Source: Southern Living
Man With a Movie Camera (1929) – Directed by Dziga Vertov, “Man With a Movie Camera” depicts a city in the Soviet Union in the 1920s. It tracks the dynamism, spectacle, and industry of the city from morning until night and features some of the most recognizable shots in cinema.
The Up Series (1964–Present) – This documentary series is a longitudinal study that follows the lives of 14 British children from 1964, when they were aged seven, to present day. Every seven years there is a new addition to the series which checks in with the original subjects, who are now in their sixties and preparing to film the latest installment, “63 Up.”
Grey Gardens (1976) – Directed by brothers Albert and David Maysles, “Grey Gardens” is an extraordinary documentary depicting the lives of reclusive Bouvier cousins Edith Bouvier Beale, called “Big Edie,” and her daughter and namesake, who is known as “Little Edie,” in their ramshackle East Hampton mansion.
Harlan County, USA (1976) – This Oscar-winning documentary was produced and directed by Barbara Kopple. The film examines workers’ rights in the coal-mining industry during a 1973 strike in Harlan County, Kentucky, which lasted 13 months and was rife with tensions, conflict, and violence.
Gates of Heaven (1978) – Told entirely through interviews, Errol Morris’ first feature explores the pet burial business, the questions and emotions inherent in it, the people who participate, and what happens when one burial business fails.
Burden of Dreams (1982) – This Les Blank-directed documentary chronicles the making of Werner Herzog’s 1982 film “Fitzcarraldo,” a process that involved managing perils of production including hauling a steamboat over a mountain in the Amazon.
Stop Making Sense (1984) – A concert film directed by Jonathan Demme and featuring the Talking Heads and lead singer David Byrne, this documentary was filmed over the course of three live shows that took place at the Hollywood Pantages Theatre in 1983.
Shoah (1985) – Over nine hours, Claude Lanzmann’s moving 1985 documentary examines the Holocaust through visits to Poland, testimonies from survivors and bystanders, and interviews with perpetrators. The film is considered to the most ambitious and important documentary about the Holocaust ever made.
See the rest of the list at Southern Living.
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