Monday, August 4, 2014

200 Free Documentaries


Do you like documentaries? Over at Open Culture they've collected 200 free documentaries along with accompanying links.

The post includes A Brief History of Time (1992) about Stephen Hawking and Bed Peace (1969), John Lennon and Yoko Ono's protest of the Vietnam War, to Billie Holiday: The Life and Artistry of Lady Day (2002) and Audio Ammunition, a web site devoted to short documentaries.

There are items by or about some of the best in the business including David Lynch and Alfred Hitchcock. The world's most (in)famous from the music industry are also represented including Bob Marley, Lou Reed and The Ramones. Look at new films, old films, how-to films (Disney animation), silent films, music films. There is enough there to keep you interested for a while.

Documentaries let us examine the real world through the filmmaker's lens. They let us see the past, albeit filtered through the camera, our current world, and possibilities for the future. What was the last documentary you watched?

9 comments:

  1. The last documentary I watched was called Black Fish and it totally changed the way I thought about killer whales being controlled by humans. The filmmaker shows how these whales are not happy in amusement parks such as Sea World. The whales are separated from their family and kept in way too small of a space to live. They are often beaten in order to learn a new trick. These are the reasons why these creatures will burst out in rage and actually kill their trainers. The documentary goes into the story further and shows how Sea World tries and hides the fact that people are being killed by these whales. After watching this, I believe that Killer Whales are meant to be in the ocean and not kept in some small pool. - Luke Teyler

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  2. The last documentary I watched was 'Room 237.' It was different from normal documentaries in that most of the information contained within wasn't considered factual, nor did it really chronicle any sort of story or event. Rather, the movie was two-hours worth of various people describing their conspiracy theories about Stanley Kubrick's 'The Shining.' Most of the film was these conspiracy theorists talking over footage from the film, using clips to 'prove' their point. Although I am much too cynical to believe in any of the theories presented, I was still completely engrossed in the movie. As an aspiring filmmaker (or rather, a future resident of a cardboard box on the side of a highway) I loved seeing the movie picked to bits and hyper-analyzed. No way I'm going to believe that 'The Shining' is Kubrick's confession to having helped fake the Moon landing, but I'm still fascinated as to why he chose to put Danny in that terrible home-knit spaceship sweater. The visual dissection alone was impressive. Crazies though they may be, the theorists really did know their stuff. I, personally, would've never felt the need to try constructing a map of The Overlook based on the way people move about in the film, but I'm certainly interested in why some of the rooms are impossibly placed. Was Kubrick just making a mistake, or did he have some sort of Alan Moore-esque reason for really wanting an impossible window in Mr. Ullman's office? Who knows? But it's still fun to think about. -Kane Ashton

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  3. The last documentary I saw was on Netflix. It was called “Forgotten Victims: The Abandonment of Americans in Hitler's Camps”. Basically when the Americans were fighting against Hitler some were captured and put into concentration camps where they were labor workers till the death. As an American and also a Jew they had it worse. With the letter “H” for Hebrew engraved into their dog tags, once captured the Nazis were able to single them out for mistreatment. Hitler wanted to build underground tunnels and he put certain camps to make that happen by forcing the prisoners to do so. Starvation, the rumble from the explosives, hygiene, and other devastating factors lead to the cause of many American deaths in these camps. Towards the end of the war the Germans knew they were losing and the Americans were catching on to them, they decided to move the prisoners to another camp which was miles away. Traveling in the cold without food or water after a long day of work the America prisoners had to walk and each mile hundreds collapsed. If you were falling behind the Nazis would shoot you, so it was best to stay in the front. After the walk eventually the American soldiers caught up, defeated the Nazis and finally freed their men.

