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Essential Docs

Discover hidden gems with this collection to must-watch docs.

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Reenactment of cutting a man's face

The Act of Killing

In this groundbreaking and chilling documentary, executive produced by Errol Morris and Werner Herzog, the unrepentant former members of Indonesian death squads are challenged to re-enact some of their many murders in the style of the American movies they love.
  • D: Joshua Oppenheimer
  • Denmark, Norway, UK
  • 2012
  • 115 min
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Amy Tan gazing into the distance

Amy Tan: Unintended Memoir

In this intimate, newly-released portrait tracing her life and career, Amy Tan opens up with remarkable frankness about her painful past, and how writing has helped her heal.
  • D: James Redford
  • USA
  • 2021
  • 101 min
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Cunningham on bicycle with camera

Bill Cunningham: New York

A chronicle of the elusive, eccentric photographer who documented the intersection of fashion and society for over 50 years.
  • D: Richard Press
  • USA
  • 2010
  • 84 min
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Man dancing

The Cool School

Oscar-winning director Morgan Neville takes you back to the birth of Los Angeles’ modern art scene in the 1950s. Featuring narration by actor Jeff Bridges, a breezy jazz score, and interviews with Dennis Hopper, Dean Stockwell, Frank Gehry and more.
  • D: Morgan Neville
  • USA
  • 2008
  • 86 min
  • PG
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Man playing saxophone

The Devil's Horn

Acclaimed filmmaker Larry Weinstein offers a fascinating look at this beloved and feared instrument alongside riveting tales of history’s greatest saxophone players.
  • D: Larry Winstein
  • Canada
  • 2016
  • 86 min
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Teen in hoodie on boat

Fire at Sea

In this Academy Award finalist for Best Documentary, acclaimed director Gianfranco Rosi (Notturno) uses his skills of quiet observation to shine a unique perspective on the European refugee crisis.
  • D: Gianfranco Rosi
  • Italy, Franc
  • 2016
  • 108 min
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closeup of an eye

iHuman

The rapid rise of artificial intelligence has dramatically altered how we function as a global society. But who really holds the code? Leading AI pioneers help us decipher a roadmap to our future in this eye-opening Hot Docs '20 tech-thriller.
  • D: Tonje Hessen Schei
  • Norway
  • 2019
  • 99 min
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a person playing music

Keyboard Fantasies: The Beverly Glenn-Copeland Story

Beverly Glenn-Copeland, a Black transgender musician, becomes a cult icon three decades after the release of his album <em>Keyboard Fantasies</em>.
  • D: Posy Dixon
  • UK
  • 2019
  • 71 min
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a person painting

Kusama: Infinity

Immerse yourself in the dazzling art of Yayoi Kusama in this inspiring documentary on her tumultuous and triumphant journey.
  • D: Heather Lenz
  • USA
  • 2018
  • 80 min
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a chain fence and a billboard

Los Angeles Plays Itself

Uncover the real city that lives beneath the tinsel in this landmark visual essay on Los Angeles, and how it’s been depicted and mythologized in the movies.
  • D: Thom Andersen
  • USA
  • 2004
  • 163 min
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Woman in black facing woman in red

Marina Abramovic: The Artist is Present

Occasioned by a retrospective at The Museum of Modern Art, Marina Abramovic prepares for one of her most striking performances yet, in which she sits still in a gallery seated across from various spectators one by one, seven hours a day, six days a week.
  • D: Matthew Akers
  • USA
  • 2011
  • 106 min
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Truman Capote

The Capote Tapes

Through never-before-heard audio archives and interviews with Capote’s friends and enemies, this critically acclaimed documentary reveals the rise and fall of one of America’s most influential writers and public figures.
  • D: James Redford
  • USA
  • 2021
  • 101 min
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a person looking over their shoulder

The Reason I Jump

Using the ground-breaking insights first revealed in 13-year old Naoki Higashida’s bestselling memoir, this Sundance Award-winning adaptation offers a wondrous cinematic glimpse inside the lives and minds of young non-verbal people with autism.
  • D: Jerry Rothwell
  • USA, UK
  • 2020
  • 82 min
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People in highrise windows

Rem Koolhaas: A Kind of Architect

Rarely has an architect caused as much sensation outside of the architecture community as Rem Koolhaas. This engaging portrait provides full access to the Dutch visionary's process, philosophies and most revered accomplishments around the world, including the Seattle Library and the Casa da Musica concert hall in Porto.
  • D: Markus Heidingsfelder, Min Tesch
  • Gremany
  • 2008
  • 98 min
  • PG
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Couple in front of tiny house

Tiny: A Story About Living Small

Ever dream of trading in the hustle and bustle for something more… minimal? All over the world, people are happily downsizing their lives to move into houses smaller than the average parking spot.
  • Merete Mueller, Christopher Smith
  • USA
  • 2013
  • 62 min
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