I'm also a big fan of BBC Horizon's episodes, they cover a wide range of topics and generally are quite excellent and well researched.
The Fog of War: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0317910/ -- whoa. Just: whoa.
The Thin Blue Line: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Thin_Blue_Line_(1988_film) -- when a conviction goes wrong.
I guess I really like Errol Morris and Herzog? Probably.
Also - a bit of a curveball answer: I really like Documentary Now! (on Netflix). They are parodies of really well known documentaries. So I ended up watching the parody and then looking for the source material on which it was based. I realized that my wife (art major) knew almost all the original documentaries and I knew almost none (engineer...)
EDIT: Wikipedia has the mapping of parody->original : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Documentary_Now!
The 2nd Platoon is depicted defending the outpost (OP) named after a platoon medic who was killed earlier in the campaign.
The huge success of this film and what separates it from the hundreds of other war pictures is that Junger puts us right in the middle of the action without any political agenda. He simply decides to film these groups of soldiers who have been deployed to one of the most dangerous locations in Afghanistan and lets us experience their day to day lives without making any pro or anti war comments. We are allowed to see a small glimpse of what the American soldiers have to go through and how they live amongst the villagers. In a way Junger allows the soldiers being filmed to tell their own story. We experience what they are going through in this dangerous war zone and how they interact with the local people. The cinematography is actually quite astonishing and I really felt like I was there with the soldiers.
The movie isn`t pro or anti war; it simply places the camera in the middle of the action and lets us experience what is going on. No one`s opinion about War is going to change: those who favor Americans involvement in Afghanistan will still do so after watching this documentary and those who don`t will still feel the same because the directors don't try to manipulate us into thinking the way they do. There aren`t any personal opinions about politics or war; it's all about experiencing what these soldiers have to go through every day whether or not they actually understand what they are fighting for.
It is only 90 minutes long so it is really worth your time.
To me, the most striking scenes were the ones where the Danish and UK soldiers would play FPS games, don very high tech gear, bounce about in armour, etc. and then contrast that to the rusty, bent rifles and leftovers from the soviets, the sandals, the dust, the mud, of the afghan fighters. The war has never been close in any way and the Junger quote comes screaming into your head:
“Each Javelin round costs $80,000, and the idea that it's fired by a guy who doesn't make that in a year at a guy who doesn't make that in a lifetime is somehow so outrageous it almost makes the war seem winnable.”
Do you know how useful a Javelin is? I think it's worth that much if it will save the life of the soldier firing it. I'd sure pay that much for it if I had the money and I thought it would save my life, or the lives of my comrades.
"A documentary which challenges former Indonesian death-squad leaders to reenact their mass-killings in whichever cinematic genres they wish, including classic Hollywood crime scenarios and lavish musical numbers."
"Titicut Follies" is a documentary by Frederick Wiseman about a mental institution in Massachusetts, in the 1960's. It's a haunting film about the way the patients are treated, it's quite extreme and sad but fully worth a view. You've never seen anything like it, and probably can't imagine how truly horrifying it is.
Spoiler: there's a dark side to levels of devotion such as this.
>This is exactly what Apple has been going through in the last year, exacting a level of polish that is on par if not above what they released last year, but still leaving nagging doubts in the hearts of the faithful. The one thing that would silence critics and quell fears would be that something twice as revolutionary as the original iPhone be straight up imagined, developed, and hoisted by the post-Jobs Apple--just to claim par.
I guess they decided to stop trying. My 2017 MBP is hands-down the worst computing device I've ever owned. It has nothing to do with my perception of Steve Jobs because I didn't start using Apple laptops until 2014. Performance seems barely better than my 2013, the super-awkward keyboard is just as bad as everyone says it is, and I started having hardware issues after just a few months.
I loved Jiro Dreams of Sushi. It was very interesting, but I agree there's a dark side to that level of perfectionism. His non-relative employee had to wash dishes for years before they would even let him try to make sushi, and then he gets to spend several more years making the same kind of sushi. Being told that he sucks at his job the entire time.
