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. After TillerUnited StatesDocumentary1 Hour 28 Mins

Intimately explores the highly controversial Cast of third-trimester abortions in the wake of the 2009 assassination of practitioner Dr. George Tiller. The procedure is now performed by only four doctors in the United States, all former colleagues of Dr. Tiller, who risk their lives every day in the name of their unwavering commitment toward their patients. Directors Martha Shane and Lana Wilson have created a moving and unique exploration of one of the most incendiary topics of our time.

4. 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.

5. 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.

6. 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?

7. 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.

8. 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.

9. Atari: Game OverUnited StatesDocumentary1 Hour 6 Mins

Explores the fabled urban legend known as “The Great Video Game Burial of 1983”. As the story goes, the Atari Corporation, faced with an overwhelmingly negative response to the E.T. video game, disposed of millions of unsold game cartridges by burying them in a small New Mexico town. For decades, the myth of these cartridges was whispered about among game fans. Director Zak Penn and his team headed to the landfill where they were supposedly buried to determine whether the story had merit.

10. BB King: Life of RileyUnited StatesDocumentary1 Hour 36 Mins

Tells the story of how an oppressed and orphaned young man came to earn the unmitigated praise of the music industry only to later carry the title: ‘King of the Blues’. Narrated by Morgan Freeman. With Barack Obama, Eric Clapton and Mick Jagger.

11. Black MotherUnited StatesDocumentary1 Hour 17 Mins

Part film, part baptism, director Khalik Allah brings us on a spiritual journey through Jamaica. Soaking up its bustling metropolises and tranquil countryside, Allah introduces us to a succession of vividly rendered souls who call this island home. From red light districts to lush rain-forests, 'Black Mother' is a loving and lyrical ode to Jamaica and its people, a visual poem that is at once deeply felt love letter and ecstatic street-corner prayer.

12. Blessed ChildUnited StatesDocumentary1 Hour 17 Mins

What’s it like growing up in a cult alongside your family? Through extraordinary personal footage, filmmaker Cara Jones takes us inside Reverend Sun Myung Moon’s Unification Church as she grapples with leaving her parents behind with the cult.

13. 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.

14. Blue Code of SilenceUnited StatesDocumentary1 Hour 15 Mins

When Bob Leuci turned on his fellow officers to bring down New York’s most corrupt police unit, he was both lauded as a hero and condemned as a rat. 40 years later he tells his side of the story.

15. 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.

16. Brimstone & GloryUnited StatesDocumentary1 Hour 7 Mins

The National Pyrotechnic Festival in Tultepec, Mexico is a festivity unlike any other in the world. In celebration of San Juan de Dios, patron saint of firework makers, revelry engulfs the town for ten days. More than three quarters of Tultepec’s residents work in pyrotechnics, making the festival a celebration that anchors a way of life built around a generations-old business. For the people of Tultepec, the National Pyrotechnic Festival is celebration, delight and real peril.

17. 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.

18. 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.

19. 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.

20. Death By A Thousand CutsUnited StatesDocumentary1 Hour 14 Mins

Eligio Eloy Vargas, a Dominican Park Ranger in the Sierra de Bahoruco National Park, was found brutally murdered by machete. At the time, he was believed to have been on patrol investigating an illegal charcoal production site often run by Haitians coming across the border into protected Dominican forests. This murder becomes the metaphor for the larger story of increasing tension between Haiti and the Dominican Republic over illicit charcoal exploitation and mass deforestation.

21. 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.

22. 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.

23. Everybody StreetUnited StatesDocumentary60 Mins

Celebrated filmmaker and photographer Cheryl Dunn turns her lens on the pioneers and masters of New York street photography. Dunn profiles artists spanning six decades, including Bruce Davidson, Mary Ellen, Jill Freedman, Jeff Mermelstein and Martha Cooper, revealing that these shooters are as colourful and unique as the subjects they’ve documented. The definitive look at the iconic visionaries of this art form that pays tribute to the spirit of New York City street photography.

24. 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.

25. 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.

26. 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.

27. 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.

28. 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.

29. 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.

