Doc Factory is an online repository of news, views and reviews of documentaries. The most under-rated of all visual media instruments yet the most amazingly true. Tune in to find out the facts, conspiracy and pure magic of documentary film making. Subscribe to get the latest updates sent directly to your Inbox.
An engineer by profession I have always been keen to find out the truth behind anything and everything. As a child I’d never believe things unless I deduce logical reasoning for their acceptance. I instantly fell in love with documentary films when I was introduced to the medium in my teens. Doc Factory is my way to share the love.
About fifty documentary movies are officially considered as the best ones. The list of them can be found online, if you would like to widen your horizons and expand your knowledge. Nowadays, people all over the world have access to the Internet and can use different websites to watch movies online free – megamovies.cc alike. However, you should be careful with your choice and read some reviews to understand whether the movie meets your purposes and will be of use for you. There are different types and classifications for documentary movies – they reveal historical events, biological studies, travels around the world, political issues, etc. Some of them show us the horrors of wars – Night and Fog, Shoah, Hearts and Minds; some of the documentaries reveal the injustices of the world – The Thin Blue Line; some are used to show the beauty and the wildness of the nature – Grizzly Man; some depict secrets about show business – Twenty Feet from Stardom. Some of these movies lack the scientific approach and evidence. However, any documentary can teach its viewers a certain lesson.
Night and Fog (1955): Unbearable Reality of Concentration Camps
Night and Fog is a short documentary about Nazi concentration camps. Even nowadays, this documentary is considered as one of the best movies about the horrors of the World War II. The movie was released on the tenth year anniversary of liberation of camps’ prisoners. The mix of black-and-white and color footage increases the effects of the movie making it more grandiose and horrible while showing sadism, tortures, and executions. The viewers will never be able to forget the images of piles of bodies vanished into “the night and fog” after having been deported to those camps.
The pictures used in the movie also reveal the violence of the Nazis towards the prisoners and how they were treated by the so-called “rulers of mankind’s fate”. In 33 minutes, the creators of Night and Fog documentary manage to show the cruelty of Nazis in such ways that the unbearable scenes make the viewers want to turn away and don’t look at the screen. However, this truth of the World War II must be seen. It is a part of our history, no matter how horrible and petrifying it is.
Shoah (1985): Anti-Semitism in Action
The “Shoah” is a Hebrew and French of the Holocaust, which is the main theme of the documentary with the same title. The movie of nine hours and 23 minutes features numerous interviews with the survivors and witnesses of life and death in extermination camps. Though the documentary is not based on historical footage, it brings to light aspects that make the viewers’ hair stand on end. With the help of the methods used by the producer, the viewers feel like they lose themselves in history and cannot help but feel compassion for the prisoners of the camps. If you come across Shoah among free movies online and watch it, you will see that there are no heroes of the Holocaust, but there are ordinary people suffering from the injustices, losing their close people and hoping for the peace.
Hearts and Minds (1974): No Mercy for Vietnamese
Hearts and Minds is a documentary about the Vietnam War, which received rather controversial reviews. The producer used actual news footage to reveal the outright ugliness of the war. However, some of the phrases in the movie distort the initial impression of the documentary. Moreover, the attempts of the author to show compassion for the innocent Vietnamese people dying during the war are blurred with the expressions of racism of interviewees. Some of the scenes also prove that the soldiers were indifferent, they did not think of what may happen to children and women living in the villages they bombed or burned to ashes.
The Thin Blue Line (1988): In Pursuit of Justice
The Thin Blue Light documentary shows the viewers a story of a man who was unfairly convicted and sentenced to death. The producer of the movie, a former detective, meets with this man, Randall Adams, during another investigation of his. What is more surprising, he believes in Adams’s innocence. Though the staged murder and other exaggerated images make you doubt the seriousness of the producer, this popular documentary film still helped to prove Adams was falsely sentenced. Sadly enough, this happens only after twelve years of his imprisonment. The methods used by the producer in the documentary also look a bit clumsy. Nevertheless, the movie earned the audience’s attention and became rather popular showing the flaws of the justice system.