I can believe that Jiro makes really good sushi. I can't believe that all of the stupid, obsessive little things he does makes a significant difference in the quality. If you perform an objective analysis of his restaurant operation, instead of buying into the philosophy that he's some kind of sushi wizard, he's just a guy thats good at a making sushi but is also a toxic asshole with zero leadership ability.
Don't get me wrong, many of the things he does in an attempt to master his craft are admirable. However, in some cases he's an extremist to the detriment of himself and everyone else in his life. You don't have to be a psycho to be the best at something.
Orson Welles' F for Fake: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0072962/
Robert X. Cringely's Triumph of the Nerds: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Triumph_of_the_Nerds
The Maysles Brothers' Gimme Shelter: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0065780/
Randy Olson's Flock of Dodos: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0800334/
Les Blank's Burden of Dreams: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0083702/
Steve James' Hoop Dreams: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0110057/
Chris Hegedus and D.A. Pennebaker's The War Room: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0108515/
Somebody in this thread mentioned Wiseman's titicut follies, a lesser known but equally fascinating documentary of his is called The Store (http://www.zipporah.com/films/19) and just follows and examines the goings on at the Nieman-Marcus flagship in Dallas during holiday season of 1983.
Another favorite documentary that's more like watching a really good lecture is Thom Andersen's Los Angeles Plays Itself (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Los_Angeles_Plays_Itself ). it's a survey and exploration of the history of Los Angeles and its relationship and portrayal in hollywood and pop culture in general.
I just watched "The Idiot Cycle" which was very good. https://thoughtmaybe.com/the-idiot-cycle/
How can you mention Adam Curtis without mentioning 'The Century of the Self' series?
Do you know another documentary as good as this one?
It explores the rise of advertising in the 20th century, revealing how it emerged from propaganda during the wars and deeply wove itself into social norms. It might be the most powerful documentary that I've seen, because I watched it as an advertising undergrad and it unnerved me enough to move away from the field.
For example, it wasn't socially acceptable for women to smoke until the 20's, when the American Tobacco Company paid a group of suffragettes to prominently light up cigarettes whilst on public display during the Easter Day Parade. They positioned smoking as a display of independence for women, piggybacking the feminist movement and calling cigarettes "Torches of Freedom". There are several examples like this in the documentary, along with interviews from their creators.
It's shocking how easily public opinion can be swayed, and the techniques are far more powerful now through the Internet and social media. If I could ask every human to watch a documentary, it would be this one followed by Hypernormalisation.
You can watch most of Curtis' work for free at https://thoughtmaybe.com/by/adam-curtis/
" The idea for the film was proposed to the monks in 1984, but the Carthusians said they wanted time to think about it.
They responded to Gröning 16 years later to say they were willing to permit him to shoot the movie if he was still interested. "
I. Birth of the transformer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ihkRwArnc1k
II. Circuits in stone: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uGRNXmWng3M
III. Calculator wars: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ansXGewduN4
IV. Tech Giant: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G40YwOg0_B8
> The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters is a 2007 American documentary film about competitive gaming directed by Seth Gordon. It follows Steve Wiebe in his attempts to take the high score record for the 1981 arcade game Donkey Kong from the previous holder, Billy Mitchell.
Much of Adam Curtis’ work is fantastic. Hypernormalization and The Trap were as fascinating as they were frightening. If I had the authority, I would mandate every child see A Century of the Self in school, and then again in college.
James Burke’s Connections was also excellent. Kind of like a link between Carl Sagan and Adam Curtis.
I personally loved the History Channel’s Engineering an Empire, not least because of the hilariously hyper-American host, Peter Weller (best known as RoboCop).
Granted, the topic is probably not the most surprising, but it covers a wide range of issues and scary on-goings within the group. Maybe I'm just young, but I didn't know the full extent of what they do and how they do it. 'Going Clear' does a fantastic job of informing the viewer while giving a voice to those who've escaped and are now dealing with the backlash.
