Eleven Documentaries You Simply Must See Before You Die 10 years ago

Eleven Documentaries You Simply Must See Before You Die

A film genre which is often underrated and overlooked is the spectacular world of documentary-making.

The true sign of a good documentary is whether it can take a subject matter that you are often completely unaware of and turn it into a riveting piece of work with facts and points of view, unbiased and thorough. However, it is also important to generate discussion about the subject matter and many documentary makers are entirely aware of how essential it is to create a bit of a stir, Michael Moore would certainly not be alien to the concept.


Here are eleven documentaries you simply must see before you die.

1. Senna

The life of the racing driver Ayrton Senna is expertly told by Asif Kapadia in truly amazing piece of work. The Brazilian won the Grand Prix three times before his untimely death at just 34.


2. Searching for Sugar Man

Rodriguez, a talented musician with a huge following in South Africa, mysteriously disappeared without a trace until two South Africans go about hunting him down. A truly compelling and amazing story.

3. Inside Job


Narrated by Matt Damon, this is one of the most disturbing documentaries you will watch about the financial meltdown and how it came about, disturbing when you consider the carelessness of massive companies with the lives of ordinary people.

4. Man on Wire

Yes, a man walked between the Twin Towers on just a tight rope. His name was Philippe Petit and he committed the "artistic crime of the century."


5. The Invisible War

A harrowing look at sexual assault in the army, The Invisible War talks to women who have been raped and how the event was dealt with in its aftermath.

6. March of the Penguins


You thought your life was tough? Try being a penguin.

7. Grizzly Man

We knew we need to include a Werner Herzog documentary, we knew it had to be Grizzly Man, the fascinating story of Timothy Treadwill and Amie Huguenard who were both killed while living among grizzlies.

8. Bowling for Columbine

Although the facts of this particular doc have been questioned over the years, there is a lot of important points argued in its running time in regards to gun control. An essential doc.

9. Spellbound

Honestly, who knew the world of spelling bees could be so interesting?

10. The September Issue

How accurate is the Devil Wears Prada? The September Issue is the answer.

11. Zeitgeist

Exploring mythology and belief in modern society, Zeitgeist examines the financial crisis, the attack on the Twin Towers and religion in one neat little package. It's a lengthy one, but well worth the time.