Documentary Movies 2009 List

Until the Light Takes Us

A documentary chronicling the history, ideology and aesthetic of Norwegian black metal.

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One Peace at a Time

Filmed in 20 countries, the documentary explores the insights of Nobel Laureates and others about improving the wor… more

Filmed in 20 countries, the documentary explores the insights of Nobel Laureates and others about improving the world.

Turk Pipkin

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Larger Than Life in 3D

Live concert footage of the Dave Matthews Band, Ben Harper and Relentless7 and Gogol Bordello, shot at the three-da… more

Live concert footage of the Dave Matthews Band, Ben Harper and Relentless7 and Gogol Bordello, shot at the three-day Austin City Limits festival in October 2009.

Lawrence Jordan

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Defamation

An Israeli director travels the world to find out what anti-Semitism means in the modern world.

Yoav Shamir

More Than a Game

The movie, which will mix archival footage and family memorabilia with fresh interviews, follows LeBron James' high… more

The movie, which will mix archival footage and family memorabilia with fresh interviews, follows LeBron James' high school basketball days, following the five starters on the varsity team at St. Vincent-St. Mary High School in Akron, Ohio. The team travels a winding road from a rundown gymnasium to national glory and NBA riches, seeking to remain a tight-knit quintet even as James becomes a megamillionaire. James was drafted out of high school in 2003 and led the Cleveland Cavaliers to the NBA Finals in 2007. He becomes a free agent in 2010.

Kristopher Belman, Brad Hogan, LeBron James

The Yes Men Fix the World

Troublemaking duo Andy Bichlbaum and Mike Bonanno, posing as their industrious alter-egos, expose the people profit… more

Troublemaking duo Andy Bichlbaum and Mike Bonanno, posing as their industrious alter-egos, expose the people profiting from Hurricane Katrina, the faces behind the environmental disaster in Bhopal, and other shocking events.

Mike Bonanno, Andy Bichlbaum

Good Hair

When Chris Rock's daughter, Lola, came up to him crying and asked, "Daddy, how come I don't have good hair?" the be… more

When Chris Rock's daughter, Lola, came up to him crying and asked, "Daddy, how come I don't have good hair?" the bewildered comic committed himself to search the ends of the earth and the depths of black culture to find out who had put that question into his little girl's head! Director Jeff Stilson's camera followed the funnyman, and the result is Good Hair, a wonderfully insightful and entertaining, yet remarkably serious, documentary about African American hair culture. An exposé of comic proportions that only Chris Rock could pull off, Good Hair visits hair salons and styling battles, scientific laboratories, and Indian temples to explore the way black hairstyles impact the activities, pocketbooks, sexual relationships, and self-esteem of black people. Celebrities such as Ice-T, Kerry Washington, Nia Long, Paul Mooney, Raven Symoné, Maya Angelou, and Reverend Al Sharpton all candidly offer their stories and observations to Rock while he struggles with the task of figuring out how to respond to his daughter's question. What he discovers is that black hair is a big business that doesn't always benefit the black community and little Lola's question might well be bigger than his ability to convince her that the stuff on top of her head is nowhere near as important as what is inside.

Chris Rock, Jeff Stilson, Lance Crouther… more

Chris Rock, Jeff Stilson, Lance Crouther, Chuck Sklar

Visual Acoustics

The life and career of Julius Shulman, one of the world's greatest architectural photographer, whose images brought… more

The life and career of Julius Shulman, one of the world's greatest architectural photographer, whose images brought modern architecture to the American mainstream.

Eric Bricker

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Michael Jackson's This Is It

Michael Jackson's "This Is It" will offer Jackson fans and music lovers worldwide a rare, behind-the-scenes look at… more

Michael Jackson's "This Is It" will offer Jackson fans and music lovers worldwide a rare, behind-the-scenes look at the performer as he developed, created and rehearsed for his sold-out concerts that would have taken place beginning this summer in London's O2 Arena. Chronicling the months from March through June, 2009, the film is produced with the full support of the Estate of Michael Jackson and drawn from more than one hundred hours of behind-the-scenes footage, featuring Jackson rehearsing a number of his songs for the show. Audiences will be given a privileged and private look at Jackson as he has never been seen before. In raw and candid detail, Michael Jackson's "This Is It" captures the singer, dancer, filmmaker, architect, creative genius, and great artist at work as he creates and perfects his final show.

