The world through a screen - Top documentariesby aekengren | created - 09 May 2012 | updated - 3 days ago | Public
List of my favorite documentaries, no particular order.
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1. The Emperor's Naked Army Marches On (1987)
Not Rated | 122 min | Documentary, War
A documentary following Kenzo Okuzaki, a 62-year-old WW2 veteran notorious for his protests against Emperor Hirohito, as he tries to expose the needless executions of two Japanese soldiers during the war.
2. Mondo cane (1962)
Approved | 108 min | Documentary
A "shockumentary" consisting of a collection of mostly real archive footage displaying mankind at its most depraved and perverse, displaying bizarre rites, cruel behavior and bestial violence.
3. 7 Plus Seven (1970 TV Movie)
52 min | Documentary, Biography
Director Michael Apted revisits the same group of British-born children after a seven-year wait. The subjects are interviewed as to the changes that have occurred in their lives during the ... See full summary »
Check out the rest of the series as well.
4. Land of Silence and Darkness (1971)
Not Rated | 85 min | Documentary
Through examining Fini Straubinger, an old woman who has been deaf and blind since adolescence, and her work on behalf of other deaf and blind people, this film shows how the deaf and blind... See full summary »
Unrated | 85 min | Documentary, Biography, Crime
A rare behind-the-curtain look at the Earth Liberation Front, the radical environmental group that the FBI calls America's 'number one domestic terrorist threat.'
Votes: 3,051 | Gross: $0.06M
7. Koyaanisqatsi (1982)
Not Rated | 86 min | Documentary, Music
A collection of expertly photographed phenomena with no conventional plot. The footage focuses on nature, humanity and the relationship between them.
Votes: 34,591 | Gross: $1.72M
8. Nanook of the North (1922)
Not Rated | 78 min | Documentary
In this silent predecessor to the modern documentary, film-maker Robert J. Flaherty spends one year following the lives of Nanook and his family, Inuits living in the Arctic Circle.
9. South of the Border (2009)
Not Rated | 78 min | Documentary
A road trip across five countries to explore the social and political movements as well as the mainstream media's misperception of South America while interviewing seven of its elected presidents.
Votes: 2,822 | Gross: $0.17M
R | 93 min | Documentary, Adventure, Romance
A retired gay anthropologist revisits the native cultures he studied in his youth.
Votes: 795 | Gross: $0.35M
11. Psywar (2010)
99 min | Documentary
Psywar explores the evolution of propaganda and public relations in the United States, with an emphasis on the elitist theory of democracy; and the relationship between war, propaganda, and class.
12. When the Mountains Tremble (1983)
Not Rated | 83 min | Documentary
A documentary on the war between the Guatemalan military and the Mayan population, with firsthand accounts by Nobel Peace Prize winner Rigoberta Menchu.
13. Liberia: An Uncivil War (2004 TV Movie)
102 min | Documentary
"Liberia, a nation burdened by its past. America, a nation with no memory at all." In Liberia, the summer of 2003 was pure insanity. A rebel army attempts to overthrow a government run by ... See full summary »
PG-13 | 91 min | Documentary, Biography
A cinematic portrait of the life and career of the infamous American execution device designer and holocaust denier.
Votes: 5,292 | Gross: $0.50M
16. Marwencol (2010)
Not Rated | 83 min | Documentary, Biography, Fantasy
After a vicious attack leaves him brain-damaged and broke, Mark Hogancamp seeks recovery in "Marwencol", a 1/6th scale World War II-era town he creates in his backyard.
Votes: 3,378 | Gross: $0.11M
18. Surplus: Terrorized Into Being Consumers (2003)
54 min | Documentary
Looks at the arguments for capitalism and technology, such as greater efficiency, more time and less work, and argues that these are not being fulfilled, and they never will be.
19. Cocaine Cowboys (2006)
R | 118 min | Documentary, Crime, History
In the 1980s, ruthless Colombian cocaine barons invaded Miami with a brand of violence unseen in this country since Prohibition-era Chicago - and it put the city on the map. "Cocaine ... See full summary »
Votes: 12,269 | Gross: $0.15M
22. The Harder They Come (1972)
R | 120 min | Crime, Drama, Music
Wishing to become a successful Reggae singer, a young Jamaican man finds himself tied to corrupt record producers and drug pushers.
23. Africa: Blood and Guts (1966)
R | 122 min | Documentary
The cruel acts of animal poaching and violence, executions, and tribal slaughtering, all taking place on the African continent.
24. Life in a Day (2011)
PG-13 | 95 min | Documentary, Drama
A documentary shot by film-makers all over the world that serves as a time capsule to show future generations what it was like to be alive on the twenty-fourth of July, 2010.
