People Break Down The Best Documentaries They've Ever Seen
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Documentaries can give the average person valuable information about issues they might otherwise not be exposed to. They are essential if you want to challenge your perspective.

Thankfully, there are so many wonderful ones out there. Documentarians are filmmakers too and a great documentary can inform you and move you while providing you with a profound cinematic experience.

I recently rewatched Hoop Dreams. Even if you don't like or care about basketball, it says a lot about the film that it manages to be so engrossing. I loved it! Highly recommended.

But we haven't even scratched the surface here, just so you know. There are so many documentaries of equal value out there, just waiting for you to discover them!

People shared their recommendations with us after Redditor Main-Acrobatic asked the online community,

"What is the best documentary that you've ever seen?"

Harlan County, USA (1976)

"Harlan County, USA is a documentary about the warring sides of unionization in a Kentucky coal town and is the greatest documentary film I've ever seen."


This film is more relevant than others. Should be considered necessary viewing, particularly for anyone who would like to know more about the labor movement in the United States.

Thou Shall Not Grow Old (2018)

"Thou Shall Not Grow Old. It's jaw dropping good. Seriously. The amount of attention to details to make that era come to life is just absolutely amazing."


This film can best be described as an immersive experience. The people I've showed it to over the years have fallen in love with it.

The Woman Who Wasn't There (2012)

"The Woman Who Wasn't There. It’s a documentary about a woman who lied about being in the WTC during 9/11. She became head of the 9/11 survivors group and was giving official tours of Ground Zero to government officials before anyone figured out that she wasn’t even in the United States on September 11 2001."


The weirdest part of the entire story is that it was technically legal. She never profited financially so it wasn't legally fraud, and lying isn't against the law.

Touching the Void (2003)

"Touching the Void. The most insane mountaineering/survival story you will ever hear."


This one definitely had me glued to the screen. Saw it about twelve or thirteen years ago and I still think about it from time to time.

9/11 (2002)

9/11 by the Naudet Brothers.

"It's pretty raw and is the original footage of the first plane hitting North Tower. Not much for graphic injuries which is fine by me, but the part where you and the firefighters realize that a very specific slamming sound are bodies hitting the pavement is pretty brutal."


This one definitely stuck with me and yes... I remember that moment. Not easy viewing.

Grizzly Man (2005)

"Grizzly Man. This is the perfect doc. Hands down. Stays with you forever and captures secret angles of life with confident twists of the gut and mind."


Timothy Treadwell was clearly very ill. This documentary is so sad and frustrating.

Three Identical Strangers (2018)

"Three Identical Strangers. Do not read or watch anything about it until after you watch the film. Crazy twists and turns."


This is a film that made me say "no way!" at least a few times out loud while watching.

Dear Zachary: A Letter to a Son About His Father (2008)

"Dear Zachary. Don’t Google it before watching. This movie wrecked me."


Probably one of the most emotionally devastating documentaries I've seen and it hits even harder when you realize how the film developed as the story unfolded in real time.

Icarus (2017)

"Icarus. It's not necessarily great technically, but the timeline of the documentary is absolutely fascinating. The coincidences that lined up just right that ended up capturing a behind the scenes look into the biggest Olympic doping scandal ever. It blows my mind."


I concur! So many factors had to line up for us to get the film that we got!

The Act of Killing (2012)

"The Act of Killing. Truly the most fascinating documentary I have ever seen. There's something captured near the end that I thought would have been impossible to catch on film and near-impossible to happen in the first place. Strong stuff though."


This documentary truly represents one of the darkest journeys into the human soul that I've ever seen.

Well, what are you waiting for? Get watching. Some of these are bound to change your life. Documentaries can absolutely offer a window into experiences you might never have thought about before.

Have some recommendations of your own? Feel free to share them with us in the comments below!