Category: Documentary


Since the 1920s, many filmmakers have produced works in the form of incredible documentaries. Not only entertaining, but this film genre also provides a lot of knowledge for the audience who watch it. Here we present the ten best documentaries of all time that you should watch.

If you are bored with mainstream films, it might be a good idea to watch documentaries. For those of you who are confused about what to watch, this article presents ten recommendations of the best documentaries of all time.

Know in advance; documentaries are not the same as fiction films. Documentaries, documentation, documents, and similar words come from Latin, Documentum, which means proof. Put, documentary cinema must depart from real and actual events, not fictional stories.

Because it relies on real events, documentary films can also be called journalistic works. You could say that this genre is a combination of art and journalism. The subject usually revolves around historical events, human behavior, to the story of unique and interesting discoveries.

Maybe some of you think documentary films are boring but believe the movie below is different and worth watching. Plus, the movie mentioned in this article had shocked the world. Curious?

The Cove (2009)

As a child, have you been invited by your parents to watch the dolphin show? This cute animal has become an idol for young children because of their intelligence and agility.  Well, in second place in the list of the best documentaries of all time, we will discuss the question of dolphins. The title of the film is The Cove, the work of director Louie Psihoyos which was released in 2009. The Cove is a documentary that highlights the problem of hunting for dolphins that occur in Japan.

This film features Richard O’Barry, a former dolphin trainer who decided to become a dolphin activist after he realized that exploiting them was not the right thing. Hearing rumors about the slaughter of dolphins in Japan, Richard, Louie, and their crew decided to search for the truth while making it a documentary.

Fahrenheit 9/11 (2004)

The third place in the list of the best documentaries of all time was Fahrenheit 9/11. The title is taken from a 1953 novel by Ray Bradbury entitled Fahrenheit 451, about the future of the United States, which resembles dystopia (a very bad place where people are unhappy). While naming 9/11 refers to the tragedy of terrorism in the United States on September 11, 2001.

Fahrenheit 9/11 was worked on by writer, director, and political commentator, Michael Moore. He also acts as the narrator in the film. This journalistic work expresses a critical opinion on policies during the administration of President George W. Bush.

This journalistic work with a touch of comedy was premiered at the 57th Cannes Film Festival, precisely on May 17, 2004. After the screening of the film, the audience gave a standing ovation for about 20 minutes. The standing ovation is one of the longest in the history of the festival. Not only applause but Fahrenheit 11/9 also successfully won Palme d’Or. For those of you who don’t know yet, Palme D’Or is the highest award in the prestigious Cannes Film Festival, which documentaries rarely win.

Man on Wire (2008)

On August 7, 1974, an amazing and tense event took place in the twin towers of the World Trade Center (WTC), New York. A Frenchman named Philippe Petit was seen walking across a steel wire connected between the two tallest towers in the world in the 70s.

Petit, who at that time was only 25 years old, was very ambitious to cross the tower, which has 110 floors. He planned his illegal reckless actions for about eight months. Imagine, he must find a way to get past the security of the WTC and prepare all the equipment to launch the action.

Petit’s action was enshrined by a British director named James Marsh. In 2008, the release of the documentary made by James Marsh was titled Man on Wire. One of the best documentaries of all time also won the Best Documentary award at the 2009 Academy Awards. This 90-minute cinema contains interviews with Philippe Petit and the people who participated in planning this very risky event. In Man on Wire, Petit also tells how he went through 45 tense minutes over the steel wire that connects the two skyscrapers.

That’s the 3 documentaries that can add insight.


Documentary films are non-fiction films that tell about real things or events. Most of these documentaries have been produced for a long time, some of which are directed by famous directors. Many of these best documentaries become controversial because they reveal the truth.

Grizzly Man (2005)

 Werner Herzog is a famous film from Germany, which takes the story of a beer enthusiast named Timothy Treadwell. In 2003, the unfortunate incident killed Treadwell with his girlfriend. Unexpectedly this film turned out to be one of the most interesting documentaries ever made. The film uses footage recorded by Treadwell himself and interviews with his colleagues and other bear experts.

 The Gleaners and I (2000)

The famous Auter Agnes Varda traveled in the countryside and cities in France looking for various aspects of the collection and said without saying that she might be a collector.

The film was made using a handheld camera and placed in every corner of The Gleaners and I is more than just political, personal and subject matter.

Nanook of the North (1922)

 Nanook of the North is one of the best documentaries in history made in 1922. The film, directed by Robert J. Flaherty, tells of a man named Nanook and his family who live in the Arctic, Canada. This film reveals what is called the modern world, a completely alien lifestyle. While many people criticized this film for falsifying part of the sequence so that the family was accused as if made up by some people. This film was an extraordinary achievement at that time.

 Titicut Follies (1967)

 Tititcut Follies is the best documentary in history, directed by Frederick Wiseman. This film tells the abusive treatment experienced by prison inmates. Although this film tells about the condition of inmates at Bridgewater State Hospital, it is clear that the situation in prison is clear. In addition to this documentary, there are scenes of prisoners who have been stripped, barred to eat, and bullied. They also face several legal blocks before their families visit them. The Titicut Follies film is hailed as one of the greatest documentaries ever made.

 Gray Gardens (1975)

Gray Gardens is a film that tells the life of a daughter and her mother. They live in a poor Gery Gardens estate in East Hampton. The film was directed by David Maysles, Muffie Meyer, Albert Maysles, and Ellen Hovde. These women are relatives of former US First Lady, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, who, for their help, saved their homes from destruction.

Women sing and dance in front of the camera by doing many other things. There has been a stage and television adaptation of this amazing documentary.

Sans Soleil (1983)

Sans Soleil, which means “No Sun,” a documentary from France, can be characterized as a documentary or essay or travel film. The film directed by Chris Markerini is a meditation film about the nature of human memory. Marker made films from footage from various trips, especially trips in Japan and Guinea Bissau, and also clips from various films. Which has different contexts independently, and this is certainly a unique experience.

Shoah (1985)

In Hebrew, Shoah means holocaust. The film is directed by Claude Lanzmann and lasts for 8 hours. This film consists of Lanzmann’s interview of holocaust survivors, witnesses, and former German officials and his visits to Holocaust sites throughout Poland, including three extermination camps. Many interviews are recorded using a hidden camera. Despite receiving criticism, Shoah is a masterpiece worth seeing.

That’s the 7 Best Documentary Films in History that you must watch.

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