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15 documentaries to add to your 'to watch' list

15 documentaries to add to your 'to watch' list


jane (2017)

"jane" is an intimate and comprehensive look at the life and work of renowned primatologist jane goodall, a 2017 documentary directed by brett morgen. it is based primarily on more than 100 hours of never-before-seen footage shot by national geographic filmmaker hugo van rooyk from the early years of goodall"s landmark research on chimps in gombe, tanzania.
the film traces goodall"s remarkable journey, from her humble beginnings as a young woman with a passion for animals to her landmark discoveries about chimpanzee behavior and her ongoing commitment to wildlife conservation. through a combination of archival footage, interviews, and narration by goodall herself, the film explores her personal experiences in the field, her relationships with the chimpanzees, and the challenges she faced as a pioneering woman in the male-dominated field of science.
widely acclaimed for its intimate portrayal of goodall's extraordinary life and contributions to science and conservation.

david attenborough: a life on our planet (2021)

narrated by and featuring renowned british broadcaster and natural historian sir david attenborough. the film serves as both a retrospective of attenborough's extraordinary career and a powerful call to action on the urgent environmental challenges facing the planet.
throughout the documentary, attenborough shares personal anecdotes and reflections on a decades-long career that has spanned the globe and brought the wonders of the natural world into the homes of millions. he highlights the dramatic changes he has witnessed in the earth's ecosystems over his lifetime, from the rapid decline in biodiversity to the devastating effects of climate change. using stunning footage from his travels and interviews with experts, attenborough paints a sobering picture of the current state of the planet and the consequences of human activity on the environment. but the film also offers hope, highlighting examples of successful conservation efforts and proposing solutions to the looming crisis.
it's a powerful reminder of our collective responsibility to protect and preserve the natural world for future generations. attenborough's impassioned call to action resonates throughout the film, inspiring viewers to take action to mitigate climate change and protect the planet's biodiversity.

visages villages (2017)

"visages villages" (faces places) is a french documentary film directed by agnès varda and JR. the film follows the two directors as they travel through rural france in JR's van. along the way, they meet people, photograph them, and plaster giant prints of them on walls, buildings, and other surfaces in the villages they visit. through their interactions with the people they meet, varda and JR celebrate the diversity and uniqueness of rural france while reflecting on memory, mortality, and the beauty found in everyday life. varda and JR celebrate the diversity and uniqueness of rural france while reflecting on memory, mortality, and the passage of time through their interactions with the people they meet.
nominated for best documentary feature at the 90th academy awards, "visages villages" received critical acclaim. it's known for its moving portrayal of human connection and its innovative approach to storytelling through photography and film.


mcqueen (2018)

personal look at the extraordinary life, career and artistry of alexander mcqueen. through exclusive interviews with his closest friends and family, recovered archives, exquisite visuals and music, mcqueen is an authentic celebration and thrilling portrait of an inspired yet tortured fashion visionary. directed by ian bonhôte and co-directed/written by peter ettedgui.

dior and I (2014)

dior and I takes viewers into the storied world of the christian dior fashion house with a privileged behind-the-scenes look at the creation of raf simons preparing in 2012 to show the first collection as the house's new artistic director.

martin margiela: in his own words (2019)

martin margiela: in his own words reveals the man behind the label and offers an intimate portrait of fashion's most elusive figure.
over the course of nearly a year, filmmaker reiner holzemer collected more than 200 hours of footage, including images of margiela's studio, the designer's hands flipping through sketches, clips from his fashion shows, and interviews with those who knew and admired him, such as designer and mentor jean paul gaultier. from his childhood in belgium, to his education at antwerp royal academy of arts, to his years working with jean paul gaultier, to his leadership of hermès, to his own business, margiela offers his own version of his life.


summer of soul (2021)

"summer of soul" directed by questlove, explores the historic 1969 harlem cultural festival. although the festival featured iconic performances by legendary musicians such as stevie wonder, nina simone, sly and many others, it received little attention at the time and was largely overshadowed by the simultaneous woodstock festival. the documentary features never-before-seen footage of the harlem cultural festival, showcasing electrifying performances and capturing the vibrant spirit of the event. beyond the music, the film also explores the cultural and political significance of the festival, which took place during a tumultuous period of social unrest and racial tension in the united states.
through interviews with participants and organizers, as well as archival footage and commentary, summer of soul provides a rich and compelling portrait of a pivotal moment in american history. the documentary celebrates the talent and resilience of the black community while highlighting the ongoing struggle for racial justice and equality. it not only revives the spirit of the harlem cultural festival, but also serves as a reminder of the enduring power of music and community in times of social change.

