Documentaries to recommend?

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Petrocelli
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Re: Documentaries to recommend?

Post by Petrocelli » Wed Dec 31, 2014 4:37 pm

I just saw 20 feet from Stardom, which is about backup singers. It won the Oscar. Highly recommended. It can be streamed on Netflix.
Last edited by Petrocelli on Wed Dec 31, 2014 4:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Documentaries to recommend?

Post by Petrocelli » Wed Dec 31, 2014 4:40 pm

I also highly recommend the Ken Burns documentary on Jazz. I never really understood jazz music until I saw that. It can be streamed on Netflix.
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Re: Documentaries to recommend?

Post by Fallible » Wed Dec 31, 2014 5:04 pm

Petrocelli wrote:I also highly recommend the Ken Burns documentary on Jazz. I never really understood jazz music until I saw that. It can be streamed on Netflix.
I enjoyed it and learned a lot more, though the background music began to irritate me after awhile. Wasn't too loud, just most always there.

Thanks for mentioning the backup singers on your earlier post; I'll plan to watch.
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Nicolas
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Re: Documentaries to recommend?

Post by Nicolas » Wed Dec 31, 2014 8:52 pm

I'm currently watching Rickover: The Birth Of Nuclear Power which I recorded to my DVR a week or so ago from PBS. Admiral Rickover was an amazing guy and an inspiration. I never knew anything about him prior to this.
http://www.manifoldproductions.com/Admi ... rfilm.html

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Re: Documentaries to recommend?

Post by wageoghe » Wed Dec 31, 2014 10:00 pm

Brother's Keeper(1992)
Harlan County, USA
Gasland

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Re: Documentaries to recommend?

Post by Jeff Albertson » Wed Dec 31, 2014 10:28 pm

Downton Abbey - ok, not a documentary, but the NYTimes has a feature that integrates their paper's coverage with the world acccording to Julian Fellowes.
http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2014 ... television

Code: Select all

As a chronicle of the ups and downs of fictional British aristocrats and servants, “Downton Abbey” weaves a surprising amount of authentic historical context into its plots. Here is an episode-by-episode look at some of the show’s period details, and how those events have been covered in The New York Times. “Downton Abbey” returns for its fifth season on PBS on Sunday — check back each week during the new season for updates.

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Re: Documentaries to recommend?

Post by Exuberent » Fri Jan 02, 2015 8:30 am

Post by gardemanger » Sat Nov 29, 2014 8:49 am
"One of my all-time favorite documentaries is a Chilean movie called "Nostalgia for the Light." It's set in the Atacama Desert, which is home both to an observatory probing the mysteries of the universe and to bereaved mothers combing the desert for traces of the "disappeared" from the Pinochet regime. The connections between these two searches are movingly painted."

gardemanger, thanks for recommending this - DW and I watched it last night - outstanding. We will actually be in Chile in March (although not near Atacama).

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Re: Documentaries to recommend?

Post by MoonOrb » Sun Jan 04, 2015 1:48 pm

Just watched Werner Herzog's "Happy People: A Year in the Taiga" which is streaming on Netflix this year. Really terrific, intimate look at the craft of fur trapping in Siberia and the lives of the trappers.

Also just went to the theater the week before last to watch a 20th Anniversary showing of "Hoop Dreams," and wow does that movie ever hold up. It's still relevant today, and I'd encourage everyone who hasn't seen it for a few years to watch it again. It's amazing.

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Re: Documentaries to recommend?

Post by MP173 » Sun Jan 04, 2015 2:28 pm

Not sure if this will qualify, but I always found the NHL 24/7 series leading up to the Winter Classic to be an outstanding 4 part series, looking into the lives of two NHL teams.

This is a great list....great idea to the OP.

Ed

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Re: Documentaries to recommend?

Post by rogerdub » Sun Jan 04, 2015 4:55 pm

Enjoyed "Something Ventured" on Netflix, about the original Silicon Valley venture capitalists. If nothing else, the "suits" are a hoot.

