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All Time Best Documentaries

Posted 2018/01/29760

These Are the Best Documentaries of All Time

These Will be the Best Documentaries of All Time Why is a documentary “important”? Why is it worth referencing, or remembering, as well as watching in the initial place? Why, in this time around of seemingly perpetual sociopolitical strife, would we veer far from the vaunted, glorious escapism of big feature films and go see something small and rooted in the true, instead? Documentaries could be a hard sell, but it’s one that’s getting easier all of the time. Once viewed as something stiff and obligatory, documentary film has, recently, increased to the the surface of the heap—thanks in no small part to a number of the earth-shaking, needle-pushing, and ultimately world-changing films which are right here, which find their focus in war, love, sex, death, and everything in between. And for this list—its only qualifier is these will be the critically acclaimed, historically important, and pivotal films that an individual who cares about film (and in doing this, often cares about humanity, in general) should certainly arrive at know.

 

A Poem is a Naked Person

The Post

Les Blank’s first feature-length documentary captures music and other events at Leon Russell’s Oklahoma recording studio during a three-year period (1972-1974).

Views: 49

Genre: Documentary

Director:

Actors: , , , ,

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Duration: 90 min

Release:



The Act of Killing

The Post

In a place where killers are celebrated as heroes, these filmmakers challenge unrepentant death-squad leaders to dramatize their role in genocide. The result is a surreal, cinematic journey, not only into the memories and imaginations of mass murderers, but also into a frighteningly banal regime of corruption and impunity.

Views: 45

Genre: Documentary

Director: , ,

Actors: , , , , , , , , ,

Duration: 115

Release:



American Movie

The Post

American Movie is the story of filmmaker Mark Borchardt, his mission, and his dream. Spanning over two years of intense struggle with his film, his family, financial decline, and spiritual crisis, American Movie is a portrayal of ambition, obsession, excess, and one man’s quest for the American Dream.

Views: 59

Genre: Documentary

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Duration: 107

Release:



Amy

The Post

A documentary on the life of Amy Winehouse, the immensely talented yet doomed songstress. We see her from her teen years, where she already showed her singing abilities, to her finding success and then her downward spiral into alcoholism and drugs.

Views: 55

Genre: Music

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Duration: 128 min

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Bill Cunningham New York

The Post

Chronicles a man who is obsessively interested in only one thing, the pictures he takes that document the way people dress. The 80-year-old New York Times photographer has two columns in the paper’s Style section, yet nobody knows who he is.

Views: 73

Genre: Documentary

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Duration: 84 min

Release:



Blackfish

The Post

Notorious killer whale Tilikum is responsible for the deaths of three individuals, including a top killer whale trainer. Blackfish shows the sometimes devastating consequences of keeping such intelligent and sentient creatures in captivity.

Views: 56

Genre: Documentary

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Duration: 83

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Bowling for Columbine

The Post

Why do 11,000 people die in America each year at the hands of gun violence? Talking heads yelling from every TV camera blame everything from Satan to video games. But are we that much different from many other countries? What sets us apart? How have we become both the master and victim of such enormous amounts of violence? This is not a film about gun control. It is a film about the fearful heart and soul of the United States, and the 280 million Americans lucky enough to have the right to a constitutionally protected Uzi. From a look at the Columbine High School security camera tapes to the home of Oscar-winning NRA President Charlton Heston, from a young man who makes homemade napalm with The Anarchist’s Cookbook to the murder of a six-year-old girl by another six-year-old, Bowling for Columbine is a journey through America, through our past, hoping to discover why our pursuit of happiness is so riddled with violence.

Views: 57

Genre: Documentary

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Duration: 120

Release:



Buena Vista Social Club

The Post

In this fascinating Oscar-nominated documentary, American guitarist Ry Cooder brings together a group of legendary Cuban folk musicians (some in their 90s) to record a Grammy-winning CD in their native city of Havana. The result is a spectacular compilation of concert footage from the group’s gigs in Amsterdam and New York City’s famed Carnegie Hall, with director Wim Wenders capturing not only the music — but also the musicians’ life stories.

