Looking for Documentary Film Recommendations

Next week I’m meeting up with some friends for a documentary club meeting. The past two weeks the group has watched “The Fog of War: Eleven Lessons from the Life of Robert S. McNamara” and “Man on Wire,” which won an Oscar last year. Next on the list: “I Am Trying to Break Your Heart,” a documentary about the band Wilco.

Here are some of the other documentaries my friends have recommended: (I must admit I had nothing to do with this list, as my knowledge of documentaries is lacking. I’m about to fix that, though!)

Afghan Star (2009)

Gaea Girls (2009)

Pressure Cooker (2009)

The Yes Men Fix the World (2009)

Iron Maiden: Flight 666 (2009)

Helvetica (2007)

My Kid Could Paint That (2007)

Nanking (2007)

Jesus Camp (2006)

Jonestown: The Life and Death of Peoples Temple (2006)

Dispatches: Undercover in the Secret State (2005)

Grizzly Man (2005)

Guns, Germs and Steel (2005)

Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room (2004)

Control Room (2004)

The Corporation (2003)

War Photographer (2001)

Mr. Death: The Rise and Fall of Fred A. Leuchter, Jr. (1999)

Louis Theroux’s Weird Weekends (1998-2000)

Superstar: The Karen Carpenter Story (1987)

What other documentaries should we add to the list?

Published by Mallary Tenore Tarpley

Mallary is a mom of two young kiddos -- Madelyn and Tucker. Mallary absolutely loves being a mom and often writes about the need to find harmony when juggling motherhood and work. Mallary is the Assistant Director of the Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas at the University of Texas at Austin, where she manages the Center's various programs related to distance learning, freedom of expression, and digital journalism. Previously, she was Executive Director of Images & Voices of Hope and Managing Editor of The Poynter Institute’s media news site, Poynter.org. Mallary grew up outside of Boston and graduated from Providence College in Rhode Island. In 2015, she received a certificate in nonprofit management from Duke University. She now lives in beautiful Austin, Texas, with her kids, husband Troy and cat Clara. She's working on a memoir, slowly but surely. You can reach her at mjtenore@gmail.com.

3 thoughts on “Looking for Documentary Film Recommendations

  1. Thanks for this list! I’m hoping to properly verse myself in documentaries. I got the bug in my spring video journalism class, which had a documentary-style approach and where we watched parts of some docs.

    I haven’t seen the full versions of these but would recommend them, based on the parts we watched:

    – Hoop Dreams
    – Spellbound
    – Standard Operating Procedure
    – Harlan County USA
    – Brother’s Keeper

    We also watched some in my media ethics class, including the Enron one you mentioned. The only other one I can recall at this moment is Outfoxed.

    Have fun! I wish I could be in your group.

  2. Thanks, Greg! I’ve been wanting to watch “Spellbound.” Wish you could be part of the group!

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