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Thought-Provoking Documentaries

Thought-Provoking Documentaries

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Thought-Provoking Documentaries
  • Close to Vermeer

    Directed by Suzanne Raes • Documentary • 2023 • Netherlands • Dutch with English subtitles
    Featuring Pieter Roelofs, Anna Krekeler, Jonathan Janson

    Go behind the scenes of the largest Vermeer exhibition ever, mounted in early 2023 at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam. Capturing the imagination of the...

  • A Bigger Splash

    Directed by Jack Hazan • Documentary •1974 • UK • English
    Featuring David Hockney, Peter Schlesinger

    In this intimate and innovative film about artist David Hockney, director Jack Hazan creates an improvisatory narrative-nonfiction hybrid. The result is at once a time capsule of hedonistic gay l...

  • Acasa, My Home

    Directed by Radu Ciorniciuc • Documentary • 2020 • Romania, Germany • Romanian with English subtitles
    Featuring Gica Enache, Vali Enache, Rica Enache

    Winner of the World Cinema Documentary Special Jury Award for Cinematography at the Sundance Film Festival, this documentary follows a family with...

  • A Day on the Grand Canal with the Emperor of China

    Directed by Philip Haas • 1988 • United States
    Starring David Hockney

    Painted by Wang Hui and his assistants, the seventh scroll of "The Kangxi Emperor's Southern Inspection Tour" contains over 72 feet of beautiful and minutely detailed artistry. Director Philip Haas and famed artist David Hockn...

  • Afternoon of a Faun: Tanaquil Le Clercq

    Directed by Nancy Buirski • Documentary • 2013 • US • English
    Featuring Michael Stuhlbarg

    A mesmerizing portrait of legendary ballerina Tanaquil Le Clercq, muse to both George Balanchine and Jerome Robbins, whose career was cut short by polio at the age of 27. This is a story of how one woman p...

  • After Parkland

    Directed by Emily Taguchi, Jake Lefferman • Documentary • 2019 • US • English
    Featuring David Hogg, Brooke Harrison, Andrew Pollack

    After the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in 2018 that killed 17 people and launched a nationwide student movement, filmmakers Emily Taguchi and Ja...

  • Against the Current

    Directed by Óskar Páll Sveinsson • Documentary • 2021 • Iceland • Icelandic with English subtitles
    Featuring Veiga Grétarsdóttir

    Veiga Grétarsdóttir is the first person in the world to attempt to kayak over 2,000 kilometers around Iceland, counter-clockwise and “against the current.” Veiga’s per...

  • American Yogi

    Directed by Steven Newmark • Documentary • 2018 • U.S. • English
    Featuring Ram Dass, Neem Karoli Baba aka Maharaj-ji

    "American Yogi" is a delightful autobiographical documentary about a nice Jewish boy from Miami who travels to San Francisco for the “Summer of Love” and returns a hippie. Later, ...

  • Anthropocene: The Human Epoch

    Directed by Jennifer Baichwal, Edward Burtynsky, Nicholas de Pencier • Documentary • 2019 • Canada • English, Russian, Italian, German, Mandarin, Cantonese with English subtitles
    Featuring Alicia Vikander

    Narrated by Alicia Vikander, this stunning sensory experience and cinematic meditation on h...

  • Araya

    Directed by Margot Benacerraf • Documentary • 1959 • Venezuela, France • Spanish w/ English subtitles
    Featuring José Ignacio Cabrujas

    Hailed as a masterpiece of poetic filmmaking, director Margot Benacerraf’s documentary captures the stories of three families and their back-breaking work in the ...

  • Be Natural: The Untold Story of Alice Guy-Blaché

    Directed by Pamela B. Green • Documentary • 2018 • US • English
    Featuring Jodie Foster, Alice Guy-Blache, Agnes Varda, Ava DuVernay, Geena Davis

    Narrated by Jodie Foster, this full feature documentary rewrites film history, revealing for the first time the full scope of the life and work of cine...

  • Beuys

    Directed by Andres Veiel • Documentary • 2018 • Germany • English, German with English subtitles
    Featuring Joseph Beuys

    A chronicle of the life and work of the iconoclastic, 20th-century German sculptor and performance artist Joseph Beuys. This documentary is not a portrait in the traditional se...

