USA - Documentary Films

1. All this PanicUnited StatesDocumentary1 Hour 19 Mins

Coming of age in Brooklyn is an exhilaratingly unique experience. Shot over three years, the film follows sisters Ginger and Dusty, and their friends, as they navigate high school, the city, and the mysterious course from childhood to adulthood.

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2. ActressUnited StatesDocumentary1 Hour 28 Mins

She had a plum role on “The Wire,” but she gave it up to start a family. In this intimate portrait, actress Brandy Burre tries to juggle her ambitions with domestic life and determine what her most important role is: mother, wife, or actress?

3. Alive InsideUnited StatesDocumentary1 Hour 18 Mins

Dementia affects millions of Americans, but there’s been a miraculous breakthrough. Through conversations with neurologist Oliver Sacks and musician Bobby McFerrin, this emotionally powerful documentary demonstrates how music can awaken every soul.

4. Angels are Made of LightUnited StatesDocumentary1 Hour 57 Mins

Oscar-nominated director James Longley’s stirring documentary weaves together the modern history of Afghanistan with portraits of young students and teachers in the old city of Kabul, offering a nuanced vision of a society in the shadow of war.

5. American DharmaUnited StatesDocumentary1 Hour 37 Mins

The alt-right love him. Many loathe him. But all can agree that Steve Bannon is a distinct force. Legendary documentarian Errol Morris puts the former Trump advisor in the hot seat to try and demystify the controversial populist. Can it be done?

6. American DreamUnited StatesDocumentary1 Hour 38 Mins

Winner of the 1991 Academy Award for Best Feature Documentary, American Dream captures working men and women of Austen, Minnesota making tough choices about survival during a time of economic crisis in the American Midwest.

7. Art and CraftUnited StatesDocumentary1 Hour 30 Mins

The story of the charismatic Mark Landis, perhaps the most prolific art forger in US history. For over 30 years, he’s duped curators with precise imitations of a vast range of works, from fifteenth century masterpieces to Picasso. Enter Matthew Leininger, a registrar from Cincinnati who was conned by Landis years ago and who has been pursuing him ever since. What begins as a game of cat-and-mouse between Leininger and Landis eventually turns into something more surprising and complicated.

8. Belly of the BeastUnited StatesDocumentary1 Hour 21 Mins

An ex-convict searches for justice after suffering an illegal hysterectomy while in prison. But her investigation uncovers an epidemic of inadequate health care, sexual assaults, and forced sterilizations—primarily targeting women of color.

9. Blessed ChildUnited StatesDocumentary1 Hour 17 Mins

SYNOPSIS  A former cult member interviews her parents, who are still active members of the Unification Church of Reverand Sun Myung Moon, about its affects on their family.

WHAT  A complex and raw look at family dynamics driven by the rules and structure of a cult.

WHY  The filmmaker and cameraman are the daughter and son of the main subjects.

10. Bloody Nose, Empty PocketsUnited StatesDocumentary1 Hour 38 Mins

Meet the regulars of a closing Las Vegas dive bar as they spend one more bittersweet and debaucherous night telling stories, downing well whisky, and drunk singing. Tomorrow this family of misfits will have lost a home, but for now they drink.

11. Blue Code of SilenceUnited StatesDocumentary1 Hour 15 Mins

SYNOPSIS  In the 1970s, NYPD officer Robert Leuci exposed widespread corruption within the narcotics unit. Some called him a hero, others a traitor. A look at Leuci's life inside and outside a profession that prizes loyalty.

WHAT  Leuci's life was threatened multiple times and he joined witness protection after retiring from the force.

WHY  DOC NYC winner and nominee at the Bergen International Film Festival and Krakow Film Festival.

12. Booker's Place: A Mississippi StoryUnited StatesDocumentary1 Hour 31 Mins

Academy Award nominated filmmaker explores life in 1960s Mississippi and the momentous impact of "Booker" Wright, a black man who worked as a waiter in an all-white restaurant and voiced opinions on race relations on network TV. The subsequent ensuing fallout had a devastating impact and several unexpected consequences on his life.

