Best History Movies of 2016
WWII American Army Medic Desmond T. Doss, who served during the Battle of Okinawa, refuses to kill people and becomes the first Conscientious Objector in American history to receive the Congressional Medal of Honor.
The untold story of Katherine G. Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan and Mary Jackson – brilliant African-American women working at NASA and serving as the brains behind one of the greatest operations in history – the launch of astronaut John Glenn into orbit. The visionary trio crossed all gender and race lines to inspire generations to dream big.
O.J.: Made in America
A chronicle of the rise and fall of O.J. Simpson, whose high-profile murder trial exposed the extent of American racial tensions, revealing a fractured and divided nation.
On 15 January 2009, the world witnessed the 'Miracle on the Hudson' when Captain 'Sully' Sullenberger glided his disabled plane onto the frigid waters of the Hudson River, saving the lives of all 155 aboard. However, even as Sully was being heralded by the public and the media for his unprecedented feat of aviation skill, an investigation was unfolding that threatened to destroy his reputation and career.
13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi
An American Ambassador is killed during an attack at a U.S. compound in Libya as a security team struggles to make sense out of the chaos.
Eddie the Eagle
The feel-good story of Michael 'Eddie' Edwards, an unlikely but courageous British ski-jumper who never stopped believing in himself—even as an entire nation was counting him out. With the help of a rebellious and charismatic coach, Eddie takes on the establishment and wins the hearts of sports fans around the world by making an improbable and historic showing at the 1988 Calgary Winter Olympics.
CIA employee Edward Snowden leaks thousands of classified documents to the press.
Based on the story of Jesse Owens, the athlete whose quest to become the greatest track and field athlete in history thrusts him onto the world stage of the 1936 Olympics, where he faces off against Adolf Hitler's vision of Aryan supremacy.
The true story of how Ray Kroc, a salesman from Illinois, met Mac and Dick McDonald, who were running a burger operation in 1950s Southern California. Kroc was impressed by the brothers’ speedy system of making the food and saw franchise potential. He maneuvered himself into a position to be able to pull the company from the brothers and create a billion-dollar empire.
In the aftermath of an unspeakable act of terror, Police Sergeant Tommy Saunders joins courageous survivors, first responders and investigators in a race against the clock to hunt down the Boston Marathon bombers before they strike again.
Two Jesuit priests travel to seventeenth century Japan which has, under the Tokugawa shogunate, banned Catholicism and almost all foreign contact.
An English teacher travels back in time to prevent the Kennedy assassination, but discovers he is attached to the life he has made in a bygone era.
Free State of Jones
In 1863, Mississippi farmer Newt Knight serves as a medic for the Confederate Army. Opposed to slavery, Knight would rather help the wounded than fight the Union. After his nephew dies in battle, Newt returns home to Jones County to safeguard his family but is soon branded an outlaw deserter. Forced to flee, he finds refuge with a group of runaway slaves hiding out in the swamps. Forging an alliance with the slaves and other farmers, Knight leads a rebellion that would forever change history.
The Finest Hours
The Coast Guard makes a daring rescue attempt off the coast of Cape Cod after a pair of oil tankers are destroyed during a blizzard in 1952.
Bilal: A New Breed of Hero
A thousand years ago, one boy with a dream of becoming a great warrior is abducted with his sister and taken to a land far away from home. Thrown into a world where greed and injustice rule all, Bilal finds the courage to raise his voice and make a change. Inspired by true events, this is a story of a real hero who earned his remembrance in time and history.
Pelé: Birth of a Legend
The life story of Brazilian football legend, Pele.
In December 1941, Czech soldiers Jozef Gab?ík and Jan Kubiš parachute into their occupied homeland to assassinate Nazi officer Reinhard Heydrich.
War and Peace
Sumptuous BBC mini-series following the fortunes and the rise and fall of five aristocratic families in the waning days of imperial Russia.
All the Way
Lyndon B. Johnson's amazing 11-month journey from taking office after JFK's assassination, through the fight to pass the 1964 Civil Rights Act and his own presidential campaign, culminating on the night LBJ is actually elected to the office – no longer the 'accidental President.'