  • Bill Cunningham New York

    Directed by Richard Press • Documentary • 2010 • US • English
    Featuring Bill Cunningham, Anna Wintour, Iris Apfel

    A delicate, funny and often poignant portrait of bicycle-riding octogenarian Bill Cunningham, the beloved 'New York Times' style photographer who was famous for his weekly columns "...

  • Bill Traylor: Chasing Ghosts

    Directed by Jeffrey Wolf • Documentary • 2018 • US • English
    Featuring Russell G. Jones, Sharon Washington, Jason Samuels Smith

    This illuminating documentary tells the incredible story of Bill Traylor, a former slave who turned to drawing at age 85, creating colorful, strikingly modernist work ...

  • Bix: "Ain't None of Them Play Like Him Yet"

    Directed by Brigitte Berman • Documentary • 1981 • US • English
    Featuring Bix Beiderbecke, Richard Basehart, Doc Cheatham

    Cornetist / pianist / composer Leon “Bix” Beiderbecke (1903-1931) was jazz’s man who got away. Beiderbecke became a legend even in his short lifetime, bringing an amazing new...

  • Boatman

    Directed by Gianfranco Rosi • Documentary • 1993 • Italy • English, Hindi, Italian with English subtitles

    Academy Award Nominee Gianfranco Rosi has emerged as one of the most awarded and provocative documentarians working today. His observational films artfully and sympathetically depict the liv...

  • Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story

    Directed by Alexandra Dean • Documentary • 2017 • US • English
    Featuring Mel Brooks, Peter Bogdanovich, Diane Kruger

    What do the most ravishingly beautiful actress of the 1930s and 40s and the inventor whose concepts were the basis of cell phone and bluetooth technology have in common? They are ...

  • Born to Fly: Elizabeth Streb vs. Gravity

    Directed by Catherine Gund • Documentary • 2014 • US • English
    Featuring Elizabeth Streb, Sarah Callan, Fabio Tavares

    "Born to Fly: Elizabeth Streb vs. Gravity" traces the evolution of Elizabeth Streb's movement philosophy as she pushes herself and her performers from the ground to the sky.

  • Brainwashed: Sex-Camera-Power

    Directed by Nina Menkes • Documentary • 2022 • US • English
    Featuring Julie Dash, Penelope Spheeris, Rosanna Arquette

    This eye-opening documentary from the Sundance Film Festival explores the sexual politics of cinematic shot design and its connections to the twin epidemics of sexual abuse/assau...

  • Bugs

    Directed by Andreas Johnsen • Documentary • 2016 • Denmark • English, Danish w/ English subtitles
    Featuring Josh Evans, Roberto Flore, Ben Reade

    "Bugs" is an artful and thoughtful new documentary that provides a perfect entry point to insect cuisine. Watch as filmmaker Andreas Johnsen and his te...

  • Can You Bring It: Bill T. Jones and D-Man in the Waters

    Directed by Rosalynde LeBlanc, Tom Hurwitz • Documentary • 2020 • US • English
    Featuring Bill T. Jones, Arnie Zane

    Reaching beyond the world of dance and the remarkable legacy of renowned choreographer-dancer-director Bill T. Jones, this Peabody Award winning documentary touches the essence of c...

  • Capital in the Twenty-First Century

    Directed by Justin Pemberton • Documentary • 2020 • New Zealand • English, French with English subtitles
    Featuring Thomas Piketty, Francis Fukuyama, Joseph Stiglitz

    Based on the international bestseller by rock-star economist Thomas Piketty, this captivating documentary is an eye-opening journey...

  • Carmel

    Directed by Amos Gitai • Arthouse • 2009 • Israel, France • Hebrew, French, Arabic with English subtitles
    Starring Jeanne Moreau, Amos Gitai, Rivka Gitai

    “Carmel” is Amos Gitai's deeply personal and resonant meditation on Jewish and Israeli identity. Using both fiction and documentary techniques...

  • Code of the Freaks

    Directed by Salome Chasnoff • Documentary • 2020 • US • English
    Featuring Lawrence Carter-Long, Candace Coleman, Mike Ervin

    "Code of the Freaks" presents a radical reframing of the use of disabled characters in film. Using hundreds of clips spanning over 100 years of moviemaking, and a cast of d...