Made You Think! : Documentaries

Part of my Made You Think! collection. Documentaries can open up hearts and minds and generate wisdom.
View:
Log in to copy items to your own lists.
1.
Manufactured Landscapes (2006 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
Photographer Edward Burtynsky travels the world observing changes in landscapes due to industrial work and manufacturing. (86 mins.)
 
2.
Exit Through the Gift Shop (2010 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
The story of how an eccentric French shop-keeper and amateur film-maker attempted to locate and befriend Banksy... (87 mins.)
Director: Banksy
 
3.
Grass: A Nation's Battle for Life (1925 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
The struggles of a hardscrabble Iranian nomadic tribe as they journey through bleak country to reach the grasslands that will save their livestock. (71 mins.)
 
4.
The Cove (2009 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  
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. (92 mins.)
Director: Louie Psihoyos
 
5.
Last Train Home (2009 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
A couple embarks on a journey home for Chinese new year along with 130 million other migrant workers, to reunite with their children and struggle for a future. Their unseen story plays out as China soars towards being a world superpower. (85 mins.)
Director: Lixin Fan
 
6.
Little Dieter Needs to Fly (1997 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
German-American Dieter Dengler discusses his service as an American naval pilot in the Vietnam War. Dengler also revisits the sites of his capture and eventual escape from the hands of the Vietcong, recreating many events for the camera. (80 mins.)
Director: Werner Herzog
 
7.
Sweetgrass (2009 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
In the summer of 2003, a group of shepherds took a herd of sheep one final time through the Beartooth Mountains of Montana... (101 mins.)
 
8.
Waste Land (2010 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
On the outskirts of Rio de Janiro 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. (99 mins.)
Stars: Vik Muniz
 
9.
Born Into Brothels: Calcutta's Red Light Kids (2004 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
Two documentary filmmakers chronicle their time in Sonagchi, Calcutta and the relationships they developed with children of prostitutes who work the city's notorious red light district. (85 mins.)
 
10.
Promises (2001 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  
Several Jewish and Palestinian children are followed for three years and put in touch with each other... (106 mins.)
 
11.
Crumb (1994 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
An intimate portrait of the controversial cartoonist and his traumatized family. (119 mins.)
Director: Terry Zwigoff
 
12.
The Story of the Weeping Camel (2003 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
When a Mongolian nomadic family's newest camel colt is rejected by its mother, a musician is needed for a ritual to change her mind. (93 mins.)
 
13.
Rivers and Tides: Andy Goldsworthy Working with Time (2001 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
Portrait of Andy Goldsworthy, an artist whose specialty is ephemeral sculptures made from elements of nature. (90 mins.)
 
14.
Gonzo: The Life and Work of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson (2008 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
A portrait of the late gonzo journalist Hunter S. Thompson. (120 mins.)
Director: Alex Gibney
 
15.
I Like Killing Flies (2004 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
A documentary on the oddball Greenwich Village eatery, Shopsin's. (80 mins.)
Director: Matt Mahurin
 
16.
To Be and to Have (2002 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
A documentary portrait of a one-room school in rural France, where the students (ranging in age from 4 to 11) are educated by a single dedicated teacher. (104 mins.)
 
17.
Throw Down Your Heart (2008 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
A film crew follows the well-known banjo player Bela Fleck on his travels to Africa, where he learns about the instrument's origins. (97 mins.)
Director: Sascha Paladino
 
18.
Dear Zachary: A Letter to a Son About His Father (2008 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  
A filmmaker decides to memorialize a murdered friend when his friend's ex-girlfriend announces she is expecting his son. (95 mins.)
Director: Kurt Kuenne
 
19.
The Devil Came on Horseback (2007 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
A documentary that exposes the genocide raging in Darfur, Sudan as seen through the eyes of a former U.S. marine who returns home to make the story public. (85 mins.)
 
20.
Art & Copy (2009 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
ART & COPY is a powerful new film about advertising and inspiration. Directed by Doug Pray (SURFWISE... (89 mins.)
Director: Doug Pray
 
21.
Encounters at the End of the World (2007 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
Film-maker Werner Herzog travels to the McMurdo Station in Antarctica, looking to capture the continent's beauty and investigate the characters living there. (99 mins.)
Director: Werner Herzog
 
22.
God Grew Tired of Us (2006 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
Four boys from Sudan embark on a journey to America after years of wandering Sub-Saharan Africa in search of safety. (89 mins.)
 
23.
Capturing the Friedmans (2003 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
Documentary on the Friedmans, a seemingly typical, upper-middle-class Jewish family whose world is instantly transformed when the father and his youngest son are arrested and charged with shocking and horrible crimes. (107 mins.)
Director: Andrew Jarecki
 
24.
The Art of the Steal (2009 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
Documentary that follows the struggle for control of Dr. Albert C. Barnes' 25 billion dollar collection of modern and post-impressionist art. (101 mins.)
Director: Don Argott
 
25.
The Horse Boy (2009 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
A writer documents the journey his family takes to Mongolia to consult with nomadic shamans on the healing of their autistic son. (93 mins.)
 