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Re: Documentaries to recommend?

Post by stemikger » Wed Feb 04, 2015 11:09 am

I just watched a documentary entitled Art and Craft. It was fascinating in every way. I rented it on Amazon Prime for $3.99.

I am a documentary fanatic and it is my favorite genre of movie and just when I think I have seen my favorite something Art and Craft comes along.
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Re: Documentaries to recommend?

Post by gkaplan » Wed Feb 04, 2015 7:02 pm

Muscle Shoals – Music documentary about famed Muscle Shoals Sound Studio, featuring recollections of musicians who recorded there.

Elaine Stritch: Shoot me – Documentary about the life and career of the indomitable Elaine Stritch, who still was performing well into her late eighties.

History of the Eagles – Two part authorized 2013 documentary on the country rock band that originally aired on Showtime.
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Re: Documentaries to recommend?

Post by VictoriaF » Fri Feb 20, 2015 8:07 pm

The Decent One by Dir. Vanessa Lapa (94min, Israel/Austria/Germany, 2014), a documentary about the life of Heinrich Himmler. I watched it with horror. Not only the horror of the crimes committed on Himmler's orders, but also the horror of how normal and likable he was.

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Re: Documentaries to recommend?

Post by birdsong » Fri Feb 20, 2015 8:55 pm

Another vote for "My Architect" about the life of Louis Kahn. It also won some top awards. A must see for anyone interested in architecture.

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Re: Documentaries to recommend?

Post by Bustoff » Sat Feb 21, 2015 10:42 am

Merchants of Doubt
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Re: Documentaries to recommend?

Post by Traveller » Sat Feb 21, 2015 11:37 am

Ninegrams wrote:If your into motorcycles, "On Any Sunday" is kind of fun.
And I'd add "Faster" and the follow up documentaries (something like "fastest" and "faster and faster"). Incredible profiles of MotoGP racing during some of the best rivalries e.g. Rossi, Biaggi, Lorenzo (my opinion). Trailer here:
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=tEMmKyR11yM. For just a taste, here is a 6 minute video of the final three laps at Catalunya in 2009. Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo deliver the greatest finish to a motorcycle race ever. Keep in mind these guys are moving along at 200mph. https://vimeo.com/32756097

I'd also suggest "Hearts of Darkness" which is the documentary of the production of the movie "Apocolypse Now". It is a fascinating behind-the-scenes (source footage was shot by Coppola's wife and later turned into this documentary) where you see all the financial struggles, actor struggles, foreign government intervention, and self-doubt that almost ruined Francis Ford Coppola's career. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0102015/

This is a great thread. My "watch list" has expanded greatly!

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Re: Documentaries to recommend?

Post by p14175 » Sun Feb 22, 2015 7:03 pm

Dust to Glory (2005) - A documentary on the Baja 1000, an annual off-road race held in Baja, Mexico that attracts hundreds of racers, their souped-up machines, and thousands of fans. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0386423/

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Re: Documentaries to recommend?

Post by VictoriaF » Sun Feb 22, 2015 8:09 pm

The Muses of Isaac Bashevis Singer (72min, Israel, 2014), a remarkable documentary about Singer's translators.

Singer, a 1978 Nobel Prize in Literature winner, composed all his work in Yiddish. After he immigrated to the U.S., Saul Bellow has translated one of his works, and did it so well that Singer started worrying that Bellow would eclipse him for his own creation. And so Singer started hiring translators. They were all women. They were very good translators, but they were much more than that. Singer was trying to seduce all of them; most succumbed to the temptation. In the documentary, the French translator commented that Singer was like a French king: he had a wife, he had an official lover, and he had numerous unofficial affairs.

After the screening we had a discussion with the film director. One of Singer's muses lives in D.C. and she was in the audience. After the film I ran into her in the ladies' room, and we had a short but more intimate discussion about Singer.

