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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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Rebecca Alvin
Wed 25 Jun 2014Link

In reply to Tanner Wolfe's post on Sat 17 May 2014 :

There is a brand new one called "Alumbrones." It is specifically about Cuban artists. It was just at the Provincetown International Film Festival, but I'm not sure where else it is headed.

Nell Carden Grey
Fri 27 Jun 2014Link

In reply to Tanner Wolfe's post on Sat 17 May 2014 :
I don't think it's finished yet (they just did a Kickstarter that ended in May), but Havana Motor Club by Bent-Jorgen Perlmutt is a Cuba film.

Also Unfinished Spaces looks great. Always a little tripped out by how much Fidel Castro reminds me of my Abuelo (Cuban grandfather).

Elizabeth Yoffe
Tue 1 Jul 2014Link

"The Square" was really an excellent documentary. One of the best I've seen recently. Also, was amazed by how strong "Gimme Shelter" was after seeing it again recently. It absolutely stands the test of time.

Elizabeth Yoffe
Fri 4 Jul 2014Link

Another great doc I just saw: "Elaine Stritch: Shoot Me". Really beautifully done.

Bill Kerrigan
Mon 11 Aug 2014Link

I just returned from a shoot in Saskatchewan.
The flight is long enough to watch a couple of films, but after looking at the selection list, which included Hollywood blockbusters… I had no interest in any of them except for one.
After landing, I discovered the other two crew members choose to watch the same film.

Thank you Doug Block… we loved 112 Weddings!

Malkia K. Lydia
Mon 11 Aug 2014Link

I saw Inside Job for the first time recently. WOW.

Doug Block
Mon 11 Aug 2014Link

In reply to Bill Kerrigan's post on Mon 11 Aug 2014 :

You're totally welcome, Bill. How cool! What airline?

Bill Kerrigan
Mon 11 Aug 2014Link

In reply to Doug Block's post on Mon 11 Aug 2014 11:35 EDT :
Air Canada

Edited Mon 11 Aug 2014 by Bill Kerrigan

Elizabeth Westrate
Wed 13 Aug 2014Link

In reply to Malkia K. Lydia's post on Mon 11 Aug 2014 :

Inside Job is amazing. As is 112 Weddings! :)

Romeo Fabian
Thu 28 Aug 2014Link

Amazing documentary I just watched called BARZAN. Follows an Iraqi refugee in Seattle who is accused of being a terrorist by the US Government after the 9/11 attacks.

The film isn't out yet but will be available on iTunes, Amazon, and cable VOD September 2nd. Definitely worth checking out!

John Burgan
Sat 6 Sep 2014Link

The celebrated True/False Festival in Missouri has put online many of its selections from its start in 2004 to 2014

Ellin Jimmerson
Sat 6 Sep 2014Link

In reply to Hanna Aneröd's post on Fri 23 May 2014 :

Hanna, I'm quite interested in your Pinterest page. I've been trying to figure out how to make use of Pinterest, too. I'm a little confused, however, as there are images of narrative films as well as docs. Also, you mention "tips", but I don't see any. Am I confused (as I usually am) ?

Kim Beamish
Sun 7 Sep 2014Link

Love verite docs, work'n on one now. However about to check a bucket list item soon and climb Kiliminjaro and am trying to think of the best way I could possibly turn this into more than just a mates climb a mountain clip. Any thoughts on travel docs, bucket list stories done well? Strange request but I'd be interested in any thoughts. Things like "180 Degrees South", or any docs or shorts out there.

Thanks in advance for all of your help, thoughts suggestions or resources.

Tanner Wolfe
Fri 12 Sep 2014Link

LA people: Los Angeles Plays Itself at Cinefamily for a few more days.

Christa Majoras
Fri 3 Oct 2014Link

I saw this in the spring and thought it was really great. The Galpagos Affair: Satan Came to Eden

Eric Johnson
Mon 27 Oct 2014Link

Please help spread the word about the 11/13 screening of Finding Fela in Durham, NC

47 more tickets need to be purchased as soon as possible to secure this screening!

John Burgan
Thu 20 Nov 2014Link

Check out The Market by Ana Husman


Sheila Canavan
Sat 6 Dec 2014Link

Just saw #chicagogirl @ Napa Valley Film Fest - best film we have seen this year. We could not understand why we had not heard of it. 

