Latest Films Freedocumentaries recently added films 2019-07-21T09:41:49+00:00 FreeDocumentaries /documentary/citizenfour <![CDATA[Citizenfour]]> In January 2013, Laura Poitras, an American documentary film director/producer who had been working for several years on a film about monitoring programs in the US that were the result of the September 11 attacks, receives an encrypted e-mail from a stranger who calls himself, "Citizenfour." In it, he offers her inside information about illegal wiretapping practices of the US National Security Agency (NSA) and other intelligence agencies. In June 2013, accompanied by investigative journalist Glenn Greenwald and The Guardian intelligence reporter Ewen MacAskill, she travels to Hong Kong with her camera for the first meeting with the stranger in a hotel, who reveals himself as Edward Snowden. Scenes of their meeting take place in Snowden's hotel room, where he maintains his privacy.

/documentary/harlan-county-usa <![CDATA[Harlan County, USA]]> HARLAN COUNTY, USA is the Oscar-winning 1976 documentary that tells the story of striking coal miners in Eastern Kentucky. Acclaimed filmmaker Barbara Kopple and her crew spent three years within the mining community filming the bitter struggle of 180 families. Facing dangerous and violent anti-union thugs and the brutal murder of one of their own, the striking miners fearlessly face the picket line day in and day out in the hopes of securing a fare wage and a better way of life for their families. The film is a tribute to all working families of America, but especially the women of Harlan County—who actively organized and spearheaded efforts to keep the struggle alive.

/documentary/udita <![CDATA[UDITA]]> Life, death, oppression and resistance - 5 Years with the women of Bangladesh's sweatshops and their fight for a better life.

Produced by RAINBOW COLLECTIVE and OPENVIZOR, 'UDITA' follows a turbulent 5 years in the lives of the women at the grass roots of the garment workers struggle. From 2010, when organising in the workplace would lead to beatings, sacking and arrests; through the tragedies of Tazreen and Rana Plaza, and to the present day, when the long fight begins to pay dividends. We see this vital period through the eyes of the unions' female members, workers and leaders.

/documentary/miss-representation <![CDATA[Miss Representation]]> Miss Representation explores how the media’s misrepresentations of women have led to the underrepresentation of women in positions of power and influence. is a call-to-action campaign that seeks to empower women and girls to challenge limiting labels in order to realize their potential, and to encourage men and boys to stand up to sexism.

/documentary/the-eyes-of-thailand <![CDATA[The Eyes of Thailand]]> ‘The Eyes of Thailand‘ is the inspirational and powerful story of one woman’s quest to help two elephant landmine survivors—Motala and Baby Mosha—walk on their own four legs. Treating their wounds was only part of the journey; building elephant-sized prostheses was another. Narrated by Ashley Judd, ‘The Eyes of Thailand‘ is a true story of sacrifice and perseverance that shows how far one woman will go to save an endangered species from threats above and below the surface.

/documentary/celluloid-ceilings-women-directors-speak-out <![CDATA[Celluloid Ceilings: Women Directors Speak Out]]> Even though women make up 51 percent of the U.S. population, only about 4 percent of movies are directed by women. Of the 220 TV shows, representing about 3500 total episodes, only 14 percent were directed by women. Bloomberg interviewed several female directors in Hollywood, from Oscar winners to the director of "Twilight" to explore the various forms of sexism and discrimination they have faced in Hollywood, and what they are trying to do to change things (Video by Dan Przygoda and Victoria Blackburne-Daniell.)

/documentary/this-is-coffee <![CDATA[This is Coffee]]> About 1960 maybe earlier, Coffee brewers institute offered classes in coffee brewing. Upon completion of instruction, we were awarded a 1/2 gold colored coffee cup and hung it over the entrance to the bar. Tap water should be fit to drink. Never boiled or perked. 210 degrees. No more. Fresh coffee in a can or bag is near unattainable unless you find fresh roasted beans & grind 'em yourself. To test, take a pinch of coffee and roll it between thumb and forefinger. You should feel the oil. Second test, place a hot cup of coffee across the table and you can see a thin film of oil on the surface.