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Re: Documentaries to recommend?

Post by gkaplan » Sun Feb 22, 2015 8:18 pm

VictoriaF wrote:The Muses of Isaac Bashevis Singer (72min, Israel, 2014), a remarkable documentary about Singer's translators.

Singer, a 1978 Nobel Prize in Literature winner, composed all his work in Yiddish. After he immigrated to the U.S., Saul Bellow has translated one of his works, and did it so well that Singer started worrying that Bellow would eclipse him for his own creation. And so Singer started hiring translators. They were all women. They were very good translators, but they were much more than that. Singer was trying to seduce all of them; most succumbed to the temptation. In the documentary, the French translator commented that Singer was like a French king: he had a wife, he had an official lover, and he had numerous unofficial affairs.

After the screening we had a discussion with the film director. One of Singer's muses lives in D.C. and she was in the audience. After the film I ran into her in the ladies' room, and we had a short but more intimate discussion about Singer.

Victoria
This sounds interesting, Victoria. I hope Amazon or Netflix makes this available to stream. Has this been shown in theaters?
Gordon

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Re: Documentaries to recommend?

Post by VictoriaF » Sun Feb 22, 2015 8:27 pm

gkaplan wrote:
VictoriaF wrote:The Muses of Isaac Bashevis Singer (72min, Israel, 2014), a remarkable documentary about Singer's translators.

Singer, a 1978 Nobel Prize in Literature winner, composed all his work in Yiddish. After he immigrated to the U.S., Saul Bellow has translated one of his works, and did it so well that Singer started worrying that Bellow would eclipse him for his own creation. And so Singer started hiring translators. They were all women. They were very good translators, but they were much more than that. Singer was trying to seduce all of them; most succumbed to the temptation. In the documentary, the French translator commented that Singer was like a French king: he had a wife, he had an official lover, and he had numerous unofficial affairs.

After the screening we had a discussion with the film director. One of Singer's muses lives in D.C. and she was in the audience. After the film I ran into her in the ladies' room, and we had a short but more intimate discussion about Singer.

Victoria
This sounds interesting, Victoria. I hope Amazon or Netflix makes this available to stream. Has this been shown in theaters?
Hi Gordon,

I saw this documentary today at the Washington Jewish Film Festival (WJFF), http://www.wjff.org/ . The second screening will be on Tuesday, 24 February. I don't know which of the WJFF films will make it to wider audiences. Last year, I watched Ida at the WJFF, and later it was shown in other places.

Victoria
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Re: Documentaries to recommend?

Post by denismurf » Sun Feb 22, 2015 9:14 pm

Anybody who likes Hoop Dreams will also like The Boys of Baraka. It documents one year of a program to send 20 middle school boys per year from the Baltimore black ghetto to a small school out in the wilds of Kenya. It made me laugh and cry.

As an aside, my daughter appears in the film as a teacher.

The program no longer exists, but you can see what happened to some of its alums on Google.

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Re: Documentaries to recommend?

Post by gkaplan » Sun Feb 22, 2015 10:25 pm

VictoriaF wrote:
gkaplan wrote:
VictoriaF wrote:The Muses of Isaac Bashevis Singer (72min, Israel, 2014), a remarkable documentary about Singer's translators.

Singer, a 1978 Nobel Prize in Literature winner, composed all his work in Yiddish. After he immigrated to the U.S., Saul Bellow has translated one of his works, and did it so well that Singer started worrying that Bellow would eclipse him for his own creation. And so Singer started hiring translators. They were all women. They were very good translators, but they were much more than that. Singer was trying to seduce all of them; most succumbed to the temptation. In the documentary, the French translator commented that Singer was like a French king: he had a wife, he had an official lover, and he had numerous unofficial affairs.

After the screening we had a discussion with the film director. One of Singer's muses lives in D.C. and she was in the audience. After the film I ran into her in the ladies' room, and we had a short but more intimate discussion about Singer.