26.
In the Realms of the Unreal (2004 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
A documentary on Henry Darger, visionary artist, janitor, and novelist. (81 mins.)
Director: Jessica Yu
 
27.
Trinity and Beyond: The Atomic Bomb Movie (1995 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
A documentary presenting mankind's most ambitious effort at perfecting the means to its own annihilation... (92 mins.)
Director: Peter Kuran
 
28.
A Walk to Beautiful (2007 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
"A Walk to Beautiful" tells the story of five women in Ethiopia suffering from devastating childbirth injuries... (85 mins.)
 
29.
South of the Border (2009 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
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. (78 mins.)
Director: Oliver Stone
 
30.
Touching the Void (2003 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
The true story of two climbers and their perilous journey up the west face of Siula Grande in the Peruvian Andes in 1985. (106 mins.)
Director: Kevin Macdonald
 
31.
Doctors' Diaries (2002 TV Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
"Doctors Diaries" is a 13-part television documentary series that profiles doctors and the lives that they save... (60 mins.)
Director: Steve Rosenbaum
 
32.
Helvetica (2007 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
A documentary about typography, graphic design, and global visual culture. (80 mins.)
Director: Gary Hustwit
 
33.
Burden of Dreams (1982 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
A documentary on the chaotic production of Werner Herzog's epic Fitzcarraldo, showing how the film... (95 mins.)
Director: Les Blank
 
34.
Marwencol (2010 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
After a vicious attacks 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. (83 mins.)
Director: Jeff Malmberg
 
35.
Van Gogh: Brush with Genius (2009 Short Film)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
Dive into the heart of Van Goghs paintings. For the first time, discover in IMAX the fantastic colors and passionate brushwork of a great genius as they take on a new life before our eyes. (40 mins.)
 
36.
Street Fight (2005 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
This documentary follows the 2002 mayoral campaign in Newark, New Jersey in which the Cory Booker attempted to unseat longtime mayor Sharpe James. (83 mins.)
Director: Marshall Curry
 
37.
Restrepo (2010 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
A year with one platoon in the deadliest valley in Afghanistan. (93 mins.)
 
38.
For All Mankind (1989 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
This movie documents the Apollo missions perhaps the most definitively of any movie under two hours... (80 mins.)
Director: Al Reinert
 
39.
Grizzly Man (2005 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
A devastating and heartrending take on grizzly bear activists Timothy Treadwell and Amie Huguenard, who were killed in October of 2003 while living among grizzlies in Alaska. (103 mins.)
Director: Werner Herzog
 
40.
Blindsight (2006 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
Six blind Tibetan teenagers climb the Lhakpa-Ri peak of Mount Everest, led by seven-summit blind mountain-climber Erik Weihenmayer. (104 mins.)
Director: Lucy Walker
 
41.
War Dance (2007 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
Three children living in a displacement camp in northern Uganda compete in their country's national music and dance festival. (105 mins.)
 
42.
The Take (2004 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
The film in not about auto-parts workers in suburban Buenos Aires, but about workers of a ceramic floors factory in Neuquen, several hundred miles southward, in Argentinian Patagonia. (87 mins.)
Director: Avi Lewis
 
43.
Brother's Keeper (1992 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
This documentary by Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky details the murder trial of Delbert Ward. Delbert... (104 mins.)
 
44.
The Fog of War: Eleven Lessons from the Life of Robert S. McNamara (2003 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
The story of America as seen through the eyes of the former Secretary of Defense under President John F. Kennedy and President Lyndon Johnson, Robert McNamara. (107 mins.)
Director: Errol Morris
 
45.
Joseph Campbell and the Power of Myth (1988 Mini-Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.9/10 X  
Mythologist Joseph Campbell presents his ideas about comparative mythology and the ongoing role of myth in human society. (360 mins.)
 
46.
Deep Water (2006 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
A documentary about the disastrous 1968 round-the-world yacht race. (93 mins.)
 
47.
Deliver Us from Evil (2006 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
Documentary about Father Oliver O'Grady, a Catholic priest who was relocated to various parishes around the United States during the 1970s in an attempt by the Catholic Church to cover up his rape of dozens of children. (101 mins.)
Director: Amy Berg
 
48.
A State of Mind (2004 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
A British documentary that follows two young North Korean girls as they prepare for the Mass Games, the world's largest choreographed gymnastics performance. (94 mins.)
Director: Daniel Gordon
 
49.
The Atomic Cafe (1982 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
Disturbing collection of 1940s and 1950s United States government issued propaganda films designed to reassure Americans that the atomic bomb was not a threat to their safety. (86 mins.)
 
50.
The Lottery (2010 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
Four children enter a high-stakes lottery. If they win, they can attend one of the best schools in New York. A look at the crisis in public education, The Lottery makes the case than any child can succeed. (81 mins.)
 