Grizzly Man (2005): Victims to Unfortunate Circumstances
The documentary Grizzly Man sheds light on the life and death of Timothy Treadwell, a well-known “tamer” of wild grizzly bears. The movie consists of interviews with people who knew Treadwell and of the videotapes found after his and his girlfriend’s tragic deaths. It is rather dramatic to learn that the man, who loved wild bears so much, fell a victim to some angry grizzly in the end. On the other hand, it may seem not surprising at all, since Treadwell appears as a rather reckless person from the words of the interviewed rangers. What makes this popular documentary stand out among other nature-related movies is the fact that even being a rookie in shooting videos Treadwell manages to capture such sides of the wild nature, for which even mature and experienced producers and videotape operators can feel jealous.
Twenty Feet from Stardom (2013): Unknown Heroes of Music
The documentary Twenty Feet from Stardom strives to recognize and show us the talent and sacrifice of backup singers. The movie also includes interviews with such well-known singers as Stevie Wonder, Sting, Mick Jagger who are complimentary about their backup singers whose contribution is often underestimated. The producer of the documentary, however, does everything possible to give credit for the hard work of the backup singers. Merry Clayton, Darlene Love, Claudia Lennear, Lisa Fischer, Tata Vega…We might have never heard their names, but we certainly heard their voices in popular songs of the past half of the century. Without them our favorite songs would lose something special, they would lose their souls.
Variety of Documentary Films
The wide variety of the documentary movies makes your choice a difficult one. It may take time for you to find the documentary that will turn your vision of the world upside down. It is worth it!
Documentary movies are nowadays rather popular among the wide range of movie genres offered for the audience by the entertainment industry, even though they have drastically changed since the times of the first documentary released. In the modern world, the documentaries are created for the entertainment of viewers; otherwise it would be hard to attract the public’s attention.
Though the documentary movies most often had a propagandistic touch to them in the past, now the producers struggle to win audience by something interesting or even extraordinary be it their view on political situation or travelling around the world. They capture the viewers even though they disagree with the author’s position or the information discovered in the documentary.
Documentary Movies: Current Changes in the Genre
The genre of documentary movies has also been subjected to changes in the past decades the most. They came with the changes appearing in the society, technology, politics, and with the increase of new media. Promoting social change was the purpose of documentary movies throughout the history of this genre. The ways a documentary movie could influence the ideas and actions of the members of any society were sometimes beneficial for religious, educational or governmental purposes. It makes things even easier because a documentary is a movie with an opinion and a specific message which makes it perfect for persuasion and influence.
From the start, the documentary movie was supposed to reveal some historical events and was used for propaganda supporting national agendas. Later the genre of documentary movies was popularized as a means for bringing changes in the society. The invention of computers and internet and the wide choice of technological advances such as internet, radio, podcasts, social media, video blogs, and different kinds of applications made the changes in the documentary production take place more rapidly. The possibility to watch full movies online has also made it easier for individuals to find an interesting documentary that could widen their horizons.
Social Impact of Documentaries: Created to Influence the Audience
A documentary movie is known as the means to convey social messages to the people watching it. The movies of this genre raise awareness and often motivate viewers to think over any subject critically and to have their own opinion on any kind of situation. Depending on the subject brought up in the movie, the influence on the audience can have either negative or positive effects. However, there are still cases when documentary movies have no impact at all. This goes for complicated documentaries devoted for economical problems of the modern world. They reveal the problems but show no ways to resolve them, which is of no significance for ordinary people who would actually like to improve their well-being.
Watching a documentary is a two-sided matter. First of all, the viewer should be really interested in the subject matter, so that the movie could touch the hidden strings of their soul. In this case, the documentary may enable the viewer to bring particular changes into their life and make the surrounding world just a little bit better. Otherwise, it will bring no result. For example, if you do not show compassion to homeless people from the start, and you watch a documentary raising the problems of the ones who have lost the place to live, you will remain as insensible as you were before watching that movie. In another case, the documentary may attract those who feel for the homeless, and they can make their own modest contribution to the fight with the poverty in future.
