Best Documentary Movies of 2006
The Devil and Daniel Johnston
This 2005 documentary film chronicles the life of Daniel Johnston, a manic-depressive genius singer/songwriter/artist, from childhood up to the present, with an emphasis on his mental illness and how it manifested itself in demonic self-obsession.
In the 1980s, ruthless Colombian cocaine barons invaded Miami with a brand of violence unseen in this country since Prohibition-era Chicago - and it put the city on the map. "Cocaine Cowboys" is the true story of how Miami became the drug, murder and cash capital of the United States, told by the people who made it all happen.
Deliver Us from Evil
Documentary filmmaker Amy Berg investigates the life of 30-year pedophile Father Oliver O'Grady and exposes the corruption inside the Catholic Church that allowed him to abuse countless children. Victims' stories and a disturbing interview with O'Grady offer a view into the troubled mind of the spiritual leader who moved from parish to parish gaining trust ... all the while betraying so many.
Who Killed the Electric Car?
In 1996, electric cars began to appear on roads all over California. They were quiet and fast, produced no exhaust, and ran without gasoline... Ten years later, these cars were destroyed.
This Film Is Not Yet Rated
Kirby Dick's provocative documentary investigates the secretive and inconsistent process by which the Motion Picture Association of America rates films, revealing the organization's underhanded efforts to control culture. Dick questions whether certain studios get preferential treatment and exposes the discrepancies in how the MPAA views sex and violence.
Jesus Camp follows children at a Christian summer camp as they hone their "prophetic gifts" and are schooled in how to "take back America for Christ." The film is a first-ever look into an intense training ground that recruits born-again Christian children to become an active part of America's political future.
An Inconvenient Truth
A documentary on Al Gore's campaign to make the issue of global warming a recognized problem worldwide.
The Bridge is a controversial documentary that shows people jumping to their death from the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco - the world's most popular suicide destination. Interviews with the victims' loved ones describe their lives and mental health.
Seven Samurai: Origins and Influences
Seven Samurai: Origins and Influences, a documentary looking at the samurai traditions and films that helped shape Kurosawa's masterpiece
Jackass Number Two
Jackass Number Two is a compilation of various stunts, pranks and skits, and essentially has no plot. Chris Pontius, Johnny Knoxville, Steve-O, Bam Margera, and the whole crew return to the screen to raise the stakes higher than ever before.
Madonna: The Confessions Tour
Filmed in its entirety at London's Wembley Arena during her worldwide sold-out 25-city Confessions Tour (2006's top-grossing tour world-wide), this concert film features songs from throughout the queen's career but largely focuses on Confessions On A Dance Floor.
The Pervert's Guide to Cinema
A hilarious introduction, using as examples some of the best films ever made, to some of Slovenian philosopher and psychoanalyst Slavoj Žižek's most exciting ideas on personal subjectivity, fantasy and reality, desire and sexuality.
The Road to Guantanamo
Part drama, part documentary, The Road to Guantánamo focuses on the Tipton Three, a trio of British Muslims who were held in Guantanamo Bay for two years until they were released without charge.
Lake of Fire
An unflinching look at the how the battle over abortion rights has played out in the United States over the last 15 years.
Interviews with leading authors, philosophers and scientists, with an in-depth discussion of the Law of Attraction. The audience is shown how they can learn and use 'The Secret' in their everyday lives.
The Battle of Chernobyl
On April 26, 1986, a 1,000 feet high flame rises into the sky of the Ukraine. The fourth reactor of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant just exploded. A battle begins in which 500,000 men are engaged throughout the Soviet Union to "liquidate" the radioactivity, build the "sarcophagus" of the damaged reactor and save the world from a second explosion that would have destroyed half of Europe. Become a reference film, this documentary combines testimonials and unseen footage, tells for the first time the Battle of Chernobyl.
Future by Design
Future by Design shares the life and far-reaching vision of Jacque Fresco, considered by many to be a modern day Da Vinci. Peer to Einstein and Buckminster Fuller, Jacque is a self-taught futurist who describes himself most often as a "generalist" or multi-disciplinarian -- a student of many inter-related fields.
