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« #025 Avatar w/ Mendi Menefee | Main | Review: The Horse Boy »

December 15, 2009

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Valkel.blogspot.com

My two big faves:
Bigger, Faster, Stronger
- for best editing/structuring
War Dance
- for creative visuals, beauty and poignancy, triumph of the human spirit type of thing, very good storytelling

I'd also include
Control Room
- I think that was ground-breaking even though flawed
The Corporation
- not an easy watch but a great resource and cramming of tons of info on the DVD
Kassim The Dream
- about Ugandan boxer, formerly child soldier
Persepolis
- maybe not exactly a documentary, but if it is it is in my top ten for sure, LOVED it!
Strange Culture
- not 100% satisfying to me but a very interesting approach and a really important story, took the mixing doc and fiction idea to a different place by including on-camera conversations between actors and the real people they played
Sicko
- I know, I know, but I'm a sucker for M. Moore, I can't help it. It's like the best candy ever for me. And I do think there are some really great points in there amongst the propaganda.

Jean B. Knowlton

The Corporation

Allison I.

I'd add:

-The Education of Shelby Knox
-New Year Baby
-Cat Dancers
-Tom Dowd and the Language of Music
-A League of Ordinary Gentlemen
-Audience of One

eric

Nice list! Films I would have included:
- Man on Wire
- Nerakhoon (The Betrayal)
- Capturing the Friedmans
- Spellbound

Films that would land on my most-overrated list:
- Tarnation
- Control Room

akorn

the up series is at the top of my list.

Ben Nelson

Not sure if this would be activism or character, but the environmental comedy "Plagues & Pleasures on the Salton Sea" is terrific, so it's worth a look and consideration for the list, if only to hear John Waters' narration.
http://www.saltonseadocumentary.com

"Dark Days" also pretty great and straddles that same line of activism (homelessness) and character.

http://www.palmpictures.com/film/dark-days.php

Joshua Tanzer

Ditto "Boys of Baraka."

Ditto no "Capturing the Friedmans." I found it a novelty based on the fact the family had filmed itself, but that doesn't mean they had a story worth watching. It was fuzzy as to any conclusion about what really happened. It was more voyeurism than storytelling.

These would be my own top 5:

- Searching for the Wrong-Eyed Jesus
- Iraq in Fragments
- S21: The Khmer Rouge Killing Machine
- Bus 174
- Burning Dreams (Chinese, unreleased)

Joshua

Richard Schachter

Some other great docs not on the list:

Spellbound
Keep the River on Your Right
Young at Heart
Trouble the Water
The Cove

Ronit

I would add "Kassim The Dream" which fits in multiple categories: Sports/War/Character/Activism

Erin D.

hey Greg, Capturing the Friedmans is not a film I responded to well but have always meant to go back and see again. Thanks for reminding me!

JP, I have a Dylan allergy. But Boys of Baraka was a strong contender.

Greg

No "Capturing the Friedmans"?!? Wha?

JP

The Boys of Baraka
La Sierra
No Direction Home: Bob Dylan
Dear Zachary
One Man's Journey (2005)
Lake of Fire

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