Summer 2023 Documentary Vote

Bama Rush (2023)

Follow four young women as they prepare to rush at the University of Alabama in 2022. Against the viral backdrop of #BamaRush on TikTok, and the long-held tradition of sorority recruitment at the University of Alabama, the film explores the emotional complexities and high-stakes of belonging in this crucial window into womanhood.

Below the Belt (2023)

Endometriosis affects one in 10 people with uteruses over the course of their lifetime. But despite its debilitating symptoms, it can take years for doctors to correctly diagnose the disease. Ali Rogin speaks with Shannon Cohn, the director of Below the Belt, a new documentary that tells the story of several people as they battle endometriosis and fight to raise awareness.

No Rotten Tomatoes rating available.

Burden of Dreams (1982)

Directed by Les Blank, this doc chronicles the making of Werner Herzog’s insane 1982 film Fitzcarraldo, whose production nearly killed original leading actor Jason Robards, was filmed a thousand miles from civilization in the middle of an active indigenous land war in Peru, featured mishaps including plane crashes and disease, and infamously featured a real-life recreation of the titular character using teams of Indians to pull an entire steamship up a hillside using only block and tackle.

Flee (2021)

Directed by Jonas Poher Rasmussen. This animated doc follows the story of a man under the alias Amin Nawabi, who shares his hidden past of fleeing his home country of Afghanistan to Denmark for the first time. Nominated thrice for Best Animated Film, Best Documentary, and Best International Film at the 2022 Oscars.

Little White Lie (2014)

Filmmaker Lacey Schwartz grew up in a typical upper middle class Jewish household in Woodstock, NY, with loving parents and a strong sense of her identity, despite occasional remarks from those around her who wondered how a white girl could have such dark skin. As a child she believed her family’s explanation — that her appearance was inherited from her dark-skinned Sicilian grandfather — but when she reaches her adolescence, and her parents abruptly separate, her gut begins to tell her something else.

Lucky (2010)

Every day, millions of people purchase lottery tickets hoping to hit the jackpot. In this documentary, Jeffrey Blitz tracks down five people whose tickets won them more money than they ever dreamed of, and examines how their windfalls changed their lives, for better or worse. A Vietnamese couple in a small Nebraska town who won $22 million describe their struggle to stay grounded, while another husband and wife who won $110 million see their relationships with friends and family implode. 

Minding the Gap (2018)

Filmmaker Bing Liu’s personal movie chronicles the friendship between himself and two other young men from Rockford, Illinois, as they bond over a shared love for skateboarding. Through this pastime, the men try to escape the violence and traumas of their paste. Skate culture offers an opening for Liu to explore issues like domestic abuse and toxic masculinity, all while including his own story in the narrative.

O.J.: Made in America (2016)

ESPN’s Emmy- and Oscar-winning five part documentary from filmmaker Ezra Edelman walks viewers through O.J. Simpson’s life, from his triumphs as a Heisman-winning college football player to becoming the prime murder suspect in the killings of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman in 1994. Through Simpson’s life, the series explores how race and celebrity play out in the United States, piecing together interviews, archival footage and news coverage.

Wild Life (2023)

Jimmy Chin’s new film. A sweeping portrait of conservationists Kris and Doug Tompkins chronicling their fight to preserve one of the last truly wild places on earth.

Won’t You Be My Neighbor? (2018)

Won’t You Be My Neighbor? takes a fittingly patient and honest look at the life and legacy of a television pioneer whose work has enriched generations.


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