A thought-provoking documentary on the current and historical causes of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and U.S. political involvement.
Root of All Evil?
In this two-part Channel 4 series, Professor Richard Dawkins challenges what he describes as 'a process of non-thinking called faith'. He describes his astonishment that, at the start of the 21st century, religious faith is gaining ground in the face of rational, scientific truth. Science, based on scepticism, investigation and evidence, must continuously test its own concepts and claims. Faith, by definition, defies evidence: it is untested and unshakeable, and is therefore in direct contradiction with science. In addition, though religions preach morality, peace and hope, in fact, says Dawkins, they bring intolerance, violence and destruction. The growth of extreme fundamentalism in so many religions across the world not only endangers humanity but, he argues, is in conflict with the trend over thousands of years of history for humanity to progress to become more enlightened and more tolerant.
Iraq for Sale: The War Profiteers
Documentary portraying the actions of U.S. corporate contractors in the U.S.-Iraq war. Interviews with employees and former employees of such companies as Halliburton, CACI, and KBR suggest that government cronyism is behind apparent "sweetheart" deals that give such contractors enormous freedom to profit from supplying support and material to American troops while providing little oversight. Survivors of employees who were killed discuss the claim that the companies cared more for profit than for the welfare of their own workers, and soldiers indicate that the quality of services provided is sub-standard and severely in contradiction to the comparatively huge profits being generated. Also depicted are the unsuccessful attempts by the filmmakers to get company spokesmen to respond to the charges made by the interviewees.
This Filthy World
In this filmed version of cult film director John Waters' popular one-man show, the Pink Flamingos and A Dirty Shame director takes the stage to discuss everything from his early influences, fondest career memories, and notorious struggles against the MPAA rating system. Part endearing memoir and part hilarious lecture, This Filthy World touches on everything from the insanity of contemporary pop culture to the director's unforgettable early collaborations with inimitable Pink Flamingos star Divine.
Driven by passion fed from a life-long fascination with sharks, Rob Stewart debunks historical stereotypes and media depictions of sharks as bloodthirsty, man-eating monsters and reveals the reality of sharks as pillars in the evolution of the seas.
Documentary film investigating allegations of election fraud during the 2004 U.S. presidential election. Electronic voting machines count approximately 90% of America's votes in county, state and federal elections. The technology is also increasingly being used across the world, including in Canada, the United Kingdom, Europe and Latin America. The film uncovers incendiary evidence from the trash cans of Texas to the ballot boxes of Ohio, exposing secrecy, votes in the trash, hackable software and election officials rigging the presidential recount.Ultimately proving our votes can be stolen without a trace "Hacking Democracy" culminates in the famous 'Hursti Hack'; a duel between the Diebold voting machines and a computer hacker from Finland - with America's democracy at stake.
Look, Up in the Sky! The Amazing Story of Superman
The history of the comic book superhero, Superman, in his various media incarnations.
Neil Young - Heart of Gold
In March 2005, Neil Young was diagnosed with a brain aneurysm. Four days before he was scheduled for a lifesaving operation, he headed to Nashville, where he wrote and recorded the country folk album Prairie Wind with old friends and family members. After the successful operation and recovery period, he returned to Nashville that August to play at the famed Ryman Auditorium, once again gathering together friends and family for this special performance.
Free Lisl: Fear & Loathing in Denver
Free Lisl-Fear & Loathing in Denver chronicles the last hurrah of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson - the freeing of an innocent young girl from a life sentence in prison.
My Chemical Romance: Life on the Murder Scene
Life on the Murder Scene is the first live album by New Jersey's My Chemical Romance. It was released on March 21, 2006 (see 2006 in music). The release includes three discs (two DVDs and one CD) of the whole history documenting the band from the start to the present. Life on the Murder Scene is a predominantly live album, but also includes two demo tracks and a previously unreleased track. Models Jamisin Matthews and Jaime Andrews portray the demolition couple in the cover photo, booklet, packaging, DVD art, and DVD menus. One DVD documents the band on the road in the form of a diary and the other covers live footage, [email protected], MTV $2 Bill performance, and four of their videos with the behind-the-scenes "Making Of..." for three of them. The cover features a live version of "Demolition Lovers II" (the name of the album cover of Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge).