The Mystery of the Gnome Homes: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZLoBWpiOczQ
The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst:
I think all of Adam Curtis' documentaries are worth a watch:
Some others favourites off the top of my head:
808 (about the drum machine): https://www.imdb.com/title/tt2268622/
Hoop Dreams: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0110057/
Startup.com (a classic!) : https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0256408/
The Fog of War: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0317910/
In the same vein, does anyone have any other recommendations for docs that dive deep into a subculture?
The King of Kong: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0923752/
Tangent: 'BBS: The Documentary'. Great film, I only wish it were about 4 hours longer -- it seems much too brief.
They come across a number of different cultures and outdoor adventures along the way. It's very entertaining and an interesting look into different countries of the world.
I'm rarely hooked to TV shows, but this one got me.
Sibirsky Extreme Trail( To map an offroad trail route all the way from the edge of the European Union, across Eurasia to the Pacific Ocean at Magadan)
Races to Places(Rider traveling the world while competing in some Rallies) Fairly laid back fellow, and 9 seasons so far.
It's a BBC series that chronicles the second world war. It was made in the 1970s and features interviews with the people who were actually there. I really recommend everybody watch it at least once in their life.
I think you can find it on YouTube.
French Resistance veteran: "You had to be a little bit crazy to join the Resistance."
French SS volunteer: "We were raised on stories of the Spanish Civil War: priests being murdered, nuns raped."
My father made me watch this even though I was only 8 or so!
Werner Herzog has produced a number of fascinating documentaries that are just as good as his fictional films in my opinion. Wings of Hope, Encounters at the End of the World, Cave of Forgotten Dreams, Grizzly Man--he has an enormous talent for drawing profound, almost mythical ideas out of the subjects he captures. He's not for everyone, certainly, but his films have a unique vision you don't often see in documentaries.
The savvy of Ali's "rope a dope" strategy, combined with the way he got in Foreman's head, whispering in his ear in the clinches, was genius. IMO, you can't watch this film and not agree -- GOAT.
I could give you a summary but watching it with no context makes it as powerful as it was intended to be.
The 'videoclip' editing has been somewhat overdone, but this was done in 1989 so please give it a break and stick to it.
The doc itself was very famous in its time, but has since somewhat faded from public memory. Kinda like Marjoe and others, come to think about it
I watch it on Netflix. It is an even handed look of the war from both sides. It was so good. Be prepared to get angry and to cry.
Also check out Ron Fricke's Baraka (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baraka_(film)). It's just as beautiful in my opinion.
Meru - Conrad Anker, Jimmy Chin, and Renan Ozturk climb the Shark's Fin on Mount Meru in India: https://www.netflix.com/title/80039641
Valley Uprising - A history of climbing in Yosemite: https://www.netflix.com/title/80084836
Touching the Void - The story of Joe Simpson's accident and harrowing survival in his climb with Simon Yates on Siula Grande in the Andes. I'm not sure the best way to view this.
BBS: The Documentary https://youtu.be/nO5vjmDFZaI
The KGB, the Computer, and Me https://youtu.be/EcKxaq1FTac
8 Bit Generation: The Commodore Wars https://youtu.be/Jq_t-v0bDZ8
"Anvil! The Story of Anvil" (https://www.imdb.com/title/tt1157605/)
"What Happened, Miss Simone?" (https://www.netflix.com/title/70308063)
"Soundbreaking: Stories from the cutting edge of recorded music" (PBS documentary on history of sound recording) (http://www.pbs.org/soundbreaking/home/)
"Sound City" (about legendary recording studio in LA, narrated by Dave Grohl) (https://www.netflix.com/za/title/70265771)
"Last Days Here" (About the singer of early doom metal band Pentagram) (https://www.imdb.com/title/tt1723126/)
"As The Palaces Burn" (Lamb Of God's singer tried in Czech Republic for an incident at a concert) (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nB6k-Ev_H7c)
People love to hate on "Some Kind of Monster" because they don't like the album St. Anger but I really believe that it caught Metallica at a vulnerable and revealing time in their history. (https://www.netflix.com/title/80174429)
Searching for Sugarman: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt2125608
Don't Think I've Forgotten: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt2634200
"Crumb was met with wide acclaim from critics, earning a 95% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Gene Siskel rated Crumb as the best film of the year...Roger Ebert gave the film four (of four) stars, writing that 'Crumb is a film that gives new meaning to the notion of art as therapy.'"
