Highly Enjoyable Documentaries

"Documentary film without nuanced journalistic sourcing risks being sensational, tendentious or broad-brushed" - Naomi Wolf
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1.
Dear Zachary: A Letter to a Son About His Father (2008 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  
A filmmaker decides to memorialize a murdered friend when his friend's ex-girlfriend announces she is expecting his son. (95 mins.)
Director: Kurt Kuenne
 
2.
The Act of Killing (2012 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
A documentary which challenges former Indonesian death-squad leaders to reenact their mass-killings in whichever cinematic genres they wish, including classic Hollywood crime scenarios and lavish musical numbers. (115 mins.)
 
3.
The Look of Silence (2014 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
A family that survives the genocide in Indonesia confronts the men who killed one of their brothers. (103 mins.)
 
4.
How to Make Money Selling Drugs (2012 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
Ten easy steps show you how to make money from drugs, featuring a series of interviews with drug dealers, prison employees, and lobbyists arguing for tougher drug laws. (96 mins.)
Director: Matthew Cooke
 
5.
The Life and Mind of Mark DeFriest (2014 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
When a legendary escape artist comes up for parole after 30 years behind bars, a chance for freedom must be weighed against his infamous past. (92 mins.)
Director: Gabriel London
 
6.
Cobain: Montage of Heck (2015 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
An authorized documentary on the late musician Kurt Cobain, from his early days in Aberdeen, Washington to his success and downfall with the grunge band Nirvana. (145 mins.)
Director: Brett Morgen
 
7.
The True Cost (2015 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
The True Cost is a documentary film exploring the impact of fashion on people and the planet. (92 mins.)
Director: Andrew Morgan
 
8.
Where to Invade Next (2015 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
To learn what the USA can learn from other nations, Michael Moore playfully "invades" them to see what they have to offer. (120 mins.)
Director: Michael Moore
 
9.
Cartel Land (2015 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
Filmmaker Matthew Heineman examines the state of the ongoing drug problem along the U.S.-Mexican border. (100 mins.)
 
10.
I Am Not Your Negro (2016 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
Writer James Baldwin tells the story of race in modern America with his unfinished novel, Remember This House. (93 mins.)
Director: Raoul Peck
 
11.
Weiner (2016 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
An examination of disgraced New York Congressman Anthony Weiner's mayoral campaign and today's political landscape. (96 mins.)
 
12.
Do Not Resist (2016 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
An account of the increasing use of military weapons and tactics by local law enforcement in the United States, counterpointed with civil unrest in Ferguson, Missouri following the shooting of Michael Brown in 2014. (72 mins.)
Director: Craig Atkinson
 
13.
Winter on Fire: Ukraine's Fight for Freedom (2015 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  
A documentary on the unrest in Ukraine during 2013 and 2014, as student demonstrations supporting European integration grew into a violent revolution calling for the resignation of President Viktor F. Yanukovich. (102 mins.)
 
14.
The Coming War on China (2016 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
The Coming War on China is John Pilger's 60th film for ITV. Pilger reveals what the news doesn't - that... (113 mins.)
Director: John Pilger
 
15.
The Greatest Movie Ever Sold (2011 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  
A documentary about branding, advertising and product placement that is financed and made possible by brands, advertising and product placement. (90 mins.)
Director: Morgan Spurlock
 
16.
If a Tree Falls (2010)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.2/10 X  
Siblings, Brad and Lisa Carpenter, along with two lifelong family friends, Will and Vanessa, set out... (84 mins.)
Director: Gabriel Carrer
 
17.
RiP: A Remix Manifesto (2009 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
A documentary which examines copyright issues in the information age. (87 mins.)
Director: Brett Gaylor
 
18.
Exit Through the Gift Shop (2010 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
The story of how an eccentric French shop-keeper and amateur film-maker attempted to locate and befriend Banksy... (87 mins.)
Director: Banksy
 
19.
How to Change the World (2015 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
In 1971, a group of friends sail into a nuclear test zone, and their protest captures the world's imagination... (110 mins.)
Director: Jerry Rothwell
 
20.
Global Metal (2008 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
A continued examination of the heavy metal subculture focusing on the adaptation and performance of heavy metal in various global communities, and how the increased import of Western cultural forms has impacted new global markets. (93 mins.)
 