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/documentary/keep-the-river-on-your-right-a-modern-cannibal-tale <![CDATA[Keep the River on Your Right: A Modern Cannibal Tale]]> If there exists a stereotype of the cannibal as a wild-eyed savage from a remote vastness, surely Tobias Schneebaum does not fit it. Turning 80 this month, he is a frail, soft-spoken gay Manhattanite of scholarly disposition and artistic bent. Once briefly a rabbinical student, he lectures on anthropology and art to Barnard students and to wealthy passengers on their lavish cruises to exotic locales. Though the bulk of his life attests mainly to the contrary, Mr. Schneebaum has lived and loved among native tribes in the jungles of Peru and Indonesian New Guinea.

And years ago, while on a Fulbright grant to paint in Peru, he abandoned his mission, lived among the Amarakaire Indians and accompanied them on what turned out to be a raid on another tribe, which led him to an act of cannibalism. It is this act that serves as the springboard for "Keep the River on Your Right: A Modern Cannibal Tale," an engaging and colorful but somewhat overbalanced documentary by a brother and sister team, David Shapiro and Laurie Gwen Shapiro.

The film's focus on Mr. Schneebaum's single experience with cannibalism 45 years ago provides a welcome excuse to return him to the haunts of his relative youth. First he leaves a well-appointed cruise ship to revisit New Guinea, where he is touchingly reunited with his old lover from an Asmat tribe in which men have sexual relationships with partners of both sexes.

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/documentary/god-grew-tired-of-us <![CDATA[God Grew Tired of Us]]> Three young men leave behind a land in chaos to find new lives in a thoroughly different culture in this documentary. As the African nation of Sudan fell into political disarray near the dawn of the 21st century, with unspeakable violence following in its wake, thousands of refugees attempted to flee the country, making their way into Kenya in hopes of earning passage elsewhere.

Jon Bul Dau, Daniel Abu Pach, and Panther Bior were three such people who eventually came to the United States, and filmmaker Christopher Quinn spent four years following them on their journey in a new and unfamiliar land.

In God Grew Tired of Us, Quinn documents the young men as they struggle to build new lives for themselves, acquaint themselves with the "American" way of doing things, the difficulties of being black in a primarily white culture, and try to track down the friends and family they were forced to leave behind. God Grew Tired of Us received its North American premier at the 2006 Sundance Film Festival.

/documentary/the-story-of-the-weeping-camel <![CDATA[The Story of the Weeping Camel]]> A nomadic family in Mongolia's Gobi desert faces a problem when a white camel colt is born in a difficult delivery and the mother rejects it. Repeated efforts by the extended family to get the mother to nurse the colt fail. The colt stands alone and cries for its mother. The family worries that the colt will not survive. Finally, Dude (Enkhbulgan Ikhbayar), the older boy, is sent to a nearby town to find a musician who can perform a "Hoos" ceremony.

Little Ugna (Uuganbaatar Ikhbayar) begs to go along. The two boys travel for miles across the desert, stopping at a neighbor's yert, where Ugna is delighted by his first encounter with television. They travel on to the village, and then return home with word that a musician is on the way. A musical ceremony is performed in an effort to get the mother camel to accept her colt.

The Story of the Weeping Camel is a blend of documentary footage and narrative. Filmmakers Luigi Falorni and Byambasuren Davaa cast a real nomad family of herders and shot many of the events in the film as they occurred. The Story of the Weeping Camel was selected by the Film Society of Lincoln Center and the Museum of Modern Art for inclusion in the 2004 edition of New Directors/New Films.

/documentary/this-film-is-not-yet-rated <![CDATA[This Film Is Not Yet Rated]]> Documentary filmmaker Kirby Dick launches an incendiary, full-frontal assault on the Motion Picture Association of America’s Classification and Ratings Administration (a.k.a. the MPAA's CARA).

