Available on DVD
Documentaries For Holiday Gifts - 2012
A list of documentaries for gifts during the year end holidays, or at any time of year.
4th and Goal - Movie Review - 2010
Great on DVD for football fans, Nina Gilden Seavey's documentary follows talented high school football stars who aspire to play for the NFL and try to work their way through the ranks from a junior college team to the D1, and upwards. They're talented and likeable, and you can't help rooting for them.
A Walk to Beautiful (2008)
This documentary film follows five young Ethiopian women who suffer from obstetric fistula, as they struggle to get treatment that will cure them and allow them to reenter the communities that have ostracized them because of their condition--which causes them to continually leak urine.
Air Guitar Nation (2006)
Air Guitar Nation on DVD
An Inconvenient Truth (2006)
Davis Guggenheim's Oscar-winning documentary focuses on the issue of global warming, as explained by former Vice President Al Gore in his one-man slide show.
Arctic Tale (2007)
In this documentary film, Nanu, the polar bear cub, and Seela, the walrus pup, are among the Arctic creatures who suffer the effects of global warming.
Bananas - Movie Review - 2009
Filmmaker Fredrik Gertten presents an intense courtroom documentary chronicling the international law suit brought by Nicaraguan banana plantation workers against the Dole Corporation for its continued spraying of Nemecon, a Dow chemical pesticide that was known to cause infertility in men.
The Beat Hotel - Movie Review - 2012
The film chronicles the creative community of expatriot American artists who lived and worked in Paris from 1957 to 1963.
Best Worst Movie - Movie Review of Best Worst Movie - 2009
What is the "Best Worst Movie?" It's "Troll 2," a cult classic, and this documentary is all about how it was made, and how it made cult heroes of its fledgling stars.
Bigger, Stronger, Faster (2008)
Chris Bell's highly personal documentary follows the filmmaker's own path as he struggles to find his place in his family and define his personal goals with regards to athletics and the use of steroids.
Blindsight - DVD Review of Blindsight
Blindsight, the documentary about six blind Tibetan teenagers who, guided by seven-summit blind mountain climber Erik Weihenmayer and a team of Americans, set out to climb the Lhakpa Ri peak of Mount Everest is on DVD--with great extras.
Blood in the Face (1991) on DVD
Blood in the Face is a documentary film about America's White supremacist movement, including the Ku Klux Klan, American Nazi Party, Aryan Nation and The Order.
In his investigation of the legend that Jesus survived crucifixion, married Mary Magdalene and fathered children who married French royalty, British director Bruce Burgess claims to present new evidence--including the mummified body of Mary Magdalene.
Body of War (2007) - Movie Review
Body of War tells the heart wrenching story of how 22-year-old Tomas Young enlisted to serve his country and became a victim of the Iraq War.
Bomb It - Movie Review - 2007
Documentary filmmaker Jon Reiss travels around the world looking at grafitti art and the artists who risk censure, arrest and their lives to continue to decorate public property with what some call freely expressed and colorful art work and others call vandalism.
Born To Be Wild - Movie Review - 2011
Born To Be Wild is thrilling and emotionally intense trip, via IMAX 3D, into the wilds of Borneo and Kenya, where two dedicated women, Birute Galdikas and Daphne Sheldrick, respectively, have each established an animal 'orphanage' to care for baby elephants and baby orangutans whose mothers have been killed, most often by poachers.
Bowling For Columbine (2002)
In this entertaining and eye-opening documentary, director Michael Moore travels across the United States and into Canada to investigate America's gun culture by questioning legislators and officials, NRA members and gun control advocates, victims of crime and ordinary citizens. The title refers to the teenage massacre at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado.
Business of Being Born (2007)
In The Business of Being Born , director Abby Epstein and producer Ricki Lake focus on childbearing practices in the United States in much the same way Michael Moore highlights America's health care system in Sicko . The film shows how the medical establishment deals with birthing and suggests midwifery and home delivery as a viable...
Charlotte Rampling: The Look - Movie Review - 2011
A profile of revered actress Charlotte Rampling, including clips from her major films.
Circo - Movie Review - 2010
Filmmaker Aaron Schock follows a family-owned and run circus as it travels through rural Mexico, setting up its tent in a field, entertaining locals who can afford the price of a ticket, packing up and moving on to the next town.
Colony - Movie Review - 2009
Colony - Movie Review of Colony - 2009
Dance For Camera 1/Dance for Camera 2 (2007) on DVD
A brilliant selection of documented dances. For each, directors use their cameras to capture the fluidity of movement within the dancers' bodies, thereby drawing you into the dynamics and emotion of the choreography. These breathtaking films are pure pleasure for anyone who loves dance, and essential primers for anyone who wants to know more...
