JUNE 2016 DOCUMENTARY REVIEW
All these are available on Netflix (except the second one which is on Hulu).
- •Brother's Keeper (1992), 10/10This is my favorite kind of documentary, ones that are as much about the subjects as the story. This is about four farmer brothers—specifically two, one who is accused of murdering the other. Was it a crime of mercy? Was it some incestuous sex thing? Or were they just framed by the police to get their farmland?
- •He Named Me Malala (2015), 9/10If you don't know the story of Malala by now then get away from me. Like any good documentary with a subject that's been covered many times, this one focuses on not only Malala's work but the experience of being her. She's a regular kid whose also extraordinary. Also instead of archival footage and reenactments (of which there are some) it's enhanced with breathtaking animated illustrations.
- •Into the Abyss (2011), 6/10This movie was really hard to watch, and not just because Werner Herzog can't help inserting himself into his documentaries (although it's kind of ok when he does it). I felt a lot of pain and anxiety during this one. This explores the death penalty and although it has a clear focus, it still manages to flounder a little bit. I would recommend this for sure, but there are a whole lot of others I would recommend before it.
- •Trophy Kids (2013), 6/10This wasn't a bad documentary by any means, it was just exactly what I had expected. A group of kids are featured who have parents that are pushing them hard in sports. Some of these people are absolutely horrible. One man forgot his mic was on (my favorite thing to happen when people are being filmed) and referred to his 9-year-old daughter as a "stupid bitch" after missing a shot in golf (not to her face, but still). You will feel so bad for these kids with nightmare parents.