Best Documentary Movies of 1930
The Silent Enemy
Food is getting scarce for the tribe, and the chief must choose between the advice of Baluk to go north to the caribou herds, or the conniving medicine man Dagwan to stay put. On the way north they endure great hardship, and the conflict between Baluk and Dagwan deepens. It doesn't help that both want to marry the chief's daughter.
With Byrd at the South Pole
With Byrd at the South Pole (1930) is a documentary film about Rear Admiral Richard E. Byrd and his 1st quest to the South Pole beginning at the Little America-Exploration Base. The film's soundtrack consists mostly of music and sound effects, with narration read by Floyd Gibbons. The film won at the 3rd Academy Awards for Best Cinematography.
Experimental Treatment of a Hemorrhage in a Dog
Jean Painleve short about an experimental canine surgery.
Early "shockumentary", apparently shot in Egypt, which documents the habits of opium addicts. The interiors of drug dens are shown, and at the conclusion the film an addict is shown collapsing on a sand dune; the booming voice of the narrator informs us that the addict has perished. Footage used is from the silent film Dope Fiends.
Dance of the Hands
Tilly Losch in Her Dance of the Hands.
A Traveltalk visit to the island nation when it was still a British crown colony and the name Sri Lanka was 40 years in the future.
Explorer Paul Hoefler leads a safari into central Africa and what was then called the Belgian Congo, in the regions inhabited by the Wassara and the famous Ubangi tribes.
From Stump to Ship
The long log drive: a spring journey down icy streams and rivers moving logs from the forest to the mill for sawing into boards, laths, and clapboards. For more than 150 years, logging techniques remained the same. Men cut trees by hand and loaded them on horse-drawn sleds to be hauled over snow to the river. Skilled river drivers maneuvered the logs downstream, risking their limbs and lives every day. This film survives as a record of the long log business.
Alfama, the Old Lisbon
A documentary on a neighborhood shouldn't limit itself to the coldness of the houses; but reveal the human realism of its life, with all its defects and virtues.