I’ve got an mp3 player that plays videos, and I’ve got a one-hour round trip every day to work. I’m a visual learner, so I’d really like to watch documentaries on my way to and fro.
I’m looking for any good documentaries, whether it be about history, politics, or science.
In order for me to find it, I guess it would have to be fairly recent, but I’m just curious what I should look for.
Well, the ones I like may not be very recent, but I’m sure you can find them.
Scandalize My Name: Stories From The Blacklist An accounting of McCarthy era politics and black actors.
When The Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts A must see about Hurricane Katrina and her aftermath.
Capturing The Friedmans A heartbreaking story of wrongly accused brothers and child sexual abuse.
Horns and Halos About an unauthorized biography of George W. Bush. Interesting, to say the least.
One that shows up on IFC-
Frazetta: Painting With Fire - about Conan/Western/fantasy artist Frank Frazetta
Seen on Sundance Channel-
The Nomi Song - about late New Wave singer Klaus Nomi
Blue Planet ,stunning natural history filming.
Battlefield detectives about famous battles but gives insights into the equipments ,tactics and reasons for the battles ocurrence but makes it interesting .
Lost Worlds ,recreates ancient cities and the lives of the people living in them.
I find all three series interesting ,informative and entertaining ,making it a pleasure not a chore to learn new things.
I wasn’t able to find a download for this, but if you can find a copy of “Clay, Wood, Fire, Spirit”, it’s a great documentary about a man who built the largest wood-fired kiln in the U.S. here in Minnesota.
Another vote for Capturing the Friedmans, and definitely Jesus Camp as soon as it’s released.
I liked Genghis Blues, the story of blind musician Paul Pena’s successful efforts at learning Tuvan throat singing, and his subsequent trip to Mongolia to take part in a throat singing competition.
I don’t know if they are out on video yet, but one BBC series I liked and that got a lot of acclaim was Seven Wonders of the Industrial World
They don’t come much better than The World at War if you want WWII stuff. Narrated by Larry Olivier, it is wonderful viewing.
The Jonathan Demme-produced bio documentary Mandela, about the great South African leader, is just outstanding. One of the best documentaries I’ve ever seen - both interesting and uplifting. Mandela could easily have given himself over to hatred and bitterness for all the crap heaped upon him by the Apartheid regime, but instead became a statesman who led his country to a better day:
I second Genghis Blues, as it was not only a bit educational for those who are interested in music, but it had some really touching insights to not only Pena’s life, but the people of Tuva.
When We Were Kings is a fascinating (to me at least) look into the life of Muhammed Ali, both the man and the boxer. It’s got history, politics, and science (psychology, I guess) all rolled into one.
“Beyond the Mat” a great documentary about Professional Wrestling in the 90s. It is both insightful and hilarious and heartbreaking. If you think wrestling is dumb watch this and you will atleast respect the athleticsm of the participants.
“One Day in September” is about the Munich Olympics and the Israeli athletes and the Palestinian terrorists.
The Fog of War: Eleven Lessons from the Life of Robert S. McNamara, by Errol Morris, is possibly the finest documentary released this decade.
You also might be interested in American Movie
Ooo, ooo! And Hoop Dreams! :smack: How could I have forgotten? Great documentary about how pro basketball offers an all-too-often deceptive vision of escape for kids trapped in slums.
And Roger and Me. Still the fat bearded guy’s best work.
All of the ones mentioned so far which I’ve seen were terrific in different ways.
Allow me to add “Crumb” (about far-out cartoonist Robert Crumb’s compellingly sad/strange life*) and “My Brother’s Keeper” (about a “mercy killing” in an amazingly non-modern part of upstate New York).
*Things seem to have improved for Crumb since the film was made, if his recent autobiographical New Yorker cartoons are to be believed.
Oooh, oooh, oooh!
I forgot Rize, imho the best movie of 2005.
Oh – since the OP mentioned science, I’ll add “Winged Migration” – real flights of real birds filmed from the bird’s perspective.
I’ll throw out Fahrenheit 9/11, given that it looks like history is about to repeat itself again…