"Money was maliciously introduced in ancient times as a tool of enslavement" -
Michael Tellinger

"The present belongs to the future and future generations, and all old laws, religious and other, should be abrogated immediately. Free us!" - Vinay Gupta on Twitter

"You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete." - R. Buckminster Fuller

"You find the strangest ways to be positive!" - Diane Duane, Wizards Abroad


I love documentary films. There are quite a few reviewed in this blog; see AIFF 2010,  AIFF 2011, AIFF 2012, or Film Reviews and check back from time to time here, for more titles.

Note: this page has not been updated since 2012, but these films are still good!

Some personal favorites of recent years:
What a Way to Go: Life at the End of Empire
Born to be Wild: The Leading Men of American Ballet Theatre 
These Amazing Shadows
If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front
Southern Comfort
Thicker than Water
American Aloha
Baseball and Jazz (Ken Burns series)
Riding Giants
Theremin: an Electronic Odyssey
Sketches of Frank Gehry
Before Stonewall
A Man Named Pearl
Constantine's Sword
Step into Liquid
Music Instinct: Science and Song
The Botany of Desire
Fractals: Hunting the Hidden Dimension
The Insider (not a documentary, but true story)

Next are two more lists:  First, films we've seen (with some links - I'm working on that) in "Video Viewpoints," a continuing neighborhood screening group. Or at least, these are the ones we really liked. After that you'll find a list of some free documentaries on the Web, with links.

In our neighborhood we get together to see documentaries every other Wednesday and sometimes on fifth Wednesdays, too, when there is one. The purpose is to explore different "viewpoints" so our list is eclectic. In fact some of these aren't documentaries, but as documentary buffs we appreciated the mix of viewpoints. I'm just starting to add links here but it won't be hard to find most of these on Netflix, You Tube, Hulu, PBS online, or the Free Speech TV website (and some are on that list of free online documentaries at the end).

Coming soon:
YERT (Your Environmental Road Trip)
Genius Within: The Inner Life of Glenn Gould
Strange Culture
They Came to Play

We'll get as soon as we can; seen at AIFF 2011-2012
We Are Legion
Love Free or Die
Atomic States of America
Valley of Saints (not a documentary, but of interest to doc fans)
Shakespeare High
David (not a documentary, but...)
The Welcome
The Big Uneasy
Hood to Coast
One Voice
Prom Night in Mississippi
and several others

Video Viewpoints films shown so far2007-present (in no particular order):
First Position
Special SOPTV preview of new season of Downton Abbey
Theremin: An Electronic Odyssey

Bag It!
Offside (not a documentary, but...)
Carol Channing: Larger than Life
Preview screener: Dust Bowl (Ken Burns)
Paul Taylor: Dancemaker
Heist: Who Stole the American Dream? 
Last Train Home 
Flow: For Love of Water
Vanishing of the Bees
Dot: An Ordinary Woman; an Extraordinary Person 
Step into Liquid
Salt plus Sherlock special sneak preview (SOPTV visit)
Only When I Dance
How the Earth was Made 
Green for All and Citizen Architect: Samuel Mockbee and the Spirit of the Rural Studio
Inside the Marx Brothers, and selected shorts 

If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front
Born to be Wild: The Leading Men of American Ballet Theatre 
Choreography by Balanchine: Chaconne, Prodigal Son

