Thursday, January 18, 2007

Friday Five

My goal is to post a Friday Five list every week. Today I'm starting with the five best documentaries I saw in 2006. If you don't watch documentaries, you are missing some of the best movies every year. I just recently started watching documentaries on a regular basis, and I wish I had started sooner. It was hard to trim my list to just five, but here goes.

  1. Grizzly Man. Fascinating is the best word to describe this movie. It's about a man that devoted his life to studying bears, believing that they are misunderstood by the human world. He lives with the bears every summer and this movie uses his own footage to chronicle his life until he is mauled to death. Fascinating.
  2. Devil's Playground. I wrote a whole post about this movie and how it examines the period in the lives of Amish teenagers when they leave Amish customs behind and behave like normal teenagers.
  3. Murder on a Sunday Morning. This doc won the 2001 Oscar for it's portrayal of a murder case involving racial profiling and ridiculous police brutality and corruption.
  4. Murderball. Rugby-playing quadriplegics compete for Gold in the Paralympic Games in Athens. Really, that should be enough. Add double crossing coaches and other conflict, and you've got yourself an interesting movie.
  5. Mad Hot Ballroom. Competitive ballroom dancing in the New York public schools. Awesome! Watching these kids dance the rumba, tango, foxtrot, etc. is super entertaining. And pretty darn impressive.
That's my list. Grizzly Bear is by far the best documentary I saw last year, probably one of the best movies. But I bet you would enjoy any of these docs if you gave them a chance. They are all on Netflix. Grizzly Bear has aired on cable as well. I always think I'll be bored by a documentary, but that has never happened, even though I have been bored by a feature film. If you've only see March of the Penguins, Super Size Me, Fahrenheit 911, try one of these less mainstream, but equally good and usually better documentaries.

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