Views: 50

Genre: DocumentaryMusic

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Duration: 105 min

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Burden of Dreams

The Post

For nearly five years, acclaimed German filmmaker Werner Herzog desperately tried to complete one of the most ambitious and difficult films of his career, Fitzcarraldo, the story of one man’s attempt to build an opera house deep in the Amazon jungle. Documentary filmmaker Les Blank captured the unfolding of this production, made more perilous by Herzog’s determination to shoot the most daunting scenes without models or special effects, including a sequence requiring hundreds of native Indians to pull a full-size, 320-ton steamship over a small mountain. The result is an extraordinary document of the filmmaking process and a unique look into the single-minded mission of one of cinema’s most fearless directors.

Views: 92

Genre: Documentary

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Duration: 95 min

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Cameraperson

The Post

As a visually radical memoir, Cameraperson draws on the remarkable footage that filmmaker Kirsten Johnson has shot and reframes it in ways that illuminate moments and situations that have personally affected her. What emerges is an elegant meditation on the relationship between truth and the camera frame, as Johnson transforms scenes that have been presented on Festival screens as one kind of truth into another kind of story—one about personal journey, craft, and direct human connection.

Views: 49

Genre: Documentary

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Duration: 102 min

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Capturing the Friedmans

The Post

An Oscar nominated documentary about a middle-class American family who is torn apart when the father Arnold and son Jesse are accused of sexually abusing numerous children. Director Jarecki interviews people from different sides of this tragic story and raises the question of whether they were rightfully tried when they claim they were innocent and there was never any evidence against them.

Views: 43

Genre: Documentary

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Duration: 107 min

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Crumb

The Post

This movie chronicles the life and times of R. Crumb. Robert Crumb is the cartoonist/artist who drew Keep On Truckin’, Fritz the Cat, and played a major pioneering role in the genesis of underground comix. Through interviews with his mother, two brothers, wife, and ex-girlfriends, as well as selections from his vast quantity of graphic art, we are treated to a darkly comic ride through one man’s subconscious mind.

Views: 55

Genre: Documentary

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Duration: 119

Release:



Citizenfour

The Post

In June 2013, Laura Poitras and reporter Glenn Greenwald flew to Hong Kong for the first of many meetings with Edward Snowden. She brought her camera with her. The film that resulted from this series of tense encounters is absolutely sui generis in the history of cinema: a 100% real-life thriller unfolding minute by minute before our eyes. Poitras is a great and brave filmmaker, but she is also a masterful storyteller: she compresses the many days of questioning, waiting, confirming, watching the world’s reaction and agonizing over the next move, into both a great character study of Snowden and a narrative that will leave you on the edge of your seat as it inexorably moves toward its conclusion.

Views: 60

Genre: Documentary

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Duration: 114

Release:



Dont Look Back

The Post

In this wildly entertaining vision of one of the twentieth century’s greatest artists, Bob Dylan is surrounded by teen fans, gets into heated philosophical jousts with journalists, and kicks back with fellow musicians Joan Baez, Donovan, and Alan Price.

Views: 90

Genre: Music

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Duration: 96 min

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Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room

The Post

A documentary about the Enron corporation, its faulty and corrupt business practices, and how they led to its fall.

Views: 50

Genre: Documentary

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Duration: 110

Release:



Exit Through the Gift Shop

The Post

Banksy is a graffiti artist with a global reputation whose work can be seen on walls from post-hurricane New Orleans to the separation barrier on the Palestinian West Bank. Fiercely guarding his anonymity to avoid prosecution, Banksy has so far resisted all attempts to be captured on film. Exit Through the Gift Shop tells the incredible true story of how an eccentric French shop keeper turned documentary maker attempted to locate and befriend Banksy, only to have the artist turn the camera back on its owner.

Views: 65

Genre: Documentary

Director:

Actors: , , ,

Duration: 87

Release:



F for Fake

The Post

A documentary about fraud and fakery.

Views: 53

Genre: Documentary

Director: , , ,

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Country: , ,

Duration: 89 min

Release:


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