The Rosa Parks Story
Hot Coffee
What a Way to Go: Life at the End of Empire
Sneak Peek: Downton Abbey, Season 2 and Masterpiece Theater retrospective (SOPTV visit)
The Take
Two in a Million
These Amazing Shadows
Been Rich All My Life
A Great Day in Harlem 
Special sneak peek: Ken Burns, Prohibition (SOPTV visit)
POM Wonderful Presents: The Greatest Movie Ever Sold
Journey of the Universe 
Living without Money
Paris: The Luminous Years
Good Hair
Swami (Fifth Wednesday)
Between the Folds
A Life Among Whales
The People Speak
Blossoms of Fire
Seeking Sustainability in our Homes; Oregon's Marble Caves (SOPTV visit)
Louder than a Bomb
Bela Fleck: Throw Down Your Heart
Il Postino (fifth Wednesday)
Inside Job--with special guest from Oregon Action to speak on the state bank movement in Oregon
This Emotional Life, parts 1 and 2
William Kunstler: Disturbing the Universe
Touch the Sound: A Sound Journey with Evelyn Glennie
Blue Gold: The World Water Wars
Sneak Previews of upcoming shows, from Southern Oregon Public Television
Casino Jack and the United States of Money
Sita Sings the Blues (Fifth Wednesday)
Chuck Jones: Extremes & Inbetweens
Eugene Bennett: Portrait of a Local Artist
84 Charing Cross Road (docudrama)
Rivers and Tides
The Horse Boy
Who the @#$% is Jackson Pollock?
Lumo and Eliminating Bonded Servitude
Miss Potter (biodrama)
Persepolis (animated autobiodrama)
Double Dare
Capitalism: A Love Story
The Singing Revolution
Born into Brothels
Food, Inc.
Ram Dass: Fierce Grace
Outsourced (Fifth Wednesday)
Honeymoon Travels Pvt. Ltd. (Fifth Wednesday)
All Aboard! Rosie's Family Cruise
Iron Jawed Angels (docudrama)
The Yes Men Fix the World
Rethink Afghanistan
Every Little Step
Paul Newman (Hollywood's Cool Hand)
[Highlights from] The National Parks: America's Best Idea (SOPTV visit)
Butterfly (about Julia Butterfly Hill)
Strangers in Good Company (semi-documentary)
Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room
The Real Dirt on Farmer John
American Aloha
Uncounted: The New Math of American Elections
Hacking Democracy
The Hobart Shakespeareans
10 Questions for the Dalai Lama
In the Shadow of the Moon
The Orchestra of Piazza Vittorio
Control Room - story of Al Jazeera Network
The Story of the Weeping Camel
Shakespeare Behind Bars
Senator Obama Goes to Africa
The Cutting Edge: The Magic of Movie Editing
Harlan County, USA
Planet Earth (episodes)
Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Price
Maya Lin: A Strong Clear Vision
American Blackout
Young @ Heart
Mad Hot Ballroom
Howard Zinn: You Can't Be Neutral on a Moving Train
The Cult of the Suicide Bomber
Who Killed the Electric Car
Sing Faster: The Stagehands' Ring Cycle
The Mystery of the Megaflood (NOVA)
The Future of Food
Journey of Man
Milk (docudrama)
Pete Seeger: The Power of Song
The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill
Dan Rather TV documentary on Brain Science
400 Years of the Telescope
Crash: A Tale of Two Species
Baran (Fifth Wednesday)
Sunset story
Sick around the World and Sick around America (Frontline

poster for "Two in a Million" benefit that kicked off the fundraising for the film. Kickstarter followed. 

Free documentaries on the Web:

Check out this site: Top Documentary Films. Free films screened there, including The Take!

The following list was sent to me by someone who's very smart, but I haven't checked all the links and some might be broken. And I haven't seen them all so this is just offered FWIW; those which I have seen so far, and recommend, are highlighted in red.