moonage daydream (2022)

"moonage daydream" is a cinematic odyssey exploring david bowie's creative, spiritual and musical journey from oscar-nominated filmmaker brett morgen, and featuring never-before-seen concert footage, moonage daydream is an immersive cinematic experience - an audio-visual space odyssey that not only illuminates the enigmatic legacy of david bowie, but also serves as a guide to living a full and meaningful life in the 21st century.
slated to be one of the defining cultural moments of the year, moonage daydream is not a documentary, but a genre-bending cinematic experience based on one of the most iconic and global rock stars of all time. featuring many of bowie's greatest tracks and never-before-seen concert footage, the film has the full support of bowie's estate.

amy (2015)

directed by asif kapadia, the film chronicles the life and career of acclaimed british singer-songwriter amy winehouse. the film uses archival footage, home videos and interviews with friends, family and colleagues to create an intimate and in-depth portrait of winehouse. it follows winehouse's rise to stardom, from her early days as a jazz singer in london to her breakout success with the album back to black. It explores her musical talent, her struggles with addiction and mental health issues, and the intense media scrutiny that surrounded her.
amy offers insight into winehouse's complex personality and the personal demons that ultimately contributed to her tragic death in 2011 at the age of 27 through poignant interviews and candid moments captured on camera. and it also explores the pressures of fame, the toll of addiction, and the impact of a relentless tabloid culture on those who find themselves in the spotlight.


seven winters in tehran (2023)

reyhaneh jabarri, 19, has a business meeting with a new client. when he locks her in the apartment and tries to rape her, she reacts in self-defense by stabbing him. later that day, she is arrested for murder, and her trial results in a death sentence. using secretly recorded videos provided by reyhaneh's family, her testimony, and the beautiful, lyrical letters reyhaneh writes from prison, narrated by holy spider actress zar amir ebrahimi, seven winters in tehran opens a window into the many ways women are oppressed and silenced in iran, and the immense risks taken by those who defend and support them.

for sama (2019)

directed by waad al-kateab and edward watts, for sama is a love letter from al-kateab to her daughter, sama. the film tells the story of waad al-kateab's life through five years of the uprising in aleppo, syria, as she falls in love, marries, and gives birth to sama, all while the devastating conflict rages around her.
her camera captures incredible stories of loss, laughter, and survival as waad wrestles with an impossible choice - whether or not to flee the city in order to protect her daughter's life, when leaving would mean giving up the fight for freedom for which she has already sacrificed so much.

 13th (2016)

the 13th amendment to the us constitution abolished slavery, but it also included a provision that many people don't know about, and that's what this documentary brings to the fore. "neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the united states." this exception justifies the use of forced labor as long as the worker is a convict. 13th documentary makes the case that including this loophole is only one of the justifications for continuing the domination of people of color.


collective (2019)

in 2015, 27 people are killed and 180 injured in a fire at the colectiv club in bucharest. soon, more burn victims begin to die in the hospitals from wounds that were not life-threatening in the first place. then a team of investigative journalists is tipped off by a doctor. as the journalists begin to uncover a massive health care fraud, one revelation leads to another. when a new health minister is appointed, he offers unprecedented access to his efforts to reform the corrupt system, as well as the obstacles he faces. collective follows journalists, whistleblowers, burn victims and government officials. It is an uncompromising look at the impact of investigative journalism at its best.

crime of the century (2021)

the two-part documentary, crime of the century, explores purdue pharma's seemingly ruthless quest to sell more and more powerful opiates to more and more people, lying and bribing their way to billions of dollars and leaving death and destruction in their wake. filmmaker alex gibney delves into the origins of america's opioid crisis, uncovering a tangle of profit incentives, political indifference and astonishingly callous greed that has left a trail of millions of deaths. 


directed by charles ferguson and narrated by matt damon. this documentary exposes the shocking truth behind the economic crisis of 2008. millions of people lost their homes and jobs in the global financial meltdown that cost over $20 trillion. winner of best documentary feature at the 83rd academy awards, inside jobs traces the rise of a rogue industry and exposes the corrosive relationships that corrupted politics, regulation and academia through extensive research and interviews with key financial insiders, politicians and journalists.

cláudia cavaleiro the editor in chief for CINCO editorial. born in '82 in coimbra, she is graduated in philosophy from the university of coimbra. passionate about books and podcasts in a geek kind of way, she always find something interesting to research. loves to bring awareness to social problems and loves working at CINCO!

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