Darfur Now (2007)
In Darfur Now, documentary filmmaker Ted Braun focuses on the genocide taking place in the westernmost region of Sudan. It’s a situation that desperately needs exposure.
Dear Uncle Adolf - Movie Review - 2011
Presenting a compilation of personal letters that were written to Adolf Hitler during his years in power, this documentary stands as unsettling evidence about how devoted Germans from all walks of life and various geographic settings were to their fuhrer.
Deliver Us From Evil (2006) on DVD
A compelling exposé about the ongoing pedophilia of Father Oliver O'Grady and extensive child abuse by the Catholic clergy.
Desert Bayou (2007)
Film review of Desert Bayou, a documentary about African Americans evacuated from post-Katrina New Orleans to Utah.
Disneynature: Wings of Life - Movie Review - 2013
An up close look at the pollination process that's essential to our food supply.
Dive!: Living Off America's Waste - Movie Review - 2009
In chronicling his own experiences retrieving discarded food from Los Angeles supermarket dumpsters, filmmaker Jeremy Seifert shows that America's food distribution is shamefully wasteful, with markets choosing to throw away perfectly good food rather than give it to the needy.
Devil Came On Horseback (2006) on DVD
A documentary film about Brian Steidle, an ex-Marine who has become an activist committed to stopping the genocide in Darfur.
Dixie Chicks: Shut Up and Sing (2006) on DVD
Barbara Kopple's documentary about The Dixie Chicks chronicles the groups' come back after Natalie Maines made an off the cuff comment about the Iraq War and conservatives demanded radio stations stop playing their songs.
Documentaries Make Great Holiday Gifts
True, documentaries often deal with serious issues that you might not want to think about during the holidays, but there are very many titles that bring laughter, hope and inspiration along with knowledge and insight -- and they're ideal seasonal gifts for people who love to watch and share great movies. Here's my list. Please add your suggestions!
Eleventh Hour (2007)
This documentary film, produced and narrated by Leonardo DiCaprio, is a global warning that global warming will soon make our planet uninhabitable for human beings.
Encounters At the End of The World (2008)
Werner Herzog goes on a trip to Antarctica where he films daily life among scientists and support staff working at McMurdo Research Station. Herzog's footage--including amazing underwater sequences--shows us the wonder of it all, while his first person narrative poses some quirky questions about humankind and nature.
Fidel! - Movie Review - 1969/2012
The complete restoration of filmmaker Saul Landau's classic documentary profile of Fidel Castro is available on DVD in August, 2012, distributed by Cinema Libre.
Food Stamped - Movie Review - 2010
A documentary that shows how difficult it is to stretch food stamp subsidies to cover a nutritious and healthy diet.
For the Bible Tells Me So (2007) - DVD Review
A thoughtful and provocative documentary film that contends that Scripture and homosexuality are not mutually exclusive.
Forgiveness - Movie Review - 2010
Helen Whitney's fascinating and moving treatise on the human capacity for forgiveness has been a social and political force in the wake of past and present instances of genocide and other violent crimes against humanity. Narrated by Jane Alexander, the film is calm revelation of private and public behavior.
Garbo: The Spy - Movie Review - 2009
A remarkable spy thriller of a documentary about Garbo, the double agent who helped the allies win World War II.
Free Angela And All Political Prisoners - Movie Review - 2013
A documentary about political activist Angela Davis, focusing the events that put her name on the FBI's 10 Most Wanted List and made her a world icon for civic justice.
The Fruit Hunters - Movie Review - 2012
Filmmaker Yuan Chang follows Bill Pullman, Ken Love and other 'fruit hunters' as they travel around the world to see, sample and save exotic fruit varietals.
Giuliani Time (2005) - DVD Review
Giuliani Time (2005) is a probing investivation of the origins of the man who would be president.
Gonzo: The Life and Work of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson (2008)
Alex Gibney's documentary about the drug-influenced career of iconic countercultural journalist Dr. Hunter S. Thompson is a fascinating account of the 1960s and 70s.
The Guga Hunters of Ness - 2011
A documentary about the annual hunt for guga, gannet chicks that are a traditional food for the Scottish people who live in the remote town of Ness, on the northernmost point of the Isle of Lewis, a remote Scottish island in the North Atlantic. The hunt is treacherous and the catch is restricted to 2,000 birds, making the meat a fought-over...
