A great documentary will take you on a ride and can change your perspective on a world you never knew existed. They are also a great platform for someone to share the story through their eyes that viewers have only been on the outside looking in. Here are 5 documentaries I found fascinating and would recommend.
1. Woodstock 99: Peace Love and Rage (2021)
I remember watching footage of this as a kid on MTV and thinking ‘wow, that’s crazy’ and after watching this I thought ‘wow…that was absolutely insane!!!!” It makes festivals now look like Disney World! It’s a great capsule into what music and America was like during the 90’s leading into the turn of the century. Part of it will also make you feel uncomfortable. Fair warning because it’s HBO.…lots of nudity!
2. The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters (2007)
I love documentaries that take you inside a world you never knew existed. This documentary follows the intense rivalries of classic arcade record high score holders. It focuses in particular on Billy Mitchell & Steve Wiebe who are the world’s greatest Donkey Kong players. You’d never think something like this would be so competitive and intense. And this is LONG before the days of Fortnite.
3. Blackfish (2013)
Fun fact about me…I love orcas. A bucket list item I have to go Orca whale watching. As a kid, I fell in love with them at SeaWorld seeing Shamu do amazing things. After watching this documentary, I realize how intelligent they are and the conditions in which they live inhibit what they were put on this earth to do. Not only that…this documentary changed the practices of Sea World forever. A great feat for a powerful film.
4. Won’t You Be My Neighbor (2018)
Mr. Rogers Neighborhood was a little before my time but I remember watching reruns on PBS and was comforted by his calm demeanor. After watching this documentary, I realize how groundbreaking the things he had on his show were and how much he truly set out to make a difference in the world. This documentary is far superior to the movie “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood” with Tom Hanks. It will truly make you fall in love with Mr. Rogers.
5. The Orange Years: The Nickelodeon Story (2018)
If you’re a 90’s kid like me and grew up with shows like Double Dare, All That!, Rugrats, and more….you’ll love this one. It’s about how Nickelodeon went from being a small cable channel to shaping an entire generation by creating programming that was made as if kids were making it…rather than adults making it for kids. I love the way they break down the impact of their biggest shows and it was a great nostalgic trip.
Want to hear more of my thoughts on movies? Check out this episode of my podcast Movie Mike’s Movie Podcast and more on iHeartRadio!