There are a wide range of documentary films out there. Many of them are worth watching but a few stand out as some of the best ever made. Here are some of the top ones.
Al Nakba – the Catastrophe
For more than a century, Palestinians have referred to the creation of the State of Israel as the al Nakba. The word refers to the destruction of their society in 1948.
The war was also associated with several massacres and the depopulation of hundreds of villages. Since then, a large number of refugees have been exiled from their homeland.
In the aftermath of the war, more than 750,000 Palestinians were forcibly expelled from their homes and communities. These displaced people were scattered across six countries. Their children continue to suffer from the traumas of military attacks.
As a result of the al Nakba, hundreds of ancient villages were destroyed. Some of them were replaced by Israeli settlements. Others are now nature reserves.
The Inside Job is a documentary film that covers the complexities of the financial services industry. It uses a variety of techniques, including news clips and interviewees to show how the system worked. This includes the big dogs of Wall Street and the regulatory agencies.
The documentary was made on a plethora of locations, spanning the United States and other countries. For instance, the film used footage from a tented city in Florida, where workers were living out their dreams in the hope that their savings would see them through the recession.
While the film was not perfect, it did give a comprehensive look at the complexities of the financial services industry.
Downfall: The Case Against Boeing
The documentary Downfall: The Case Against Boeing focuses on the 737 Max, the aircraft which was involved in the two recent airplane crashes. Using archival footage and interviews, the filmmakers take a look at the origins of the Max, how the 737 Max was brought to market and what happened when it crashed.
Boeing was in the aviation business for decades, but when the company merged with McDonnell Douglas in 1997, it became a major player. It’s hard to believe that Boeing did not have the foresight to build a safe and effective aircraft. However, the FAA failed to protect Boeing from its own mismanagement.
The movie’s makers do a good job of presenting the data. They present the facts with cold clarity, without losing their cool.
Riotsville, USA is a film about state coercion in all its myriad forms. Despite the government’s best efforts, riots erupted all over the country in the late 1960s. A small army of sworn law enforcement officers did little to quell the violence, if anything they actually exacerbated it. The film isn’t all doom and gloom. It’s a refreshing reminder that civil unrest in this country is a real thing, and it’s a symptom of a larger socioeconomic issue.
This doc is a must see for anyone with an interest in American history, government policy, or the arts. It’s a clever blend of archival, commissioned, and amateur material in all conceivable formats.
The Tinder Swindler
Shimon Hayut, an Israeli fugitive, was found guilty of defrauding women in Finland. In 2015, he was sent to prison for two years. He was released from prison in 2017, and returned to Israel. That year, he changed his name to Simon Leviev.
Leviev was a serial fraudster who conned numerous women, including several women who dated him. During the course of his scam, he stole over $10 million from his victims.
After his release from prison, Leviev created a website and started a business, LLP Diamonds. It is the world’s largest privately held diamond manufacturer. As of now, he has over 200,000 followers on Instagram. However, he denies all allegations against him.
Elizabeth: A Portrait in Parts
Elizabeth: A Portrait in Parts is a well crafted documentary. It is composed of a combination of archival footage and modern day interviews with key members of the royal family. The film is a good example of the democratisation of information.
Although the documentary is not without its faults, it does provide a rare and unique glimpse into the life of the longest reigning British monarch. As with all documentaries, the Queen is the star of the show, but the documentary also highlights her accomplishments as a person.
For instance, the documentary is able to showcase the Queen’s signature waving motion, which was the envy of her rivals during the mid-20th century. There are also plenty of archival shots that haven’t been seen for decades, such as the first ever television coronation in 1953.