21.
Room 237 (2012 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  
An exploration of various interpretations of Stanley Kubrick's horror film, The Shining. (102 mins.)
Director: Rodney Ascher
 
22.
Collapse (2009 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
A documentary on Michael Ruppert, a police officer turned independent reporter who predicted the current financial crisis in his self-published newsletter, From the Wilderness. (82 mins.)
Director: Chris Smith
 
23.
My Buddha Is Punk (2015 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
Kyaw Kyaw, a 25-year-old Burmese Punk, obsessively tries to develop the Punk scene in Myanmar. Although... (68 mins.)
 
24.
Bill Cunningham New York (2010 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
A profile of the noted and extraordinarily cheerful veteran New York City fashion photographer. (84 mins.)
Director: Richard Press
 
25.
Killswitch (2014 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
The Internet is under attack. This award-winning documentary explores the threat Internet censorship imposes on free speech, innovation, and democracy. (72 mins.)
Director: Ali Akbarzadeh
 
26.
Requiem for the American Dream (2015 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
The academic and activist Noam Chomsky describes the systems that have led to financial inequality, and the current concentration of wealth and power. (73 mins.)
 
27.
Smash & Grab: The Story of the Pink Panthers (2013 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  
The world's most successful diamond thieves take us into the dark world of the international jewel trade. (89 mins.)
Director: Havana Marking
 
28.
Living in the Age of Airplanes (2015 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
Living in the Age of Airplanes is a story about how the airplane has changed the world. Filmed in 18 countries across all 7 continents... (47 mins.)
 
29.
The War Photographers (2013 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.9/10 X  
'The War Photographers' recounts the personal experiences of award-winning photojournalists who risk... (28 mins.)
Director: Steven Kochones
 
30.
Inside Job (2010 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
Takes a closer look at what brought about the 2008 financial meltdown. (105 mins.)
 
31.
Off the Rails (2016 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
How one man's love of transport led to a lifetime of incarceration. (86 mins.)
Director: Adam Irving
 
32.
Al midan (2013 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
A group of Egyptian revolutionaries battle leaders and regimes, risking their lives to build a new society of conscience. (108 mins.)
Director: Jehane Noujaim
 
33.
The White Helmets (2016 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
As daily airstrikes pound civilian targets in Syria, a group of indomitable first responders risk their lives to rescue victims from the rubble. (41 mins.)
 
34.
Helvetica (2007 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
A documentary about typography, graphic design, and global visual culture. (80 mins.)
Director: Gary Hustwit
 
35.
Minimalism: A Documentary About the Important Things (2015 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
How might your life be better with less? (79 mins.)
Director: Matt D'Avella
 
36.
Bottled Life: Nestle's Business with Water (2012 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
Do you know how to turn ordinary water into a billion-dollar business? In Switzerland there's a company which has developed the art to perfection... (90 mins.)
Director: Urs Schnell
 
37.
Korengal (2014 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
Korengal picks up where Restrepo left off; the same men, the same valley, the same commanders, but a very different look at the experience of war. (84 mins.)
 
38.
Restrepo (2010 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
A year with one platoon in the deadliest valley in Afghanistan. (93 mins.)
 
39.
Jiro Dreams of Sushi (2011 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
A documentary on 85-year-old sushi master Jiro Ono, his renowned Tokyo restaurant, and his relationship with his son and eventual heir, Yoshikazu. (81 mins.)
Director: David Gelb
 
40.
When Two Worlds Collide (2016 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
An indigenous environmental activist takes on the large businesses that are destroying the Amazon. (103 mins.)
 
41.
The Cinema Travellers (2016 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
Showmen riding cinema lorries have brought the wonder of the movies to faraway villages in India once every year... (96 mins.)
 
42.
Food, Inc. (2008 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
An unflattering look inside America's corporate controlled food industry. (94 mins.)
Director: Robert Kenner
 
43.
Kedi (2016 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
A profile of an ancient city and its unique people, seen through the eyes of the most mysterious and beloved animal humans have ever known, the Cat. (79 mins.)
Director: Ceyda Torun