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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 66Last Wednesday at 3:35 AM

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 8Last Monday at 8:52 PM

The minimalists and free solo

by Anonymousreply 9Last Monday at 8:56 PM

The Man Who Skied Down Everest

Touching the Void

by Anonymousreply 10Last Monday at 8:58 PM

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 11Last Monday at 9:02 PM

Something's the Matter with Aunt Diane

Robin Williams: Come Inside My Mind


Grey Gardens

by Anonymousreply 12Last Monday at 9:02 PM

Really enjoyed RBG.

by Anonymousreply 13Last Monday at 9:25 PM

The Sorrow and the Pity

Epic account of Vichy France.

by Anonymousreply 14Last Monday at 9:28 PM

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 15Last Monday at 9:41 PM

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 16Last Monday at 10:08 PM

Truth or Dare

by Anonymousreply 17Last Monday at 10:22 PM

The Imposter

by Anonymousreply 18Last Monday at 10:29 PM


In the Realms Of the Unreal

Hell House

Eyes of Tammy Faye

by Anonymousreply 19Last Monday at 10:32 PM

The Wild and Wonderful Whites of West Virginia

by Anonymousreply 20Last Monday at 10:34 PM

Helvetica, a documentary about typeface.

I second The Sorrow and the Pity.

by Anonymousreply 21Last Monday at 10:37 PM

Yes, Helvetica was interesting.

by Anonymousreply 22Last Monday at 10:59 PM

Winged Migration.

by Anonymousreply 23Last Monday at 11:01 PM

Grey Gardens

Gimme Shelter

Grizzly Man

The act of killing

by Anonymousreply 24Last Monday at 11:06 PM

Alone in the Wilderness

by Anonymousreply 25Last Monday at 11:16 PM


by Anonymousreply 26Last Monday at 11:22 PM

"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 27Last Monday at 11:27 PM

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 28Last Monday at 11:43 PM

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

by Anonymousreply 29Last Monday at 11:45 PM

Harlan County USA

Three Identical Strangers

Thirty Feet From Stardom


In The Year Of The Pig

by Anonymousreply 30Last Monday at 11:55 PM

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 31Last Tuesday at 12:07 AM

I love whores glory and love at the twilight motel

by Anonymousreply 32Last Tuesday at 12:11 AM

Herb and Dorothy.

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

by Anonymousreply 33Last Tuesday at 12:12 AM

Byzantium: A Tale of Three Cities

by Anonymousreply 34Last Tuesday at 12:12 AM

THe World at War series

by Anonymousreply 35Last Tuesday at 12:22 AM

Most films by Frederick Wiseman.

by Anonymousreply 36Last Tuesday at 12:22 AM

all docs start and end with Shoah...

by Anonymousreply 37Last Tuesday at 1:18 AM

Dear Zachary

Friends of God and The Trials of Ted Haggard

by Anonymousreply 38Last Tuesday at 2:14 AM

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 39Last Tuesday at 2:24 AM

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 40Last Tuesday at 2:33 AM

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 41Last Tuesday at 2:42 AM

Anything by David Attenborough.

The Jinx

by Anonymousreply 42Last Tuesday at 3:13 AM

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 43Last Tuesday at 3:59 AM

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 44Last Tuesday at 4:07 AM

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

by Anonymousreply 45Last Tuesday at 4:12 AM

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

by Anonymousreply 46Last Tuesday at 4:22 AM

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 47Last Tuesday at 4:28 AM

grey gardens is my altime fave

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

by Anonymousreply 48Last Tuesday at 4:52 AM

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

by Anonymousreply 49Last Tuesday at 4:59 AM

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 50Last Tuesday at 5:00 AM

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 51Last Tuesday at 5:09 AM

"Finding Fela" by Alex Gibney

by Anonymousreply 52Last Tuesday at 5:22 AM

Any of the Up series, Agnelli on HBO,

by Anonymousreply 53Last Tuesday at 5:25 AM

The Thin Blue Line

by Anonymousreply 54Last Tuesday at 5:25 AM

HBO - Death on A Factory Farm

by Anonymousreply 55Last Tuesday at 5:26 AM

Hoop Dreams

by Anonymousreply 56Last Tuesday at 5:27 AM

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

by Anonymousreply 57Last Tuesday at 5:28 AM

"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 58Last Tuesday at 6:22 AM

Crash Reel

Free Solo

by Anonymousreply 59Last Tuesday at 7:06 AM

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 60Last Tuesday at 7:27 AM

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 61Last Tuesday at 7:32 AM

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 62Last Tuesday at 1:40 PM

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 63Last Tuesday at 8:54 PM

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

by Anonymousreply 64Last Tuesday at 10:09 PM

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 65Last Wednesday at 3:26 AM

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

by Anonymousreply 66Last Wednesday at 3:35 AM
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