Gunnin' For That #1 Spot (2008)
Adam Yauch's doc about the 2006 Boost Mobile Elite 24 Hoops Classic basketball game held in Harlem's famous Rucker Park, with 24 top high school players from across the country competing to be number one.
In The Shadow of The Moon (2007) - DVD Review
In The Shadow of The Moon is a documentary film about NASA's moon missions and the extraordinary astronauts who manned them.
Jean-Michel Basquiat: Radiant Child - Movie Review - 2010
Filmmaker Tamra Davis creates an intimate and moving biodoc about her former friend, Jean-Michel Basquiat, the gifted young graffiti artist whose career rapidly rose from New York street artist during the 1970s to art world celebrity from 1981 until the time of his death in 1988, at the age of 27.
Jesus Camp (2006) - DVD Review
Academy Award-nominated Jesus Camp is an extraordinary exposé about the well-organized Evangelical indoctrination of children in heartland America to become soldiers for Christ.
Jimmy Carter Man From Plains (2007) - DVD Review
Filmmaker Jonathan Demme follows former President Jimmy Carter on a nationwide book tour for his highly controversial best selling book, Palestine Peace Not Apartheid, with Habitat for Humanity stops along the way.
Jonestown: The Life and Death of Peoples Temple (2006) on DVD
Jonestown: The Life and Death of Peoples Temple traces the rise and fall of cult leader Jim Jones, notorious for instigating a mass suicide (or, as some would say, murder) that made headlines around the world.
London - The Modern Babylon - Movie Review - 2012
Julien Temple's fascinating and impressionistic tribute to London uses archival footage and a terrific soundtrack to trace the city's history and culture.
King Corn (2007) - DVD Review
Aaron Woolf's documentary follows eco-acrivists Ian Cheney and Curt Ellis as they track the prevalence of corn in the American diet.
Klitschko - Movie Review - 2011
A profile of the lives and careers of boxing champions Vitaly Klitschko and Wladimir Klitschko, brothers from Ukraine.
Lucky - Movie Review - 2010
Director Jeffrey Blitz follows various individuals and their families who've become instant multimillionaires by winning Megaball, and show the effects -- some good, some bad -- their huge fortunes have had on their lives. Blitz also presents a compact and interesting history of lottery playing in the US, and how it has been used to raise funds...
Man On Wire (2008) - Movie Review of Man On Wire
Man On Wire is a documentary film about the 'artistic crime of the century,' when tightrope walker Philippe Petit walked between the World Trace Center towers during the summer of 1974.
Manda Bala (2007) - DVD Review
Manda Bala is a documentary film about the violent class struggle in Brazil, and how cottage industries have sprung up around the frequent kidnappings that occur as the rich steal from the poor and the poor take revenge.
Mitzi Gaynor Razzle Dazzle on DVD
Mitzi Gaynor Razzle Dazzle DVD features a documentary with out takes of Gaynor's most spectacular TV specials and Las Vegas shows, as well as interviews about the arc of her career and lots of extra footage of performances.
Mr. Untouchable (2007)
Documentary director Marc Levin's film is about Leroy "Nicky" Barnes, the notorious gangster who ran the heroin trade in Harlem until he was indicted, then turned State's evidence and entered the witness protection program.
My Kid Could Paint That (2007) - DVD Review
My Kid Could Paint That records the phenomenon of Marla Olmstead, a four year old girl whose abstract paintings have been compared to those of Jackson Pollack and Pablo Picasso, and have sold (cumulatively) for $300,000. But, did she paint them?
My Perestroika - Movie Review - 2010
Following five 30-somethings, filmmaker Robin Hessman shows how the lives, life styles, social and political attitudes of ordinary Russian citizens have changed during Perestroika, in the aftermath of the demise of the Soviet regime.
A documentary film about the brutal massacre of 200,000 Chinese civilians by Japanese soldiers during the World War II occupation of Nanking.
Nicky's Family - Movie Review - 2013
An inspiring documentary that tells the story of Sir Nicholas Winton, an English businessman who rescued 662 children from Nazi occupied Czechoslovakia, just prior to the outbreak of World War II.
Order of Myths - DVD Review of The Order of Myths - 2008
Margaret Brown's documentary explores the history of Mardi Gras in Mobile, Alabama, her home town, where 'mystic' parading began 13 years before New Orleans was even founded. Brown shows how the city's still celebrated still-segregated tradition both reflects and impacts its contemporary culture and politics, including attitudes towards racism.
Oswald's Ghost (2007) - DVD Review
The assassination of John F. Kennedy changed the course of history. To this date, circumstances surrounding the event remain a mystery. Robert Stone's probing documentary looks into the facts, and attempts to answer the hard question: Was Lee Harvey Oswald acting alone?
