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Added by Mr. Saturn on 17 Mar 2012 01:50
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best documentaries

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Series and Long Documentaries

around 5+ hour documentaries
People who added this item 17 Average listal rating (10 ratings) 9 IMDB Rating 9.3
Connections (1978)
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People who added this item 38 Average listal rating (23 ratings) 7.9 IMDB Rating 8.1
7 Up! (1964)
The "Up" documentaries, they're called. Every seven years, the British director Michael Apted revisits a group of people whose lives he has been chronicling since they were children. As he chats with them about how things are going, his films penetrate to the central mystery of life, asking the same questions that Wim Wenders poses in "Wings of Desire" Why am I me and why not you? Why am I here and why not there? - Roger Ebert
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People who added this item 29 Average listal rating (15 ratings) 8.3 IMDB Rating 8
7 Plus Seven (1970)
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People who added this item 27 Average listal rating (15 ratings) 8.3 IMDB Rating 8.2
21 Up (1977)
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People who added this item 33 Average listal rating (17 ratings) 8.3 IMDB Rating 8.3
28 Up (1984)
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People who added this item 30 Average listal rating (16 ratings) 8.6 IMDB Rating 8.2
35 Up (1991)
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People who added this item 27 Average listal rating (14 ratings) 8.1 IMDB Rating 8.3
42 Up (1998)
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People who added this item 29 Average listal rating (13 ratings) 8.5 IMDB Rating 8.2
49 Up (2005)
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People who added this item 22 Average listal rating (13 ratings) 7.8 IMDB Rating 7.9
56 Up (2012)
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People who added this item 216 Average listal rating (61 ratings) 8.7 IMDB Rating 8.4
Shoah (1985)
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People who added this item 4 Average listal rating (2 ratings) 8 IMDB Rating 8.4
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People who added this item 11 Average listal rating (3 ratings) 8.3 IMDB Rating 8.8
Civilisation (1969)
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People who added this item 6 Average listal rating (3 ratings) 7.3 IMDB Rating 8.2
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People who added this item 44 Average listal rating (19 ratings) 8 IMDB Rating 8.2
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People who added this item 16 Average listal rating (6 ratings) 7.8 IMDB Rating 8.6
Jazz (2001)
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People who added this item 25 Average listal rating (9 ratings) 7.6 IMDB Rating 8.7
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People who added this item 89 Average listal rating (29 ratings) 8 IMDB Rating 8.4
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People who added this item 652 Average listal rating (374 ratings) 8.7 IMDB Rating 9.5
Planet Earth (2006)
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People who added this item 27 Average listal rating (12 ratings) 8.8 IMDB Rating 9.1
Human Planet (2011)
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People who added this item 115 Average listal rating (60 ratings) 8.6 IMDB Rating 9
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People who added this item 119 Average listal rating (55 ratings) 8.8 IMDB Rating 9.3
Cosmos (1980)
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People who added this item 4 Average listal rating (1 ratings) 5 IMDB Rating 8.2
Diary (1983)
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Films and Specials

People who added this item 129 Average listal rating (64 ratings) 8.1 IMDB Rating 8
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People who added this item 380 Average listal rating (184 ratings) 8.4 IMDB Rating 8.6
Night and Fog (1956)