Michael Jackson, Kenny Ortega

Walt & El Grupo

At the request of the U.S. government, Walt Disney and fellow artists travel to South America to shore up relations… more

At the request of the U.S. government, Walt Disney and fellow artists travel to South America to shore up relations during World War II.

Theodore Thomas

Crude

Documentary focuses on the lawsuit by tens of thousands of Ecuadorans against Chevron over contamination of the Ecu… more

Documentary focuses on the lawsuit by tens of thousands of Ecuadorans against Chevron over contamination of the Ecuadorean Amazon.

Joe Berlinger

No Impact Man: The Documentary

Colin Beavan, author, and newly self-proclaimed environmentalist, decides to leave behind a life of liberal complac… more

Colin Beavan, author, and newly self-proclaimed environmentalist, decides to leave behind a life of liberal complacency for a vow to make zero environmental impact for one year. No more automated transportation, no more electricity, no more non-local food, no more material consumption... no problem. That is, until his espresso-guzzling, Prada-worshipping wife Michelle, and their young toddler, enter the fray.

Laura Gabbert, Justin Schein, Eden Wurmfeld

Fuel

A comprehensive documentary looking at energy in America, reliance on oil and the potential of alternative energy s… more

A comprehensive documentary looking at energy in America, reliance on oil and the potential of alternative energy sources.

Joshua Tickell, Johnny O'Hara

Capitalism: A Love Story

"Capitalism: A Love Story" will explore the root causes of the global economic meltdown and take a comical look at… more

"Capitalism: A Love Story" will explore the root causes of the global economic meltdown and take a comical look at the corporate and political shenanigans that culminated in what Moore described as “the biggest robbery in the history of this country” - the massive transfer of U.S. taxpayer money to private financial institutions.

Michael Moore

The Providence Effect

A year after his arrival, Paul J. Adams became principal of Providence St. Mel, only to be told the following year… more

A year after his arrival, Paul J. Adams became principal of Providence St. Mel, only to be told the following year that Chicago’s archdiocese was going to close the school. After orchestrating a fundraising campaign that received national and local media attention, funds poured in and enabled Adams to buy the school from the Sisters of Providence and convert it to a not-for-profit independent school. He then set about achieving a new goal: To turn Providence St. Mel into a first rank college preparatory school, and its African-American student body into a corps of driven, disciplined, high achieving students.

Rollin Binzer, Tom Hurvis

Brief Interviews With Hideous Men

After her boyfriend mysteriously leaves her with little explanation, grad student Sara Quinn is left looking for an… more

After her boyfriend mysteriously leaves her with little explanation, grad student Sara Quinn is left looking for answers as to what went wrong. Directing all her energies into her anthropological dissertation, Sara conducts a series of interviews with men in an effort to uncover the secret thoughts that drive their behavior. As she records the astonishing and disquieting experiences of various subjects, Sara discovers much more about men and herself than she bargained for.

Bobby Cannavale, Josh Charles, Will Forte… more

Bobby Cannavale, Josh Charles, Will Forte, John Krasinski, Julianne Nicholson, Timothy Hutton, Eva Kolodner, Yael Melamede

Paper Heart

Even though performer Charlyne Yi doesn't believe in love, she bravely embarks on a quest to discover its true natu… more

Even though performer Charlyne Yi doesn't believe in love, she bravely embarks on a quest to discover its true nature - a journey that takes on surprising urgency when she meets unlikely fellow traveler, actor Michael Cera.

Charlyne Yi, Jake Johnson, Nicholas Jasenovec… more

Charlyne Yi, Jake Johnson, Nicholas Jasenovec, Sandra Murillo, Elise Salomon, Michael Cera

Living in Emergency: Stories of Doctors Without Borders

In the war-zones of Liberia and Congo, four volunteers with Doctors Without Borders struggle to provide emergency m… more

In the war-zones of Liberia and Congo, four volunteers with Doctors Without Borders struggle to provide emergency medical care under extreme conditions. With different levels of experience, each volunteer must find their own way to face the challenges, the tough choices, and the limits of their idealism.

