5 Must-see Documentaries: Eddie’s Take

Man on Wire

List compiled by Eddie on 29/11/2013

Over the last few decades more than ever before documentaries have become a hugely popular and important part of every film lover’s life. Documentaries have provided us with such household names as Michael Moore and proved to be money makers up there with the summer blockbusters. When talking about documentaries growth over this time period it’s clear to see that all manner of directors whether old hands or fresh faces are pushing the genre to it’s limits with brave, beautiful and impeccably constructed documentary features becoming more and more common.

Picking a list of a mere 5 must see’s (this is not a “greatest documentaries ever” list) is no easy feat but I believe all of the below films are all brilliant in their own right and act as a fine example of what a documentary can do in concerns to inspiring us, making us angry or merely making us happy. For Jordan’s list, click here! Happy reading and happy watching!

Disclaimer – I can’t put an exact finger on why it is the case but 2008 was a fantastic year for documentary films and despite seeming odd to have so many feature in this list to be truthful to my thoughts I could not exclude any of the below mentioned films.

5 – Anvil: The Story of Anvil (2008)


Director: Sacha Gervasi

A truly funny and strangely inspiring tale of pioneer heavy metal band Anvil and there attempt over 30 years to make it big. Featuring an array of characters that seem to good be true with highlight including Steve “Lips” Kudlow the lead singer and Robb Reiner the drummer, Anvil is not only for music fans but for anyone who is chasing their dreams no matter what the cost.

4 – Waltz with Bashir (2008)

Waltz with Bashir

Director: Ari Folman

Presented in a stunning animation format Waltz with Bashir as directed by real life participant Ari Folman is a haunting look back into the 1982 invasion of Lebanon and the mental and physical tole it took out on the soldiers. A brave, haunting and startlingly original documentary that should be seen by all.

3 – Deliver us from Evil (2006)

Deliver us from evil

Director: Amy Berg

No doubt on the Catholic Churches banned list Amy Berg’s 2006 expose on child abuse cover ups in the Catholic system is shocking and sad in equal measure. Complied in a respectful yet unflinching manner Berg’s film pulls no punches in presenting cold hard facts against these crimes against humanity.

2 – Dear Zachary: A letter to a son about his father (2008)

Dear Zachary

Director: Kurt Kuenne

One who has seen Dear Zachary feels a need to not mention plot details to those yet to partake in the emotional roller coaster that Kurt Kuenne’s now infamous film is. A simple summary of the film would be that of one friends touching tribute to the memory of his lifelong buddy that takes a turn to unexpected and sometimes unbearably dark moments. A must see!

1 – Man on Wire (2008)

Man on Wire

Director: James Marsh

An awe inspiring recount and look at tightrope walker and general mad man Phillipe Petit’s break in and subsequent tightrope walk between the then standing New York’s World Trade Centre buildings. Director Marsh mixes in fabulous talking head segments with the real participants mixed with great archival footage and even more thrilling re-enactments. Man on Wire is a unique and captivating film and showcases just what can be done with a well-made and well told documentary film.

Honourable mentions – Undefeated (2011), Exit Through the Gift Shop (2010), Grizzly Man (2005), Bus 174 (2002), The King of Kong (2007), Murderball (2005), Who Killed the Electric Car? (2006), George Harrison: Living in the Material World (2011), The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill (2003), The Cove (2009)

 How does this list of must see documentaries compare to your list? Let us know in the comments below.

26 responses to “5 Must-see Documentaries: Eddie’s Take

  1. Highly recommend anvil to anyone yet to see it.

    Its heart warmingly funny!

    Dear zachary.. what can u say?
    Do u recommend it as a great film?
    Well you can’t, because its not.
    But it still needs to be seen.

    Some good choices Eddie, may have to check out some of the others

  2. Great list dude. Maybe I’ll do something similar because like youself, I love docs. There are so many out there that are fantastic and you listed most of the really incredible ones. I’m gunna check out Jordan’s.

  3. Very good article. Nice to see Waltz with Bashir and Man on Wire in there. The ending on the former especially. What I liked about the latter was aside from the great visuals and good pace, the fact the protagonist has an unpleasant side is not hidden. I really rated Senna a lot and I’m hoping that will raise the bar for future sporting documentaries.

  4. Anvil, The Story of Anvil is fantastic. As a musician I can tell you, it’s very realistic and sad. You can work with the greats, you can be an inspiration to a generation and still wind up working a day job just to pay the bills.

    In other things I recommend Resurrect Dead: The Mystery of the Toynbee Tiles and Cropsey. Resurrect Dead is about these mysterious tiles that have been appearing all over the world and one man’s obsession with finding out who makes them. Cropsey is about an urban legend in New York City and it’s very real serial killer origin.

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