13. CannersUnited StatesDocumentary1 Hour 17 Mins

Award-winning director Manfred Kirchheimer’s “Canners” takes to the streets of New York City in a humanistic ode to the tireless scavengers who earn their daily bread by collecting the city’s bottles and cans.

14. Cartel LandUnited StatesDocumentary1 Hour 40 Mins

Executive produced by Academy Award winner Kathryn Bigelow of The Hurt Locker. Filmmaker Matthew Heineman rides along with two vigilante groups hellbent on exposing the horrors of the Mexican drug cartel and the crisis along the US-Mexico border.

15. Dark DaysUnited StatesDocumentary1 Hour 22 Mins

For years, a homeless community took root in a train tunnel beneath New York City, braving dangerous conditions and perpetual night. Through stories simultaneously heartbreaking, hilarious and intimate, tunnel dwellers reveal their reasons for taking refuge and their struggle to survive underground. Filmed in striking black and white with a crew comprised of the tunnel’s inhabitants and scored by legendary turntablist DJ Shadow, Dark Days is a soulful and enduring document of life on the fringe.

16. Dear Zachary - 10th Anniversary EditionUnited StatesDocumentary1 Hour 34 Mins

Filmmaker Kurt Kuenne's poignant tribute to his murdered childhood friend, Andrew Bagby, tells the story of a child custody battle between Bagby's grieving parents and Shirley Turner, Bagby's pregnant ex-girlfriend and suspected killer. What the filmmaker initially intended as a ‘letter’ to his best friend’s unborn child takes on a series of unexpectedly tragic twists as the story unfolds. A deeply powerful documentary that served as a sobering wake-up call to Canada’s bail laws.

17. Did You Wonder Who Fired the Gun?United StatesDocumentary1 Hour 30 Mins

“In 1946, my great-grandfather murdered a black man named Bill Spann and got away with it.” So begins Travis Wilkerson’s critically acclaimed documentary which takes us on a journey through the American South to uncover the truth behind a horrific incident and the societal mores that allowed it to happen. Acting as narrator and guide, Wilkerson spins a strange, frightening tale for a gripping investigation into our collective past and its echoes into the present day.

18. Eli: A Dog in PrisonUnited StatesDocumentary1 Hour 11 Mins

Three incarcerated men face the challenge of a lifetime: transform Eli, an adorable but unruly Labrador puppy, into a highly disciplined guide dog in just 12 months. A story of friendship, hope, and tenderness set against the broken US prison system.

19. Everyday Sunshine: The Story of FishboneUnited StatesDocumentary1 Hour 47 Mins

Narrated by Laurence Fishburne, Everyday Sunshine charts the turbulent history of the incomparable all-Black ska-punk band Fishbone. The LA band challenged racial stereotypes and industry politics to become one of the most original bands in history.

20. Ghost FleetUnited StatesDocumentary1 Hour 30 Mins
Coming August 25th

A group of activists fight to free enslaved fishermen working around remote Indonesian islands to feed a global appetite for seafood. Facing serious personal peril, the activists’ stories serve as a torch point for their country and the world.

21. Gonzalo FonsecaUnited StatesDocumentary1 Hour 14 Mins

Eschewing the tropes of the typical artist biopic, Michael Gregory’s documentary is an unprecedented look at the pioneering Uruguayan sculptor’s work and a fascinating portrait of a renaissance man who lived and worked on his own terms.

22. Holy HellUnited StatesDocumentary1 Hour 42 Mins

After graduating from college, young idealist Will Allen joined a spiritual community filled with like minded people looking for some answers to the basic questions of life, led by a charismatic but secretive guru.

23. House of CardinUnited StatesDocumentary1 Hour 38 Mins

A rare look at the life and work of legendary fashion designer Pierre Cardin, whose futuristic designs revolutionized fashion for the masses. The film features exclusive archival footage and interviews with Cardin himself at the sunset of his career.

