Your favorite political documentaries--suggestions?

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Your favorite political documentaries--suggestions?

Was wondering what some of your favorite documentaries are, with an emphasis on social justice oriented issues....but any other suggestions are still welcome too!  Gonna have some time to watch movies again soon, figured who better to ask for a recommendation than the fine folks from babble!

To start it off my fav's are (in no particular order)

Kanehsatake:270 years of resistance (NFB, Alanis Obomsawin)

Manufacturing Consent: Noam Chomsky and the media (NFB)

The Agronomist (Johnathan Demme), Really interesting film about Haiti and Jean Dominique...

Hearts And Minds: really great doc from the 70's about vietnam war, one of the best anti war films of all time!

Peace, Propaganda and the Promised Land: About american influence in israel/palestine

Discordia: about Netanyahu's visit to concordia university and the protests around it.

wage zombie

I just watched and quite enjoyed Shattered Glass, the story of former New Republic journalist Stephen Glass.  It's not a documentary though, more of a drama based on a true story:



Shattered Glass is a 2003 American drama film written and directed by Billy Ray. The screenplay is based on a September 1998 Vanity Fair article by H. G. Bissinger.[1] In it he chronicled the rapid rise of Stephen Glass's journalistic career at The New Republic during the mid-1990s and his steep fall when his widespread journalistic fraud was exposed. The film is based on real events and also captures the high-pressure world of national political journalism as well as being a character study of sociopaths[2] like Glass himself.

If you like political documentaries I would highly recommend anything by Adam Curtis.  You can find his stuff on torrent sites sometimes.  I think Century of the Self was my favourite.


1992: Pandora's Box examined the dangers of technocratic and political rationality. It received the BAFTA Award for Best Factual Series.[1]

2002: The Century of the Self (BBC Four) documented how Freud's discoveries concerning the unconscious led to Edward Bernays' development of public relations, the use of desire over need and self-actualisation as a means of achieving economic growth and the political control of population. It received the Broadcast Award for Best Documentary Series and the Longman/History Today Awards for Historical Film of the Year. It was released in the US through art house cinemas and was picked as the fourth best movie of 2005 by Entertainment Weekly.

2004: The Power of Nightmares (BBC Two) suggested a parallel between the rise of Islamism in the Arab world and Neoconservatism in the United States in that both needed to inflate a myth of a dangerous enemy in order to draw people to support them. It received the BAFTA Award for Best Factual Series in 2004.[6]

2007: The Trap — What Happened to our Dream of Freedom (BBC Two), a series regarding the modern concept of freedom.[2]

I'd also recommend The Future of Food.





- the BBC ones are definitely worth a watch - if you are ready for some real blue pill stuff, as they say - there are several good ones here - (I'd start with Money as Debt, Oh Canada, and the Money Masters) - and then there's Capitalism and other Kids Stuff - - if the propaganda and/or dumbed-down-ness on the CBC radio forces you to turn it off sometimes, as it does me, other good radio places are The Corbett Report, Electric Politics, and Guns and Butter ....

N.Beltov N.Beltov's picture

Michael Moore has done plenty. The Passionate Eye (CBC) has a website with lots to investigate. The National Film Board, despite being the victim of Liberal and Conservative spending cuts and other atrocities, still manages to have an online library of films.

This one I just googled.


thanks that doc site is awesome!!



[url=][color=red]Who's Counting? Marilyn Waring on Sex, Lies and Global Economics[/color][/url]

In this feature-length documentary, Marilyn Waring demystifies the language of economics by defining it as a value system in which all goods and activities are related only to their monetary value. As a result, unpaid work (usually performed by women) is unrecognized while activities that may be environmentally and socially detrimental are deemed productive. To remedy this, Waring maps out an alternative economic vision based on the idea of time as the new currency.



I've found this political documentary produced by Al Jazeera about Wikileakes. The concept of the arabci english speaking news channel undertaking a setrious independent report on the US and other governments outrage at Wikileaks and its founder.


Milo, yours is a good list and I'd second any of them.

I'll add that the National Film Board now has most of their documentaries on their site ( and are available for free streaming. Warning: yu can end up spending a LOT of time there.

Also, Frontline, a PBS documentary series has most of theirs available for viewing on their site as well and there are some great ones.

While not "political", if you're into art and design, I recently saw "Art & Copy" and "Objectified" which are great. I also went to a viewing in Toronto of "Strange Powers", a documentary about Stephin Merrit, a brilliant singer/songwriter and leader of my favourite band, The Magnetic Fields.

ebodyknows ebodyknows's picture

Saw this tonight:

Anyone else been to see it? seems it's been sceening around the country.


I also like Mike Moore - "Bowling for Columbine" is his masterpiece, IMV.  "Roger and Me" is also oddly timely and prescient, with its study of the devastating effects of aggressive downsizing on one town (Flint, MI - precursor for the economic devastation to come 2 decades later).  And "Sicko" is a good critique of the American health care system and the politics of health care, though Mike is a bit too sniggering and self-indulgent in this one, I think.

For a classic, there's "Night and Fog" by Alain Resnais, an unblinking examination of the Holocaust.  Saw it about 20 years ago - it's completely devastating.

Cueball Cueball's picture

I just saw "Client 9: The Rise and Fall of Eliot Spitzer"

Not overwhellming in its analysis but intersting none-the-less.

Kaspar Hauser

"The Architecture of Doom" is one of my favourites. You can find it in its entirety here:



just watched a really powerful movie again and thought i'd post it here since the thread is going again!


Though not uplifting in that it exposes the insanity of the International War Crimes Tribunals and their version of victors justice "War Don Don" is really compelling.


Then there is this:


Amazing documentary on the beginnings of the Tea Party movement, and who is funding them.


I'm watching this right now on Al-Jazeera:



Hollywood and the war machine


Marwan Bishara presents this look at the symbiotic relationship between Hollywood and the Pentagon and the role of Hollywood as a propaganda tool.


Chris Hedges, Michael Moore and Oliver Stone are interviewed together by Bishara.