmarked Secrets of Cinema.

by Anonymousreply 6304/16/2019

Faces Places, an Agnes Varda doc that's just really life affirming

by Anonymousreply 6404/16/2019

The Coronation (BBC documentary on Queen Elizabeth)

Manolo: the boy who made shoes for lizards

Maddman: the Steve Madden story

McQueen ( documentary on fashion designer Alexander McQueen)

I am Heath Ledger

by Anonymousreply 6504/17/2019

Medieval lives: birth, marriage and death. A truly fascinating 3 part documentary! It's on Youtube somewhere.

by Anonymousreply 6604/17/2019

Adam Curtis - 'The Century of the Self', 'Bitter Lake', 'The Power of Nightmares' ......explains the disaster that is American clearly

by Anonymousreply 6705/10/2019


An absolutely awesome achievement. All Episodes are great, but last three are the best:

by Anonymousreply 6805/10/2019

Finding Vivian Maier.

by Anonymousreply 6905/10/2019

Grey Gardens

by Anonymousreply 7005/10/2019

R69 Surprise, she is a cunt

by Anonymousreply 7105/10/2019

Hotel Terminus the Life and Times of Klaus Barbie.

I don't even know how many times I've seen it, maybe 20. Brilliant.

by Anonymousreply 7205/10/2019

Thx all. Great thread

by Anonymousreply 7305/10/2019

Thank you, R47. I loved 'The Woodmans'.

by Anonymousreply 7405/11/2019


by Anonymousreply 7505/11/2019

I just finished "Jane Fonda in Five Acts" from HBO. Youtube has it for free. I enjoyed it.

by Anonymousreply 7605/11/2019

"Bus 174", about the Brazilian hostage crisis on a city bus in 2000. Though what he did was wrong, the documentary shows the perpetrator to be a sympathetic figure who left home after his mother was murdered and had been the victim of police brutality along with many other teens in the slums of Rio.

by Anonymousreply 7705/11/2019

More recommendations please! Also, Amazon can suck my dick. Hardly anything is available for free with a Prime subscription, and now they are charging another subscription on top of your fucking Prime subscription to watch most films. Cunts.

by Anonymousreply 7805/25/2019

R51 - - I went to the Kimball Museum in Fort Worth specifically because Sister Wendy had featured it.

I loved Simon Schama's History of Britain series.

Robert Hughes did an outstanding series called American Visions.

by Anonymousreply 7905/25/2019

The Secret World of Richard Nixon - BBC Documentary

by Anonymousreply 8005/25/2019

Harlan County USA

The World at War

by Anonymousreply 8105/25/2019

Vernon, Florida is one of my all time favorite documentaries. It was the cripple capital of America because so many people committed insurance fraud by chopping off a hand or foot to claim insurance. He went there to make a documentary about it and people got wind of it and threatened to kill him.

So he was stuck there with a film crew and nothing to do. Then he just began to talk to the eccentric (non-amputee) denizens of the town and got something extraordinary. My favorite is the turkey hunting enthusiast. He’s the heart and soul of the doc.

I was so taken by this lovely old fellow and his incredible enthusiasm I began googling him and was very sad to learn his daughter is a meth addict who’s been in and out of prison for that and prostitution. He’s dead now, perhaps fortunately.

by Anonymousreply 8205/25/2019

Sorry, “he” = Errol Morris

by Anonymousreply 8305/25/2019

The recent documentary Evil Genius is also fantastic.

by Anonymousreply 8405/25/2019

Roger and Me is still, IMO, Michael Moore’s best doc.

by Anonymousreply 8505/25/2019

O.J.: Made in America was gripping.

by Anonymousreply 8605/25/2019

My favorite Errol Morris doc is Fast, Cheap and Out of Control.

Then there's this. Watch just the beginning and you'll watch the whole thing.

by Anonymousreply 8705/25/2019

Director Nick Broomfield's two docs. on Aileen Wuornos: "Aileen: The Life and Death of a Serial Killer: and "Aileen Wuornos: The Selling of a Serial Killer". They really led to an understanding of what led to her bitter end.

by Anonymousreply 8805/25/2019

Paris is Burning is being rereleased on the big screen for its anniversary shortly. Mostly in NYC but hoping it makes it out to LA.

If you like wine, Somm is a good one. It’s about sommeliers studying for the insanely difficult Master Sommelier exam.

The Eyes of Tammy Faye is fun. She was a living caricature and not a bad person.

The doc that’s stayed with me most is Dr. Death. I don’t want to spoil the crazy twist it takes, but it starts as a film about a man who designs instruments of execution like gallows. Stranger than fiction and infuriating.

by Anonymousreply 8905/25/2019

Anyone else have CuriosityStream? I got a couple of months ago but I’ve only watched shows about space/astronomy so far.

by Anonymousreply 9006/01/2019

Anything by Frederick Wiseman. The first one I saw in 1971 was High School (1968).

by Anonymousreply 9106/01/2019

The Queen of Versailles, about deplorable businessman David Siegel and his aging trophy wife trying to build the BIGGEST (and tackiest) house in the world.

by Anonymousreply 9206/01/2019

"Daughter from Đà Nẵng" was nominated for, and in my opinion deserved to win, the Oscar for Best Documentary, but it was the year that "Bowling for Columbine" won.

by Anonymousreply 9306/01/2019
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