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December 15, 2009


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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
- 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
- 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


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


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.

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

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)


Richard Schachter

Some other great docs not on the list:

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


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.


No "Capturing the Friedmans"?!? Wha?


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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