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Here are some of our favorite Documentary films

The Vanity Tables of Douglas Sirk
The Vanity Tables of Douglas Sirk

Dir. Mark Rappaport
(2014)    11 minutes

A video essay exploring the frequency and meaning of that particular prop in a wide variety of Douglas Sirk movies.

I, Dalio
I, Dalio

Dir. Mark Rappaport
(2015)    33 minutes

Are you defined by other people and their perceptions of who you are? Are you always a creation of the way people want to see you?

Stop Making Sense
Stop Making Sense

Dir. Jonathan Demme
(1984)    88 minutes

Universally acclaimed as one of the best concert films ever made, Jonathan Demme's extraordinary documentary captures the groundbreaking Talking Heads in performance at their peak.

Komeda: A Soundtrack for a Life
Komeda: A Soundtrack for a Life

Dir. Claudia Buthenhoff-Duffy
(2010)    52 minutes

An invaluable introduction to a largely unknown creative talent (outside of Poland), Krzysztof Komeda, a Polish jazz musician best-known for his score for Roman Polanski’s ROSEMARY'S BABY.

China in Three Words
China in Three Words

Dir. Vanessa Hope
(2013)    12 minutes

An interview with Yu Hua about his book "China in Ten Words" is reduced to three words common in the Chinese vernacular: "Leader," "Revolution" and "Disparity."

Welcome to the Terrordome
Welcome to the Terrordome

Dir. Robert Patton-Spruill
(2007)    108 minutes

Public Enemy's twenty year career has had a monumental impact on the music world. This film chronicles their legacy and history, while revealing what icons of the music world say about their profound influence.

Shipwreck
Shipwreck

Shipwreck Lampedusa
Dir. Morgan Knibbe
(2014)    15 minutes

Over the weekend of April 18th and 19th, an estimated number of between eight hundred and nine hundred people, migrants and asylum seekers that had set off from Lybia, drowned in the Mediterranean.

How Far is Heaven
How Far is Heaven

Dir. Christopher Pryor, Miriam Smith
(2012)    98 minutes

The Sisters of Compassion have lived in the remote village of Jerusalem/Hiruharama on the Whanganui River in New Zealand for one hundred twenty years.

The Polymath
The Polymath

Dir. Fred Barney Taylor
(2009)    78 minutes

A cinematic portrait of the larger than life Samuel R. Delany, a visionary and subversive novelist and one of the most important and innovative writers of the last fifty years.

Wisconsin Rising
Wisconsin Rising

Dir. Sam Mayfield
(2014)    55 minutes

Wisconsin was a testing ground for the nation in 2011 as big money attempted to undo basic workers' rights when newly-elected Republican Governor Scott Walker suddenly stripped collective bargaining power from the state's public employees.

The Bus
The Bus

Dir. Damon Ristau
(2012)    60 minutes

This is the remarkable story of the vehicle that became an icon. Anyone who has driven a Volkswagen Bus already knows that it's a nostalgic tale of freedom, love, friendship and adventure.

The Hands that Shaped Me
The Hands that Shaped Me

Dir. Mark Pellington
(2015)    13 minutes

This short twelve minute music film is a collaboration between filmmaker Mark Pellington and the New York rock band The Indecent.

Censorship USA
Censorship USA

Dir. Alan Roberts
(1971)    40 minutes

The question of defining pornography is posed to a variety of individuals ranging from middle-aged housewives to directors of sex films.

Punk's Not Dead
Punk's Not Dead

Dir. Susan Dynner
(2007)    97 minutes

Director Susan Dynner's first-hand experience of Washington DC's punk scene in the Eighties and her continued love of punk music spurred the making of this self-financed, independent documentary true to the D.I.Y. spirit of punk culture.

At Sundance
At Sundance

Dir. Michael Almereyda, Amy Hobby
(1995)    71 minutes

A group portrait of filmmakers attend the 1995 Sundance Film Festival.

B.B. King: The Life of Riley
B.B. King: The Life of Riley

Dir. Jon Brewer
(2012)    123 minutes

B.B. King opens his heart and tells the story of how an oppressed and orphaned young man came to influence and earn the unmitigated praise of the music industry and its following.

