Informing the viewer about a previously unreported incident or inspiring them to make a real-life change, the documentary medium is one of the most noble genres of filmmaking, often striving to better the world we see around us.
From classics of the genre such as The Thin Blue Line, Titicut Follies and Grey Gardens to modern greats like Flee, Summer of Soul and Free Solo, the hunger for quality documentary features have never ceased, with viewers constantly interested in films that may challenge their perception of the world around them. Whilst many documentaries come, inform and then leave, others will force genuine personal change.
Nearly every modern documentary will describe itself as life-changing or a genuine must-watch, so weve sifted through such popular claims to bring you ten films that hold the power to genuinely change your life. Including the films of Werner Herzog, Asif Kapadia and Michael Apted, as well as modern Netflix specials, lets delve into ten original stories and unique life lessons.
This influential documentary from Jennie Livingston tells the story of the New York drag scene during the 1980s, focusing on the eccentric individuals who brought life and vitality to a movement that would impact the world. Shedding light on the complexities of the scene and those who make it such a wild success, Livingstons film is essential viewing for anyone interested in how the modern zeitgeist was moulded by the 80s scene.
Also touching on issues of racism, poverty and homophobia, Paris is Burning explores the necessity of inclusion whilst celebrating a scene that thrives on its sheer vigour and zest.
Asif Kapadias documentary about the great Amy Winehouse is a modern tragedy highlighting the shortcomings of modern media companies that force young talent to destruction. Lovingly told, the film explores the background of the singer, charting her childhood, her meteoric rise to stardom and her tragic fall from grace, passing away on July 23rd, 2011.
Encouraging the viewer to consider their own place in the media firestorm aimed at celebrities that is so often heightened by everyday people on social media, Amy is a crucial modern classic.
The role of advertising and fake news is so rife in modern society that its genuinely difficult to discern when we are being marketed to at all. Filip Remunda and Vt Klusk realised this way back at the start of the new century with their film Czech Dream which studied the role of advertising in persuading the masses to follow a fabricated truth, no matter what they read about the matter was real or not.
Watching this often hilarious Czech documentary will, no doubt, make you pause for thought before you fall victim to an advertising ploy, or indeed are lied to by key political figures.
Known as one of the greatest documentary filmmakers of all time, Werner Herzog has long deconstructed the role of man in the existential modern world. Following a man who spends his annual summer living with grizzly bears on an Alaskan reserve, Herzog examines the indelible connection humans have with animals, asking if it is indeed insane or indeed strangely noble to spend so much time with them.
Quiet and reflective, Grizzly Man invites internal discussion as to ones own peace with the wilderness, viewing nature in an entirely different way thanks to Herzogs unique touch.
Many food-related documentaries have tried to change attitudes to human consumption across the years, with Food, Inc. and Super Size Me both presenting compelling, now outdated, arguments for change. One message that has never faltered, however, is that of Shaun Monsons Earthlings, a film that is responsible for turning hundreds of people across the world into animal rights advocates.
Presenting the disturbing reality for so many mistreated animals across the world, Earthlings, narrated by Joaquin Phoenix will genuinely change the way you look at animals.
War documentaries can too often get bogged down with explosive visuals and dramatic real-life moments, though its the small, intimate journey of Waad Al-Kateab in the disorientation of war that truly prompts serious thought. Directed by the subject of the film as well as Edward Watts, the story details the female experience of war, focusing on a couple raising a child in the chaos of the Syrian Civil War.
Swirling an emotional whirlwind, Waad Al-Kateab and Edward Watts create a truly compelling film that details the story of wars most forgotten victims, the women, children and everyday citizens of a town under siege.
A vast exploration of race relations in the USA, I Am Not Your Negro is based on an unfinished project by writer and activist James Baldwin named Remember This House. Detailing the lives of three revolutionary public figures, and close friends of Baldwin including Martin Luther King, Jr, Malcolm X and Medgar Evers, Pecks film is a galvanising, bold project.
Whilst offering a comprehensive insight into the efforts of multiple civil rights pioneers, Peck also explains just how far society is yet to go to reach true equality, shedding light on the racism of Hollywood among other institutions.
There is simply no better document that explores the horror of the holocaust than Claude Lanzmanns incredible, explorative documentary Shoah which is sure to alter your perspective on one of the greatest tragedies of human history. Clocking in at over nine hours, Lanzmanns film presents interviews with survivors, witnesses and perpetrators during visits to multiple German extermination camps across Poland.
Brutal and hard-hitting, Shoah is one of the toughest documentaries to get through, though once you have, your perspective on the mid-20th century tragedy will be forever changed.
English filmmaker Adam Curtis has made a name for himself as a documentarian who is able to access the very heart of the contemporary zeitgeist, breaking down the internal structures that govern the modern world with staggering intricacy. HyperNormalisation, one of his many modern efforts, tells the story of how fake news and oversimplification has formed a strange world of artificial thought.
A near three-hour exercise for the brain, there is no doubt that Adam Curtis film will change your view on modern life, allowing you to see through the lies of modern consumerism and see the western world in an entirely new light.
