|Marlon Brando and Francis Ford Coppola's|
Apocalypse Now, as documented in 1991's
Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker's Apocalypse
- Ned Flanders ("The Simpsons")
Documentaries are snapshots of people, places, or things with which we may not be familiar. Good non-fiction films are made every year - this list is not the "greatest documentaries of all time." There are plenty of films much better than some of these, but these five are the most important in the history of documentary filmmaking - the ones that paved the way, made a name for the documentary film industry, and really are what the films now will always be measured against, in terms of historical significance. So, here they are, in chronological order.
Documentary filmmaking - despite how much it has changed - is still the most simple way to tell a story. There may be better films than the ones above, but documentarians owe a debt of gratitude to what the above films accomplished to pave the way for them.
Titicut Follies (1967)
Harlan County, U.S.A. (1976)
Super Size Me (2004)
Grizzly Man (2005)
Man on Wire (2008)
An Inconvenient Truth (2008)