"Andrew Marr's History of the World is a 2012 BBC documentary television series presented by Andrew Marr that covers 70,000 years of world history from the beginning of human civilisation, as African nomadic peoples spread out around the world and settled down to become the first farmers, up to the twentieth century."
It's all about the making of Apocalypse Now. It's really great, I'd say it's almost as good as Apocalypse Now the movie itself. The mental state of the characters and what it took to make this movie blew my mind.
The Emperor's Naked Army Marches On: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Emperor%27s_Naked_Army_Mar...
Grizzly Man: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grizzly_Man
Burden of Dreams: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0083702/
For wild-life I'll pick any Cousteau or BBC documentary
---Below are French movies (but worth trying to find in English)---
Depardon's Profils Paysans trilogy : https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0284409/
L'Inde fantôme : https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0063914/
And +1 for "Grizzly Man."
"... is a 2008 documentary film directed by Christopher Bell, about the use of anabolic steroids as performance-enhancing drugs in the United States and how this practice relates to the American Dream." -- Wikipedia
Typeface - follows the volunteers at the Hamilton Wood Type museum.
Dogtown and the Z Boys. On the birth of professional skateboarding.
Riding Giants. From the director of Dogtown. This one focuses on the development of big wave surfing.
Pumping Iron. Follows Arnold Schwarzenegger and Lou Ferrigno as they attempt to win the 1975 Mr Olympia competition.
And it's on Netflix.
They often include interviews with people who "were there when it happened", such as ministers, diplomats, military brass etc.
Do people get what I am trying to describe? I kind of fail to do so, I feel...
Edit: I just checked what is up next in this series. It is this italian documentary about events in Egypt, "Our man in Cairo"
Quite illustrative to what I mean. I haven't seen this one but it seems interesting
Review by Roger Ebert when it was first released:
> South Africans were unaware of his Australian success due to the harsh censorship enacted by the apartheid regime coupled with international sanctions that made any communication with the outside world on the subject of banned artists virtually impossible.
Turns out that many architects of the built environment are just as prone as those of the software kind to not caring about the usability and maintainability of their systems, let alone how how they will evolve over extended periods of time.
I'm trying to get the original source, but I only managed to discover that could be a translation of "A galactic odyssey" of NHK-TV, or reused some stuff from it.
I ripped some of my old VHS to YouTube : https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL32C7C4EF477AB37D
True documentary classic- incredible characters, editing, treatment. Just an overall gem.
And if you dig that, check out Home Movie, a follow up from Chris Smith & excellent example of the vignette approach to a feature doc https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0275408/
Some of my favorites:
Lost in la Mancha
Anvil: the Story of Anvil
When We Were Kings
F is for Fake
The Thin Blue Line
Don't Look Back
Up the Yangtze
I Am Not Your Negro
Touch the Sound. For me this was life changing. The story of a deaf percussionist.
Man on Wire. Also life changing.
Winnebago Man. Fascinating!You've probably seen his vids on youtube.
Anvil: The Story of Anvil. I worked in the music scene in the 80s and heard of these guys, and always wondered what happened. This film answers that question.
My Architect. A sons journey learning about his dad, through his dad's architecture.
Amazing story and perspective.
That the solutions to come out of at are so far removed from where we are today and how the US seeks to solve similar wide-spread economic challenges is deeply saddening.
In the Shadow of the Moon 
The film follows the manned missions to the Moon made by the United States in the late 1960s and early 1970s. The documentary reviews both the footage and media available to the public at the time of the missions, as well as NASA films and materials which had not been opened in over 30 years.
For All Mankind 
A 1989 documentary film drawn from original footage of NASA's Apollo program which successfully landed the first humans on the Moon from 1969 to 1972.
Moon Machines 
The miniseries features interviews with around 70 of the 400,000 engineers who worked on the Apollo program during the 1960s and early 70s.
These are variously available on DVD and YouTube.