Described by the American film critic Roger Ebert as an inspired, even noble, use of the film medium, the Up series, largely directed by Michael Apted, tracks the lives of 14 young boys and girls from various backgrounds, revisiting them every seven years to track their progress. Starting in 1964, the series has produced nine episodes, with each one providing a fascinating insight into how the 14 subjects have changed and adapted with every significant stage of their life.
Life-affirming, melancholy and utterly enveloped with the positive human spirit, the Up series will change the way you recall your own childhood and will adapt the way in which you perceive those around you. As Ebert states, it is indeed a noble, cinematic classic.
View original post here:
- Kate Berlant and John Early Discuss the Origin of Would It Kill You to Laugh? and Their Absence of Sexual Tension - Variety - June 29th, 2022
- As Wimbledon Begins, an Era of Sports Free of Bans and Boycotts Ends - The New York Times - June 29th, 2022
- The End of a 50-Year Chapter - City Journal - June 29th, 2022
- 'Elvis' Costume Designer Catherine Martin on Recreating the King's Inimitable Style - Coveteur - June 29th, 2022
- Further thoughts on restorationistsand a remark on papal sycophants - Catholic World Report - June 29th, 2022
- These are the 11 greatest Glastonbury Festival sets ever - Louder - June 29th, 2022
- Lebanese-Australian Fashion Designer, Yasmin Jay, On Why Theres A Gap In The Market For Modest Fashion - ELLE Australia - June 29th, 2022
- The benefits of adaptive reusing old buildings into new... - Inhabitat - June 29th, 2022
- Author Leah Sottile discusses her deep dive into two dead children in Idaho, and where extreme religion meets extreme conspiratorial fervor - Inlander - June 29th, 2022
- 10 Most ICONIC 50s Fashion Looks - Dress Like The 1950s - The VOU - June 18th, 2022
- Outrage From Young Women Sparks Ambition to Become More Involved in Politics - Australian Institute of International Affairs - Australian Institute of... - June 18th, 2022
- 4 Young Critics Put New Eyes and Fresh Perspectives On 'Hamilton' - Louisville Eccentric Observer (LEO Weekly) - June 18th, 2022
- GOPs violent, expanding war on LBGTQ kids should make you think about 1930s Germany | Will Bunch - The Philadelphia Inquirer - June 18th, 2022
- Nova Twins' Supernova is the album leading alt rock into a new future - Louder - June 18th, 2022
- TABLEAU's 'Confessions' addresses the silent crisis in male mental health - STIRworld - June 18th, 2022
- Michelle Obama delivers impassioned speech on voting: If you dontothers will! - TheGrio - June 18th, 2022
- What the Zeitgeist can Tell us About the Future of Terrorism - ICCT - International Centre for Counter-Terrorism - The Hague - June 11th, 2022
- REVIEW: 'Six' brings out the rock star side of Henry VIII's wives - Sioux City Journal - June 11th, 2022
- The Biennial Stars: Meet the 17 (Perhaps Unexpected) Artists Who Have Defined Our Current Era of International Art Shows - artnet News - June 11th, 2022
- "Nevada" and the Multiverse of Sadness - www.autostraddle.com - June 11th, 2022
- It breaks your heart: How Geraldine Brooks turned her grief into a book of love - Sydney Morning Herald - June 11th, 2022
- Does Tom Cruise represent the last generation of flesh and blood movie stars? - Flicks - June 11th, 2022
- What is LGBTQIA+? The acronym for the queer community keeps evolving. - Yahoo Life - June 9th, 2022
- A 35-Year-Old Man Listens to My Chemical Romances The Black Parade for the First Time - Consequence - June 9th, 2022
- Commentary: How Anton Chekhov became the playwright of the moment - Los Angeles Times - June 9th, 2022
- The Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts Announces 2022-2023 Season Featuring Two World Premieres & More - Broadway World - June 9th, 2022
- Preserve the past, please! - Dhaka Tribune - June 9th, 2022
- What Happens to Johnny Depps and Amber Heards Careers? Insiders Weigh In - Vanity Fair - June 5th, 2022
- WA Symphony Orchestra and Asher Fisch play Haydn, Beethoven and Brahms at Perth Concert Hall - The West Australian - June 5th, 2022
- PODCAST: Rewind of the Living Dead Reviews 'Stranger Things' Season 4, Volume 1 - Nerdcore Movement - June 3rd, 2022
- Review: Two and a Half Rivers by Anirudh Kala - Hindustan Times - June 3rd, 2022
- The Problem with Zeitgeist | The Anarchist Library - May 20th, 2022
- Zeitgeist Movement | Emerging economy Wiki | Fandom - May 20th, 2022
- Screen Printing the Visual Zeitgeist - The Provincetown Independent - May 20th, 2022
- 'Think you can do what you want with your body?': vintage pro-choice ads in pictures - The Guardian - May 20th, 2022