This is the entity that assigns ratings to movies -- the familiar G, PG, PG-13, R, and NC-17 designations.

This secret, unregulated organization wields considerable power over the film industry and operates, the filmmaker asserts, on a highly subjective and prejudicial basis.

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/documentary/inside-the-u-s-secret-service <![CDATA[Inside the U.S. Secret Service]]> Learn more about the U.S. Secret Service that you ever thought possible as National Geographic cameras venture into uncharted territory to bring viewers the most comprehensive view of the secretive government agency ever. From the remarkable measures taken to protect the President and his family to an agents-eye view of the job duties and a look at the exhaustive training program it takes to join this elite agency, you won't believe your eyes when National Geographic cameras start rolling and the secrets of the Secret Service are revealed.

A really good look at what the Secret Service is all about. Great history and current information. Having had a small taste of it when the first President Bush paid a visit and I was an attendee at a function, I can attest to the thorough job that is done before, during and after his appearance. Truly amazing.

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/documentary/what-is-indie <![CDATA[What is INDIE?]]> At a time when independent artists in the music industry have more power and control over their careers than ever before, What is INDIE? tries to determine just what it really means to be indie. The film features interviews with indie music experts including Panos Panay, Derek Sivers and Suzanne Glass, as well as with 20 artists including Penny Lang, Ember Swift and Paul Cargnello.

In defining what it means to be indie, as well as looking at the changing landscape in the music industry, the film ends up being a rallying cry for indie artists, and has been hailed as inspiring and empowering by artists worldwide.

Without any prior background in film (except for watching Super-Size Me way too many times) and funded entirely with his own credit cards, Montreal director Dave Cool has taken the film from a small do-it-yourself project and turned it into an indie success story in its own right that continues to turn heads in the music and film industries, even catching the attention of, Newsweek Magazine...

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/documentary/naqoyqatsi <![CDATA[Naqoyqatsi]]> First-time filmmaker Godfrey Reggio's experimental documentary from 1983--shot mostly in the desert Southwest and New York City on a tiny budget with no script, then attracting the support of Francis Ford Coppola and George Lucas and enlisting the indispensable musical contribution of Philip Glass--delighted college students on the midnight circuit and fans of minimalism for many years.

Meanwhile, its techniques, merging cinematographer Ron Fricke's time-lapse shots (alternately peripatetic and hyperspeed) with Glass's reiterative music (from the meditative to the orgiastic)--as well as its ecology-minded imagery--crept into the consciousness of popular culture. The influence of Koyaanisqatsi, or "life out of balance," has by now become unmistakable in television advertisements, music videos, and, of course, similar movies such as Fricke's own Chronos and Craig McCourry's Apogee. Reggio shot a sequel, Powaqqatsi (1988), and completed the trilogy with Naqoyqatsi (2002). Koyaanisqatsi provides the uninitiated the chance to see where it all started--along with an intense audiovisual rush.

/documentary/american-movie <![CDATA[American Movie]]> You're behind on your child support, your phone's being turned off, and you owe money to the IRS -- what do you do? Make a movie! At least that's what beleaguered Wisconsin filmmaker Mark Borchardt decided to do in the Sundance smash American Movie. Documentary director Chris Smith and producer Sarah Price followed Borchardt for two years as he struggled to complete a 35-minute direct-market thriller film called Coven, with $3,000 borrowed from his semi-senile uncle and the loyal support of his unflappably affable guitar-playing best friend, Mike Schank.

The result is a poignant and often hilarious character study of a charismatic all-American underdog, who makes up in drive and vision what he lacks in talent. Interviews with Borchardt's skeptical family and friends are combined with scenes of sparsely attended production meetings, no-budget film shoots (the scene in which Borchardt tries to shove an actor through a "breakaway" cabinet door is already a classic), and camp-outs in the editing room with the kids.

Guaranteed to touch a nerve in anyone who has ever aspired to make films, American Movie is an offbeat, sometimes sad, but ultimately inspirational tribute to pursuing one's dreams.