People don't watch a lot of documentaries.Maybe that's because everyone associates then with boring, drawn out chronicles of something they have no interest in. and unfortunately a lot are exactly like that.but some are good, really good. here's a list (in no order), with a quick line summary of why you should watch it:
22. Capturing the Friedmans(2003) - Andrew Jarecki
why: a film about how mysterious every person is, while documenting the very disturbing topic of child abuse.throughout the film everyone seems both clearly guilty and then completely innocent. makes you realize facts are subjective.
21 .Spellbound (2002) - Jeffrey Blitz
why: a film about setting goals and achieving dreams, even when that dream is to be a national spelling bee champion. more than that, it's about the 8 competitors who manage to be appealing and completely enthralling.
20.To Be and To Have (etre at avoir)- (2003) -Nicolas Philibert
why: this one has the slow parts, teaching in a one room school in France isn't really that exciting. but somehow you get caught up , and the great scenes become even better because they're spread out.
19.De Fem benspænd (The Five Obstructions) - 2003- Lars von Trier&Jørgen Leth
why: a documentary about experimental films, von trier challenges leth for him to remake his old film 'the perfect human', with 5 obstructions. philosphical, funny and an insight into the creation of film istelf.
18.Super Size Me -2004-Morgan Spurlock
why: a film about the evils of fast food by it's effect on health and lifestyle. pretend Mcdonald's is KFC..
17.Bigger, Stronger, Faster* - 2008 - Christopher Bell
why: causes the viewer to reevaluate their pre-conceived notions of steroid use. Interviews with several prominent athletes, makes you realize how far some people will go for success.
16.The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters - Seth Gordon -2007
why: Hilarious film about a man who wants to be the best ,and break the highest donkey kong score. also serves as a metaphor for the decline of Western civilization?
15.A Complete History of My Sexual Failures - 2008- Chris Waitt
why: take a look a the title, what more do you need? Chris Waitt tries to find out why everything went wrong and then tries to come up with new strategies.
14.Grizzly Man - 2005 - Werner Herzog
why: did he disrespect nature by crossing the lines between predator and prey?was he just misguided or did he relate to bears more than people? this film asks a lot of questions, but it's about a man who got eaten by bears, so it it should.
13. Long Night's Journey into Day - 2000 - Deborah Hoffman & Frances Reid
(couldn't find a movie poster)
why: About the Truth and Reconciliation comittee in post-apartheid South Africa. Makes you sit rethink every idea on pain, suffering and the vengefulness that you had. A strong film about facing the past
12.Le Peuple Migrateur - 2001 - Jacques Perrin
why: A film of outstanding cinematography. Makes you see thing from wholly original perspectives.
11.Bowling for Columbine - 2002 - Micheal Moore
why: A film that will make you laugh if you're not American, and that will make you annoyed and a bit confused if you are. It shows that guns availibilty aren't really the problem for violence in the US, it's the media instilling fear and the govenrment's agressive acts.
10.The Fog of War: Eleven Lessons from the Life of Robert S. McNamara - 2003 - Errol Morris
why: A film about what the US sectary of Defense during the Vietnam War learned about warfare. About one of the most controversial figures in politics of the last century, a new view on a man who wasn't known for his humanity.
9.Born into Brothels: Calcutta's Red Light Kids - 2004 - Zana Briski &Ross Kauffman
why: Not just born there, the children more or less live their whole lives in brothel walls. They were given cameras and taught photography, this film shows that even if the worst of conditions there can still be hope and potential.
8.La Marche de l'empereur ( March of the Penguins) - 2005 - Luc Jacquet
why: It's a well shot, unsentimental film. but who can be unsentimental about penguins, penguins are just fun to watch.
7.Jesus Camp - 2006 - Heidi Ewing&Rachel Grady
why:A frank look at what Evangelists believe, preach and teach their children. I still don't know if to laugh, be angry or just confused that people can believe that teaching their children that way is logical.
6.Twist of Faith - 2004 - Kirby Dick
why: A complicated film which let victims of sex abuse realize they are not alone. Apowerful and damning look at the long-term impact of sexual abuse as well as the nature of humanity in tragedy.
5. Sicko - 2007 - Micheal Moore
why: even more relevant now with healthcare reform dominating American news. Entertaining look at American healthcare, while showing the lengths insurance companies will go to not pay.
4.No End in Sight - 2007 - Charles Ferguson
why: there's a lot of documentaries about the Iraq war but if you can only see one, this is it. Shows how all the military and technical logic was overrun by political loyalists. Makes you realize how incompetent the decision makers were.
3.Encounters at the End of the World - Werner Herzog - 2007
why: it's Antarctica, you'd think it's not somewhere to go. you might reconsider. a look at how the people at the most remote place on the planet bond together, beautiful visuals and somehow it's funny too. there's more humanity here than some urban cities.
2.Scottsboro: An American Tragedy - 2001 - Daniel Anker & Barak Goodman
why: A look at courtroom racism where 9 teenagers were accused and wrongly jailed and its outcome. Manages to shape a very complicated story in to linearity, while never diverting attention from the main idea - racism affecting justice.
1. Man on Wire - 2008 - James Marsh
why: The way this is shot, you're convinced they're planning some huge bank robbery. It's Phillipe Petit, the tightrope walker who makes this film by being his incredibly charismatic self . his walk was uplifting ,although I'm still not sure how.