- How Will Remote Work Effect The Media Industry - Forbes - May 20th, 2022
- 2022 GOP primaries prove that MAGA is now bigger than Donald Trump - Salon - May 20th, 2022
- Escape Academy captures the fun of escape puzzles, without the cramped rooms - BEAM Media - May 20th, 2022
- 6 Nigerian Artists Riding On the Y2K Fashion Big Time - The Culture Custodian - May 20th, 2022
- Seizing the zeitgeist - PharmaTimes Magazine May 2022 - PharmaTimes - May 17th, 2022
- Hear rare audio of Television and Patti Smith performing 'Marquee Moon' in 1975 - Far Out Magazine - May 17th, 2022
- Are You in a Cult? This Podcast Can Tell You - Vulture - May 17th, 2022
- "Traditional" Catholics and white nationalist "groypers" forge a new far-right youth movement - Salon - May 15th, 2022
- The missing election ingredient: nothing here for the next generation - ABC News - May 15th, 2022
- Moving the Mountain: A Conversation about Pro-Blackness with Cyndi Suarez, Liz Derias, and Kad Smith - Non Profit News - Nonprofit Quarterly - May 15th, 2022
- Review: Ali Smith's 'Companion Piece' to her timely quartet - Los Angeles Times - May 7th, 2022
- Five artists whose image was more important than the music - Far Out Magazine - May 7th, 2022
- What's New on DVD/Blu-ray in May: 'Turning Red,' 'X,' 'Mississippi Masala' and More - TheWrap - May 7th, 2022
- June Ambrose On Style, Motherhood And Building Her Legacy - HelloBeautiful - May 7th, 2022
- Surrealism's Alternative History The 59th Venice Biennale - Nico Kos Earle - ArtLyst - May 7th, 2022
- A Brief History of Sex Clubs, And Their Clandestine Predecessors - InsideHook - May 7th, 2022
- New York cannot be the city of your dreams - Washington Square News - April 24th, 2022
- Kate Sutton at the 59th Venice Biennale - Artforum - April 24th, 2022
- Punk and poison: The trailblazing life and sad legacy of Johnny Thunders - Far Out Magazine - April 24th, 2022
- The Passover Offensive and the Easter(n) Promises - Jewish Journal - April 24th, 2022
- Inside the Critics Circle: This book gives a sociologists perspective on contemporary reviewing - Scroll.in - April 24th, 2022
- Unpacking the nature and human health zeitgeist Discover Society - April 20th, 2022
- Catching the zeitgeist - The Korea JoongAng Daily - April 20th, 2022
- To Reckon with Theft of Indigenous Land, Change Place Names - GovExec.com - April 20th, 2022
- What is shadow banning? And what do social platforms say about it? - Sydney Morning Herald - April 20th, 2022
- Tribeca Festival Lineup Includes Corner Office With Jon Hamm, Ray Romanos Somewhere In Queens, More - Deadline - April 20th, 2022
- Eli Roth names his five favourite horror movies of all time - Far Out Magazine - April 20th, 2022
- Tune into baseball for long enough in 2022 and you're almost assured to c - EMEA TRIBUNE - April 20th, 2022
- So what is the good of book reviewing? A review of a review of the reviewers - The Conversation - April 20th, 2022
- The Euphoria Casts Fashion-World Takeover - Surface Magazine - April 15th, 2022
- Ranking the songs of David Bowie album Aladdin Sane in order of greatness - Far Out Magazine - April 15th, 2022
- Keeping up with the Kardashians' confounding popularity - Stuff - April 15th, 2022
- Bulgari Releases the Thinnest Mechanical Watch in the World - Gear Patrol - March 26th, 2022
- Former Amazon Studios Chief Roy Price on His Downfall: 'That Was Not a Good Week to Have a Bad Article' - Next TV - March 26th, 2022
- This stunning Deep South fable isn't the next Kentucky Route Zeroit's the first Norco - PC Gamer - March 26th, 2022
- The 74 Interview: Howard Historian Daryl Scott on 'Grievance History,' the 1619 Project and the 'Possibility that We Rend Ourselves on the Question of... - March 26th, 2022
- What is the secret to happiness? Arthur Brooks talks sources of happiness | Opinion - Deseret News - March 26th, 2022
- 'The Godfather' at 50 Review - The Film Magazine - March 26th, 2022
- Chasing the Gold: Why 'The Power of the Dog' Should Win Best Picture - InSession Film - March 26th, 2022
- On art and women: I-You-They at Istanbuls spacious Meher | Daily Sabah - Daily Sabah - March 26th, 2022
- SCRUTINY | National Ballets The Sleeping Beauty Filled To The Brim With Talent - Ludwig Van - March 26th, 2022
- Oil time high: Do analysts think crude will hit $200 a barrel? - Capital.com - March 26th, 2022
- The Glasgow bootmaker who ordered Freddie Mercury to fit David Bowie with a pair of platforms - Glasgow Live - March 26th, 2022
- Wear a suit to the office. Its a special occasion - The Guardian - February 19th, 2022
- Conservative Judaism: The Beginning of the End? | Sam Lehman-Wilzig | The Blogs - The Times of Israel - February 19th, 2022