Documentaries bearing social messages can sometimes be rather cruel, but they do bring to light matters that people all over the world should fight against.
Documentaries Revealing Political Schemes: Do They Show the Truth?
Documentaries are often used to blacken opponents in politics. Therefore, it becomes hard to believe the information a political documentary offers its viewers. Everyone should be aware of the fact that events described in political documentaries may be both true and false. Even historical books cannot be trusted completely, as they are written from an author’s perspective and based on the information this or that author found in articles, archives, or any other historical literature.
Any educated person knows that facts should be checked twice before you can trust them completely. On the other hand, such documentaries are good as a means to draw the audience’s attention to any historically significant matter.
Can Documentaries Be Used for Educational Purposes?
Watching documentary movies online together with children became also quite a popular means used for education. As there are different kinds of documentaries, youth can learn about other cultures and nations, wildlife and space only watching those specific movies. However, it should be also accompanied by the adults’ comments, so that the young ones are directed in the correct way and continue their education in the sphere of their interest. The movies should be discussed to share the opinions on the issues raised in the documentary, which may also be a step forward to strengthening the bonds between the family members or between the teacher and the students.
Documentaries can be helpful in encouraging critical thinking among the students. If the teacher chooses a correct documentary movie to watch in class, it may help to eliminate different myths and superstitions existing nowadays and to teach common sense and values to children. The producers of documentary movies also use an interesting manner to open up history of art, music or various abstract things, which helps to involve the viewers and make understanding historical events easier and more fascinating for an average student.
Documentary Movies Are not All Good
The budget of the documentary movies is rather low, which definitely influences its quality. It may also affect the authenticity of the information, if the producer was not careful enough when gathering the facts on the subject revealed in the documentary. The quality of the picture itself will certainly attract less number of viewers, as people nowadays expect movies to be of high quality or even better than that, they anticipate that their expectations will be exceeded. On the other hand, there are cases when so many documentaries of low budget have become very popular and are really worth watching them. The other drawback of watching a documentary movie is based on the fact that some people can take it too close to heart, even though the documentary was created with just a mere purpose of manipulation.
Although the usefulness of documentary movies can be doubted if researched from different angles, they are still rather helpful when it comes to the education of the young generation. However, the educational process should be carefully guided by the adults in this case. The documentary movies possess a greater power to move minds, to change people’s opinions on poverty, child labor, homosexuality, but, on the other hand, documentaries can bring as much harm as good. Whether being interpreted in the wrong way or believed to the letter, documentaries have negative effect on the society. That is why the problems raised by the documentary producers should be chosen carefully as well as the information used to highlight those problems.
Documentary filmmaking is without any doubt the most under-rated art when it comes to visual media. The fact that the only documentaries most people know about are those aired on mainstream channels. Some of these documentaries are absolutely important to understand a lot of things about the world as we know it, others are simply amazing to watch. There are many documentaries created on the great people and great topics but many people have no idea about them because they never got that much media coverage. Let’s take a look at most under-rated documentaries.
The Wolfpack (2015)
The documentary wolf pack shows a dark side of a family. It will make you realize that sometimes how we do not appreciate the small blessings. The wolf pack is the documentary about five brothers. The Angulo brothers were not allowed to go outside by their father. They spent many years just in a tiny small apartment in Manhattan with no interaction of outside world. They were only allowed to go outside once a year and as said by one of brother “It felt like 3D”. When they grew up and realized their situation, they started going out and named themselves “The wolf pack”.
Madonna: Truth or Dare (1991)
Madonna, one of the most adored women in the history of Hollywood. Madonna is a singer, businesswoman, dancer, and songwriter. Every other person in the world is a fan of Madonna because of her beauty, talent, and classy attitude. However, it is true that “All that glitters is not gold”. This documentary shows the inside of Madonna’s life that how much personal suffering she faced. People do not see this thing as a big problem when a person have that much fame but the reality is not like this and it can be seen in this documentary.