Victoria
This sounds interesting, Victoria. I hope Amazon or Netflix makes this available to stream. Has this been shown in theaters?
Hi Gordon,

I saw this documentary today at the Washington Jewish Film Festival (WJFF), http://www.wjff.org/ . The second screening will be on Tuesday, 24 February. I don't know which of the WJFF films will make it to wider audiences. Last year, I watched Ida at the WJFF, and later it was shown in other places.

Victoria
Thanks for your quick response, Victoria. And congratulations to Ida on its Oscar award tonight for best foreign picture.
Gordon

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Re: Documentaries to recommend?

Post by Pizzasteve510 » Sun Feb 22, 2015 10:36 pm

Many fine films mentioned so far. One not on the list is Genghis Blues
1999 ‧ Indie film/Biography ‧ 1h 28m

Sadly, the 'Elvis of Tuvan Throat singing' featured in the cover passed last year. It's a fun watch, including the DVD extras and a chance to learn a bit about one if the worlds most remote cultures with a rich musical history.

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Re: Documentaries to recommend?

Post by chickadee » Mon Feb 23, 2015 12:57 am

Finding Vivien Meyer. Nominated for the Oscar this year, fascinating look at an unheralded photographer whose photos only came to light after her death.

http://www.findingvivianmaier.com/

Also, Red Army. About the Russian National Hockey Team during the Cold War era.

http://sonyclassics.com/redarmy/

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Re: Documentaries to recommend?

Post by MSchleicher » Mon Feb 23, 2015 6:38 am

denismurf wrote:Anybody who likes Hoop Dreams will also like The Boys of Baraka. It documents one year of a program to send 20 middle school boys per year from the Baltimore black ghetto to a small school out in the wilds of Kenya. It made me laugh and cry.

As an aside, my daughter appears in the film as a teacher.

The program no longer exists, but you can see what happened to some of its alums on Google.
+1 to The Boys of Baraka. It is one of the best documentaries I have ever seen. However, as I am a teacher within the suburbs of the Baltimore Washington Metro and worked with Baltimore youth in the past, I am a bit biased.

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Re: Documentaries to recommend?

Post by abuss368 » Mon Feb 23, 2015 6:57 am

I mentioned on another post: Inside Job - Executive Producer is the owner of the Philadelphia Eagles Jeffery Lurie. Matt Damon is the narrator. About the financial crisis being 30 plus years in the making. Really good!
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Re: Documentaries to recommend?

Post by Bustoff » Mon Feb 23, 2015 12:09 pm

abuss368 wrote:I mentioned on another post: Inside Job - Executive Producer is the owner of the Philadelphia Eagles Jeffery Lurie. Matt Damon is the narrator. About the financial crisis being 30 plus years in the making. Really good!
+1
Still have it on the DVR.

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Re: Documentaries to recommend?

Post by Mr-et-Mrs-R » Mon Feb 23, 2015 1:04 pm

Dessert Of Forbidden Art
Tim's Vermeer
How much does your building weigh Mr. Foster?
Jiro Dreams of Sushi
El Bulli - Cooking in Progress
Step Into Liquid
- Kingdom of Dreams and Madness

First two are outstanding- Dessert is exceptional by all accounts, and Tim's is great because it's told by Penn and Teller (entertainment at it's best, IMHO). How Much, Jiro, and El Bulli are all good because they look at a person's passion and explore how they think and work on an idea.
Step Into Liquid because I love the water, and watching the big waves can be magical.
We have yet to see Kingdom, but everything we've read about it has us excited for it.

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Re: Documentaries to recommend?