The Great Happiness Space: Tale of an Osaka Love Thief
Welcome to The Great Happiness Space: Rakkyo Café. The club's owner, Issei (22), has a staff of twenty boys all under his training to become the top escorts of Osaka's underground love scene. During their training, they learn how to dress, how to talk, how to walk, and most importantly, how to fake relationships with the girls who become their source of income. Join us as Osaka's number one host boy takes us on a journey through the complex and heartrenching world of love for sale in the Japanese underground.
MANUFACTURED LANDSCAPES is the striking new documentary on the world and work of renowned artist Edward Burtynsky. Internationally acclaimed for his large-scale photographs of “manufactured landscapes”—quarries, recycling yards, factories, mines and dams—Burtynsky creates stunningly beautiful art from civilization’s materials and debris.
Last Best Hope
A true story of underground escape lines and the Belgian Resistance during World War II, ‘Last Best Hope’ (2006) is an award winning documentary aired on US PBS Nationwide with nearly 2 million viewers, and Belgian broadcast networks. What is the one principle or belief for which you would sacrifice everything? Ethical, spiritual, and ideological values that are central to the human experience find their voice in the documentary film, ""Last Best Hope: A True Story of Escape, Evasion, and Remembrance,"" a poignant, little-known story about the men and women in the Belgian Resistance and their extraordinary acts to save downed Allied airmen during the Second World War.
God Grew Tired of Us
Filmmaker Christopher Quinn observes the ordeal of three Sudanese refugees -- Jon Bul Dau, Daniel Abul Pach and Panther Bior -- as they try to come to terms with the horrors they experienced in their homeland, while adjusting to their new lives in the United States.
An Evening with Kevin Smith 2: Evening Harder
In this second Q&A with Kevin Smith he now enters the homes of some of his fans in Toronto and London.
DEEP WATER is the stunning true story of the fateful voyage of Donald Crowhurst, an amateur yachtsman who enters the most daring nautical challenge ever – the very first solo, non-stop, round-the-world boat race.
A Crude Awakening
Basil Gelpke and Ray McCormack's nonfiction treatise Crude Awakening joins Maxed Out, An Inconvenient Truth, and other recent documentaries devoted to unearthing and exploring forces that are untying the connective threads of contemporary society. The subject at hand is crude oil - specifically, the depletion of petroleum from the Earth, in an era when consumption threatens to exceed supply.
America: Freedom to Fascism
This is a documentary about an honest search for the truth about the Federal Reserve Bank and the legality of the Internal Revenue System. Through extensive interviews with recognised experts and authority, the director shows an astonishing revelation of how the Federal Government and the Bankers have fooled the American public by taking thier wages and putting it in the pockets of the super-rich.
Jonestown: The Life and Death of Peoples Temple
Featuring never-before-seen footage, this documentary delivers a startling new look at the Peoples Temple, headed by preacher Jim Jones who, in 1978, led more than 900 members to Guyana, where he orchestrated a mass suicide via tainted punch.
Looking Back at the Future
Looking to the future is a documentary about the filming of the legendary trilogy Back to the Future.
Iraq in Fragments
An opus in three parts, Iraq In Fragments offers a series of intimate, passionately-felt portraits: A fatherless 11-year-old is apprenticed to the domineering owner of a Baghdad garage; Sadr followers in two Shiite cities rally for regional elections while enforcing Islamic law at the point of a gun; a family of Kurdish farmers welcomes the US presence, which has allowed them a measure of freedom previously denied. American director James Longley spent more than two years filming in Iraq to create this stunningly photographed, poetically rendered documentary of the war-torn country as seen through the eyes of Sunnis, Shiites and Kurds.
Get Thrashed traces the rise, fall and impact of thrash metal; from its early years, through its influence on grunge, nu metal and today's heavy metal scene. It is the story of the heaviest, hardest music of the 80s and early 90s as told by the bands who lived it, the fans and bands that grew up on it and by the artists that carry the "thrash metal" flag today.
