Best Documentary Movies of 2008
Dear Zachary: A Letter to a Son About His Father
In 2001, Andrew Bagby, a medical resident, is murdered not long after breaking up with his girlfriend. Soon after, when she announces she's pregnant, one of Andrew's many close friends, Kurt Kuenne, begins this film, a gift to the child.
Zeitgeist: Addendum premiered at the 5th Annual Artivist Film Festival. Director Peter Joseph stated: "The failure of our world to resolve the issues of war, poverty, and corruption, rests within a gross ignorance about what guides human behavior to begin with. It address the true source of the instability in our society, while offering the only fundamental, long-term solution."
Man on Wire
On August 7th 1974, French tightrope walker Philippe Petit stepped out on a high wire, illegally rigged between New York's World Trade Center twin towers, then the world's tallest buildings. After nearly an hour of performing on the wire, 1,350 feet above the sidewalks of Manhattan, he was arrested. This fun and spellbinding documentary chronicles Philippe Petit's "highest" achievement.
Documentary filmmaker Robert Kenner examines how mammoth corporations have taken over all aspects of the food chain in the United States, from the farms where our food is grown to the chain restaurants and supermarkets where it's sold. Narrated by author and activist Eric Schlosser, the film features interviews with average Americans about their dietary habits, commentary from food experts like Michael Pollan and unsettling footage shot inside large-scale animal processing plants.
Commentator-comic Bill Maher plays devil's advocate with religion as he talks to believers about their faith. Traveling around the world, Maher examines the tenets of Christianity, Judaism and Islam and raises questions about homosexuality, proof of Christ's existence, Jewish Sabbath laws, violent Muslim extremists.
Life in Cold Blood
David Attenborough hosts this compelling documentary series that explores the world of reptiles and amphibians, using amazing new technology that gives viewers a real inside look at these creatures' lives. A co-production between BBC and Animal Planet, the show follows a variety of cold-blooded creatures all over the world, examining the individual behavior and complex societies of these fascinating animals.
It Might Get Loud
A documentary on the electric guitar from the point of view of three significant rock musicians: the Edge, Jimmy Page and Jack White.
Bigger Stronger Faster*
In America, we define ourselves in the superlative: we are the biggest, strongest, fastest country in the world. Is it any wonder that so many of our heroes are on performance enhancing drugs? Director Christopher Bell explores America's win-at-all-cost culture by examining how his two brothers became members of the steroid-subculture in an effort to realize their American dream.
Director James Toback takes an unflinching, uncompromising look at the life of Mike Tyson--almost solely from the perspective of the man himself. TYSON alternates between the controversial boxer addressing the camera and shots of the champion's fights to create an arresting picture of the man.
Shine a Light
Martin Scorsese and the Rolling Stones unite in "Shine A Light," a look at The Rolling Stones." Scorsese filmed the Stones over a two-day period at the intimate Beacon Theater in New York City in fall 2006. Cinematographers capture the raw energy of the legendary band.