51.
March of the Penguins (2005 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
In the Antarctic, every March since the beginning of time, the quest begins to find the perfect mate and start a family. (80 mins.)
Director: Luc Jacquet
 
52.
The Trials of Henry Kissinger (2002 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
A film about the war crimes of the American diplomat, Henry Kissinger. (80 mins.)
Director: Eugene Jarecki
 
53.
The Pixar Story (2007 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
A look at the first years of Pixar Animation Studios - from the success of "Toy Story" and Pixar's promotion of talented people... (87 mins.)
Director: Leslie Iwerks
 
54.
Cropsey (2009 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  
Realizing the urban legend of their youth has actually come true; two filmmakers delve into the mystery surrounding five missing children and the real-life boogeyman linked to their disappearances. (84 mins.)
 
55.
Between the Folds (2008 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
Depicts a cast of fine artists and eccentric scientists (from MIT and NASA) who have devoted their lives to the unlikely medium of modern origami... (56 mins.)
Director: Vanessa Gould
 
56.
Mondovino (2004 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
A documentary on the impact of globalization on the world's different wine regions. (135 mins.)
 
57.
Only When I Dance (2009 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
Two young kids try to dance their way out of the favelas of Rio. (78 mins.)
Director: Beadie Finzi
 
58.
Man on Wire (2008 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
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." (94 mins.)
Director: James Marsh
 
59.
The Garden (2008 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
From the ashes of the L.A. riots arose a lush, 14-acre community garden, the largest of its kind in the United States. Now bulldozers threaten its future. (80 mins.)
 
60.
Objectified (2009 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
A feature-length documentary about our complex relationship with manufactured objects and, by extension, the people who design them. (75 mins.)
Director: Gary Hustwit
 
61.
Frost/Nixon (2008)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
A dramatic retelling of the post-Watergate television interviews between British talk-show host David Frost and former president Richard Nixon. (122 mins.)
Director: Ron Howard
 
62.
Our Daily Bread (2005 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
OUR DAILY BREAD is a wide-screen tableau of a feast which isn't always easy to digest - and in which we all take part. A pure, meticulous and high-end film experience that enables the audience to form their own ideas. (92 mins.)
 
63.
Grey Gardens (2009 TV Movie)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
The lives of Edith Bouvier Beale and her daughter Edith, aunt and cousin of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. (104 mins.)
Director: Michael Sucsy
 
64.
The Natural History of the Chicken (2000 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
Through interviews and reenactments, The Natural History of the Chicken investigates the role of the... (60 mins.)
Director: Mark Lewis
 
65.
Wild China (2008 Mini-Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  
An in-depth look at some of China's most impressive natural sites such as the ancient Han kingdom, the Mongol steppes, the Silk Road and the Tibetan Plateau. (60 mins.)
 
66.
Food, Inc. (2008 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
An unflattering look inside America's corporate controlled food industry. (94 mins.)
Director: Robert Kenner
 
67.
Winged Migration (2001 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
Documentary on the migratory patterns of birds, shot over the course of three years on all seven continents. (98 mins.)
 
68.
Wild Pacific (2009 Mini-Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.8/10 X  
A documentary series on life in and adapted to the conditions of the Southern part of the Pacific Ocean...
 
69.
The Civil War (1990 Mini-Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 9.4/10 X  
A comprehensive survey of the American Civil War. (680 mins.)
 
70.
Guns, Germs, and Steel (2005 TV Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
A PBS documentary concerning Jared Diamond's theory on why there is such disparity between those who...
 
71.
Jazz (2001 Mini-Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  
A survey of the musical form's history and major talents. (114 mins.)
 
72.
Lewis & Clark: The Journey of the Corps of Discovery (1997 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.7/10 X  
The story of the most important American exploration expedition in American history and the participants in it. (240 mins.)
Director: Ken Burns
 
73.
Thomas Jefferson (1997 Mini-Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
A biographical film about The United States' influential and profoundly enigmatic Founding Father. (180 mins.)
Director: Ken Burns
 
74.
Baseball (1994 Mini-Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 9.2/10 X  
A documentary on the history of the sport with major topics including Afro-American players, player/team owner relations and the resilience of the game. (1140 mins.)
 
75.
The Blue Planet (2001 Mini-Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 9.1/10 X  
Mammoth series, five years in the making, taking a look at the rich tapestry of life in the world's oceans. (50 mins.)
 
76.
Nuyorican Dream (2000 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
A gripping portrait of one Puerto Rican family living in NYC. Roberto, 29, the eldest son gay and living in Greenwich Village...
Director: Laurie Collyer
 
77.
The Beatles Anthology (1995 Mini-Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 9.4/10 X  
An autobiographical documentary of the greatest of the rock bands. (600 mins.)
 
78.
The Vice Guide to Travel (2006 TV Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
 
79.
Please Vote for Me (2007 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
Democracy in China exists, that is, in a primary school in Wuhan where a grade 3 class can vote who they want as class monitor. (58 mins.)
Director: Weijun Chen
 
80.
The Story of India (2007 Mini-Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.7/10 X  
Michael Wood visits places and interviews experts all over India to cover the great chapters of the subcontinent's history. (60 mins.)
 
81.
The Botany of Desire (2009 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
Michael Pollan, a professor of journalism and a student of food, presents the history of four plants... (120 mins.)