24. How To Make Money Selling DrugsUnited StatesDocumentary1 Hour 35 Mins

Want to make millions in a $400 billion global industry? Find out why no one is winning the war on drugs in this provocative investigation, featuring Russell Simmons, Susan Sarandon, David Simon (creator of "The Wire"), and 50 Cent. What starts as a satirical documentary turns into a serious examination of the never-ending War on Drugs.

25. Kate Plays ChristineUnited StatesDocumentary1 Hour 52 Mins

A gripping nonfiction thriller, Robert Greene’s Kate Plays Christine follows actress Kate Lyn Sheil as she prepares for her next role: playing Christine Chubbuck, a Florida newscaster who committed a shocking act on live television in 1974. As Kate investigates Chubbuck’s story, she becomes increasingly obsessed with her Cast. Winner of a Special Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival, this is a cinematic mystery that forces us to question everything we see and everything are led to believe.

26. KumareUnited StatesDocumentary1 Hour 24 Mins
Last day to watch on Topic: June 29th

Prepare to be enlightened. In Kumare, Vikram Gandhi, a filmmaker from New Jersey, pretends to be a wise guru from India to test his theory that spiritual leaders are just delusions. But when he gains a following of real people, his theory evolves as his fake teachings start to have real impact. In constructing the biggest lie of his life, Gandhi ends up teaching — and learning — the greatest truth: being a guru is what you make it

27. LandfallUnited StatesDocumentary

After surviving Hurricane Maria, Puerto Ricans were left to weather an entirely different type of storm: Disaster capitalism. In this gripping documentary, filmmakers explore the road to recovery and Puerto Rico’s fraught relationship with the US.

28. LeviathanUnited StatesDocumentary1 Hour 26 Mins

A groundbreaking, mesmerizing look at the harrowing lives of commercial fishermen, the film is shot by filmmakers and crewmembers alike to capture every angle—from dizzying underwater shots to sweeping aerial views—and immerse viewers in the action.

29. Losing Sight of ShoreUnited StatesDocumentary1 Hour 32 Mins

Four women set out to row across the Pacific Ocean, from America to Australia. As they row over 8,000 miles during their nine months at sea, they must overcome extreme mental and physical challenges to make history.

30. Los Últimos FrikisUnited StatesDocumentary1 Hour 13 Mins

Filmed over 10 years, Los Ultimos Frikis charts the tumultuous journey of Cuban heavy metal band Zeus, who went from persecuted to government sanctioned. On their first national tour, the band confronts the fate of heavy metal amid changing times.

31. Love, AntoshaUnited StatesDocumentary1 Hour 33 Mins

SYNOPSIS  A-list celebrities pay homage to the late actor Anton Yelchin. While mosst know Yelchin for his role in Star Trek, the film explores his various creative outlets and his private battle with cystic fibrosis.

WHAT  Premiered at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival.

WHY  Nicholas Cage narrates, while Jennifer Lawrence, Kristin Stewart, J.J. Abrams and others make appearances.

32. Lynch: A HistoryUnited StatesDocumentary1 Hour 24 Mins

Lynch: A History is a kaleidoscopic look at NFL star Marshawn Lynch and his use of silence as a form of protest.

33. MarwencolUnited StatesDocumentary1 Hour 23 Mins

Outside a small bar in Kingston, NY, Mark Hogancamp was beaten nearly to death, his memories wiped away. Seeking recovery, he builds Marwencol, a miniature World War II-era town filled with doll versions of his friends, fantasies, and even his attackers.

34. Meltdown in DixieUnited StatesDocumentary54 Mins

When an ice cream shop owner in Orangeburg, SC tries to remove a Confederate flag from his property, he’s met with resistance from the Sons of Confederate Veterans, igniting a fight that reveals the deep-seated racism that the flag still upholds.

35. Miners Shot DownUnited StatesDocumentary1 Hour 26 Mins

SYNOPSIS  34 miners were killed in South Africa in 2012. A police cover-up was suspected.

WHAT  The film explores the events that led to the “Marikana Massacre” by featuring the POV of three miners.

WHY  It won an International Emmy in 2015.

36. Murder On a Sunday MorningUnited StatesDocumentary1 Hour 51 Mins

SYNOPSIS  A French documentary crew filmed the 2000 trial of Brenton Butler, a 15-year-old Black boy wrongly accused of murder in Jacksonville, Florida.

