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11 best documentaries of all time, update 2021

Check out the recommendations for the best documentaries of all time below. It could be your reference, documentary film fans!

There are various kinds of interesting film genres that people usually watch, one of which is documentaries. Well, if you really like the documentary type, you must check out the 11 best documentary film recommendations of all time in this article!

Movies have become the favorite entertainment consumption of humans today. In order to unwind after a tired work, one of the best alternatives is to watch a movie.

Various genres of films have sprung up in the world of cinema. Maybe you've often watched movies with action, horror, romance, and other general genres.

But, have you ever watched a movie with this genre? documentary? Films with this genre are no less exciting than other genres, you know. In fact many will open your mind and touch your heart.

The Best Documentary Films That Move the Heart and Mind

Documentary film is a non-fiction film that "documentes" the reality or reality that happens to a person, society, and environment.

There are so many people who fall in love with documentaries because the genre is able to open their eyes to the reality that is happening around them.

In addition, there are also many documentaries that tell tragic stories that can make a tough man like Jason Statham cry.

So that you are not even more curious, check out Jaka's article about the 10 best documentaries that can open your mind and touch your heart.

1. The Act of Killing (2012)

The Act of Killing documenting the perpetrators massacre of suspected PKI in the city of Medan from 1965 to 1966.

This massacre is recorded to have killed the lives of 400 thousand to 3 million victims, whether guilty or innocent, men or women, even adults and children.

Joshua Oppenheimer, a foreign director and his team, made this documentary to open your eyes and your mind about the cruelty of the people who killed suspected PKI members.

For those of you who want to see historical films like the G30S PKI film, you really have to watch this film to know that the history of our beloved country is not always beautiful.

InformationThe Act of Killing
Reviews (Number of Reviewers)8.2 (31.193)
Duration1 hour 57 minutes
GenreDocumentary, Crime
Release DateNovember 1, 2012
DirectorJoshua Oppenheimer
PlayerAnwar Congo

Syamsul Arifin

2. Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck (2015)

Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck tells the other side of the life journey of Kurt Cobain, the icon of Grunge music in the 90's.

The uniqueness of this film lies in its unusual angle. Many films focus more on the career and success of Kurt Cobain and Nirvana.

However, one of the best documentaries is more about Kurt Cobain's mental condition, drug abuse, and the love-hate relationship between Kurt and his wife. Courtney Love.

InformationKurt Cobain: Montage of Heck
Reviews (Number of Reviewers)7.5 (26.134)
Duration2 hours 25 minutes
GenreDocumentary, Animation, Biography
Release DateMay 4, 2015
DirectorBrett Morgen
PlayerAaron Burckhard

Don Cobain

3. Jiro Dreams of Sushi (2011)

Jiro Dreams of Sushi tells the story of an elderly sushi master chef named Jiro Ono who owns the Sukiyabashi restaurant in Tokyo, Japan.

This restaurant has a very high reputation for having 3 Michelin stars. This film focuses on Jiro Ono who continues to hone his skills in serving sushi even though he is already 85 years old.

Jiro also tries to give confidence to his children to continue the legendary restaurant he owns so that it will continue to prosper in the future, really exemplary.

InformationJiro Dreams of Sushi
Reviews (Number of Reviewers)7.9 (30.867)
Duration1 hour 21 minutes
GenreDocumentary, Animation, Biography
Release DateMarch 15, 2012
DirectorDavid Gelb
PlayerJiro Ono

Masuhiro Yamamoto

4. The Overnighters (2014)

The Overnighters documenting about a small town in North Dakota named Williston whose population has increased dramatically due to the discovery of oil sources there.

Newcomers hope to find decent jobs there, given the massive economic downturn in the United States.

However, the locals hated and rejected the newcomers, except Jay Reinke, a Pastor who accepts these people to stay temporarily in the Church where he serves.

Apart from that, The Overnighters is one of the best documentaries of all time with a story that really touches the hearts of the audience. Must watch!

InformationThe Overnighters
Reviews (Number of Reviewers)7.5 (2.224)
Duration1 hour 42 minutes
GenreDocumentary, Drama
Release DateOctober 31, 2014
DirectorJesse Moss
PlayerJay Reinke

Alan Mezo

5. The Thin Blue Line (1988)

The Thin Blue Line reconstruct the story Randall Dale Adams who was arrested and sentenced to death at the age of 26 for the murder of a police officer in 1976.

However, Randall did not commit the murder. The director tried to lift this story and interviewed various people involved, including Randall.

This film is about a flawed justice system very well. A year after the documentary was released, Randall's sentence was suspended by a judge.

InformationThe Thin Blue Line
Reviews (Number of Reviewers)8.0 (19.853)
Duration1 hour 41 minutes
GenreDocumentary, Crime, Drama
Release DateAugust 25, 1988
DirectorErrol Morris
PlayerRandall Adams

Gus Rose

6. Capturing The Friedmans (2003)

Andrew Jarecki the director originally made a touching documentary about birthday party clowns.