30. Janis: Little Girl BlueUnited StatesDocumentary1 Hour 43 Mins

Through electrifying archival footage, exclusive interviews and rare personal letters, this documentary examines the meteoric rise and untimely fall of one of the most iconic and influential rock ‘n’ roll singers of all time: Janis Joplin. This award-winning documentary is directed by Oscar-nominee Amy Berg, produced by Oscar-winner Alex Gibney and features legendary musicians.

31. 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.

32. KumareUnited StatesDocumentary1 Hour 24 Mins

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

33. 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.

34. LethemUnited StatesDocumentary1 Hour 31 Mins

A portrait of the life and work of writer Jonathan Lethem. Using the urban landscapes of New York and images of the American road from Maine to California, the film suggests the array of cultural influences that inform the author's life and work.

35. 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.

36. 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.

37. 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.

38. Love, AntoshaUnited StatesDocumentary1 Hour 33 Mins

Before his untimely passing, 27-year-old actor Anton Yelchin enjoyed a successful and promising career. ‘Love, Antosha’ offers a deeper portrait of the beloved star through the exploration of his journals, writings, and interviews from colleagues.

39. 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.

40. 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.

41. 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.

42. 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.

43. Murder On a Sunday MorningUnited StatesDocumentary1 Hour 51 Mins

Academy Award winner for Best Documentary Film, the story follows the murder of a white woman and the Black teen that everyone—from officers to journalists—was ready to condemn. When his defense lawyer joins the case, everything changes.

44. 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.

45. 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.

46. 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.

47. 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.

48. She ShearsUnited StatesDocumentary1 Hour 20 Mins

Meet the badass women of competitive sheep shearing—a world that isn’t split by gender, just by skill. For five New Zealand women, the Golden Shears championship is their Holy Grail. This doc tells their stories of passion, purpose and “shear” will.

49. 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.

50. Southwest of SalemUnited StatesDocumentary1 Hour 31 Mins
Last day to watch on Topic: October 30th

After being wrongfully convicted of gang-raping two little girls during the Satanic Panic witchhunt of the 80s and 90s, four Latina lesbians fight against mythology, homophobia, and prosecutorial fervor in this now-classic gay rights 'True Crime' tale that helped exonerate the 'San Antonio Four'. The film received a Peabody Award, a GLAAD award for 'Outstanding Documentary', and a Critic's Choice Award for 'Best First Feature'.

51. 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.

52. 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.

53. 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.

54. The Family I HadUnited StatesDocumentary1 Hour 20 Mins
Last day to watch on Topic: October 30th

A mother recalls how her brilliant teenage son came to shatter their idyllic family through one unthinkable act. Now, left to pick up the pieces, the survivors test the boundaries of their newly defined reality in this moving true crime story.

55. 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.

56. 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.

57. The ProposalUnited StatesDocumentary1 Hour 26 Mins

Known as “the artist among architects,” Luis Barragán is among the world’s most celebrated architects of the 20th century. Upon his death in 1988, much of his work was locked away in a Swiss bunker, hidden from the world’s view. In an attempt to resurrect Barragán’s life and art, boundary redefining artist Jill Magid creates a daring proposition that becomes a fascinating artwork in itself—a high-wire act of negotiation that explores how far an artist will go to democratize access to art.

58. 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.

59. William Eggleston in the Real WorldUnited StatesDocumentary1 Hour 24 Mins

From director Michael Almereyda comes a direct, subtle portrait of genius​. ​Tracing connections between the groundbreaking images of William Eggleston — widely considered ​the father of ​modern color photography​ — and the artist’s private life, the film opens viewers to intimate glimpses of Eggleston at work, on the road, and on his home turf of Memphis, Tennessee, tracking his interest in music, drawing, and video as well as photography.​

60. Worlds of Ursula K. Le GuinUnited StatesDocumentary1 Hour 9 Mins
Last day to watch on Topic: October 31st

Produced over the course of a decade, this documentary is a visual journey through the work of renowned fantasy and sci-fi writer Ursula K. Le Guin’s as she comes into her own as a feminist author, inspiring other marginalized writers along the way.

*Some titles may not be available in Canada