Sight and Sound -The Greatest Documentaries of All Timeby lievebees | created - 02 Jul 2018 | updated - 02 Jul 2018 | Public
Sight and Sound -The Greatest Documentaries of All Time
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2. Shoah (1985)
Not Rated | 566 min | Documentary, History, War
Claude Lanzmann's epic documentary recounts the story of the Holocaust through interviews with witnesses - perpetrators as well as survivors.
Votes: 7,636 | Gross: $0.02M
4. Night and Fog (1956)
Not Rated | 32 min | Documentary, Short, History
The history of Nazi Germany's death camps of the Final Solution and the hellish world of dehumanization and death contained inside.
5. The Thin Blue Line (1988)
Not Rated | 101 min | Documentary, Crime, Drama
A film that successfully argued that a man was wrongly convicted for murder by a corrupt justice system in Dallas County, Texas.
Votes: 19,905 | Gross: $1.21M
6. Nanook of the North (1922)
Not Rated | 78 min | Documentary
In this silent predecessor to the modern documentary, film-maker Robert J. Flaherty spends one year following the lives of Nanook and his family, Inuits living in the Arctic Circle.
9. The Gleaners & I (2000)
Not Rated | 82 min | Documentary
Varda films and interviews gleaners in France in all forms, from those picking fields after the harvest to those scouring the dumpsters of Paris.
Votes: 5,174 | Gross: $0.15M
10. Grey Gardens (1975)
PG | 95 min | Documentary, Comedy, Drama
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.
Votes: 10,844 | Gross: $0.03M
11. The Sorrow and the Pity (1969)
PG | 251 min | Documentary, History, War
An in-depth exploration of the various reactions by the French people to the Vichy government's acceptance of Nazi invasion.
12. Grizzly Man (2005)
R | 103 min | Documentary, Biography
Votes: 48,496 | Gross: $3.17M
13. Salesman (1969)
G | 85 min | Documentary, Drama
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.
14. Las Hurdes (1933)
30 min | Documentary, Short
A surrealistic documentary portrait of the region of Las Hurdes, a remote region of Spain where civilisation has barely developed, showing how the local peasants try to survive without even the most basic utilities and skills.
16. Hoop Dreams (1994)
PG-13 | 170 min | Documentary, Drama, Sport
A film following the lives of two inner-city Chicago boys who struggle to become college basketball players on the road to going professional.
Votes: 22,382 | Gross: $7.83M
17. Seven Up! (1964 TV Short)
40 min | Documentary, Short, Biography
A group of seven-year-old British children from widely ranging backgrounds are interviewed about a range of subjects. Director Michael Apted plans to reinterview them at seven-year ... See full summary »
18. The Battle of Chile: Part I (1975)
Not Rated | 191 min | Documentary
The chronicle of the political tension in Chile in 1973 and of the violent counter revolution against the democratically elected government of Salvador Allende.
20. The Act of Killing (2012)
Not Rated | 117 min | Documentary, Crime
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.
Votes: 31,294 | Gross: $0.49M
21. Nostalgia for the Light (2010)
Not Rated | 90 min | Documentary
A documentary about two different searches conducted in the Chilean Atacama Desert: one by astronomers looking for answers about the history of the cosmos, and one by women looking for the remains of loved ones killed by Pinochet's regime.
22. The House Is Black (1963)
20 min | Documentary, Short
Set in a leper colony in the north of Iran, The House is Black juxtaposes "ugliness", of which there is much in the world as stated in the opening scenes, with religion and gratitude.
25. Listen to Britain (1942)
Not Rated | 20 min | Documentary, Short
A depiction of life in wartime England during the Second World War. Director Humphrey Jennings visits many aspects of civilian life and of the turmoil and privation caused by the war, all without narration.
26. The Emperor's Naked Army Marches On (1987)
Not Rated | 122 min | Documentary, War
A documentary following Kenzo Okuzaki, a 62-year-old WW2 veteran notorious for his protests against Emperor Hirohito, as he tries to expose the needless executions of two Japanese soldiers during the war.
27. Gimme Shelter (1970)
GP | 91 min | Documentary, Music, Thriller
A harrowing documentary of the Stones' 1969 tour, with much of the focus on the tragic concert at Altamont.
Votes: 9,846 | Gross: $0.25M
Histoire(s) du cinéma (1989–1999)
Toutes les histoires
51 min | Documentary
An 8-part documentary chronically the history of cinema: "All the Histories", "A Single History", "Only Cinema", "Deadly "Beauty", "The Coin of the Absolute", "A New Wave", "The Control of the Universe", and "The Signs Among Us".
Director: Jean-Luc Godard
29. Leviathan (I) (2012)
Not Rated | 87 min | Documentary
A documentary shot in the North Atlantic and focused on the commercial fishing industry.
Votes: 2,953 | Gross: $1.09M
30. Capturing the Friedmans (2003)
Not Rated | 107 min | Documentary, Biography
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.
Votes: 22,471 | Gross: $3.12M
32. Man of Aran (1934)
Not Rated | 76 min | Documentary
In this blend of documentary and fictional narrative from pioneering filmmaker Robert Flaherty, the everyday trials of life on Ireland's unforgiving Aran Islands are captured with attention to naturalistic beauty and historical detail.
33. Four Seasons (1975)
29 min | Documentary, Short
The last collaboration of Artavazd Peleshian and cinematographer Mikhail Vartanov is a film-essay about Armenia's shepherds, about the contradiction and the harmony between man and nature, scored to Vivaldi's Four Seasons.
Director: Artavazd Peleshian
34. Roger & Me (1989)
R | 91 min | Documentary
Votes: 24,840 | Gross: $6.71M
38. Lessons of Darkness (1992)
Not Rated | 54 min | Documentary, War
This film shows the disaster of the Kuwaitian oil fields in flames, with few interviews and no explanatory narration. Hell itself is presented in such beautiful sights and music that one has to be fascinated by it.
39. Koyaanisqatsi (1982)
Not Rated | 86 min | Documentary, Music
A collection of expertly photographed phenomena with no conventional plot. The footage focuses on nature, humanity and the relationship between them.
Votes: 32,078 | Gross: $1.72M
41. Darwin's Nightmare (2004)
107 min | Documentary
A documentary on the effect of fishing the Nile perch in Tanzania's Lake Victoria. The predatory fish, which has wiped out the native species, is sold in European supermarkets, while starving Tanzanian families have to make do with the leftovers.
Votes: 5,216 | Gross: $0.20M
42. Man on Wire (2008)
PG-13 | 94 min | Documentary, Biography
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".
Votes: 49,534 | Gross: $2.96M
43. Belovy (1992)
60 min | Documentary
"Belovy (the Belovs)" is a breathtaking portrait of a troubled peasant family. It's poetry in the form of a documentary that won many prizes. Beautifully shot in vintage black and white, ... See full summary »
44. Close-Up (1990)
Not Rated | 98 min | Biography, Crime, Drama
Votes: 12,676 | Gross: $0.00M
45. Waltz with Bashir (2008)
R | 90 min | Documentary, Animation, Biography
An Israeli film director interviews fellow veterans of the 1982 invasion of Lebanon to reconstruct his own memories of his term of service in that conflict.
Votes: 52,450 | Gross: $2.28M
46. The Hour of the Furnaces (1968)
Unrated | 260 min | Documentary
Divided into three segments, namely 1 Neocolonialism, 2 Act for liberation, 3 Violence and liberation, the documentary lasts more than 4 hours this deals with the defense of the revolution ... See full summary »
48. Burden of Dreams (1982)
Not Rated | 95 min | Documentary