9/11-related: Hijacking Catastrophe: 9/11, Fear And The Selling Of
American Empire (2004)  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SltOy_F6ZII
9/11: Press For Truth (2006) - Directed by Ray Nowosielski;
recommended by Buzzflash.com  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PSVgnsIJH4Y
911 and the British Broadcasting Conspiracy [Conspiracy Files program]
- David Shayler on BBC propaganda  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hRyY3YD3j6o

American Drug War: Last White Hope - Kevin Booth (2007)

BBC Money Programme: The Real Big Brother [microchips]

Breaking Ranks: The Documentary - Writer & Director: Michelle Mason
(2006)[blurry]  http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=1745621620698410142#

Bush Family Fortunes - Narrated by Greg Palast (2004)

Call It Democracy (Formerly titled "Everywhere but Florida") -
directed by Matt Kohn (2004)  http://www.snagfilms.com/films/title/call_it_democracy/

Control Room (2004) - Directed by Jehane Noujaim; about Al Jazeera
during US invasion of Iraq  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UgGUG3hzV6g

Discovery Times: Ruby Ridge  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0_ENu-M2GKU

Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room - Directed by Alex Gibney (2005)

Flock of Dodos: The Evolution-Intelligent Design Circus (2006)

Greg Palast: New Orleans: From Big Easy to Big Empty (2007)

Hacking Democracy: HBO documentary by Russell Michaels (2006)

In Debt We Trust: America Before the Bubble Bursts (2006)

Independent America - Is there room for independent retailers? (2006)

John Pilger: Nicaragua: A Nation's Right To Survive(1983)
John Pilger: The War On Democracy (2007) 1:33:36
John Pilger: Truth and Lies in the War on Terror (2003)
John Pilger: War by Other Means [IMF Debt] (1992)

John Stockwell: CIA's War on Humans (1988)  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m3ioJGMCr-Y
John Stockwell: The Third World War [CIA wars against the third
world]  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z9VxnCBD9W4

Manufacturing Consent: Noam Chomsky and the Media (1992)

Michael Moore: Bowling for Columbine (2002)  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hxbRm2dS1F8

Mind Control: America's Secret War (History Channel)

Money As Debt: A 45-minute animated video by Paul Grignon (2007)

My Country, My Country - Directed by Laura Poitras; Iraq under
occupation (2006)  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0vxbdXVqWGk

No End In Sight (2007)  http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-3165309591520786688&ei...#

Noam Chomsky: American Addiction [arms exports from the US]

Noam Chomsky: Rebel Without A Pause (2003)  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xDQvG4bkIVg
Noam Chomsky: The Political Economy of the Mass Media (1989)

Occuption 101 - Directed by Abdallah Omeish (2006)

Orwell Rolls in His Grave - Directed by Robert Kane Pappas (2003)

Outfoxed: Rupert Murdoch's War on Journalism (2004)

Robert Greenwald: Iraq For Sale: The War Profiteers (2006)

Robert Greenwald: Unconstitutional: The War on Our Civil Liberties
(2004)  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H7qFzO_qNag

Robert Greenwald: Uncovered: Truth about Iraq War (2003) 56:08

Robert Greenwald: Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Price (2005)

Sicko - Directed by Michael Moore (2007)  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bRsuNjCvcbE

Split: A Divided America (2008)  http://www.hulu.com/watch/37403/split-a-divided-america

Stealing America: Vote by Vote - Directed by Dorothy Fadiman; Brad
Friedman (2008)  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s36g51Q-tLU

Super Rich: The Greed Game (British)  http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-3305522889894137433&hl...

Super Size Me - Directed by Morgan Spurlock (2004)

The American War: The U.S. in Vietnam [Pinky and Bunny discuss origins
of the war]  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5LctoUV-tag

The Corporation - Directed by Mark Achbar, Jennifer Abbott (2003)

The Oil Factor: Behind the War on Terror - Narrated by Ed Asner; Mike
Ruppert, Noam Chomsky (2005)  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qvmsgbIkUiE

The Power of Nightmares: The Politics of Fear - Directed by Adam
Curtis (2004)  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=skudTktwnQE

US War Crimes in Afghanistan (British)

Waco: A New Revelation - Directed by Jason Van Vleet (1999)

Waco: The Rules of Engagement (1997)  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b_6vrep7k9g

War Made Easy - Narrated by Sean Penn 1:10:15

Why We Fight - Directed by Eugene Jarecki (2005)