Best Documentary Movies of 1996
When We Were Kings
It's 1974. Muhammad Ali is 32 and thought by many to be past his prime. George Foreman is ten years younger and the heavyweight champion of the world. Promoter Don King wants to make a name for himself and offers both fighters five million dollars apiece to fight one another, and when they accept, King has only to come up with the money. He finds a willing backer in Mobutu Sese Suko, the dictator of Zaire, and the "Rumble in the Jungle" is set, including a musical festival featuring some of America's top black performers, like James Brown and B.B. King.
Paradise Lost: The Child Murders at Robin Hood Hills
A horrific triple child murder leads to an indictment and trial of three nonconformist boys based on questionable evidence.
Triumph of the Nerds: The Rise of Accidental Empires
It happened more or less by accident; the people who made it happen were amateurs; and for the most part they still are. From his own Silicon Valley garage, author Bob Cringley puts PC bigshots and nerds on the spot, and tells their incredible true stories. Like the industry itself, the series is informative, funny and brash.
The Celluloid Closet
This documentary highlights the historical contexts that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender individuals have occupied in cinema history, and shows the evolution of the entertainment industry's role in shaping perceptions of LGBT figures. The issues addressed include secrecy – which initially defined homosexuality – as well as the demonization of the homosexual community with the advent of AIDS, and finally the shift toward acceptance and positivity in the modern era.
Looking for Richard
Al Pacino's deeply-felt rumination on Shakespeare's significance and relevance to the modern world through interviews and an in-depth analysis of "Richard III."
Riverdance: The New Show
Riverdance Show is a cultural phenomenon that defies criticism for the enthusiastic and leaves everyone else scratching their heads. The wonderfully talented cast, headed by the Riverdance Irish Dance Company, bewitchingly spins (and stomps) its Celtic folk choreography featuring numerous breathless solos by Michael Flatley (since departed) and Jean Butler. The mellifluous Riverdance Orchestra boasts Davy Spillane, who coaxes plaintive lamentations out of a peculiar instrument that resembles a bagpipe in a metal leg brace. For Enya fans, there is the sound-alike choral group Anuna, who casts a similarly New Age-style vocal spell. Also thrown into the mix are such disparate folk traditions as American gospel and Spanish flamenco. Though it's only 70 minutes long, Riverdance is repetitive by half. But judging from the ecstatic audience ovations and the continued foot-stomping during and after the curtain calls, too much is still not enough.
Portrait of the last year of the life of famous New York drag queen Consuela Cosmetic.
Alice In Chains: MTV Unplugged
Alice in Chains returned to the popular music eye with this live, acoustic performance in New York on 10th April, 1996. After an absence from the stage of three years the band performed a 13-song set, including 'Heaven Beside You', 'Rooster' and 'Would?'.
In only 15 minutes with some 30 people Jane Elliott manages to build up a realistic microcosmos of society today with all its phenomena and feelings. As already known from the ill reputed Milgram experiment, even participants who knew the "rules" are unable to remain uninvolved. What starts as a game turns into cruel reality which causes some participants' emotions to erupt with unforeseen intensity
Director Alan Berliner takes on his reclusive father as the reluctant subject of this affecting and graceful study of family history and memory. Ultimately this complex portrait is a meeting of the minds -- where the past meets the present, where generations collide and where the boundaries of family life are stretched, torn and surprisingly, at times, also healed. Berliner has transformed a story of a troubled man who has sealed himself off from life's pain into a work of universal resonance.