Documentaries you need to see
It seems like since the release of Blackfish, everyone can claim to be a documentary buff. Then along came Making a Murderer and everyone decided they were a detective. But before Blackfish was Cowspiracy and before MaM was The Jinx, and I can safely say which one I think is better... But I'd like to think that I genuinely am a documentary buff. I'm obsessed with documentaries, and they are the only type of film I happily sit down and watch. The magic of a documentary is learning about somebody else's life,somebody else's struggles and how incredible and exceptional the diversity of humanity really is.
Twenty feet from Stardom
This is a beautiful revelation about people we see in almost every performance of our favourite rockstars. Women and men who have joined The Rolling Stones,Michael Jackson...you name them, they're backup singers are in there. It's a great tribute to people who are not far from the spotlight, but somehow remain in the dark. Stunning exploration of
You've probably heard of the MTV show which screams trashy reality tv. But did you know Catfish started out as a group of friends, travelling across the country and trying to reunite Nev with his online lover. It a really fresh way to make a documentary and seems very genuine and personable. It's an easy film to watch if you're interested in something about the modern age, and, with the rise of Tinder and other social media, something which actually seems to impact so many of us now.
Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief
From something we're all very familiar with to something which is so shrouded in mystery, this scientology documentary provides a little clarity to how the organisation works from previous members. The film is confusing and does require some concentration; I had to rewind and refocus at several points, because as you delve deeper into the religion, it becomes more and more complex. Even those involved don't really know what's going on with it. But, be sure to watch this before Louis Theoroux's Scientology movie to gain a little context. It's stark, frightening and shocking.
DON'T google it before you watch, and seriously watch out for spoilers on this because the climax to the series is ABSOLUTELY MIND BLOWING. You will want all your friends to watch it, you will want your parents to watch it, and then you'll wanna watch it again just so you can talk to everybody about it. I can't really believe it's not more popular.
The Armstrong Lie
Imagine creating a documentary about Lance Armstrong's comeback to cycling. Filming him, spending time with him, interviewing him repeatedly for over a year. Working with him to create the film and edit it together. Then imagine,less than a month before you release the film, Lance comes out and says he lied to everybody the whole time and he has actually been doping the whole time. It's insane. The film is INCREDIBLY interesting and dynamic, you will not be able to take your eyes off the screen. Lance is a fascinating character and it's so interesting to see how he reacts and interacts with the director of the film. Anyone should watch this film, sports fan or not. There continue to be films about Lance but this is absolutely my favourite.
The Hunting Ground (The Secret War)
Both of these films will haunt you. The subject matter of both is sexual assault,firstly in colleges across America and secondly within the American military. The justice system with regard to both is examined and it is incredibly interesting. It is unjust. The statistics are frightening, the survivors are so brave and speak so honestly. I recommend both, but have the tissues ready because I promise you'll cry at at least one of them. I pair them together because they are both produced by the mighty Amy Ziering. Dealth with with grace and beauty, just prepare to be stunned by both.