The effective war film is often the one in which the action begins after the war, when there is nothing but ruins and desolation everywhere: Rossellini’s Germany Year Zero (1947) and, above all, Alain Resnais’ Nuit et brouillard, the greatest film ever made. - François Truffaut
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People who added this item 233 Average listal rating (109 ratings) 7.8 IMDB Rating 8.1
Sans Soleil (1983)
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People who added this item 514 Average listal rating (269 ratings) 8.5 IMDB Rating 8.4
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People who added this item 287 Average listal rating (168 ratings) 8.2 IMDB Rating 8.2
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People who added this item 263 Average listal rating (142 ratings) 7.6 IMDB Rating 7.8
F for Fake (1973)
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People who added this item 6 Average listal rating (4 ratings) 9 IMDB Rating 8.8
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People who added this item 11 Average listal rating (3 ratings) 9.3 IMDB Rating 9.2
Hollywood (1980)
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People who added this item 65 Average listal rating (33 ratings) 7.7 IMDB Rating 8.3
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People who added this item 23 Average listal rating (10 ratings) 7.4 IMDB Rating 8
Stevie (2002)
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People who added this item 303 Average listal rating (123 ratings) 7.8 IMDB Rating 8.6
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People who added this item 153 Average listal rating (76 ratings) 8.1 IMDB Rating 8
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People who added this item 41 Average listal rating (17 ratings) 8.5 IMDB Rating 9
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People who added this item 32 Average listal rating (12 ratings) 8.5 IMDB Rating 7.9
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People who added this item 112 Average listal rating (50 ratings) 8.2 IMDB Rating 8.4
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People who added this item 296 Average listal rating (150 ratings) 7.7 IMDB Rating 8
Crumb (1994)
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People who added this item 46 Average listal rating (16 ratings) 6.8 IMDB Rating 7.2
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People who added this item 79 Average listal rating (30 ratings) 7.5 IMDB Rating 8.2
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People who added this item 115 Average listal rating (55 ratings) 8.2 IMDB Rating 8.1
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People who added this item 100 Average listal rating (64 ratings) 7.6 IMDB Rating 7.5
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People who added this item 51 Average listal rating (30 ratings) 7.8 IMDB Rating 7.6
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People who added this item 199 Average listal rating (104 ratings) 7.4 IMDB Rating 7.9
Bus 174 (2002)
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People who added this item 243 Average listal rating (135 ratings) 7.4 IMDB Rating 7.8
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People who added this item 14 Average listal rating (9 ratings) 7.7 IMDB Rating 7.8
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My favorite documentaries and my wish-list. Recommendations are appreciated.

Film Documentaries


Listal's top rated documentaries

Note: Abbas Kiarostami in Close-up and Robert J. Flaherty in his documentaries had the people act out the story of their lives, instead of filming their lives as they happen.

Great Documentaries Not on Listal

★★★★ (Great)
The Flaming Lips - The Soft Bulletin - Pitchfork Classic

Documentaries I didn't like as much as most people (unranked)

★★★☆ (Pretty Good)
The Pervert's Guide to Cinema - an interesting documentary applying psychoanalysis to cinema.
Cinemania - a documentary about New York film buffs who see about 2 or 3 films a day.
Little Dieter Needs to Fly - Werner Herzog
Born into Brothels: Calcutta's Red Light Kids
Classic Albums: U2 - The Joshua Tree
I Met the Walrus
An Inconvenient Truth
Death in Gaza
The Most Hated Family in America - this film is about bigots
Outrage - a documentary about closeted bigoted politicians.
Religulous
The Celluloid Closet - the history of gay cinema
Chicago 10, a trial recording of key members of the Chicago democratic presidential convention riots
Stranded: I've Come from a Plane that Crashed on the Mountains - people who crashed in the mountains and had to eat the bodies of their dead friends and families.
The War on Democracy - the history of US intervention and puppet governments in Latin America
The War Room - a documentary following Bill Clinton's successful campaign to be elected President.

I didn't add mockumentaries.

Highly rated documentaries I didn't add

Sports

When We Were Kings (Boxer Muhammad Ali)
Baseball
Beyond the Mat
Music

Rush: Beyond the Lighted Stage (Progressive Rock)
Anvil! The Story of Anvil (Metal)
Concerts - I don't want to add to many to the list

Pink Floyd Live at Pompeii (Progressive Rock)
The T.A.M.I. Show (Classic Rock)
Pearl Jam Twenty (Alternative Rock)
Music Documentaries

Thelonious Monk: Straight, No Chaser (Jazz)
Be Here to Love Me: A Film About Townes Van Zandt (Folk)
Dig! (Rock)
Let's Get Lost (Jazz)
Scratch (DJ)
Hype! - (90's Grunge in Seattle)
Comedy

Monty Python Live at the Hollywood Bowl
Richard Pryor Live in Concert

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Comments

Avatar
Posted: 5 years, 2 months ago at Apr 1 15:26
Brilliant
Posted: 5 years, 1 month ago at May 10 18:51
Many documentaries act as vehicles for political views that lift the thick veil of secrecy, mystery and deception that's enveloping the world. They can be startling experiences, like a bolt from the blue, that take you on a misanthropic odyssey. No fictional film can shock or repulse you as much as a disturbing documentary.

It's a shame the majority of people prefer to indulge in fantasy or escapist films rather than films which touch upon worldwide issues that can profoundly affect them such as The Corporation and Food Inc. Films with relevance.
Posted: 4 years, 9 months ago at Aug 31 5:46
i'm bookmarking this list for future reference. thank you for making it.
Posted: 3 years, 9 months ago at Aug 31 23:22
thank you for this list.
Edit: 3 years, 9 months ago
Posted: 2 years, 2 months ago at Apr 3 21:09
Amazing list! I love so many documentary movies!

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