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Documentaries are at the bottom of the priority list for many moviegoers.

And who can blame them?


Action films that include a succession of explosions and high-speed car chases can be more engaging than watching a history lesson.

Even horror films, where sadistic audiences repeatedly subject themselves to fakeout scares, are a popular choice for those with short attention spans.

However, if people gave documentaries a chance, they might be surprised at how enlightening the experience can be.

But with so many documentaries out there, the uninitiated can be overwhelmed with not knowing where to start to explore their curiosity.

Lucky for us, Redditor zeusdreaming asked,

"What is a must-watch documentary?"

And plenty of Redditors shared a great selection of options.

True crime and mysteries are usually good places to start. Because sometimes, truth is wilder than fiction.

The Road To Execution

"The Fear of Thirteen."

"A man on death row for 20 years, he's had enough and petitions the court to execute him. Which triggers an investigation into his case..... It's fascinating."

zelda4444

A Kidnapping

"Abducted in Plain Sight."

"Easily the most f'king bonkers documentary I have ever seen."

FreddieGregg

Family Tragedy

"American Murder on Netflix. Although I will warn you, it left me feeling sick for a week..."

stinkyf333t

Good historical documentaries are the ones that give us deeper insight than what is typically taught in classrooms.

About WWI

"They Shall Not Grow Old, directed and produced by Peter Jackson, about World War 1."

Ericovich

"100% this. That documentary is mind f'k, and really destroys the old timey feeling you normally get when watching old footage."

descendingangel87

Indonesian Genocide

"The Act of Killing."

"A film about some of the perpetrators of the Indonesian genocide, but that doesn't do it justice. You will simply never see anything like this."

DonzoBean

Ken Burns' Vietnam War

"Really fantastic docu-series."

"For anyone who hasn't seen it (and is unfamiliar with Burns style docu-series), it's a comprehensive, critical look at the Vietnam War. Like, you legitimately need two or more days to watch it in its entirety. The starting episode of the series kicks off back in the 1800s. But it's still riveting the whole way through. You hear from soldiers and civilians on both side of the conflict, and there are plenty of surprising (to many/most people) tidbits of information. For example, Ho Chi Minh was originally, well, a U.S. fanboy, before geopolitics stepped in and he and the U.S. were opponents. A fair warning though, it can get graphic at points (e.g. video of the napalm girl, and a raw, uncut, and close up video of an execution)."

loony123

An intimate glimpse inside unfamiliar worlds and lifestyles always make for compelling viewing.

"Tickled"

"Go in blind, it's better that way."

SociallyInept2020

"Blindfolded tickling… you know me too well."

ididntunderstandyou

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Insane Marathon

"The Barkley Marathons: The Race that Eats its Young on Amazon Prime."

"Absolutely f'king nuts that it is possible for people to run for that long over that terrain and elevation. Plus the guy who organizes it is hilarious and crazy."

"I recommend this documentary to everyone I can and so far I've never had any complaints."

GovtSurveillanceBirb

"Jesus Camp"

"This was just too close to home for me. I grew up with parents as batsh*t insane as all the people in this movie. I've never seen a documentary I related to more in my life and still haven't. This level of religion is dangerous and it's bullsh*t how they use children."

Nice_Bake

Redditors insist these films about twins and triplets are fascinating must-see docs.

The Separated Triplets

"Three Identical Strangers was a great documentary which started very wholesome then got Darker yet more mysterious."

Chatman101

"I was in high school when the story broke! I knew that at the time, multiple birth babies were often split up if they were placed for adoption, but I had no idea that the story was much deeper, and darker."

"There were also rumors that they were actually identical quadruplets, but that wasn't true."

notthesedays

Twins And Memory Loss

"Tell Me Who I Am"

"It follows two twin brothers recalling their youth and childhood. One of them suffered severe amnesia after an accident. Their childhood was horrible, but after one of them forgot everything, the other brother could not bear to tell the truth. It's extremely thought provoking."

non-all

Some documentaries can be more thrilling than any action movie.

Vertigo, Much?

"Free solo, I still get sweaty palms every time I think about Alex Honnold."

Specialist-Reality28

Liability Land

"Class Action Park! It's mind boggling this place existed at all."

TheDeadlySquid

My favorite documentary has to be The Eyes of Tammy Faye.

Narrated by RuPaul, this film chronicling the scandalous rise and fall of Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker's Christian empire kept my eyes glued to the screen.

I didn't know much about Tammy Faye beyond her wild eyelashes, but I found myself adoring this compassionate woman who became a pro-LGBTQ icon.

The 2000 film wound up holding the 23rd spot on the 50 Documentaries to See Before You Die.

And for good reason.

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