Best Documentary Movies of 1988


The Thin Blue Line

8.0/10 IMDB

Errol Morris's unique documentary dramatically re-enacts the crime scene and investigation of a police officer's murder in Dallas.

Starring: Randall Adams, David Harris, Gus Rose, Jackie Johnson ..
Directed by: Errol Morris
Release date: 1988-08-28

Let's Get Lost

7.9/10 IMDB

Documentary about jazz great Chet Baker that intercuts footage from the 1950s, when he was part of West Coast Cool, and from his last years. We see the young Baker, he of the beautiful face, in California and in Italy, where he appeared in at least one movie and at least one jail cell (for drug possession). And, we see the aged Baker, detached, indifferent, his face a ruin. Includes interviews with his children and ex-wife, women companions, and musicians.

Starring: Chet Baker ..
Directed by: Bruce Weber
Release date: 1988-09-15


7.3/10 IMDB

An exploration of technologically developing nations and the effect the transition to Western-style modernization has had on them.

Directed by: Godfrey Reggio
Release date: 1988-04-29
Best Documentary Movies of 1988 : Hôtel Terminus: The Life and Times of Klaus Barbie

Hôtel Terminus: The Life and Times of Klaus Barbie

7.7/10 IMDB

Winner of a Best Documentary Academy Award, Marcel Ophuls' riveting film details the heinous legacy of the Gestapo head dubbed "The Butcher of Lyon." Responsible for over 4,000 deaths in occupied France during World War II, Barbie would escape--with U.S. help--to South America in 1951, where he lived until a global manhunt led to his 1983 arrest and subsequent trial.

Starring: Klaus Barbie, Marcel Ophüls, Serge Klarsfeld, Beate Klarsfeld, Claude Lanzmann, Daniel Cohn-Bendit, Günter Grass, Jacques Vergès, Régis Debray, Bertrand Tavernier ..
Directed by: Marcel Ophüls
Release date: 1988-11-01

U2: Rattle and Hum

7.6/10 IMDB

A concert movie on an unprecedented scale, Rattle And Hum captures U2 - on and off the stage - during their triumphant Joshua Tree tour. From the giant technicolour stadium celebrations to the black-and-white intensity of the indoor shows, this is U2 at their best. Follow the group across America, exploring new influences, playing with the legendary B.B. King from Dublin to Graceland.

Starring: Bono, The Edge, Larry Mullen Jr., Adam Clayton, U2 ..
Directed by: Phil Joanou
Release date: 1988-11-04

Cane Toads: An Unnatural History

7.7/10 IMDB

A documentary detailing the spread of Hawaiian sugar-cane toads through Australia in a botched effort to introduce them as counter pests.

Starring: Tip Byrne, Glen Ingram, H.W. Kerr ..
Directed by: Mark Lewis
Release date: 1988-06-09
Best Documentary Movies of 1988 : Joseph Campbell and the Power of Myth

Joseph Campbell and the Power of Myth

8.9/10 IMDB

TV mini-series.

Starring: Joseph Campbell, George Lucas, Bill Moyers ..
Release date: 1988-01-02
Best Documentary Movies of 1988 : The Decline of Western Civilization Part II: The Metal Years

The Decline of Western Civilization Part II: The Metal Years

7.2/10 IMDB

An exploration of the heavy metal scene in Los Angeles, with particular emphasis on glam metal. It features concert footage and interviews of legendary heavy metal and hard rock bands and artists such as Aerosmith, Alice Cooper, Kiss, Megadeth, Motörhead, Ozzy Osbourne and W.A.S.P..

Starring: Dave Mustaine, Ozzy Osbourne, Chris Holmes, Lemmy, Paul Stanley, Gene Simmons, Steven Tyler, Joe Perry, Alice Cooper, C.C. DeVille ..
Directed by: Penelope Spheeris
Release date: 1988-06-17
Best Documentary Movies of 1988 : No Frank in Lumberton

No Frank in Lumberton

6.8/10 IMDB

A very surreal video shot behind the scenes during the production of Blue Velvet in Wilmington, North Carolina in 1985 by Peter Braatz.

Starring: David Lynch, Kyle MacLachlan, Isabella Rossellini, Dennis Hopper, Laura Dern, Brad Dourif, Jack Nance ..
Directed by: Peter Braatz
Release date: 1988-01-01
Best Documentary Movies of 1988 : Cycling the Frame

Cycling the Frame

7.1/10 IMDB

This is a short film (30min), part documentary part art-film, about the Berlin Wall back in 1988 when West Berlin was still an isolated fiefdom of the capitalist west, located 125 miles behind the Iron Curtain in communist eastern Europe. The film follows a young girl (Tilda Swinton of Narnia fame) and her thoughts as she circumnavigates West Berlin alongside the 96 mile long, iconic, symbol of the cold war. The film blends visual and audio art into a montage of simple scenes depicting the wall, its watch towers and life along the border strip just as it was a year before the wall fell and the cold war ended.

Starring: Tilda Swinton ..
Directed by: Cynthia Beatt
Release date: 1988-08-30

Also check Best documentary movies of 1989.

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