Stephen Fry: The Secret Life of the Manic Depressive
In 1995, Stephen Fry was performing in Simon Gray's West End play, "Cell Mates." After three days, he walked out of the production. Sitting in a garage, his hand on the car ignition, he contemplated suicide for two hours, before fleeing his home country for the European mainland. It wasn't until this frightening episode that Fry was diagnosed with manic depression, or bipolar disorder, a psychological condition that sees its sufferers oscillating dangerously between dizzying heights of mania and gutting troughs of prolonged depression. This 2 part documentary unfolds like a personal journey of self-discovery. Fry confronts his medical condition by consulting experts and others who have suffered the disorder (including Richard Dreyfuss and Carrie Fisher). This is a valuable documentary, and, having been acquainted only with Stephen Fry's bubbly TV persona, a fascinatingly intimate character study.
Porcupine Tree: Arriving Somewhere...
Arriving Somewhere... is the first live performance DVD by British progressive rock band Porcupine Tree. A full show from the Deadwing tour filmed by "Studio M" with nine HD cameras at Park West, Chicago on 11 & 12 October 2005, edited by Lasse Hoile, with the soundtrack mixed in stereo and 5.1 surround sound by Steven Wilson, and mastered by Darcy Proper.
A BBC miniseries about Nigel Marvin's quest to bring the extinct dinosaurs through time to Prehistoric Park.
The Beales of Grey Gardens
Mother and daughter - Big Edie and Little Edie Beale - live with six cats in a crumbling house in East Hampton. Little Edie, in her 50s, who wears scarves and bright colors, sings, mugs for the camera, and talks to Al and David Maysles, the filmmakers. Big Edie, in her 70s, recites poetry, comments on her daughter's behavior, and sings "If I Loved You" in fine voice. She talks in short sentences; her daughter in volumes. The film is episodic: friends visit, there's a small fire in the house, Little Edie goes to the shore and swims. She talks about the Catholic Church. She's ashamed that local authorities raided the house because of all the cats. She values being different.
PJ Harvey on Tour: Please Leave Quietly
Filmed during the tour for 2004’s Uh Huh Her (and directed by longtime collaborator Mochnacz), Please Leave Quietly intermixes live footage with backstage antics, street scenes, buggered sound checks and impromptu commentary from tour personnel and bandmates. Often interspliced and edited to a near distracting degree, the live performances are riveting, with Polly Jean displaying a venomous allure in her Oz-red high heels and short-skirted dresses.
The story of four women suffering from anorexia and bulimia in South Florida
We Don't Die, We Multiply: The Robin Harris Story
Featuring hysterical performance footage and insightful interviews, this affectionate documentary profiles Robin Harris, one of the most respected black comedians of his time whose life was cut short at age 37 by a respiratory problem. Friends and fans such as Bernie Mac, Cedric the Entertainer, Martin Lawrence and Robert Townsend share their memories of the funnyman, who continues to influence young comics.
Dixie Chicks: Shut Up and Sing
Shut Up and Sing is a documentary about the country band from Texas called the Dixie Chicks and how one tiny comment against President Bush dropped their number one hit off the charts and caused fans to hate them, destroy their CD’s, and protest at their concerts. A film about freedom of speech gone out of control and the three girls lives that were forever changed by a small anti-Bush comment
From the masters who create the mind-bending diversions to the tense competition at the American Crossword Puzzle Tournament, Patrick Creadon's documentary reveals a fascinating look at a decidedly addictive pastime. Creadon captures New York Times editor Will Shortz at work, talks to celebrity solvers -- including Bill Clinton and Ken Burns -- and presents an intimate look at the national tournament and its competitors.
Join the Mars rovers Spirit and Opportunity for an awe-inspiring journey to the surface of the mysterious red planet.
Halloween: 25 Years of Terror
A documentary that follows the evolution of the 'Halloween' movies over the past twenty-five years. It examines why the films are so popular and revisits many of the original locations used in the films - seeing the effects on the local community. For the first time, cast, crew, critics and fans join together in the ultimate 'Halloween' retrospective