A United Kingdom
The inspiring true story of Seretse Khama, the King of Bechuanaland (modern Botswana), and Ruth Williams, the London office worker he married in 1948 in the face of fierce opposition from their families and the British and South African governments. Seretse and Ruth defied family, Apartheid and empire - their love triumphed over every obstacle flung in their path and in so doing they transformed their nation and inspired the world.
Acclaimed writer and historian Deborah E. Lipstadt must battle for historical truth to prove the Holocaust actually occurred when David Irving, a renowned denier, sues her for libel.
Set during the last days of the Ottoman Empire, a love triangle develops between Mikael, a brilliant medical student, the beautiful and sophisticated artist Ana, and Chris, a renowned American journalist based in Paris.
A falsely accused nobleman survives years of slavery to take vengeance on his best friend who betrayed him.
Clavius, a powerful Roman military tribune, and his aide, Lucius, are tasked with solving the mystery of what happened to Jesus in the weeks following the crucifixion, in order to disprove the rumors of a risen Messiah and prevent an uprising in Jerusalem.
Elvis & Nixon
In 1970, a few days before Christmas, Elvis Presley showed up on the White House lawn seeking to be deputized into the Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs by the President himself.
Judge Clarence Thomas' nomination to the United States' Supreme Court is called into question when former colleague, Anita Hill, testifies that he had sexually harassed her.
An exploration of the life and music of Miles Davis.
One night in Durham, North Carolina, a rape accusation set fire to the reputations of three college athletes and their elite university. As the Duke lacrosse players grappled with their transition from model student to the criminally accused, several wars were launched on different fronts.
Talking to the Air: The Horses of the Last Forbidden Kingdom
The world’s most magnificent horsemen face an unsure future in one of the planet’s last great equine cultures. The Tibetan Buddhist region of Mustang in the High Himalaya is the Last Forbidden Kingdom and their unique heritage and remarkable spiritual bond with the horse is under threat. In a land where a man’s wealth can still be measured in horses, death defying races are the colorful back-drop for this story of the ascent of civilization in the high Himalaya. With lush cinematography, and insightful intervieww, the film also recounts the little known story of the CIA’s covert operations in Mustang, and features rare archival footage of the Dalai Lama’s flight on horseback over the Himalaya. The scholarly and perceptive voices of Dr. Sienna Craig - author of "Horses Like Lightning" and Mikel Dunham, author of "Buddha's Warriors" turn this lens to issues of globalization, fragile border politics and the precarious future for Mustang’s distinctive equine culture.
To Walk Invisible
To Walk Invisible takes a new look at the extraordinary Brontë family, telling the story of these remarkable women who, despite the obstacles they faced, came from obscurity to produce some of the greatest novels in the English language.
I Called Him Morgan
Part jazz history, part true-crime tale, Kasper Collin’s new documentary employs extensive archival footage and new interviews to tell the tragic story of the magnificently talented trumpeter Lee Morgan and his common-law wife Helen, who murdered him in a New York bar in 1972.
National Theatre Live: Les Liaisons Dangereuses
Marquise de Merteuil, former lover of Vicomte de Valmont, incites him to corrupt the innocent Cécile de Volanges before her wedding night, but Valmont has targeted the peerlessly virtuous and beautiful Madame de Tourvel.
New York in the 1920s. Max Perkins, a literary editor is the first to sign such subsequent literary greats as Ernest Hemingway and F. Scott Fitzgerald. When a sprawling, chaotic 1,000-page manuscript by an unknown writer falls into his hands, Perkins is convinced he has discovered a literary genius.
The Sacred City
This British film was made about Canadian historian Dan Gibson, who has uncovered startling new archaeological evidence that Mecca was not the original Holy City of Islam.
The Last Man on the Moon
The 1960s was an extraordinary time for the United States. Unburdened by post-war reparations, Americans were preoccupied with other developments like NASA, the game-changing space programme that put Neil Armstrong on the moon. Yet it was astronauts like Eugene Cernan who paved the uneven, perilous path to lunar exploration. A test pilot who lived to court danger, he was recruited along with 14 other men in a secretive process that saw them become the closest of friends and adversaries. In this intensely competitive environment, Cernan was one of only three men who was sent twice to the moon, with his second trip also being NASA’s final lunar mission. As he looks back at what he loved and lost during the eight years in Houston, an incomparably eventful life emerges into view. Director Mark Craig crafts a quietly epic biography that combines the rare insight of the surviving former astronauts with archival footage and otherworldly moonscapes.