Post by Petrocelli » Sat Mar 21, 2015 1:10 pm

I watched TheJinx on HBO about millionaire (alleged) murderer Robert Durst. It may be the best documentary I have ever seen. HIGHLY recommended.
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about rebuilding of WTC (other documentaries you loved)

Post by Valuethinker » Tue Apr 28, 2015 4:09 am

http://www.history.com/shows/history-fi ... ade-center

The artist's website is down at the minute (Marcus Robinson). But this is a beautiful, and moving, study of the rebuilding of WTC where the documentarist (an artist who worked on the site from 2006) keeps to the background and the workers rebuilding WTC are the foreground.

None of us who were alive and plugged in will forget that morning-- watching the slaughter of thousands of human beings in real time-- most disasters the cameras get there after the shock, this one, we were all watching as the 2 Towers came down. This film is, in a sense, completing that circle. There are disasters, people die, there is grief, and the world moves on and rebuilds again-- civilization lives on, in some form.

Trying to keep within the Forum rules, what other documentaries have you seen that really moved you?

[merged to recent documentaries thread - admin alex]

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Re: about rebuilding of WTC (other documentaries you loved)

Post by whaleknives » Tue Apr 28, 2015 10:25 am

Shut Up and Sing by Barbara Kopple and Cecilia Peck. Three years with the Dixie Chicks, their families, their band, and their public.
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Re: Documentaries to recommend?

Post by abuss368 » Tue Apr 28, 2015 11:50 am

"The Rape of Utopia" on Netflix. Just watched it. A good movie (but sad) story of the German's taking the art and treasures of Europe during World War II.
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Re: Documentaries to recommend?

Post by supertreat » Tue Apr 28, 2015 3:41 pm

Going Clear - A documentary about the origins and rise of scientology. Also am looking forward to "Deep Web" a documentary about the origins and workings of the deep web
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Re: Documentaries to recommend?

Post by whaleknives » Tue Apr 28, 2015 4:14 pm

hiddensee wrote:. . .Ken Burns' The Civil War, however, is possibly the best documentary ever made.
:beer After watching broadcast videotape recordings for years, I finally got the DVD set for Christmas!
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Re: Documentaries to recommend?

Post by Chadnudj » Tue Apr 28, 2015 4:58 pm

Someone above mentioned it, but....

Dear Zachary.

I just watched it this weekend on Netflix, and I was absolutely gutted/devastated by it. Definitely not a happy story by any means (particularly if you are, like me, the father of a young child), but wow was it powerful.

(Also: Jiro Dreams of Sushi, Hoop Dreams, Enron: Smartest Men in the Room, Muscle Shoals, Buena Vista Social Club, Roger and Me, and Super Size Me.....oh, and if you're into rock music history, check out Foo Fighters: Sonic Highways on HBOGo.)

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Re: Documentaries to recommend?

Post by thenextguy » Tue Apr 28, 2015 5:15 pm


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Re: Documentaries to recommend?

Post by sschullo » Tue Apr 28, 2015 5:25 pm

PBS Frontline: The Retirement Gamble http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline ... nt-gamble/. Besides, Mr. Bogle's wisdom, there are a couple of ordinary guys featured that are hilarious! :wink:

John Adams series was great: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0472027/
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Re: Documentaries to recommend?

Post by Emeralds » Tue Apr 28, 2015 5:50 pm

American Nomads

It's about people who choose to live a life of travel. Some are retirees who roam the U.S. in luxurious RV's. Others are homeless drifters roaming from place to place without a destination. The documentary focuses on the American Southwest.

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Re: Documentaries to recommend?

Post by jginseattle » Tue Apr 28, 2015 6:48 pm

Last night I watched HBO's fine documentary The Newburgh Sting.

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Re: Documentaries to recommend?

Post by linuxology » Tue Jan 02, 2018 6:21 pm

Icarus on Netflix about the Russia Doping Program is a worthy watch

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Re: Documentaries to recommend?

Post by beowulf » Tue Jan 02, 2018 7:08 pm

Dinosaur 13. It has two aspects; one, the discovery and excavation of what was the largest (at the time) T-Rex skeleton ever found, and the subsequent dispute over the ownership of the specimen; and two, what was perhaps prosecutorial and judicial overreach in the dispute.