'Paradise Lost Trilogy' Complete on DVD
The release of the 'Paradise Lost Trilogy' makes a compelling examination of our judicial system readily available to audiences.
Patience (After Sebald) - Movie Review - 2012
Review of 'Patience (after Sebald), a documentary by filmmaker Grant Gee.
Planet B-Boy (2007)
Planet B-Boy brings breakdancing into focus. Director Benson Lee presents dedicated and determined B-Boy dance crews from Las Vegas, Osaka, Seoul and France who spark the high voltage international "Battle of the Year" competition in Braunschweig, Germany. The stories, personalities, attitude and astonishing skills are captivating. All these B-Boys are winners. So's the film.
Plastic Planet - Movie Review of Plastic Planet - 2009
In Plastic Planet, Austrian filmmaker Werner Boote follows the plastics trail around the globe to interview manufacturers, chemists, economists, environmental activists and physicians, and to visit landfills and cruise the seas to investigate the effects and the impact of our ubiquitous use of the synthetic material. Boote, whose grandfather was a prominent plastics manufacturer, is on a personal quest to find out whether the convenience and cheap cost of plastics outweighs the hazards they present for the environment and to public health.
Director Jessica Yu's fascinating and unusual documentary film sets the lives of four repentant miscreants within the larger context of Euripides' classical Greek dramas.
Quantum Hoops (2007) - DVD Review
Quantum Hoop is about Caltech's basketball team, a dedicated group of young scholars who play their games with the same sort of persistence they apply to their studies, even though they hold the record for the most games lost. David Duchovny narrates this smart and seductive documentary about smart people who've really got game.
Rape of Europa Movie Review - DVD Review
The Rape of Europa is a gripping nonfiction thriller about the systematic plunder of Europe’s great and invaluable art treasures by the Nazis during the period of the Third Reich and World War II.
RFK Must Die: The Assassination of Bobby Kennedy (2007) on DVD
In RFK Must Die: The Assassination of Bobby Kennedy, now available on DVD, BBC reporter Shane O'Sullivan investigates the assassination of Robert F. Kennedy, and comes to the conclusion that Sirhan Sirhan, now serving a life sentence for the murder, did not act alone.
Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired (2008)
Some 30 years after film director Roman Polanski, at age 44, was accused of having sex with a 13-year old girl, the scandalous case, still controversial and fascinating, is the subject of Marina Zenovich’s documentary, Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired.
Runnin’ Down A Dream: Tom Petty and Heartbreakers (2007) DVD
Peter Bogdanovich's four-hour documentary celebrates the 30th anniversary of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers with storytelling, archival footage of Tom Petty and the band in life and in concert, interviews with other famous musicians who've worked with Petty and the band during their long career.
Scatter My Ashes at Bergdorf's - Movie Review - 2013
A recognizable roster of famous fashionistas and branded clothes horses praise the one and only Bergdorf's, declaring the 'palace on Fifth Avenue' to be the epitome of the American Dream.
Senator Obama Goes To Africa (2008)
The man who would be president travels to Kenya, the land of his father's birth, and to South Africa.
Shadow of Afghanistan 1959-2012 - Movie Review - 2006, 2012
A history of the series of invasions and civil wars that have left Afghanistan a devatated nation.
Sicko - DVD Review (2007)
Sicko is a about health care in the U.S. Michael Moore, in his inimitably entertaining style, shows a shocking number of Americans don't have health insurance because they can't afford it, and those who do may go bankrupt due to illnesses HMOs won't cover. People die unnessarily. It could be you, your kin or friends. You must see this film.
Standard Operating Procedure (2008) - Movie Review
Errol Morris expands on the infamous photographs of U.S. soldiers torturing suspected terrorists imprisoned at Abu Ghraib to expose the U.S. military's 'standard operating procedure' as cruel and inhumane.
Steal A Pencil For Me (2007)
The story of Jack and Ina Soep Polak and how their great love survived the Holocaust.
Panoramic shots of exquisite snow clad mountain top terrain and men on skis speeding through velvet powder and hurtling off cliffs in wildly energetic somersaults through the crisp cold air make this documentary film about extreme skiing’s pioneers and pros a thrill for armchair adventurers.
Stories We Tell - Movie Review - 2012
Filmmaker Sarah Polley's autobiographical documentary chronicles her quest to find out whether rumors suggesting that the man she's known as father for all of her life isn't actually her biological father.
