This 9 episode epic chronicles the U.S. Civil War which took place from 1861-1865. Extremely well crafted, it includes an original theme ‘Ashokan Farewell’ that will haunt you long after the final chapter. It includes narration by some of the finest actors and academics of the last half century including Sam Waterston, Arthur Miller, and Shelby Foote. This documentary also featured on our previous list: Top 10 Greatest TV Documentary Series.
The Trials of Darryl Hunt
Directed by Annie Sundberg
Darryl Hunt is a man from Winston-Salem, N.C. who was wrongly convicted of the rape and murder of a young white woman in 1984. A shocking indictment of the criminal justice system in the U.S., the film shows how a lack of physical evidence, faulty eyewitness testimony, and racism can overcome the search for actual truth. Did I mention he was falsely convicted…twice!
Directed by Michael Moore
Yes, it is more propaganda by possibly the most polarizing fimmaker since Leni Riefenstahl, but Sicko hits all the right notes. Focusing on the state of the U.S. healthcare system, the film interviews former insurance claim agents, victims of insurance company negligence, and foreign healthcare workers. In the most inspired moment Mr. Moore takes uninsured Americans to Guantanamo Bay where they are refused entry, then to Cuba where they are helped free of charge.
Lake of Fire
Directed by Tony Kaye
Tony Kaye’s first film since the unrelenting American History X, Lake of Fire is a 2 1/2 hour pontification on the abortion issue in America. Interviewees include noted anarchist Noam Chomsky and lawyer Alan Dershowitz. Extremely unsettling in its portrayal of the two sides of this issue, it leads one to believe that there is no middle ground.
Directed by Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky
Full titled: “Paradise Lost (The Child Murders at Robin Hood Hills)”, Paradise Lost recounts the trials of 3 teenage boys for multiple counts of murder in Arkansas. In hoping that my less is more approach will encourage readers to watch these films, I will keep spoilers minimal as there are many twists and turns. But let it be said, a bloody knife as a gift is not normal, even in Arkansas (kidding).
No End in Sight
Directed by Charles Ferguson
Virtually the antithesis to the other noted Iraqi war documentary Farenheit 911, No End in Sight takes a more evenhanded approach at American involvement in Iraq. Legitimacy is added by the fact that many of the interviewees are former George Bush Jr. staff members who reveal the crucial initial mistakes that they and others had made. This caused what many thought would be a quick and clean military exercise into an eight years and counting war. Heartbreaking in its candor.
Directed by Jean-Xavier de Lestrade
The Staircase is an eight part documentary series that began filming initially with the indictment of its protagonist Michael Peterson. He was an author living in North Carolina when his wife died of injuries related to a fall down a flight of stairs at the home. Honestly, not even the best scriptwriter could come up with the revelations that followed in the police investigation and eventual trial. If you like true crime dramas watch this film.
Directed by Rory Kennedy
“Indian Point: Imagining the Unimaginable” is a nuclear power plant that has drawn quite a bit of attention since the 9/11 attacks due to its lack of security. There is not a ‘no-fly zone’ required for the air space above it, safety violations have been common, and the security officers are undertrained. At least it is not within spitting distance of one of the biggest cities in the world, right? Well, no. It is located just 35 miles from New York City. Fascinating. This documentary was made by Rory Kennedy (pictured above), youngest daughter of Bobby Kennedy.
Capturing the Friedmans
Directed by Andrew Jarecki
Capturing the Friedmans is proof positive that truth is stranger than fiction. Simply stated, it tells the story of Great Neck, New York family man Arnold Friedman who taught computer classes in his basement to local children. After child pornography is delivered to his house during an FBI sting, he is indicted for mulitple counts of child sexual abuse. Along with The Staircase, this film causes the rug to be pulled out from beneath the viewer the most, truly amazing. One fact to note is that the director had initially planned to make a film about the relatively normal brother to Jesse and son of Arnold, David Friedman who is a clown for hire in New York City.
Directed by Ken Burns
A true master of his craft, Ken Burns The War was his latest directorial effort. It chronicled World War II and premiered on PBS in the U.S. in 2007. Due to the enormous scope of the war, its causes, and the aftermath, the director decided to focus on segments of troops from 4 American cities and followed them to the conclusion of the war through all three major theaters. The all-star cast of narrators includes Tom Hanks, Adam Arkin, Ernie Hudson, and Keith David.when project is not ready how device tree works where technology is headed when management wants you out how teaching happens book what entrepreneur does with business ideas where is my product from who system building blocks how much teaching english in thailand whose manager of derby how much device time why solution of na2co3 is alkaline how often is continuously how much london broil per person how much solution to put in vax carpet cleaner where disk management windows 10 which london airport is better why design thinking how long is a startup a startup why system design is important how many device can use spotify premium whose product is dr pepper how many solutions are there to this nonlinear system what london airport is closest to the city saline solution where to buy where do thoughts come from science what project are you most proud of whu business school ranking why business analytics which product should tomas choose how much developing an app cost when london was capital of america where to teach english without a degree whose business are you in why technology roadmap is important why design thinking is important where to cool solution re2 who technology in healthcare where to teach english abroad what product is good for hair growth how long teaching degree how much business cards cost whose business are you in whose methodology of teaching experimentation is the key note of