Directors: Loressa Clisby, Kevin Macdonald, Hiroaki Aikawa, Natalia Andreadis, Jack Attridge, Cristina Bocchialini, Zillah Bowes, Ferran Brooks, Andrea Dalla Costa, Lisa Cottrell-Bentley, Alejo Crisóstomo, Sócrates Cuadri, Ayman El Gazwy, Shawn Gadberry, Seth Grant, Jane Haubrich, Soma Helmi, Jennifer M. Howd, Clementine Isaac, Aditya Kolli, Gabor Kukucska, Francesco La Regina, Frederic Lumiere, Marek Mackovic, Zuqy Cruz Marquez, Linda Matarasso, Kevin McMahon, Joseph Michael, Joaquin Montalvan, Lilit Movsisyan, Emmanuelle Pickett, Christopher Redmond, Alejandro Romeo, Alaa Sheikh Hassan, Marcus Tedenryd | Stars: Hiroaki Aikawa, Cindy Baer, Teagan Bentley, Ester Brym
Votes: 14,763 | Gross: $0.25M
26. Man on Wire (2008)
PG-13 | 94 min | Documentary, Biography, History
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".
Votes: 52,010 | Gross: $2.96M
28. Waste Land (2010)
Not Rated | 99 min | Documentary
On the outskirts of Rio de Janeiro is Jardim Gramacho, the world's largest landfill, where men and women sift through garbage for a living. Artist Vik Muniz produces portraits of the workers and learns about their lives.
Votes: 8,245 | Gross: $0.19M
29. Anarchism in America (1983)
75 min | Documentary
A colorful and provocative survey of anarchism in America, the film attempts to dispel popular misconceptions and trace the historical development of the movement. The film explores the ... See full summary »
30. Hoop Dreams (1994)
PG-13 | 170 min | Documentary, Drama, Sport
A film following the lives of two inner-city Chicago boys who struggle to become college basketball players on the road to going professional.
Votes: 24,010 | Gross: $7.83M
PG-13 | 107 min | Documentary, Biography, History
Votes: 22,559 | Gross: $4.20M
32. Grizzly Man (2005)
R | 103 min | Documentary, Biography
Votes: 52,149 | Gross: $3.17M
34. Metal: A Headbanger's Journey (2005)
R | 96 min | Documentary, Music
An examination of the heavy metal music subculture that tries to explain why, despite the longevity and popularity of the genre, fans are marginalized and ridiculed for their passion.
35. The Times of Harvey Milk (1984)
Not Rated | 90 min | Documentary, Biography, History
A documentary of the successful career and assassination of San Francisco's first elected gay city supervisor.
Votes: 5,515 | Gross: $0.01M
36. Being Elmo: A Puppeteer's Journey (2011)
PG | 80 min | Documentary
The Muppet Elmo is one of the most beloved characters among children across the globe. Meet the unlikely man behind the puppet - the heart and soul of Elmo - Kevin Clash.
Votes: 6,691 | Gross: $0.30M
37. Savage Man Savage Beast (1975)
Unrated | 94 min | Documentary, Adventure, Drama
A notorious mondo film depicting unbelievable and bizarre rituals, animal killing and cruelty, and people being killed and eaten, all by either animals or humans against each other or themselves.
39. Encounters at the End of the World (2007)
G | 99 min | Documentary
Film-maker Werner Herzog travels to the McMurdo Station in Antarctica, looking to capture the continent's beauty and investigate the characters living there.
Votes: 16,930 | Gross: $0.94M
41. The City (I) (1939)
43 min | Documentary, Short
Visionary documentary that contrasts the conditions of life in small towns and in the industrialized cities, starting with a brief portrait of pre-industrial United States, then moving into... See full summary »
42. The Cove (2009)
PG-13 | 92 min | Documentary, Biography, Crime
Using state-of-the-art equipment, a group of activists, led by renowned dolphin trainer Ric O'Barry, infiltrate a cove near Taijii, Japan to expose both a shocking instance of animal abuse and a serious threat to human health.
Votes: 46,889 | Gross: $0.87M
43. Project Nim (2011)
PG-13 | 93 min | Documentary
Tells the story of a chimpanzee taken from its mother at birth and raised like a human child by a family in a brownstone on the upper West Side in the 1970s.
Votes: 8,133 | Gross: $0.41M
44. The Thin Blue Line (1988)
Not Rated | 101 min | Documentary, Crime, Drama
A film that successfully argued that a man was wrongly convicted for murder by a corrupt justice system in Dallas County, Texas.
Votes: 21,234 | Gross: $1.21M
45. Into the Abyss (2011)
PG-13 | 107 min | Documentary, Crime, Drama