best documentaries

outstanding docos that I've watched since 2012
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1.
Ways of Seeing (1972 TV Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  
John Berger presents his insights on how people see. Through examples of Art History Berger shows how our very sense of sight has been transformed... (30 mins.)
“ Geez, who writes those blurbs? ” - rainbowflat
 
2.
The Shock of the New (1982 Mini-Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  
A definitive eight part series on the rise and fall of the modern art movement presented by critic Robert Hughes. (60 mins.)
 
3.
Goya: Crazy Like a Genius (2002 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
Director: Ian MacMillan
 
4.
Frontline (1983 TV Series)
Episode: A Class Divided (1985)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  
An expanded edition of William Peters's classic study of the unique eye-color lesson in prejudice and... (60 mins.)
“ About the original 'Wave' blue/brown eyes classroom experiment, and the class reunion. ” - rainbowflat
 
5.
The Nazis: A Warning from History (1997 Mini-Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.7/10 X  
An examination of how a cultured people could have allowed Hitler's rise to power. (292 mins.)
Director: Laurence Rees
 
6.
Your Inner Fish (2014 TV Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.7/10 X  
 
7.
Connections (1978 Mini-Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 9.3/10 X  
Follow James Burke through the history of science and technology in this collection of 10 1-hour episodes, starting with "The Trigger Effect." (50 mins.)
Director: Mick Jackson
 
8.
The Story of Film: An Odyssey (2011 Mini-Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  
A comprehensive history of the medium and art of motion pictures. (60 mins.)
 
9.
Voices (1982 TV Series)
Episode: To Tell a Story... (1983)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
(55 mins.)
“ John Berger and Susan Sontag in conversation. ” - rainbowflat
 
10.
Chelovek s kino-apparatom (1929 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  
A man travels around a city with a camera slung over his shoulder, documenting urban life with dazzling invention. (68 mins.)
Director: Dziga Vertov
 
11.
Sans soleil (1983 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
A woman narrates the contemplative writings of a seasoned world traveler, focusing on contemporary Japan. (104 mins.)
Director: Chris. Marker
 
12.
La batalla de Chile: La lucha de un pueblo sin armas - Primera parte: La insurrección de la burguesía (1975 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
The chronicle of the political tension in Chile in 1973 and of the violent counter revolution against the democratically elected government of Salvador Allende. (97 mins.)
 
13.
Nostalgia de la luz (2010 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
In Chile's Atacama Desert, astronomers peer deep into the cosmos in search for answers concerning the origins of life... (90 mins.)
 
14.
El botón de nácar (2015 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
The ocean contains the history of all humanity. The sea holds all the voices of the earth and those that come from outer space... (82 mins.)
 
15.
Lektionen in Finsternis (1992 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
This film shows the disaster of the Kuwaitian oil fields in flames, with few interviews and no explanatory narration. Hell itself is presented in such beautiful sights and music that one has to be fascinated by it. (54 mins.)
Director: Werner Herzog
 
16.
Grizzly Man (2005 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
A devastating and heartrending take on grizzly bear activists Timothy Treadwell and Amie Huguenard, who were killed in October of 2003 while living among grizzlies in Alaska. (103 mins.)
Director: Werner Herzog
 
17.
Lo and Behold, Reveries of the Connected World (2016 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
Werner Herzog's exploration of the Internet and the connected world. (98 mins.)
Director: Werner Herzog
 
18.
Gates of Heaven (1978 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
A documentary about a pet cemetery in California, and the people who have pets buried there. (85 mins.)
Director: Errol Morris
 
19.
Sherman's March (1985 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
Ross McElwee sets out to make a documentary about the lingering effects of General Sherman's march of... (157 mins.)
Director: Ross McElwee
 
20.
Joe Leahy's Neighbours (1989 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  
(90 mins.)
Director: Bob Connolly
“ The 2nd of a trilogy. The first, First Contact, is about the first white men to visit a particular valley in New Guinea, in the 1930s. Features a lot of original footage. The second two movies are about the half white-half native son of the leader of that expedition and his efforts to run a coffee plantation, while dealing with his immediate neighbours, his own people, still living the traditional way. Amazing "between two worlds" struggle, two worlds that can't really mix. (And everywhere, it's the white people world that destroys the native world.) ” - rainbowflat
 
21.
Black Harvest (1992 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
Joe Leahy is the half-caste son of one of the first explorers of the Papua New Guinean interior. His... (90 mins.)
 
22.
Facing the Music (2001 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  
(89 mins.)
 
23.
Ônibus 174 (2002 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
Documentary depicts what happened in Rio de Janeiro on June 12th 2000, when bus 174 was taken by an armed young man... (150 mins.)
“ Understanding Brazil 101 ” - rainbowflat
 
24.
Secrets of the Tribe (2010 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
The field of anthropology goes under the magnifying glass in this fiery investigation of the seminal research on Yanomami Indians... (110 mins.)
Director: José Padilha
“ Understanding Anthropologists 101 ” - rainbowflat
 
25.
Citizenfour (2014 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
A documentarian and a reporter travel to Hong Kong for the first of many meetings with Edward Snowden. (114 mins.)
Director: Laura Poitras
 
26.
McLibel (2005 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
McLibel is the story of two ordinary people who humiliated McDonald's in the biggest corporate PR disaster in history. (85 mins.)
 
