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Top 10: INSPIRING documentaries you must watch!

August 02, 2013 15:37 IST

Top 10: INSPIRING documentaries you must watch!

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Vatsala Chhibber, YouthIncMag

The documented lives of these personalities make for essential viewing. Here's why

Want to be inspired, amazed, amused by real life stories?

Reality TV is not the answer.

Here are ten docu-dramas based on the lives of personalities from across the globe. Watch and be inspired!

10. Marley

The plot

The story of the music legend Bob Marley as told by some of his closest friends and relatives.

Why you must watch it

This documentary captures the charm, the rhythm, the soul and the compassion that was characteristic of Marley's music and his life, while exploring related themes of Jamaican culture, Rastafarianism and reggae music.

Marley fans will relish the unknown facts and unheard music unveiled in this film.

Courtesy:

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Image: Poster of Marley
Photographs: Courtesy YouthIncMag

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9. Misa's Fugue

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The plot

An account of how art and music helped a young boy named Frank "Misa" Grunwald survive the trauma of the Holocaust and a state-sponsored persecution of the Jews ordered by Hitler during the Nazi regime.

Why you must watch it

A high school media professor, along with his students, decided to document Grunwald’s experiences during the Holocaust, which included living in various concentration camps.

Misa’s Fugue, while heartbreaking in its tragedy, is ultimately testament of human survival and endurance.


Image: Poster of Misa's Fugue
Photographs: Courtesy YouthIncMag

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8. Woody Allen: A documentary

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The plot

Woody Allen -- the talented, quirky, neurotic, self-confessed recluse is filmed for a two-part documentary that offers interesting insights into the filmmaker's style of work and way of life.

Why you must watch it

The exact volume of Woody Allen’s work, ranging from film scripts to short stories is almost as incomprehensible as his eccentric mind.

In this documentary, Woody’s peers describe him as ‘gifted’, ‘intelligent’, ‘not normal’, ‘an idiot’ and ‘a little nutty’.

The film is highly recommended for writers, actors, comedians, filmmakers, anyone with creative pursuits and of course, Woody Allen fans.


Image: Poster of Woody Allen: A documentary


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7. Running From Crazy

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The plot

Ernest Hemingway's granddaughter Mariel Hemingway reveals details about the family’s history of depression and suicide, while battling her own demons.

Why you must watch it

Seven members of the Hemingway family lost their battle against depression and committed suicide.

Mariel’s revelations about her family’s fight with depression, including that of her grandfather, celebrated writer Ernest Hemingway, is a bold attempt at understanding mental turmoil.


Image: Poster of Running From Crazy


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6. The Most Hated Family In America

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The plot

Westboro Baptist Church is a family in Kansas, America, that pickets funerals of dead soldiers with signs like ‘God hates fags’.

Why you must watch it

Documentary filmmaker Louis Theroux spends three weeks with the Westboro Baptist Church, popularly known as ‘the most hated family in America’, in an attempt to understand their controversial beliefs.

You might want to count the number of times you shake your head in disapproval/disgust/disappointment as you watch this.


Image: Poster of The Most Hated Family In America


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5. Man On Wire

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The plot

Philippe Petit is a man in possession of an incredible talent and an incredibly reckless spirit; he decides to perform a high-wire walk between the World Trade towers.

Why you must watch it

Man on Wire features in almost every top ten list involving documentaries. And why shouldn’t it?

The film documents the preparation and unfolding of Petit’s unbelievably risky, borderline illegal plan to walk across the World Trade towers with no harness.

Watching Petit aggressively follow his outlandish dream will definitely inspire you to follow yours.


Image: Poster of Man On Wire


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4. Fire in Babylon

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The plot

How West Indian cricket team managed to dominate world cricket in the seventies. This one is more thrilling than a World Cup final.

Why you must watch it

It’s no secret that in the world of cricket, the drama continues off the field.

Fire in Babylon captures the drama that took place on and off the field in the seventies when the Windies formed their indomitable team of fast bowlers to end the Australian rule on the cricket field.


Image: Poster of Fire in Babylon


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3. Grizzly Man

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The plot

A quirky, entertaining man named Timothy Treadwell filmed his interaction with his beloved grizzly bears in Alaska. Treadwell was ultimately killed by one of them.

Why you must watch it

“If I die, if something happens to me, make that movie. You make it. You show ’em.” This was Treadwell’s message to his friend and co-founder of Grizzly People, an organisation that propagates the fair treatment of bears.

Treadwell’s story, most of which consists of footage shot by Treadwell himself, is now an award-winning documentary.

This is one story you will never forget.


Image: Poster of Grizzly Man


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2. Searching For Sugar Man

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The plot

Sixto Rodriguez is a musician who was unaware of his own success for nearly thirty years. A must-watch for music lovers and musicians.

Why you must watch it

Never heard of Sixto Rodriguez?

That’s not surprising since most of the world had never heard of this failed American musician with two unsuccessful albums.

However, in South Africa, Rodriguez aka Sugar Man (named after his popular single) gathered a mammoth fan following.

One such fan embarks on a mission to find Sugar Man; what follows is a fairy tale involving fate, redemption, humility and great music.


Image: Poster of Searching For Sugar Man


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1. Senna

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The plot

The victories, rivalries and techniques of Formula One champion Ayrton Senna make for a gripping, memorable watch, even for those who are not fans of the sport.

Why you must watch it

Director Asif Kapadia manages to tell the Brazilian racer’s story, who died tragically during one of his races, with commendable skill.

The documentary relies heavily on footage from various interviews, press conferences, races as well as the family’s personal videos, making you less of a distant viewer and more of a participant in Senna’s dramatic life.


Image: Poster of Senna


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