Many BBC documentary series. Personal favourites include History of India and Islamic History of Europe.
The extremely unique (probably never to be repeated in spirit) and zeitgeist-defining Julian Assange Show @ https://www.rt.com/tags/the-julian-assange-show/ and Citizenfour.
A post-facto interview based documentary whose name I forget, perhaps Real War, about Russian military human rights abuses in the Caucasus, which was extremely shocking.
Many SBS Dateline reports.
It follows Martin Strel a Slovenian long distance swimmer as he attempts to swim the 3000+ miles of the Amazon and chronicles his struggles with the sheer effort of the swim, his personal life and alcoholism.
You don't need to have an interest in swimming or sport at all. It's just a really well-made documentary with many layers.
"Valley Uprising" - https://www.imdb.com/title/tt3784160/
Rock climbing in Yosemite. The story begins innocently enough but as it proceeds through history of the climbs, it becomes more and more astonishing. Well worth a watch! Again, you don't need to be interesting in climbing at all. A good story is a good story.
Active Measures is also pretty much required watched for the current conversation.
This is a ridiculous film, made by the guy who put out Bum Fights volumes 1 and 2 (but not 3 -- he sold the rights and another guy put out volume 3 using some of Ryan McPherson's old footage as well as new footage where the new film makers literally assaulted unsuspecting homeless people while dressed like Steve Irwin). In Bum Fights, McPherson paid homeless people to fight each other and do dangerous stunts. This isn't the case with Indecline. Indecline shows the film makers vandalizing property (think graffiti), and it shows other people doing stupid shit (a guy breaking into cars, a guy stabbing another guy through the chest, etc.), but the film makers don't seem to be paying other people to endanger themselves this time around, just filming it. This is a horribly depressing film. Expect to see a lot of human misery. Expect to question the motivations of the film makers. Expect to question the half-expressed political opinions of the film makers.
Since this film was made they've put out some other, shorter, less cringey, more banky pieces. Probably most well known is The Emperor Has No Balls (they made news for leaving these statues in some major cities without prior announcement): https://youtu.be/f7TeTzOgkMs
I prefer this large scale graffiti they did on a US military weapons testing site: https://youtu.be/HJWFHoyW-3g
McPherson also made the news for shipping human body parts (including an adult heart and an infant head) to the US from Thailand. He said he bought them at a local market, and was sending them to a friend "as a prank." They were later traced back to a hospital.
It's an autobiographical film about somebody you probably don't know or would ever care to know. It primarily uses collage (e.g. photographs, press clippings) for the visuals, narrated by the subject.
What's most memorable is just how darn good the film is. It's like your uncle presenting an Oscar-worthy slideshow in his basement. It felt like a masterpiece of film making. No film has ever left such an impression on me. I deeply appreciated and was in awe of its artistic merit. But I haven't seen it since its original release. Maybe it really only works on the big screen or similar environment.
Considered an innovative milestone in documentary film-making.
If you want to do long dives anything by Ken Burns, baseball is a classic:
A documentary about Napster directed by not Keanu of Bill and Ted's Excellent adventure, Downloaded:
This documents Earth by combining imagery and data from many different satellites, to model the Earth in a way never before seen before. It shows how different systems of the Earth interact with each other that is absolutely mind-blowing.
For example, you see how a stirring of dust in the desert creates a daily migration of minerals into the Amazon rainforest which allows the rainforest to survive and thrive.
It shows daily, and weekly, and Millennial long cycles that power the planet and really changes how you see the Earth.
And it's gorgeous.
This is a long basketball documentary following two youngsters from the housing projects of Chicago. I was lucky enough to visit Chicago for a week with work just a couple of months after seeing this; it led me to learning so much more about the struggles of people living in the housing projects of Cabrini Green, Robert Taylor Homes etc. Whether you're a fan of basketball or not, this is an eye opener into much wider issues.
All the "Dirty Money" episodes are pretty good, but the best one by far IMHO is the one about the racecar driver / payday loan scam empire. Just amazing.