Taxi To The Dark Side (2007) - DVD Review
Filmmaker Alex Gibney's Taxi To The Dark Side is a shocking expose about the American military's torture of prisoners--many of whom have been shown to be innocent of any crime--in Afghanistan, Iraq and Cuba. In this interview, he discusses making this film, and his ideas about the aesthetics and responsibilities of making documentary films.
The Topp Twins: Untouchable Girls - Movie Review - 2009
A funny and engaging profile of Lynda and Jools Topp, otherwise known as the Top Twins. Together, they are one of New Zealand's leading comedy acts. Playing characters ranging from socialites to country bumpkins, they are a cross between Garrison Keillor and Dame Edna. They also happen to be identical twins, and both are lesbians who speak out...
Unraveled - Movie Review - 2011
Filmmaker Marc Simon follows convicted fraudster Marc Drier as he prepares to leave his posh East Side pad for the less comfortable environment of prison.
UP Series (1970-2005) - DVD Review
The unique UP Series of seven made-for-TV documentaries is like an extended family reunion for millions of curious and adoring fans.
Up The Yangtze - 2008 - Review
In Up The Yangtze, director Yung Chang boards a cruise ship touring the Three Gorges Dam area. While following the stories of young crew members who've lost their homes due to the Yangtze's rising waters, he investigates social, economic and environmental issues caused by the controversial dam project.
We Are Together: Children of Agape (2006) -- DVD Review
We Are Together: The Children of Agape (aka Thina Simunye ), documentarian Paul Taylor follows young children residents of Agape Orphanage in the Natal, South Africa as they sing their way into the hearts of people who can help them reshape their lives and better their circumstances. The kids' compelling stories and a brilliant soundtrack...
We Live In Public - Movie Review of We Live In Public - 2009
We Live In Public - Movie Review of We Live In Public - 2009
We Were Here - Movie Review - 2011
Now on DVD, this documentary explores the AIDS crisis that swept though San Francisco's gay community during the 1980s.
What Would Jesus Buy? (2007) - DVD Review
At documnary film about how crass consumerism is consuming humankind and leading to the shopocalypse.
Where In The World Is Osama Bin Laden? (2008) - Movie Review
In Morgan Spurlock's cheeky documentary, the fast food filmmaker trudges through the Middle East, Afghanistan and Pakistan, asking strangers, "Have you seen Osama bin Laden?"
'Who Killed The Electric Car?' - Movie Review
In 'Who Killed the Electric Car?,' documentary filmmaker Chris Paine chronicles the recent conspiracy to prevent proliferation of a series of automobiles that ran quietly and efficiently on electricity.
The Windmill Movie - Movie Review of The Windmill Movie - 2008
The Windmill Movie - Movie Review of The Windmill Movie - 2008
Winged Migration (2001) - DVD Review
Directors Jacques Perrin and Jacques Cluzaud and their crew of 500 people spanned the globe for four years to capture these amazing and startlingly beautiful images of various species of migrating birds as they fly thousands of miles twice annually in search of food.
Winter Soldier (1972) - DVD Review
A classic documentary film about the Vietnam War era.
Wrong Side Of The Bus - Movie Review - 2009
Rod Freedman directs this documentary about Sidney Bloch, a highly respected South African psychiatrist who is seeking to relieve feelings of guilt he still has forty years after he graduated from medical education in Apartheid-ruled South Africa, where he witnessed rampant discrimination against his 'colored' classmates, but was incapable of...
Young & Restless in China (2008)
Shot over four years, this film follows a disparate group of China's Gen X-ers who're seeking to reconcile personal goals and attitudes with their country's traditional social, cultural and political mores and new opportunities to get ahead and accumulate wealth.
Young@Heart (2007) - DVD Review
A chorus of spunky senior citizens belts punk, R & B and rock classics to sold-out audiences in concert halls in their home town of Northampton, Massachusetts, and around the world. This documentary film is their story, their well-deserved moment of glory.
Documentaries Releasing on DVD in October 2012
An anotated list of the documentaries that are being released on DVD during the month of October, 2012.
Hell and Back Again - Movie Review - 2011
Photojournalist Danfung Dennis, embedded with the Marines' Echo Company in Afghanistan, follows wounded combatant Sgt. Nathan Harris from the front to his North Carolina home, where he and his wife try to manage his emotional and physical pain, pick up their lives and look to the future.
Where Soldiers Come From - Movie Review - 2011
Filmmaker Heather Courtney follows the four year military sojourn of a group of teenage high school buddies who join the National Guard, are deployed to Afghanistan, and return to their hometown in rural Michigan to reenter civilian life.
Memorial Day Documentaries 2013
A list of five documentaries recommended for commemorating Memorial Day 2013, and currently available on DVD.