WHAT  A look at race and the American justice system.

WHY  Winner of the Academy Award for Best Documentary in 2002.

37. OK, Enough, GoodbyeUnited Arab EmiratesComedy1 Hour 31 Mins

In Tripoli, Lebanon, where family bonds run deep, a 40-year-old man is content still living with his mother. But when she suddenly leaves him, he struggles with his newfound independence and turns to the company of the city and its motley characters.

38. PahokeeUnited StatesDocumentary1 Hour 52 Mins

Set against a rural backdrop in one of Florida’s poorest towns, “Pahokee” paints an unlikely portrait of hope and aspiration through four seniors who happily defy the odds created by their environment to find a place in the world after high school.

39. Rat FilmUnited StatesDocumentary1 Hour 23 Mins

“There’s never been a rat problem in Baltimore, it’s always been a people problem.” In his dazzling directorial debut, Theo Anthony uses the rat as a passageway into the dark, complicated history of Baltimore. A unique blend of history, sci-fi, poetry and portraiture, Rat Film brilliantly breaks documentary norms and dissects how racial segregation, redlining, and environmental racism built the Baltimore we see today.

40. Rigged: The Voter Suppression PlaybookUnited StatesDocumentary1 Hour 20 Mins

Narrated by Jeffrey Wright, Rigged chronicles how our right to vote is being undercut by a decade of dirty tricks–including the partisan use of gerrymandering and voter purges, and the gutting of the Voting Rights Act by the Supreme Court. The film captures real-time voter purges in North Carolina and voter intimidation in Texas.

41. Skid Row MarathonUnited StatesDocumentary1 Hour 25 Mins

Skid Row Marathon follows criminal court judge Craig Mitchell as he leads a long-distance runner’s club of ex-cons and drug addicts on Los Angeles’ notorious skid row. Through running, the group finds a sense of purpose, changing lives.

42. Stallions of PalestineUnited StatesDocumentary45 Mins

For many Palestinians, Arabian horses are a living symbol of their culture’s resilience; as one breeder says, they are “art mixed with history.” In this new documentary, meet a young Palestinian breeder named Abdel Naser Musleh and his tight-knit family as they navigate the difficulties of raising these delicate animals in the West Bank—where access to vets and training facilities always seems to be a checkpoint away.

43. Swarm SeasonUnited StatesDocumentary1 Hour 26 Mins

In this exploration of science, nature, and Indigenous cosmology set against the otherworldly landscapes of Hawaii, 10-year-old Manu and her mother collect wild, endangered bees in hopes of cultivating disease-resistant colonies.

44. SweetgrassUnited StatesDocumentary1 Hour 43 Mins

Modern-day cowboys lead their flocks of sheep up into Montana’s mountains for summer pasture in this unsentimental elegy to the American West. A tribute to those, past and present, who eke out a bittersweet living on the land.

45. The Hollywood ComplexUnited StatesDocumentary1 Hour 25 Mins

Following a group of families and their showbiz kids inside the notorious Oakwood child actor housing residence, The Hollywood Complex is a refreshingly honest take on the dreams—and delusions—of aspiring child stars.

46. The Kill TeamUnited StatesDocumentary1 Hour 19 Mins

Private Adam Winfield was a 21-year-old soldier in Afghanistan when he attempted to alert the military to heinous war crimes his platoon was committing. But Winfield’s pleas went unheeded. Left on his own and with threats to his life, Private Winfield was himself drawn into the moral abyss, forced to make a split-second decision that would change his life forever. Equal parts infuriating and illuminating, The Kill Team looks at the devastating moral tensions that tear at soldiers’ psyches.

47. WesternUnited StatesDocumentary1 Hour 33 Mins

In Eagle Pass, TX, where the US and Mexico meet along the Rio Grande, a cattleman and the mayor face the dawn of a new reality plagued by cartel violence and border closures. Amongst these struggles, a rich tapestry of life emerges along the border.

*Some titles may not be available in Canada