"Plastic China" is really tough to watch (and may be even more deeply uncomfortable for people who pat themselves on the back for recycling) but I think it's one of the most important revelations in documentary filmmaking in the past 5 years or so.
I haven't seen it yet myself, but lots of people whose opinions I respect have told me that Weiner (https://www.imdb.com/title/tt5278596/) is good for this as well.
When We Left Earth: The NASA Missions
Pretty great, with high quality historical footage as well. I think you can buy the HD streaming version on Amazon for $10 (258 minutes long, broken into six segments).
Silicon Valley (by PBS) is another:
Definitely anything Steve James has done too - currently America to Me (https://www.imdb.com/title/tt7768836/).
Chicken People -https://www.imdb.com/title/tt4819510/ - follows three people for a year as they show their chickens at chicken fancier shows. Pretty gentle and just a nice film.
We Are Legion - The Story of the Hacktivists (about Anonymous)
The Commodore Story
From Bedrooms to Billions
It's available on YouTube.
The director went on to make Threads.
Also - "Behind the Lines" about the training done by the Arctic and Mountain Warfare Cadre of the Royal Marines:
"How Big Oil Conquered The World"
"From farm to pharmaceutical, diesel truck to dinner plate, pipeline to plastic product, it is impossible to think of an area of our modern-day lives that is not affected by the oil industry. [...]"
It is a 1997 Documentary covering the 1993 FBI siege of the Branch Davidian compound in Waco, Texas that ended with the death of almost all of the men, women and children in the compound.
Waco is considered by many to be the second part in a sad trilogy that starts in Naples, ID and ends in Oklahoma City, OK. I'd be interested in knowing of good documentaries that cover the other parts.
A few from Netflix that I could find that I rated:
Death in Gaza
The Filth and the Fury
Jiro Dreams of Sushi
March of the Penguins
The Art of the Steal
Born Into Brothels
God Grew Tired of Us
The Fog of War
The Lost Wave
The Last Waltz
Because this film is also about xenophobia - but fascinatingly the targets of this sentiment aren't Arabs or Mexicans but Americans! That shows how detached society even within one country became detached from itself.
Alpha go 2017
Pt 1 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UCDsXU15USI
Pt 2 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kxKFeQF6_zc
"Advertising is poison gas. It should bring tears to your eyes, unhinge your nervous system and knock you out."
"Lo and Behold" by Herzog depressed the hell out of me. It gives me the impression that society is being torn apart by the independence that technology enables.
Michal Pollan's Cooked series.
As for others that people have already mentioned, I'd second the nods to "Touching the Void", "Encounters at the End of the World", and "The Act of Killing".
And maybe "Dark Tourism" still fits this genre?
No (spoken) narrative, so I can't tell you what you're meant to learn, but it gave me a big overview effect of the world.
The Atomic Cafe (1982) https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0083590/
At Sea (2007) https://www.imdb.com/title/tt1829648/
The Vietnam War (2017) https://www.imdb.com/title/tt1877514/
Lessons of Darkness (1992) https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0104706/
Tim's Vermeer (2013) https://www.imdb.com/title/tt3089388/
Weiner (2016) https://www.imdb.com/title/tt5278596/
Jodorowsky's Dune (2013) https://www.imdb.com/title/tt1935156/
Los Angeles Plays Itself (2003) https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0379357/
The Art of Japanese Life (2017) https://www.imdb.com/title/tt7002974/
The Great Happiness Space: Tale of an Osaka Love Thief (2006) https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0493420/
The Triumph of the Nerds: The Rise of Accidental Empires (1996) https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0115398/
The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst (2015) https://www.imdb.com/title/tt4299972/
Brilliant documentary about the life of Shane McConkey and his progression from skiing, BASE jumping and ski wingsuiting.
101 Rent Boys about prostitutes on the Sunset strip.
Unknown Knowns was amazing.
also two old documentaries from Frontline on credit cards: “ The secret history of the credit card“ and “the card game“
Amazing, gritty portrait of NYC in the 80s.
I also found The Brain with David Eagleman a series that gave me revelations about all sorts of things.
Generally I do think, documentaries work better when they avoid talking heads.
