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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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John Burgan
Thu 21 Apr 2011Link

Here is what will probably be Tim Hertherington's last film (he just died while shooting a project in Libya). Harrowing and poignant.

Edited Sat 23 Apr 2011 by John Burgan

John Burgan
Sun 24 Apr 2011Link

Docalliance has a wide range of docs online (legally, unlike many portals), some to download at small cost or even free, others streamed:

From April 18 to May 2, you can watch five unique, multiply awarded documentary films by Polish director Marcel Łoziński for free. Enjoy the best of the past twenty years of a filmmaker who is “trying to influence the reality around him while following the outcome with openness”.

Christian Polli
Fri 6 May 2011Link

I don't know if any of you have seen Catfish, but it was really interesting. I watched it the other day and found it to be mildly creepy and I certainly did not expect the ending.

Jason Perdue
Fri 6 May 2011Link

I saw several great docs at SF Int'l this year, but the one I was moved enough to come here to post about it was BUCK, Audience winner at Sundance. I think it's getting a release soon. Don't miss it.

Marth Christensen
Sat 7 May 2011Link

SIFF is showing Buck June 8 (SIFF Cinema) and June 9 (Kirkland).

Jennifer Gli
Mon 9 May 2011Link

In reply to John Burgan's post on Sun 17 Apr 2011 :

Heart-breaking, but great work. Any plans to do a feature length doc on this subject?

John Burgan
Tue 10 May 2011Link

Academy-Award nominated filmmaker (and long time member of The D-Word) James Longley (IRAQ IN FRAGMENTS) has made his 2002 documentary GAZA STRIP available for free online in its entirety:

Edited Tue 10 May 2011 by John Burgan

Kurt Engfehr
Tue 17 May 2011Link

great little film about the Salton Sea and the strange community that used to surround it and what's left of it.

Jason Osder
Tue 17 May 2011Link

Working on a crash course with a motivated student, I noticed how many great docs are on Netflix streaming these days. Thought I'd share a sample here:

Harlan County USA
Last Train Home
Man on Wire
When We Were Kings
It Might Get Loud
The Oath

John Frisbie
Wed 25 May 2011Link

In reply to James Longley's post on Sun 10 Apr 2011 : I agree. It muckracks to the point that it glosses over some of the real story. but, too, i wonder how else it might have been done.

John Frisbie
Wed 25 May 2011Link

I tend to get on a high after seeing a great movie – but Last Train Home was a masterpiece.

Fiona Otway
Thu 26 May 2011Link

In reply to Kurt Engfehr's post on Tue 17 May 2011 :

Some gorgeous footage in there... I've seen several docs popping up about the Salton Sea lately... Here's one I'm eager to check out:

Marth Christensen
Thu 2 Jun 2011Link

Just finished "Genghis Blues", re: Paul Pena and Tuvan throatsinging (netflix). It is great! I swear I put it on my queue because of something I recently read here, but can't find the posting. I read Fyneman's "Tuva or Bust!" years ago. I'm sure I have the companion record somewhere around the house.

Marj Safinia
Thu 2 Jun 2011Link

It's one of my favs!

Jason Osder
Thu 2 Jun 2011Link


Barbara Rick
Sun 12 Jun 2011Link

Thoroughly enjoyed Page One. Caught it recently at a special screening at a brunch event for Film Forum supporters. David Carr and Brian Stelter are brilliant. As a lifelong journalist, it thrilled me. Two of my favorite docs this year take place behind-the-scenes at The Times– this one and Bill Cunningham NY.

Danielle Beverly
Sun 12 Jun 2011Link

Barbara, the trailer reads like a fiction. The soundbites are phenomenal.

Barbara Rick
Mon 13 Jun 2011Link

Loved it, Danielle.

Kurt Engfehr
Tue 14 Jun 2011Link

here's a newfangled 'interactive documentary' supported by our good friends from the north, the NFB. it's a look at a small town in Canada that was closed!

it's part photo album, documentary and oral history. real interesting stuff.

Marth Christensen
Tue 14 Jun 2011Link

That is FASCINATING! Thanks.

Scheffee Wilson
Tue 14 Jun 2011Link

1. Capitalism: A Love Story

Kate Imbach
Thu 16 Jun 2011Link

In reply to Kurt Engfehr's post on Tue 14 Jun 2011 :

how interesting! thanks for the rec!

Reid B. Kimball
Sat 18 Jun 2011Link

Hi everyone,

Not sure if I should ask here or somewhere else. I'm wondering if anyone knows of a "first person" documentary film? Meaning, the film is about a person but it is filmed from their perspective. For example, I'm the director, the film is about my story and I film everything from my view.

Edited Sat 18 Jun 2011 by Reid B. Kimball

Ramona Diaz
Sat 18 Jun 2011Link

There's a whole slew but a seminal work in this genre is Ross McElwee's Sherman's March.

Eliaichi Kimaro
Sun 19 Jun 2011Link

In reply to Reid B. Kimball's post on Sat 18 Jun 2011 :
Hi Reid, I know this isn't the place for self-promo, but in answer to your question, my film A Lot Like You is a first person doc...

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