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  4. The last documentary I watched was the Giants 2014 World Series film on MLB network. First off, I promise this is not attempt at trying to get brownie points and that this is purely coincidental. That being said, when I was younger I was a big history buff and I watched many historical documentaries about World War Two, the Civil War, and many others American involvements in conflicts. History is such an interesting subject to me because documentaries allowed me to look back in time and get a glimpse of what it was like in that time period. Regarding the Giants World Series documentary, watching that really helped put into perspective just exactly what the Giants did this year. For instance, if I think to myself “today I’m going to wear my World Series shirt”, I have then have to ask myself which one?

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  5. The last documentary I watched was Blackfish. It was a really sad documentary about killer whales. It really change my whole perspective on ever going to an amusement park with animals. The main focus in the documentary is SeaWorld, it even has a bunch of former employees that use to work their but quit after realizing how wrong it was. They barely feed these poor animals just to train them and put them in buckets to sleep compared to their size. It shows how SeaWorld tries to cover up what really happens to the trainer and how they blame it on the trainer and not the animal so people wont raise serious questions and the court won't order them to release the animals. It even shows how they catch them and how the animals fight with each other and rake their each other and the people there allow them to this. This was the first documentary that I really felt something after watching. After I seen this I refuse to every step foot in SeaWorld or any other place that holds these poor animals that deserve to be in the wild but instead are in cages for money and so called entertainment.

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  6. The last documentary that I watched was about 2 months ago and it was called "Nefarious: Merchant of Souls" The name alone sounds very interesting and almost strange, but this documentary was a very eye opening experience. The documentary followed a group of individuals uncovering some alarming facts and truths about the injustice that is Human Trafficking in the form of sex slavery. This documentary was anything but surface level and watered down. Through this documentary, the producer looked to uncover the reality of sex trafficking in our world today, and not only abroad, but the injustice that takes place in the United States as well. The producer spent time all over the world talking to foreign governments, law enforcement, and even victims of sex slavery. The documentary was a very real, and eye opening experience because it didn't just give the viewer facts, but a real-life reality of what sex trafficking is and how it has affected all societies in nearly every country in the world. It was a very sad documentary to watch to say the least, but I feel after watching it, I was not just made more aware of the injustice of sex trafficking, but empowered to take a stand against it as well.

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  7. I don't watch many documentaries, but when I do I get extremely stuck to them and start doing more research on whatever it is that the documentary is about. The last documentary I saw was about the columbine shooting "Bowling for Columbine." Not only was this documentary about the Columbine school shooting, but it touched subjects such as gun control, gun violence in America. Michael Moore, the producer and also an American filmmaker, author, journalist and political activist, went on to interview victims that survived the Columbine shooting and he also interviewed Canadians and asked what they thought about the gun violence in America. Did you know that Canadians do not lock their doors and America has the highest gun crimes? This documentary was very intense and emotional. I would highly recommend it.

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  8. I have a Netflix account and I often watch documentaries. I used to think that documentaries are for adults who have boring lives. However the very first documentary I watched was about animals in Africa and I notice how beautiful and different this was from other kind of movie. The last documentary I watched was last month. I watched “Capitalism: A Love Story” by Michael Moore and “First Position” by Bess Kargman. Michael Moore’s movie always creates controversial issues, yet I love his movie because it’s sarcastic, witty and sophisticated. I have seen every single movie by him just because he makes political, economic, and cultural issues easy to understand. I watch documentaries because I want to be educated and I am simply curious about what is going on in the real world. If I want to know what it is like in prison or be a member of the Mafia, I can always watch a documentary. I learn more by watching material than by reading it so it is a perfect tool for me. The documentary “First Position” is about a ballet dancer and it is fascinating to peek what they do every day. I want more people to watch documentaries and use them effectively.

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  9. I enjoy documentaries so much, a lot of people see documentaries as boring and bland,but there a lot of documentaries that are captivating and interesting. Documentaries are extremely helpful and reliable to getting interested in a subject. As well as learning new things in a different way that does not include reading from a textbook.The last documentary I watched was "Touching The Void." This documentary was about these two mountain climbers who were climbing a mountain in Peru, and one of the climbers had broken their leg. The other climber had no choice but to leave him, and seek help.

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