Mark N. Hopkins, Geralyn White Dreyfous, Naisola Grimwood… more

Mark N. Hopkins, Geralyn White Dreyfous, Naisola Grimwood, Daniel Holton-Roth, Erika Bertin, Molly Conners, Mark Jonathan Harris, Sarah E. Johnson

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It Might Get Loud

The electric guitar has dominated popular music for the last half century. Anyone who has ever plugged into an amp… more

The electric guitar has dominated popular music for the last half century. Anyone who has ever plugged into an amp understands its power. So does the average stadium crowd. But if you have too much exposure to amateurs, you might forget the incredible range of expression that the creation pioneered by Les Paul can achieve in the hands of masters.

Director Davis Guggenheim, well-known for his Academy Award-winning documentary "An Inconvenient Truth", deepens our appreciation for going electric by bringing together three virtuosos from different generations: Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin, The Edge of U2 and Jack White of The White Stripes. "It Might Get Loud" weaves together their stories to reveal how each of them developed a unique sound.

Unlike rock 'n' roll documentaries that focus on backstage drama, this one concentrates on the music, giving us intimate access to the creative process. Each guitarist describes his own musical rebellion: Page against the saccharine pop of the sixties; The Edge against the self-indulgent solos of the seventies; White against the soulless bass machines of the eighties. The film also travels to the locations that left a mark on each player. Page visits the stone halls of Headley Grange where "Stairway to Heaven" was composed. In Dublin, The Edge pulls out the original four-track rehearsals of "Where the Streets Have No Name." And in Tennessee, White describes being inspired by the raw style of bluesman Son House. What's more, we see each musician play new work that has yet to be released.

The trio comes together for a jam session, during which they demonstrate their varying tastes in gear, from Page's double-neck guitar to The Edge's array of accessory pedals to White's cheap plastic instrument. Contrary to the stereotype that rock 'n' rollers are sullen and guarded, these three display an infectious joy when discussing their craft. Anyone who has ever played air guitar along with a Zeppelin song will be thrilled watching Page mimic the licks of one of his own favourites, Link Wray's "Rumble."

You don't need to be an aficionado to enjoy the pleasure of this company. This film might not affect how you play, but it will change how you listen.

Thomas Tull, Lesley Chilcott, Davis Guggenheim… more

Thomas Tull, Lesley Chilcott, Davis Guggenheim, Peter Afterman, Carson Hood, Jack White, The Edge, Jimmy Page

X Games 3D: The Movie

"X Games 3D: The Movie" captures the drama and spectacle that play out every year at the X Games events, highlighti… more

"X Games 3D: The Movie" captures the drama and spectacle that play out every year at the X Games events, highlighting the behind-the-scenes stories of the featured athletes and the sacrifices they make in pursuit of glory and the advancement of their sports on the biggest stage in action sports.

Steve Lawrence, Greg Jennings, Bob Burnquist… more

Steve Lawrence, Greg Jennings, Bob Burnquist, Ricky Carmichael, Kyle Loza

Art & Copy

The work and wisdom of some of the people who've profoundly impacted culture, yet are virtually unknown outside the… more

The work and wisdom of some of the people who've profoundly impacted culture, yet are virtually unknown outside their industry. Exploding forth from advertising's "creative revolution" of the 1960s, these artists and writers all brought a surprisingly rebellious spirit to their work in a business more often associated with mediocrity or manipulation: George Lois, Mary Wells, Dan Wieden, Lee Clow, Hal Riney and others featured in the film were responsible for "Just Do It," "I Love NY," "Where's the Beef?," "Got Milk," "Think Different," and brilliant campaigns for everything from cars to presidents. They managed to grab the attention of millions and truly move them. Visually interwoven with their stories, TV satellites are launched, billboards are erected, and the social and cultural impact of their ads are brought to light in this dynamic exploration of art, commerce, and human emotion.

Doug Pray

The September Issue

The story of Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour and her team of editors creating the 2008 fall-fashion issue.

R.J. Cutler, Eliza Hindmarch, Sadia Shepard

We Live in Public

About the Internet's revolutionary impact on human interaction as told through the eyes and artwork of maverick web… more

About the Internet's revolutionary impact on human interaction as told through the eyes and artwork of maverick web pioneer, Josh Harris.