Nina Simone was one of the greatest singers with a magical voice. When she used to sing with a Piano and microphone in front of her, she used to catch the crowd in her charisma. In her time, she gained the highest levels of popularity and that is where the problem started. She started using her talent to make awareness about the social issues. However, the popularity played with her mind. At the end of the performance, she was always alone and that made her angry. The documentary shows the vicissitudes of Nina’s life.
Iraq Around The Clock (2003)
A simple yet ingenious creation by a teenager Linus Schroeder Iraq Around the Clock is basically a home based mesh-up of 27 different documentaries created in the past on the subject. Schroeder however created a masterpiece that elaborates the horrors of war that was imposed on Iraq. This documentary covers the history, conspiracy and the reality to give you the full picture.
The variety of topics that may be covered in the documentaries is growing with each year. Moreover, there show up new facts and events suitable for discussion from different angles. The number of documentary production companies is also increasing; however, not all of them can be proud of successfully released and award-winning documentaries. Besides, not all the documentary production companies have enough budgets to produce movies online that are more often doomed to fail at the box office. Such companies live in the constant struggle between themselves for the acceptance of the audience, not to mention that there are independent producers in the market, whose low-budget movies turn out unexpected successes now and then.
Blowback Productions: Award-Winning Social Documentaries
Blowback Productions is one of the most popular documentary production houses, which is based in New York. This production company won numerous awards for the documentaries produced by the founder of the company, Marc Levin, and Daphne Pinkerson, his producing partner. Movies produced by Levin and Pinkerson differ in genres, which did not prevent them from gaining success and popularity among a wide audience with the authentic and interesting movies produced by them both as independent producers and as a team. As it is widely known, Levin followed his father’s footsteps becoming a documentary producer. Al Levin was also a prominent producer known for his curiosity, optimism, loyalty and compassion. That could not but play a vital role in the career of his son, whose contribution to the documentary production is highly valued nowadays.
Encyclopædia Britannica Films: A Long History of Success
The history of the Encyclopædia Britannica Films started with the production of educational movies in 1928. During that time, the company was known under the name of Electrical Research Products Inc. (ERPI) Classroom Films. Having produced all sorts of the documentaries, such as geographic, biological, movies on animals and their behavior, on topics of race relations, on chemistry and medical topics, the company gained immense successes in the field of educational documentaries market very quickly. However, with the emergence of VHS and Betamax video cassettes, the company confronted the decline of the market. Though EB Films production came to a halt with the development of the Internet, its full movies are still regarded as high quality ones and now can be found on YouTube.
Participant Media: A Successful Co-Producing Company
Participant Media originally named Participant Productions is a well-known production company based in Los Angeles. Its primary focus was on movies of such areas as social justice and healthcare among many others. It gained success by co-producing documentary movies not only in the USA but also internationally. Eleven movies among the great variety of the ones produced by Participant Media won Academy Awards, which also points out how a movie production company can become successful and widely accepted. With the release of the movie about the racial issues, The Help (2011), Participant Media had finally received high praises from both the audience and the critics. Moreover, the company tends to work with such famous actors as George Clooney, for example, which certainly makes their brand a more acknowledged one.
Shark Island Productions: A Significant Social Impact
Shark Island Productions is the documentary production company based in Sydney with the long award-winning history. The documentary movies by this company raise awareness among the people all over the world revealing and exposing such painful themes as youth homelessness and incarcerations of young people. The viewers confront the ugly truth of the modern world when the kids tell how their mistakes influenced not only themselves but also their relatives and friends. The company’s documentaries raise issues that can never let the audience feel indifferent no matter whether it is the isolation and loneliness of a little girl or the magic of the rehearsal rooms of a theater.
The Documentary Audience Awaits….
The companies should go with the times to meet the audience’s expectations and to create useful and educatory documentary movies. However, even if a company had a golden age in the development of its production business, it is not protected from the failure. Sooner or later, its success may fade away and be replaced by an innovative producer or a new production company, who adapt to the changes in the documentary sphere quicker.