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Re: Documentaries to recommend?

Post by reggiesimpson » Tue Jan 02, 2018 7:12 pm

The Fog of War. Fascinating interview with Robert McNamara. Puts some serious light on the war in Vietnam. Academy award winner 2003.

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Re: Documentaries to recommend?

Post by SrGrumpy » Tue Jan 02, 2018 7:14 pm

gkaplan wrote:
Wed Feb 04, 2015 7:02 pm
Muscle Shoals – Music documentary about famed Muscle Shoals Sound Studio, featuring recollections of musicians who recorded there.
Excellent doc. Triumph, tragedy and musical genius. The studio founder Rick Hall, heavily featured in the film, died today.

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Re: Documentaries to recommend?

Post by House Blend » Mon Jun 11, 2018 1:51 pm

American Experience is a terrific documentary series produced by public television that digs into neglected parts of US history.

I recently saw an episode (released in January) that I highly recommend: The Secret of Tuxedo Park.
https://www.pbs.org/video/the-secret-of ... rk-zfeomc/

To a large extent it is a biography of Alfred Loomis. A man born into privilege who made a killing on Wall Street (and traded stocks for gold before the '29 crash) but found scientific research more to his liking. Created a world class research institute with his wealth, and deserves much credit for turning radar into a major technological advantage for the Allies during WW2.

I consider myself something of a WW2 buff, and fairly knowledgeable about the history of science in the 20th century, but knew nothing about Loomis. Fascinating story.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alfred_Lee_Loomis

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Re: Documentaries to recommend?

Post by freckles01 » Mon Jun 11, 2018 2:24 pm

+1 for jiro dreams of sushi, forks over knives, cowspiracy and searching for sugarman- this one made me happy cry!

I love documentaries!
it totally killed any desire for "retail" therapy, changed my relationship to food( production, waste, consumption), the environment, politics....

There are so many documentaries but wanted to recommend these that haven't been listed yet-

The True Cost- fast fashion
13th
Why We Fight

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Re: Documentaries to recommend?

Post by bubbadog » Mon Jun 11, 2018 7:14 pm

The Barkley Marathon on Amazon Prime.

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Re: Documentaries to recommend?

Post by Finridge » Wed Jun 13, 2018 2:05 am

jaj2276 wrote:
Sun Nov 30, 2014 8:10 pm
triskelion wrote:The Fog of War (2003): The entire documentary is an interview with Robert McNamara. I learned more history in this one film than in whole classes in college.
+1000.

I watched the movie in the theater and on Amazon Prime. I didn't live through that time but I was mesmerized by Robert's telling of it. I'm so glad they were able to get his description of events before he passed.

What impressed me the most was how much detail he could remember about things. I can't remember much detail about things I did yesterday!
If you can get your hands on the DVD version, the "extras" are worth watching. Short summary here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Fog_o ... ._McNamara

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Re: Documentaries to recommend?

Post by Glockenspiel » Wed Jun 13, 2018 6:47 am

Netflix- Evil Genius
Theaters- Won’t you be my neighbor? As a child growing up in the 80s and 90s, watching Mr. Rogers, I’m very interested in seeing this one.

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Re: Documentaries to recommend?

Post by spitty » Thu Jun 14, 2018 6:49 am

Prohibition and Vietnam--both PBS documentary series by Ken Burns. HBO's Real Sports--we haven't missed an episode since it started.
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tennisplyr
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Joined: Tue Jan 28, 2014 1:53 pm
Location: Sarasota, FL

Re: Documentaries to recommend?

Post by tennisplyr » Thu Jun 14, 2018 7:18 am

I loved Fire and Ice (Borg & McEnroe) on HBO and The shot heard round the world (Branca/Thompson).
Those who move forward with a happy spirit will find that things always work out.

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