Far from Vietnam
Far from Vietnam

Loin du Vietnam
Dir. Jean-Luc Godard, Joris Ivens, William Klein, Claude Lelouch, Chris Marker, Alain Resnais, Agnès Varda
(1967)    116 minutes

An epic 1967 collaboration between cinema greats Jean-Luc Godard, Joris Ivens, Agnès Varda, William Klein, Claude Lelouch and Alain Resnais in protest of American military involvement in Vietnam.

Some Analog Lines
Some Analog Lines

Dir. David Lowery
(2005)    7 minutes

A short cinematic essay about the differences between digital and analog influence over film and art, and how audiences perceive these two modes of technique.

Kurt and Courtney
Kurt and Courtney

Dir. Nick Broomfield
(1998)    95 minutes

This controversial documentary, directed by acclaimed filmmaker Nick Broomfield, begins as an observation of the music of Kurt Cobain and his Seattle/Portland contemporaries.

Dig!
Dig!

Dir. Ondi Timoner
(2004)    107 minutes

On the road for seven years with two of America's most creative and unique rock bands: the Dandy Warhols and the Brian Jonestown Massacre.

Sunday Driver
Sunday Driver

Dir. Carol Strong
(2005)    59 minutes

A documentary film that chronicles the Majestics, California's oldest black lowrider car club originally founded in Compton, CA.

Be Here to Love Me
Be Here to Love Me

Dir. Margaret Brown
(2005)    100 minutes

An artful, expertly directed portrait of both sides of Townes Van Zandt, and displays an insightful look at the sacrifices, challenges and consequences faced in pursuit of a dream.

Power and the Land
Power and the Land

Dir. Joris Ivens
(1940)    38 minutes

This historically important documentary tells the story of the Parkinson family, farmers in rural Ohio who electrified their farm with the help of a Rural Electrification Administration loan.

Gunner Palace
Gunner Palace

Dir. Petra Epperlein, Michael Tucker
(2004)    85 minutes

A chaotic, surprising, real and sometimes amusing look inside the Iraq war as experienced and told first hand by American troops.

Split
Split

Dir. Ellen Fisher Turk
(1993)    58 minutes

The movie penetrates Chrysis' hidden world of transsexual and drag queens, hormones, drugs and prostitution, a dark world she lights up with humor, wit and glamour.

Riding the Tiger
Riding the Tiger

Dir. John Haptas, Kristine Samuelson
(2000)    34 minutes

A haunting and lyrical evocation of the hubris, despair and devastation of the American war in Vietnam.

Hit and Stay
Hit and Stay

Dir. Skizz Cyzyk, Joe Tropea
(2013)    97 minutes

A documentary about priests and nuns who protested the Vietnam War by breaking into draft boards, destroying draft records and then waiting around to be arrested.

Party Monster
Party Monster

Dir. Fenton Bailey, Randy Barbato
(1999)    56 minutes

The rise and fall of Michael Alig, a kid from Middle America who aspired to take the place of Andy Warhol.

Dirty Pictures
Dirty Pictures

Dir. Étienne Sauret
(2010)    90 minutes

Alexander "Sasha" Shulgin is the scientist behind more than two-hundred psychedelic compounds, including MDMA, more commonly known as Ecstasy.

Far from Afghanistan
Far from Afghanistan

Dir. John Gianvito, Jon Jost, Minda Martin, Robert Todd, Pacho Velez, Travis Wilkerson, Soon-Mi Yoo
(2012)    129 minutes

An omnibus film by five American filmmakers and a collective of young Afghan media journalists form a mosaic of cinematic approaches to take a critical look at the longest overseas war in U.S. history.

Here are the most popular films on Fandor

The Vanity Tables of Douglas Sirk
The Vanity Tables of Douglas Sirk

Dir. Mark Rappaport
(2014)    11 minutes

A video essay exploring the frequency and meaning of that particular prop in a wide variety of Douglas Sirk movies.

I, Dalio
I, Dalio

Dir. Mark Rappaport
(2015)    33 minutes

Are you defined by other people and their perceptions of who you are? Are you always a creation of the way people want to see you?

Stop Making Sense
Stop Making Sense

Dir. Jonathan Demme
(1984)    88 minutes

Universally acclaimed as one of the best concert films ever made, Jonathan Demme's extraordinary documentary captures the groundbreaking Talking Heads in performance at their peak.

Zulu Dawn
Zulu Dawn

Dir. Douglas Hickox
(1979)    117 minutes

Burt Lancaster, Peter O’Toole, Simon Ward, Bob Hoskins and Sir John Mills lead an all-star cast in the shocking true story of The Battle of Isandlwana.

