End Of The Year Almanac #8: The Best Documentaries Of 2016


They say that as you get older you begin watching more documentaries and listening to country music.  I haven’t embraced country music yet, but here is an unexpected longform on some of the documentaries I saw this year- categorized into (hopefully) digestible sections you can take from what you will.

Note: click on the links below to watch trailers and find out where these films are available.

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The Mask You Live In – I consider this a companion piece to Miss Representationan examination of the various pressures and expectations heaped onto young boys and men.  To say the least it’s illuminating and important no matter what age you are.  It can also be summed up by this ten second bit on Billy On The Street.

Sugar Coated  –  Guess what, everyone?  The sugar industry is at a tipping point- basically the same place the tobacco industry found themselves before getting slapped down a few notches.  This might completely change the way you eat.  (For further viewing, watch Fed Up.)

Where To Invade Next – Regardless of whether you like Michael Moore or not, he introduces some intriguing ideas while traveling to other countries and observing the different ways they handle governmental systems and civilian rights.  To say the least his findings will give you a lot to think about and feel humbled, maybe even hopeful.

The Witness  – The murder of Kitty Genovese is used as prime example of bystander effect.  An alleged 38 people witnessed the crime but did nothing as she was stabbed outside of her apartment building.  In this case nothing was how it seemed.  Her younger brother Bill revisits the evidence and interviews the people who were there, as well as others related to his sister’s life.  The Witness becomes an exorcism of his grief and a portrait of a woman who is much more than the way she died.  It’s also a statement about how sensationalism can taint a story for decades.

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(more to come in January)


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