27.
Harlan County U.S.A. (1976 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
A filmed account of a bitterly violent miner strike. (103 mins.)
Director: Barbara Kopple
 
28.
Chavez: Inside the Coup (2003 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  
In April 2002, an Irish film crew is making a documentary about Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, when a coup from the opposition is made. (74 mins.)
 
29.
How to Start a Revolution (2011 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
HOW TO START A REVOLUTION is the remarkable untold story of Nobel Peace Prize nominee Gene Sharp, the world's leading expert on non-violent revolution... (85 mins.)
Director: Ruaridh Arrow
 
30.
Merchants of Doubt (2014 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
A documentary that looks at pundits-for-hire who present themselves as scientific authorities as they speak about topics like toxic chemicals, pharmaceuticals and climate change. (96 mins.)
Director: Robert Kenner
 
31.
The Corporation (2003 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
Documentary that looks at the concept of the corporation throughout recent history up to its present-day dominance. (145 mins.)
 
32.
The Yes Men (2003 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
Anti-corporate activists travel from conference to conference, impersonating member of the World Trade Organization. (83 mins.)
 
33.
The Yes Men Fix the World (2009 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
Troublemaking duo Andy Bichlbaum and Mike Bonanno, posing as their industrious alter-egos, expose the people profiting from Hurricane Katrina, the faces behind the environmental disaster in Bhopal, and other shocking events. (87 mins.)
 
34.
The Century of the Self (2002 Mini-Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 9.0/10 X  
A documentary about the rise of psychoanalysis as a powerful means of persuasion for both governments and corporations. (235 mins.)
 
35.
Être et avoir (2002 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
A documentary portrait of a one-room school in rural France, where the students (ranging in age from 4 to 11) are educated by a single dedicated teacher. (104 mins.)
 
36.
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
 
37.
Man on Wire (2008 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
A look at tightrope walker Philippe Petit's daring, but illegal, high-wire routine performed between New York City's World Trade Center's twin towers in 1974, what some consider, "the artistic crime of the century". (94 mins.)
Director: James Marsh
 
38.
Land of Look Behind (1982 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
i would like to watch the movie.so much have been said. so much i expect. (90 mins.)
Director: Alan Greenberg
 
39.
Intangible Asset No. 82 (2008 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
The search for an enigmatic South Korean shaman, and the inspiration found on the journey, renews a jazz musician's faith in the power of music. (90 mins.)
Director: Emma Franz
 
40.
Between the Folds (2008 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
Depicts a cast of fine artists and eccentric scientists (from MIT and NASA) who have devoted their lives to the unlikely medium of modern origami... (56 mins.)
Director: Vanessa Gould
 
41.
Revolution OS (2001 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
While Microsoft may be the biggest software company in the world, not every computer user is a fan of their products... (85 mins.)
Director: J.T.S. Moore
 
42.
The Internet's Own Boy: The Story of Aaron Swartz (2014 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
The story of programming prodigy and information activist Aaron Swartz, who took his own life at the age of 26. (105 mins.)
 
43.
Facebookistan (2015 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
"Like" it or not, Facebook wants you to share everything, but how much information are they willing to share with you? (59 mins.)
Director: Jakob Gottschau
 
44.
The King of Kong (2007 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
Die-hard gamers compete to break world records on classic arcade games. (79 mins.)
Director: Seth Gordon
 
45.
That's Not Funny (2014 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
That's Not Funny is an examination of the history of taboo subjects and controversy in comedy, and one comedy fan's heartfelt and passionate defense of an art form. (90 mins.)
Director: Mike Celestino
 
46.
Dark Days (2000 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
A cinematic portrait of the homeless population who live permanently in the underground tunnels of New York City. (82 mins.)
Director: Marc Singer
 
47.
Kumaré (2011 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
A documentary about a man who impersonates a wise Indian Guru and builds a following in Arizona. At the height of his popularity, the Guru Kumaré must reveal his true identity to his disciples and unveil his greatest teaching of all. (84 mins.)
Director: Vikram Gandhi
“ This is fascinating, much better than it seems it's going to be, or could possibly be. An Indian-American guy (also the director of the movie!) sets up in the U.S. as Kumaré, a Hindu guru direct from India, with the help of 2 female assistants. He develops his doctrines and practices as he goes, all-too-aware of the ridiculousness of the world he has entered. He acquires a small band of devotees, whose lives he seems to actually make better, in many ways. He knows eventually he will have to reveal his true identity, that it's all been a lie...and yet when he does, it's a continuation of exactly his teachings. He's been telling them all along that he's not a guru, that he's a fake etc. His followers mostly don't feel betrayed, as he obviously cares a lot for them, and somehow he has become their actual guru. A beautiful story, which the director/Kumaré was obviously touched by, himself. Gee it's such a car crash moment when he 'comes out' as a fake. I think he set out to discover that there was nothing to gurus, but ended up discovering what a powerful thing and responsibility it is - by being one himself!
(I've long been a fan of quite a few Hindu gurus myself - Vivekananda, Ramana Maharshi, the estadounidenses Ram Dass & Gangaji - and have gotten a lot from various New Age writers, so I'm sympathetic to both sides of the atheist/religion divide here.) ” - rainbowflat
 
48.
Les glaneurs et la glaneuse (2000 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
An intimate, picaresque inquiry into French life as lived by the country's poor and its provident, as well as by the film's own director... (82 mins.)
Director: Agnès Varda