The Baby
The Baby

Dir. Ted Post
(1973)    85 minutes

Anjanette Comer stars as an idealistic L.A. County social worker who investigates the case of Mrs. Wadsworth, her two buxom daughters and son "Baby," a mentally-disabled man who sleeps in a crib, eats in a high-chair, crawls, bawls and wears diapers.

The Horrible Life of Dr. Ghoul
The Horrible Life of Dr. Ghoul

Dir. Don Swaynos
(2013)    7 minutes

A late night horror show host is having a bad day.

Ashanti
Ashanti

Dir. Richard Fleischer
(1979)    117 minutes

Dr. David Linderby is a half of a married U.N. medical team vaccinating native villages in West Africa. But when his skinny-dipping wife is abducted by a depraved Arab slave trader, there's no time for diplomacy.

Safety Last!
Safety Last!

Dir. Fred Newmeyer, Sam Taylor
(1923)    67 minutes

Harold Lloyd plays a small-town bumpkin trying to make it in the big city, who finds employment as a lowly department-store clerk.

The Naked Venus
The Naked Venus

Dir. Edgar G. Ulmer
(1958)    77 minutes

Mother-in-law-from-hell Mrs. Dixon is so appalled to learn that Yvonne, her son's French sexpot of a wife, was the nude model for the painting The Naked Venus that she immediately starts divorce proceedings.

The Lower Depths
The Lower Depths

Les bas-fonds
Dir. Jean Renoir
(1936)    93 minutes

In Jean Renoir's lightened adaptation of Maxim Gorky's play, a thief and a destitute Baron form a friendship as the inhabitants of a Parisian slum go about their lives.

The Lower Depths
The Lower Depths

Donzoko
Dir. Akira Kurosawa
(1957)    125 minutes

Working with his most celebrated actor, Toshiro Mifune, Akira Kurosawa faithfully adapts Maxim Gorky's classic proletariat play, keeping the original's focus on the conflict between illusion and reality.

The Almost Man
The Almost Man

Mer eller mindre mann
Dir. Martin Lund
(2012)    77 minutes

Henrik is thirty-five, but he still parties with his high-school buddies like they were in they're twenties.

Komeda: A Soundtrack for a Life
Komeda: A Soundtrack for a Life

Dir. Claudia Buthenhoff-Duffy
(2010)    52 minutes

An invaluable introduction to a largely unknown creative talent (outside of Poland), Krzysztof Komeda, a Polish jazz musician best-known for his score for Roman Polanski’s ROSEMARY'S BABY.

Marihuana
Marihuana

Dir. Elmer Clifton, Dwain Esper, Louis Gasnier
(1936)    57 minutes

Reefer turns a good girl into a heroin-selling hussy in this delirious over-the-top non-masterpiece.

A Story of Floating Weeds
A Story of Floating Weeds

Ukikusa monogatari
Dir. Yasujirô Ozu
(1934)    86 minutes

An aging actor returns to a small town with his troupe and reunites with his former lover and illegitimate son, a scenario that enrages his current mistress and results in heartbreak for all.

China in Three Words
China in Three Words

Dir. Vanessa Hope
(2013)    12 minutes

An interview with Yu Hua about his book "China in Ten Words" is reduced to three words common in the Chinese vernacular: "Leader," "Revolution" and "Disparity."

Welcome to the Terrordome
Welcome to the Terrordome

Dir. Robert Patton-Spruill
(2007)    108 minutes

Public Enemy's twenty year career has had a monumental impact on the music world. This film chronicles their legacy and history, while revealing what icons of the music world say about their profound influence.

The Gold Rush
The Gold Rush

Dir. Charles Chaplin
(1925)    89 minutes

It is 1898 and Charles Chaplin's "little tramp" is headed north to the Yukon in search of gold.

Shipwreck
Shipwreck

Shipwreck Lampedusa
Dir. Morgan Knibbe
(2014)    15 minutes

Over the weekend of April 18th and 19th, an estimated number of between eight hundred and nine hundred people, migrants and asylum seekers that had set off from Lybia, drowned in the Mediterranean.

The Gold Rush
The Gold Rush

Dir. Charles Chaplin
(1942)    72 minutes

Charles Chaplin revisited his celebrated classic recording a musical score and narration for the film.