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1. Choose a film to watch from the following list. Make sure you view the official, uncut, correct version of the film if multiple films have the same title – check the year and director, when noted. Email me if any doubts:


  • 1991: The Year Punk Broke
  • 4 Little Girls
  • A (1998 Japanese film)
  • Aileen Wuornos: The Selling of a Serial Killer
  • Alive: 20 Years Later
  • American Dream (1990 film)
  • American Movie
  • American Pimp
  • Berkeley in the Sixties
  • Beyond the Mat
  • Black is… Black Ain’t
  • Blue Eyed
  • Brother’s Keeper (1992 film)
  • The Celluloid Closet
  • Cinéma Vérité: Defining the Moment
  • Complaints of a Dutiful Daughter
  • Crumb (1995 film)
  • Gang War: Bangin’ In Little Rock
  • Hands on a Hard Body: The Documentary
  • Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker’s Apocalypse – 1991
  • Hoop Dreams
  • Incident at Oglala
  • Kurt & Courtney
  • Manufacturing Consent: Noam Chomsky and the Media
  • My Best Fiend
  • Paradise Lost: The Child Murders at Robin Hood Hills
  • A Place Called Chiapas
  • Rock Hudson’s Home Movies
  • The Triumph of Evil – 1999 PBS Frontline – full film streaming in online Lecture notes
  • War Zone (1998 film)
  • When We Were Kings
  • The Wonderful Horrible Life of Leni Riefenstahl

Recommended film – click here to watch on Amazon: American Movie or Hoop Dreams

  • An Inconvenient Truth (2006)
    Anvil! The Story of Anvil (2009)
    Blackfish (2013)
    Born Into Brothels (2004)
    Bowling for Columbine (2002)
    Bus 174 (Ônibus 174) (2003)
    Capturing the Friedmans (2003)
    Cave of Forgotten Dreams (2011)
    The Central Park Five
    Dear Zachary: A Letter to a Son About His Father (2008)
    Dogtown and Z Boys (2001)
    Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room (2005)
    Grizzly Man (2005)
    Guerrilla: The Taking of Patty Hearst (2004)
    Hot Coffee
    I’m Still Here
    The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters (2007)
    Kurt Cobain: Montage Of Heck (2015)
    Little Rock Central: 50 Years Later
    Man on Wire (2008)
    Murderball (2005)
    My Kid Could Paint That (2007)
    The Queen of Versailles
    Raw Deal: A Question Of Consent – 2001, Corben
    The Red Pill
    Rivers and Tides: Andy Goldsworthy Working With Time (2002)
    Some Kind of Monster
    Super Size Me (2004)
    Tupac: Resurrection (2003)
    Twilight of the Porn Stars – 2012, Theroux – full film streaming in online Lecture notes
    Tyson (2009)
    Waltz with Bashir (2008)
    When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts – 2006
    The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill (2005)
    Jim & Andy: The Great Beyond – 2017, Smith
  • The Act Of Killing (2013)
  • 63 Up (2019), Apted
  • 13th – 2016
  • 20 Feet From Stardom (2013)
  • Cuba and the Cameraman – 2017, Alpert
  • Let it Fall: Los Angeles 1982-1992 – 2017, Ridley
  • Whose Streets – 2017, Folayan
  • Whitney: Can I Be Me – 2017, Broomfield, Dolezal

Recommended film – click here to watch on Amazon: The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill or The Queen of Versailles

2. DISCUSSION BOARD 5 1990s-2010s QUESTIONS – choose any 2 to answer in your Post:

1. If you believe the documentary is a hybrid, identify which Modes it is mixing and discuss how successful it is, or if it is mixing too much, or if the mixing is getting in the way of learning about the subject. Cite a specific example or moment from the film and discuss in detail.

2. Identify if the film was shot using digital video technology – cell phone, DV camera – does this result in low quality footage that is too poor to take seriously? Does this detract from the subject, or does it not matter due to the importance of the access and subject matter? Cite a specific example or moment from the film and discuss in detail.

3. Identify if the documentary filmmaker employs First-Person strategies – analyze if this results in their ego getting in the way of them covering the subject deeply and honestly. Discuss if you feel they should step back and seek the truth more than putting on an entertaining show. Cite a specific example or moment from the film and discuss in detail.

4. Identify if the film is a fake documentary or mockumentary – discuss if it is annoying to you to try and figure out what is real or fake, if you feel manipulated or fooled for no reason, or if you enjoy not knowing what is true and like trying to figure it out. Should this subject be off limits for such a strategy, or is it valid with you? Cite a specific example or moment from the film and discuss in detail.

5. Identify if the documentary is Performative – discuss if you feel there are too many fictional devices employed and too much role playing that distort the reality as they film it, or if you feel they are getting at a deeper truth this way than if they were just observing the reality. Cite a specific example or moment from the film and discuss in detail.

6. Does this documentary tackle any social issues? Do you think the technology or new methods of making and distributing documentaries helped the filmmakers explore this topic? Examine how the film tackles social issues and cite specific details to make your case.

7. Can the documentary in any way be considered Reality TV? Do you believe it is actually a documentary in any way, or does it seem something else completely? Is there obvious casting, scripting, role playing, contrived situations and manipulative editing? What is the purpose of the filmmakers for this film? What is it a document of – reality or some warped, distorted version of it? And even if it is warped, do you still think it is valid and enjoy it? Cite a specific example or moment from the film and discuss in detail.

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