Monday, February 28, 2011

Revolutionary Documentary Films

I am currently working on my senior thesis for my Integrated Studies degree and wanted to pose a question to the group and hopefully get some feedback-

Since each student took this class because they at least have a remote interest in film and/or documentary in specific, I was hoping some of you might suggest some documentary films that you have seen that might work for what I am arguing in my thesis. Without delving into too much detail, I am looking for docs that were impactful enough (for whatever reason) that they made you as a viewer want to go out and do something about the issues they address. These could be environmental, social justice, health, economics, personal interest, or any number of other topics, just as long as they for some reason, made you want to take action or educate yourself on the topics presented. Also, they don't have to be recent docs, as I am coming at the topic from a somewhat historical angle. So, if any of you know of films that had influence in a specific time period or movement, those would be great as well.

I'll be watching a panoply of docs over the coming weeks looking for films to analyze and include in my thesis, so any suggestions that will help me shed some light on my seemingly blind venture are GREATLY appreciated!

Either comment in this post or shoot me an email at uvurikki [at] gmail dot com

Thanks in advance! I hope to see you all around campus!


  1. Hey Rikki. I saw a doc on Netflix just the other day about the election in New Jersey in 2002, which might be of interest. It was called Street Fight and made by the same person who made If a tree falls. The film mainly focuses in on racial discourse in american politics etc. I think you should check it out.

    And If you look on Netflix there are a whole bunch of docs dealing with issues of supposedly wrongfully incarcerated individuals especially in cases of child molestation. The question regarding those films is to figure out what change they are actually arguing for.


  2. Hi Rikki,

    It's cliche but I first got interested in documentary films when Michael Moore's Roger and Me (1989) was shown in an Organizational Behavior course I was taking in 2001. Until then, I'd never paid attention to documentary film. Here are a few of the others that jump to the front of my mind as being influential.

    Fahrenheit 9/11 (2004) helped get me interested in peace activism, while The War Tapes (2006) helped me see war from the soldier's perspective. The Corporation (2003) and Walmart: The High Cost of Low Price (2005) got me interested in social inequality and its relationship to capitalism. And Baraka (1992) stands out as a fabulous work of documentary poetry that really connected with me. (It may be an interesting film to see in regard to environmentalism and human's impact on the planet.)

    Good luck on your thesis!

  3. The combination of Why We Fight (2005), No End In Sight (2007), and Bush's War (2008?), along with Iraq in Fragments (2006) are pretty good are getting your anti-war blood up. ...or at least they were before the wars became passe.

  4. Thanks boys! I really appreciate the input and will check these out!



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