The story of nine-year old Maria and her father Marcelino who, in 1879, found the first pre-historic cave paintings at the now world famous Altamira cave.
Love Is the Message, the Message Is Death
A reflection on Jafa's desire to craft a "black cinema" that is responsive to the "existential, political, and spiritual dimensions" of Black life. Comprised of found footage sampled from films, newscasts, sporting events, music videos, and citizen videos, all of it downloaded from the Internet, the clips have been woven together and set to Kanye West's anthem "Ultralight Beam." Together the images and music make for an intense, poignant meditation on African American life in the twentieth-century. This history is also the history, by necessity, of racism and prejudice.
What About ME?
Inside the dramatic search for a cure to ME/CFS (Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome). 17 million people around the world suffer from what ME/CFS has been known as a mystery illness, delegated to the psychological realm, until now. A scientist in the only neuro immune institute in the world may have come up with the answer. An important human drama, plays out on the quest for the truth.
Rebellion is a five part serial drama about the birth of modern Ireland. The story is told from the perspectives of a group of fictional characters who live through the political events of the 1916 Easter Rising.
The Lovers and the Despot
Hong Kong, 1978. South Korean actress Choi Eun-hee is kidnapped by North Korean operatives following orders from dictator Kim Jong-il. Her ex-husband, film director Shin Sang-ok, undertakes her search, but soon after he is kidnapped as well. In 1983, after living through years of tribulations, Kim Jong-il puts them in charge of the North Korean film industry in the hope of gaining international recognition.
Last Days in the Desert
On his way out of the wilderness, Jesus struggles with the Devil over the fate of a family in crisis, setting himself up for a dramatic test.
British Prime Minister Winston Churchill suffers from a stroke in the summer of 1953 that's kept a secret from the rest of the world.
Banking on Bitcoin
Not since the invention of the Internet has there been such a disruptive technology as Bitcoin. Bitcoin's early pioneers sought to blur the lines of sovereignty and the financial status quo. After years of underground development Bitcoin grabbed the attention of a curious public, and the ire of the regulators the technology had subverted. After landmark arrests of prominent cyber criminals Bitcoin faces its most severe adversary yet, the very banks it was built to destroy.
Thirty years after a forgotten massacre that occurred during the Guatemalan civil war, a forensic scientist and prosecutor search for Oscar, a young boy who survived the horror.
Underfire: The Untold Story of Pfc. Tony Vaccaro
The remarkable story of WWII infantryman and photographer Tony Vaccaro, who created one of the most comprehensive, haunting and intimate photographic records of the war using a smuggled $47 camera while developing the negatives in his helmet at night.
Hidden in the heart of Russia, there is a Soviet-era city where thousands of people live and work behind barbed-wire fences monitored by armed guards. It is Ozyorsk (Ozersk), located in the Chelyabinsk Oblast, one of the most polluted places on the planet and home to the largest stockpiles of nuclear material. Its code name: City 40.
Prince Philip: The Plot to Make a King
Documentary telling the inside story of the plans by Louis Mountbatten to maneuver his nephew and heir to the Greek throne, Philip, into marrying the future queen Princess Elizabeth and the tensions that that unleashed.
Attenborough at 90: Behind the Lens
As Sir David Attenborough turns 90, this intimate film presents new interviews, eye-opening behind-the-scenes footage and extraordinary clips from some of his most recent films. The doc, which was made for the occasion of Attenborough’s 90th birthday, was shot over seven years and follows him as he travels to Borneo, Morocco and the Galapagos to shoot wildlife specials. Anthony Geffen, the CEO of Atlantic Productions, commented, “This is such a special Attenborough film because unusually he is the subject. As I look back over the last seven years, I never fail to be amazed by his extraordinary ambition and drive to use the very latest technology to communicate the natural world to audiences around the globe. This film gives audiences the chance to see what it’s like to be on the road with David.”
The Young Messiah
Tells the story of Jesus Christ at age seven as he and his family depart Egypt to return home to Nazareth. Told from his childhood perspective, it follows young Jesus as he grows into his religious identity.
A film about fireworks, the people who make them and the cultures behind them across the globe.