11. Bowling for Columbine (2002)
The Doc: Think what you will about Michael Moore, but “Bowling for Columbine” is a film not to be overlooked. It presents America’s relationship with guns and takes a deeper look into the tragic shootings at Columbine High School. Also, Marilyn Manson offers a memorable and surprisingly intelligent take on our country’s situation.
Why It’s A Must-See: Going beyond gun control, Moore challenges the audience to look at the issue of violence as a whole and it’s relationship with America.
12. Grizzly Man (2005)
The Doc: Werner Herzog’s explores obsession, loneliness and madness through the story of Timothy Treadwell’s-an outsider who found solace in nature. Treadwell spent over a decade exploring the Alaskan wilderness and living with the bears he found there. He did this with his girlfriend until 2003 when they both were attacked and killed by a bear. Herzog uses footage Treadwell shot himself in combination with interviews of those closest to him.
Why It’s A Must-See: The film brings to question crossed boundaries concerning man’s place in nature.
13. Capturing the Friedmans (2003)
The Doc: Filmmaker Andrew Jarecki challenges the viewer to take a look into the Long Island father and son who were accused of sexually abusing students in their computer class. The details of this controversial story continue to become stranger and stranger as the viewer is taken into the lives of the Friedman family and the controversy surrounding the accusations surrounding them and their trial. This film uses actual home movies of the Friedmans along with footage Jarecki shot while interviewing the family.
Why It’s A Must-See: It raises many questions including those concerning our justice system, rethinking the “family bond”, and who were the real victims in this situation.
14. The Devil’s Playground (2002)
The Doc: Giving the audience a candid look into the very private Amish community, “The Devil’s Playground” focuses on a period of time called the “rumspringa” in which teens can choose to stay with their families and church, or leave forcing them to be shunned. Consequently, during this time drug/alcohol abuse, illicit sex and general hooliganism are common among these teens.
Why It’s A Must-See: A study into life outside a very closed off community.
15. Jonestown: The Life and Death of the People’s Temple (2006)
The Doc: Incredibly difficult to watch account of the events leading up to and after the Jonestown massacre. This documentary reveals never before seen footage of the horrific events surrounding Jim Jones and his cult the People’s Temple. Exploring his bizarre childhood up to his rise as cult leader, we get a detailed look into the mind of a sociopath.
Why It’s A Must-See: Very upsetting, the kind of movie that will stick with you for a while after you watch it. The viewer is taken into the mind of a sociopath to gain some kind of understanding as to how such a terrible event could have taken place.
Author Bio: Madeline Scott was raised in Memphis, Tennessee but came to Baltimore in 2005 to study at Maryland Institute College of Art. Baltimore is now home to here where she currently works at a non profit assisting people with developmental disabilities. Whenever she can, Madeline goes to the Charles Theater to watch their weekly revival series.