Ondi Timoner, Keirda Bahruth

Soul Power

The film profiles a 1974 concert of R&B performers during the "rumble in the jungle" boxing match between George Fo… more

The film profiles a 1974 concert of R&B performers during the "rumble in the jungle" boxing match between George Foreman and Muhammad Ali.

Jeffrey Levy-Hinte, Leon Gast, David Sonenberg… more

Jeffrey Levy-Hinte, Leon Gast, David Sonenberg, B.B. King, James Brown

The Age of Stupid

A future archivist looks at old footage from the year 2008 to understand why humankind failed to address climate ch… more

A future archivist looks at old footage from the year 2008 to understand why humankind failed to address climate change.

Franny Armstrong, Pete Postlethwaite

Unmistaken Child

The documentary follows the journey of a Tibetan monk in search of the reincarnation of his master.

Nati Baratz

Food, Inc.

A documentary about the food processing industry.

Robert Kenner, Elise Pearlstein

A Wink and a Smile

Ten ordinary women learn the art of the striptease when they dive into the glamorous world of burlesque.

Deirdre Allen Timmons

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Outrage

An indictment of closeted politicians who lobby for anti-gay legislation in the U.S.

Kirby Dick

The Boys

A documentary about Academy Award and Grammy-winning songwriters Robert B. Sherman & Richard M. Sherman.

Ben Stiller, David Permut, Jeff Sherman… more

Ben Stiller, David Permut, Jeff Sherman, Gregory V. Sherman

Pressure Cooker

High school students compete for scholarships to culinary college.

Mark Becker, Jennifer Grausman

Enlighten Up!

Filmmaker Kate Churchill is determined to prove that yoga can transform anyone. Nick Rosen is skeptical but agrees… more

Filmmaker Kate Churchill is determined to prove that yoga can transform anyone. Nick Rosen is skeptical but agrees to be her guinea pig.

Kate Churchill, Jonathon Hexner

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Anvil! The Story of Anvil

After making a promise to keep rocking forever at age 14, the members of Anvil!, now in their 50s, begin work on th… more

After making a promise to keep rocking forever at age 14, the members of Anvil!, now in their 50s, begin work on their 13th album.

Sacha Gervasi

In a Dream

A renowned mosaic artist, who for the past 30 years has covered more than 40,000 square feet of Philadelphia top to… more

A renowned mosaic artist, who for the past 30 years has covered more than 40,000 square feet of Philadelphia top to bottom with tile, mirror, paint, and concrete.

Jeremiah Zagar

Every Little Step

Follows the plight of real-life dancers as they struggle through auditions for the Broadway revival of "A Chorus Li… more

Follows the plight of real-life dancers as they struggle through auditions for the Broadway revival of "A Chorus Line."

Adam Del Deo, James D. Stern

earth

The first film in the Disneynature series, "Earth," narrated by James Earl Jones, tells the remarkable story of thr… more

The first film in the Disneynature series, "Earth," narrated by James Earl Jones, tells the remarkable story of three animal families and their amazing journey across the planet we all call home. "Earth" combines rare action, unimaginable scale and impossible locations by capturing the most intimate moments of our planet's wildest and most elusive creatures. Directors Alastair Fothergill and Mark Linfield, the acclaimed creative team behind the Emmy Award®-winning "Planet Earth," combine forces again to bring this epic adventure to the big screen, beginning Earth Day 2009.

James Earl Jones, Alastair Fothergill, Mark Linfield

Tyson

"Tyson" is acclaimed indie director James Toback's stylistically inventive portrait of a mesmerizing Mike Tyson. To… more

"Tyson" is acclaimed indie director James Toback's stylistically inventive portrait of a mesmerizing Mike Tyson. Toback allows Tyson to reveal himself without inhibition and with eloquence and a pervasive vulnerability. Through a mixture of original interviews and archival footage and photographs, a startlingly complex, fully-rounded human being emerges. The film ranges from Tyson's earliest memories of growing up on the mean streets of Brooklyn through his entry into the world of boxing, to his rollercoaster ride in the funhouse of worldwide fame and fortunes won and lost. It is the story of a legendary and uniquely controversial international athletic icon, a figure conjuring radical questions of race and class. In its depiction of a man rising from the most debased circumstances to unlimited heights, destroyed by his own hubris, "Tyson" emerges as a modern day version of classic Greek tragedy.