However, when researching the sources, David Friedman, he found a surprising thing.

David Friedman's brother and father are suspected of sexual abuse of minors. The film then focuses on the investigation of Friedmans . family.

From interviews with the victim and the police, and coupled with evidence from video recordings of the Friedman family, the Friedmans were found guilty and then tried to get the punishment they deserve.

InformationCapturing The Friedmans
Reviews (Number of Reviewers)7.8 (22.416)
Duration1 hour 47 minutes
GenreDocumentary, Biography
Release DateJuly 18, 2003
DirectorAndrew Jarecki
PlayerArnold Friedman

David Friedman

7. Gleason (2016)

Steve Gleason is a former football player as well as an icon who has played for New Orleans Saint in the United States NFL.

At the age of 34, Gleason suffered from ALS or commonly known as Lou Gehrig's Disease, the same disease suffered by Stephen Hawking.

This film tells the story of Gleason's life who continues to survive and endure his illness for the sake of his wife and child who was not yet born, at first glance similar to the film Clouds. There are many life lessons that we can take from this one of the best documentaries.

Reviews (Number of Reviewers)8.4 (2.184)
Duration1 hour 50 minutes
Release Date29 July 2016
DirectorClay Tweel
PlayerSteve Gleason

Scott Fujita

8. Dear Zachary: A Letter to a Son About His Father (2008)

A man named Andrew Bagby died after being killed by his own girlfriend, Shirley Jane Turner. Shirley was pregnant with Andrew's child at the time of trial.

Director Kurt Kuenne collect memories of Andrew dedicated to Zachary, Andrew's unborn child, to show that his late father was deeply loved.

In addition, this film also raises about the struggle for custody of Zachary between Andrew's parents and Shirley, Andrew's girlfriend. Beautiful and touching, Dear Zachary deserves to be on the list of the best documentaries of all time.

InformationDear Zachary: A Letter to a Son About His Father
Reviews (Number of Reviewers)8.6 (29.448)
Duration1 hour 35 minutes
GenreDocumentary, Biography, Crime
Release DateJanuary 2008
DirectorKurt Kuenne
PlayerKurt Kuenne

David Bagby

9. How to Survive a Plague (2012)

People who suffered from AIDS in the 80's were people who were excluded and ignored by society, even the government.

Hospitals also used to refuse to treat AIDS patients. Anyway, the ancient AIDS sufferers were completely excluded and ostracized, gang.

How to Survive a Plague documenting the struggle of the organization ACT UP (AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power) to grow awareness about AIDS and humanizing AIDS sufferers.

You can see the results now. AIDS sufferers can get treatment and special attention from all walks of life.

InformationHow to Survive a Plague
Reviews (Number of Reviewers)7.6 (3.508)
Duration1 hour 50 minutes
GenreDocumentary, History, News
Release DateNovember 8, 2013
DirectorDavid France
PlayerPeter Staley

Iris Long

10. The Times of Harvey Milk (1984)

Harvey Milk is the first San Francisco politician in California history to publicly say he is gay.

Milk did not serve until the end of his term because his life was killed by his colleague, Dan White. Even so, his struggles brought results that Americans can now feel.

The Times of Harvey Milk tells the story of Milk's struggle that helped lift the spirits of LGBT people in America, even though Milk died almost 40 years ago.

InformationThe Times of Harvey Milk
Reviews (Number of Reviewers)8.3 (5.222)
Duration1 hour 30 minutes
GenreDocumentary, Biography, History
Release Date20 September 1985 (Finland)
DirectorRob Epstein
PlayerHarvey Fierstein

Anne Kronenberg

11. Miss Americana (2020)

Miss Americana is one of Netflix's best documentaries that tells about the twists and turns of Taylor Swift's life. In this film, you can see all of Taylor's struggles in her life.

Starting from his efforts to be himself without thinking about other people's opinions, to the hectic case involving Kanye West and Kim Kardashian.

This documentary pegs the crisis of his life after the release of the 1989 album which continued until he released the album Reputation in 2017. Taylor Swift fans must watch this documentary!

InformationMiss Americana
Reviews (Number of Reviewers)7.4 (15,381)
Duration1 hour 26 minutes
GenreDocumentary, Biography
Release DateJanuary 31, 2020 (USA)
DirectorLana Wilson
PlayerTaylor Swift

Joe Alwyn

This is an article about the 11 best documentaries of all time that have moved Jaka's heart and mind. Hopefully the list above can be a recommendation for those of you who are looking for the best movies to watch.

See you in the next Jaka article!

Also read articles about Out of Tech or other interesting articles from Prameswara Padmanaba

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