Docs for Zee

A list of documentary films Zee should watch and comment upon. Pay close attention to production techniques, narrative structures, camera angles, use of b roll footage, reaction shots, etc. How many cameras are being used? Who is off camera? Is location of interviews important? How is archival material used? Who are the filmmakers and what is their relationship to their subjects?

This is an ongoing list.
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1.
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
 
2.
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
 
3.
Dig! (2004 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
A documentary on the once-promising American rock bands The Brian Jonestown Massacre and The Dandy Warhols, and the friendship/rivalry between their respective founders, Anton Newcombe and Courtney Taylor. (107 mins.)
Director: Ondi Timoner
 
4.
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
 
5.
Anvil: The Story of Anvil (2008 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
Since 1978, Anvil has become one of heavy metal's most influential yet commercially unsuccessful acts. In 2006, after a fledging European tour Anvil sets out to record their thirteenth album and continue to follow their dreams. (80 mins.)
Director: Sacha Gervasi
 
6.
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
 
7.
Waiting for 'Superman' (2010 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
Filmmaker Davis Guggenheim reminds us that education "statistics" have names: Anthony, Francisco, Bianca... (111 mins.)
 
8.
Hoop Dreams (1994 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
A film following the lives of two inner-city Chicago boys who struggle to become college basketball players on the road to going professional. (170 mins.)
Director: Steve James
 
9.
Salesman (1969 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
Four relentless door-to-door salesmen deal with constant rejection, homesickness and inevitable burnout as they go across the country selling very expensive bibles to low-income Catholic families. (85 mins.)
 
10.
Grey Gardens (1975 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
An old mother and her middle-aged daughter, the aunt and cousin of Jacqueline Kennedy, live their eccentric lives in a filthy, decaying mansion in East Hampton. (94 mins.)
 
11.
Super Size Me (2004 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
While examining the influence of the fast food industry, Morgan Spurlock personally explores the consequences on his health of a diet of solely McDonald's food for one month. (100 mins.)
Director: Morgan Spurlock
 
12.
Super High Me (2007 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  
Stand up comedian and marijuana user Doug Benson documents thirty days of pot free living and thirty days of non-stop use to compare the effects of both. (94 mins.)
Director: Michael Blieden
 
13.
Knuckle (2011 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
An epic 12-year journey into the brutal and secretive world of Irish Traveler bare-knuckle fighting. This film follows a history of violent feuding between rival clans. (97 mins.)
Director: Ian Palmer
 
14.
My Architect (2003 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
Director Nathaniel Kahn searches to understand his father, noted architect Louis Kahn, who died bankrupt and alone in 1974. (116 mins.)
Director: Nathaniel Kahn
 
15.
Catfish (2010 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
Young filmmakers document their colleague's budding online friendship with a young woman and her family which leads to an unexpected series of discoveries. (87 mins.)
 
16.
Kumaré (2011 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
A documentary about a man who impersonates a wise Indian Guru and builds a following in Arizona. At the height of his popularity, the Guru Kumar must reveal his true identity to his disciples and unveil his greatest teaching of all. (84 mins.)
Director: Vikram Gandhi
 
17.
Jiro Dreams of Sushi (2011 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
A documentary on 85-year-old sushi master Jiro Ono, his renowned Tokyo restaurant, and his relationship with his son and eventual heir, Yoshikazu. (81 mins.)
Director: David Gelb
 
18.
Bully (2011 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
A documentary on peer-to-peer bullying in schools across America. (98 mins.)
Director: Lee Hirsch
 
19.
The Greatest Movie Ever Sold (2011 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  
A documentary about branding, advertising and product placement that is financed and made possible by brands, advertising and product placement. (90 mins.)
Director: Morgan Spurlock
 
20.
Life in a Day (2011 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
A documentary shot by film-makers all over the world that serves as a time capsule to show future generations what it was like to be alive on the twenty-fourth of July, 2010. (95 mins.)
 
21.
Stevie (2002 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
In 1995 Director Steve James (Hoop Dreams) returned to rural Southern Illinois to reconnect with Stevie Fielding, a troubled young boy he had been an 'Advocate Big Brother' to ten years earlier. (140 mins.)
Director: Steve James
 
22.
Nerdcore Rising (2008 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
Hilariously entertaining, NERDCORE RISING introduces a new wave of hip-hop to the world called "Nerdcore"... (85 mins.)