Thomas Michael Conner
Tue 20 Jan 2015Link

I would recommend this film for anyone interested in global warming, ocean travel and nuclear power.

New film chronicles the life death and resurrection of historic ship

Once Upon A Nuclear Ship, a new documentary by filmmaker Thomas Michael Conner, tells the story of the NS Savannah the world's first nuclear powered merchant ship that was once the diamond in the crown of the US merchant fleet.

Imagined by President Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1955 and built by the New York Shipbuilding Corp in Camden NJ from 1957 to 1962, the Savannah sailed the oceans of the world for 9 years before being taken out of service in 1971. In her brief lifetime she visited 77 ports of call hosting 1.5 million visitors and proved that a nuclear powered merchant ship carrying cargo and passengers was a viable option to smokestacks spewing soot and other contaminants into the air and laid the groundwork for a future that never came to be.

It's a story best told by the men who "were there when it happened" and although many of these pioneering seamen have sailed into the sunset, Conner tracked down some key players and let them tell the story in their own words. It's a story he too knows well because he was a member of the health physics (radiation protection) staff and was there from the day the reactor split it's first atom then sailed on the ship until the end of 1964. The NS Savannah was the only merchant ship requiring a special department for the assessment of radiological hazards.

Once Upon A Nuclear Ship follows the Savannah through all of her trials and tribulations from the keel laying to her decommissioning and abandonment to her resurrection in 2006.

Today, the NS Savannah sits beside a dock in Baltimore MD while a small group of passionate people led by Erhard Koehler and Jon Stouky of the US Maritime Administration are busy preserving the history and technological know how that produced the Savannah in the first place. Stouky like Conner was involved with the Savannah since the New York Ship days in Camden and is currently the project's Nuclear Advisor. Future plans include using the ship as a Maritime Museum.

Once Upon A Nuclear Ship is being released on DVD through TCL Communications, Inc and is available on it's own website Future plans include making it available via download or streaming.

Contact: Tom Conner

Edited Tue 20 Jan 2015 by Thomas Michael Conner

Doug Block
Tue 20 Jan 2015Link

Tom, congrats on getting your film made and out there.  However, if you read the header of this topic, it clearly states:

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.

Yannesh Meijman
Wed 28 Jan 2015Link

Great work from a very talented young director, Lance Oppenheim. An intriguing story about a former-top NFL player trying to work his way back to the top. I love how visual the documentary is.

Jeremy Pevar
Wed 18 Mar 2015Link

I have been away from the D-Word for quite a while, but thought I'd check in to see what folks here were saying about the recent HBO documentary series, "The Jinx."  I have searched the site for conversations on this film and come up empty.  How has this not been a hot topic over the past several weeks?  Not since "The Thin Blue Line" have I seen a doc where the film makers were able to coax a confession from a previously un-repentent murderer.  Although, in "The Jinx" Robert Durst didn't realize that he was making a confession.


For those who haven't already seen this series, I cannot recommend it highly enough.  Even before the jaw dropping off-camera "confession" that closes the final episode, this was a tour-de-force of the true crime genre.  Clearly Jarecki got incredibly lucky that Durst approached him about doing an interview in the first place, but luck isn't what makes the film so compelling.  This is first class film making.


Doug Block
Wed 18 Mar 2015Link

Actually haven't seen, though obviously I've heard a great deal.  I do know Jarecki has been involved with the Durst case for over 10 years, and made a fiction film about him a few years ago that was somewhat sympathetic, so he clearly worked hard to gain access.

My only fear is that the success of "The Jinx" and "Serial" has raised the bar of expectations for crime docs, and that nothing less than a multi-part series with a huge payoff will do. 

Erica Ginsberg
Fri 20 Mar 2015Link

Haven't seen it. Not a big fan of crime docs so it didn't pique my interest (I didn't listen to Serial either even though it takes place in my state). I certainly have heard a lot about them both on social media and from word of mouth though.

Niam Itani
Fri 20 Mar 2015Link

Yeah, same thing for me. I heard a lot about both but not really something I'd rush to see -even with all that hype. 

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