James Toback, Mike Tyson

Nursery University

The oddly competitive process of nursery school admissions.

Marc H. Simon, Matthew Makar

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The Garden

The Garden is an look at the struggle between urban farmers and the City of Los Angeles and a powerful developer wh… more

The Garden is an look at the struggle between urban farmers and the City of Los Angeles and a powerful developer who want to evict them and build warehouses.

Scott Hamilton Kennedy

Valentino: The Last Emperor

A documentary about the life of legendary fashion designer Valentino.

Matt Tyrnauer, Matt Kapp

Sex Positive

The true story of former S&M hustler turned AIDS activism pioneer.

Daryl Wein, David Oliver Cohen

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Guest of Cindy Sherman

Art-scene commentator Paul Hasegawa-Overacker's relationship with enigmatic photographer Cindy Sherman.

Paul Hasegawa-Overacker, Tom Donahue

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Our City Dreams

Filmed over the course of two years, "Our City Dreams" is an invitation to visit the creativespaces of five women a… more

Filmed over the course of two years, "Our City Dreams" is an invitation to visit the creativespaces of five women artists, each of whom possesses her own energy, drive and passion. Thesewomen, who span different decades and represent diverse cultures, have one thing in commonbeyond making art: the city to which they have journeyed and now call home - New York.

Chiara Clemente

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Under the Sea 3D

This new IMAX adventure transports moviegoers to some of the most exotic and isolated undersea locations on Earth… more

This new IMAX adventure transports moviegoers to some of the most exotic and isolated undersea locations on Earth, including Southern Australia, New Guinea and others in the Indo-Pacific region, allowing them to experience face-to-face encounters with some of the most mysterious and stunning creatures of the sea. It offers a uniquely inspirational and entertaining way to explore the beauty and natural wonder of the oceans, as well as the impact of global climate change. In IMAX 3D, the images will literally leap off the screen and float around the theatre, putting the audience in the movie.

Jim Carrey, Graeme Ferguson, Howard Hall… more

Jim Carrey, Graeme Ferguson, Howard Hall, Toni Myers, Michele Hall

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Eleven Minutes

A documentary following fashion designer Jay McCarroll.

Michael Selditch, Robert Tate

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Examined Life

Filmmaker Astra Taylor accompanies some of today's most influential thinkers on a series of unique excursions throu… more

Filmmaker Astra Taylor accompanies some of today's most influential thinkers on a series of unique excursions through places and spaces that hold particular resonance for them and their ideas.

Astra Taylor, Bill Imperial, Lea Marin

Jonas Brothers: The 3D Concert Experience

The Jonas Brothers head to the big screen—in Disney Digital 3-D™—in a high-energy Walt Disney Pictures rockumentary… more

The Jonas Brothers head to the big screen—in Disney Digital 3-D™—in a high-energy Walt Disney Pictures rockumentary feature film event from director Bruce Hendricks ("Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds Concert"). The film blends excerpts from the Brothers' red-hot "Burning Up" concert tour, including guest performances from Demi Lovato and Taylor Swift, with exclusive behind-the-scenes footage, off-the-wall segments, a never-before-heard song ("Love Is On Its Way"), swarming fans and a lot of JB-style humor—giving fans never-before-seen insights into the lives of Kevin, Joe and Nick.

Nick Jonas, Taylor Swift, Joe Jonas… more

Nick Jonas, Taylor Swift, Joe Jonas, Demi Lovato, Christa B. Allen, Bruce Hendricks, Arthur Repola, Phil McIntyre

Of Time and the City

The film is both a love song and a eulogy to the directors birthplace of Liverpool. It is also a response to memory… more

The film is both a love song and a eulogy to the directors birthplace of Liverpool. It is also a response to memory, reflection and the experience of losing a sense of place as the skyline changes and time takes it toll.

Tim Pollard, Terence Davies, Roy Boulter… more

Tim Pollard, Terence Davies, Roy Boulter, Sol Papadopoulos

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