Best Documentaries

Marc Colella

Effects Supervisor
Senior HTF Member
Jun 19, 1999
I highly recommend Werner Herzog's documentary Little Dieter Needs To Fly (1998).

It's the incredible story of Dieter Dangler, who's love of planes eventually lead to flying in the Vietnam war.
His plane was shot down, he was captured, and the amazing struggle to survive and escape begins.

Incidentally, Herzog is making a feature film based on the story of Dieter Dangler. Can't wait for that.

Joshua Lane

Second Unit
Oct 10, 2003
I'm surprised no one has mentioned the greatness that is David Attenborough...

Living Planet
Life of Birds
Life of Mammals (by far the best)
Blue Planet

...I also enjoyed the "Walking With" programs (Dinosaurds, Beasts, etc) althought they are borderline documentaries considering all the footage is CGI.


Jan 1, 2004
the best documentary i´ve ever seen is a german production called: "100 jahre". it´s a docu about the 20th century. but not just a docu. it´s amazing. originally over 15hours. with real video material, live videos (starting in 1900). chronological presented year by year with love for history. perfect for everyone who wants to ge to know the 20th century better. but it´s german (the presenter and producer made a lot of docus about the history, most of all the 2nd world war. all very interesting)

besides that:
bowling for columbine
night and fog

and most of all
"One day in september". it´s about the kidnapping and terrorism in germany and at the olympic games 1974 in munich. a masterpice of documentary

Brook K

Lead Actor
Senior HTF Member
Feb 22, 2000
2003 was an excellent year for documentaries:

Stevie (by Steve "Hoop Dreams" James, one of the best films of the year)
Tibet: Cry Of The Snow Lion (about the Chinese subjugation of Tibet and destruction of its cultural heritage)
The Weather Underground (on the American terrorist group. Its one of the Oscar nominees, and I think is going to be shown on PBS in March)
Fog Of War: Eleven Lessons From The Life Of Robert S. McNamara
Capturing The Friedman's
Amandla! A Revolution In Four Part Harmony (role of music in the struggle for freedom in South Africa)

Older doc's
Heart's And Minds
A Personal Journey Through American Film With Martin Scorsese
Hoop Dreams
Don't Look Back
Monterrey Pop
Night And Fog
Nanook Of The North
Gimme Shelter
Gates Of Heaven
General Idi Amin Dada


Second Unit
Oct 25, 2001

There is an A & E doc, that I'd be interested in getting.

You know, one doc had totally slipped my mind... Al Pacino'sLooking For Richard I have this on video and I wish I'd have been around at the Fox chat to query this.


Supporting Actor
Jun 13, 2000
Does anyone know if there are any plans to put OT: Our Town out on DVD? This film was made in 2002, but only released to theaters sometime in the last year. It's a documentary about a Compton, CA high school production of Thorton Wilder's Our Town , put on without the benefit of a drama program, a drama teacher, a school theater, or any makeup, sets, etc.

The production was the brain child of an English teacher at the school who thought it had been too long since the school had mounted any sort of theatrical production (20 years), and decided to take this on. The entire amazing process was recorded by her film maker boyfriend and the show was a huge success -- after much difficulty, as you can imagine. The film caused quite a stir and got rave reviews. I was hoping that it might show up on DVD (I missed it in the theater) but so far it has not.

Always hoping ...


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