1. Vietnam series by Ken Burns
3. Barca Dreams
My only note is that the narration is hit or miss in some parts.
HBO's documentary on Warren Buffet
Who Killed The Electric Car?
It's a couple of astronauts talking (mostly) about space and life and physics. It has crazy beautiful visuals
If your first inclination is to say, “A documentary about arm wrestling In shall not watch!”, check yourself at the Netflix login.
It's really compelling.
Wild Wild Country
It's on Youtube somewhere...
Cave of Forgotten Dreams
Wild, Wild Country
10 Days in Gaza
World War Two in Colour
documentaryheaven.com has a lot of dross and a few nuggets
1. Stalin's Daughter : https://www.amazon.com/Stalins-Daughter-Svetlana-Alliluyeva/...
2. Last emperor of China Puyi: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4KnlcJk2w4E
Crazy ups and downs.
Exploration of lives of John Maynard Keynes, Friedrich Hayek, and Karl Marx
2. Let the Fire Burn
6. Vernon, Florida
7. Art and Craft
8. Black Panthers
9. F for Fake
10. Du Côté de la côte
2. Capitalism a Love Story: Questions unrestrained capitalism in the backdrop of 2008 financial crisis
Biopics and Portraits:
- Kung Fu Elliot (https://www.imdb.com/title/tt3228302/?ref_=rt_li_tt)
- Listen to Me Marlon (https://www.imdb.com/title/tt4145178/?ref_=rt_li_tt)
- Man on Wire (https://www.imdb.com/title/tt1155592/?ref_=rt_li_tt)
- My Winnipeg (https://www.imdb.com/title/tt1093842/?ref_=rt_li_tt)
- A Gray State (https://www.imdb.com/title/tt6794380/?ref_=rt_li_tt)
- Happy People: A Year in the Taiga (https://www.imdb.com/title/tt1683876/?ref_=rt_li_tt)
- Valley Uprising (https://www.imdb.com/title/tt3784160/?ref_=rt_li_tt)
- You've Been Trumped (https://www.imdb.com/title/tt1943873/?ref_=rt_li_tt)
- Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret (https://www.imdb.com/title/tt3302820/?ref_=rt_li_tt)
- The Cove (https://www.imdb.com/title/tt1313104/?ref_=rt_li_tt)
- Chasing Coral (https://www.imdb.com/title/tt6333054/?ref_=rt_li_tt)
- Virunga (https://www.imdb.com/title/tt3455224/?ref_=rt_li_tt)
- Cartel Land (https://www.imdb.com/title/tt4126304/?ref_=rt_li_tt)
- The Act of Killing (https://www.imdb.com/title/tt2375605/?ref_=rt_li_tt)
- The Culture High (https://www.imdb.com/title/tt1778338/?ref_=rt_li_tt)
- The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst (https://www.imdb.com/title/tt4299972/?ref_=rt_li_tt)
- West of Memphis (https://www.imdb.com/title/tt2130321/?ref_=rt_li_tt)
- How to Make Money Selling Drugs (https://www.imdb.com/title/tt1276962/?ref_=rt_li_tt)
- The Fear of 13 (https://www.imdb.com/title/tt5083702/?ref_=rt_li_tt)
- Brother's Keeper (https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0103888/?ref_=rt_li_tt)
- Auschwitz: The Nazis and the 'Final Solution' (https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0446610/?ref_=rt_li_tt)
Reflecting on Life and Death:
- Given (https://www.imdb.com/title/tt4890452/?ref_=rt_li_tt)
- Extremis (https://www.imdb.com/title/tt5538078/?ref_=rt_li_tt)
- Touching the Void (https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0379557/?ref_=rt_li_tt)
- Attention: A Life in Extremes (https://www.imdb.com/title/tt2846628/?ref_=rt_li_tt)
- Israel vs Israel (https://www.imdb.com/title/tt1753960/?ref_=rt_li_tt)
- Inside Job (https://www.imdb.com/title/tt1645089/?ref_=rt_li_tt)
- The Overnighters (https://www.imdb.com/title/tt3263996/?ref_=rt_li_tt)