Recommended Documentaries

Recommended Docs

  • Public

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...

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. Fans use our Public Classifieds, and Professionals have their own Shameless Self-Promotion topic.

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.

John Burgan

Marjan is one of the Co-Hosts here at The D-Word, I've just alerted her to this issue, I'm sure she'll get back to you soon.

Do check out the film, I feel you would really appreciate it.


Mentioned: Marj Safinia
Pasquale Iero


I am a PhD student in computational linguistic at the Open University (UK), I am looking for publicly available reliable documentary scripts (and possibly the related videos) in order to extract material to be used for automated analysis.

I would be grateful if anyone who would know of the existence of a repository on this theme would send me this important links.

Thank you very much.

Best wishes.

John Burgan

Not entirely clear what you are looking for, Pasquale - do you mean transcripts, i.e. verbatim records of documentary/interview material?

Pasquale Iero

In reply to John Burgan's post on Sat 5 Nov 2016:

 Hi John,

Thank you for your reply. 

Yes, I am looking for written material along with the documentaries themselves. I am not sure whether documentaries are scripted before they are filmed. If they are, the script would be more useful than the transcript.

I am worried that this kind of material would not be publicly available and there could be copyright problems.

By the way, it seems strange that a repository like this does not exist already.

John Burgan

I am not sure whether documentaries are scripted before they are filmed

Generally speaking, fiction films are scripted before shooting whereas documentaries are not (with the exception of educational/didactic films which are essentially illustrated lectures. 

To be honest, it's rather difficult to understand your concerns and indeed what you are actually looking for in the documentary field, and why.

Erica Ginsberg

Some historical and nature films may be scripted before filming, but most documentaries are not. There may be a treatment, but it can't always predict how what is being filmed will unfold. While some filmmakers may create an editing script once filming is complete, others may just have an outline or verbal conversations with the editor. Once picture is locked, one might need to create a script version if your film may need subtitling, dubbing, or captions, but such scripts are more for internal use.