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Recommended Documentaries

This is a topic where you can say which documentary has really impressed you, and why people should see it. Can be a recent one or an all-time favourite. Can't be your own though, sorry...

We also have a Documentary Films topic for our Professionals where the debate is private and possibly more controversial. This topic here is for recommendations to the documentary-interested public.

This topic is for praising the work of others, not your own. If you want to beat the drum for your own documentary, please don't do it here. Enthusiasts use our Public Classifieds, and Professionals have their own Shameless Self-Promotion topic.

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Marj Safinia
Thu 17 Mar 2011Link

And just to round out a trio of great films about obsessive movie making, don't forget Lost in La Mancha.


Danielle Beverly
Thu 17 Mar 2011Link

Streetwise: My absolute favorite and the one that helped me understand that a documentary was different than a fiction film.

http://www.maryellenmark.com/films/titles/streetwise/screening_room/streetwise_rat_jump.html


Summers Henderson
Thu 17 Mar 2011Link

There's a very good documentary made by New Zealand filmmaker Justin Pemberton called The Nuclear Comeback (2008) about the question of whether or not nuclear power is what we need, to have more environmentally friendly energy production. (I made a documentary on the same subject, but it's not nearly as good.) Pemberton tries to give both sides of the debate an even chance to make their case – but it's hard not to notice that the main proponent of nuclear energy is an arrogant jerk. Nonetheless, the trend has been towards a huge, global renaissance in nuclear power. I suspect that the currently unfolding tragedy in Japan might change that. Let's all hope that it doesn't turn out to be as bad as it could be (and as I suspect it is).

But probably my favorite documentary on nuclear issues is Radio Bikini (1987) from director Robert Stone, about the nuclear bomb tests carried out by the US military after WWII. It's mostly constructed from archival footage – masterfully edited. But it's elevated to being more than just an archival film by two poignant interviews – one with a native Pacific islander who was forced to leave his home by the tests, and one with a US sailor who was part of the testing, and became an unwitting test subject. Highly recommended as an example of a historical documentary that packs a punch.


Ryan Ferguson
Thu 17 Mar 2011Link

i LOVE Dark Days for overall aesthetic and mood


Thomas Papapetros
Thu 17 Mar 2011Link

Not pleasant viewing. Made a deep impact on me. See directors cut version. Great but bizarre film making. Its a controversial film, that i think is misunderstood by many.


Ryan Ferguson
Thu 17 Mar 2011Link

also – in terms of Nuclear related films, i always loved The Atomic Cafe, masterfully edited over 5 years out of archival footage only. It apparently can be watched in its entirety on this youtube clip but there are ads throughout. maybe not the best movie to break up with ads, so it's probably best to seek an alternative way to view it.


Thomas Papapetros
Thu 17 Mar 2011Link

Into Eternity, about nuclear waste..


Doug Block
Thu 17 Mar 2011Link

I know others liked it a lot, but I have to say I found Into Eternity incredibly pretentious. Saw it at a film festival and I couldn't take more than 30 minutes of it.

Edited Thu 17 Mar 2011 by Doug Block

Keith O'Shea
Thu 17 Mar 2011Link

'Darwin's Nightmare', one of the most frightening films I've seen.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mwVgLi0cvfo


Keith O'Shea
Thu 17 Mar 2011Link

'To see if I'm smiling', caught this late one night by chance and was bewildered that it had not been on earlier and promoted.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0ZPg3RairUk


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