Top 10 Hardest Documentary Movies to Watch
The Top Ten
1 The Act of Killing Depicts real-life Indonesian death squad leaders reenacting their crimes against innocent civilians in a surreal and disturbing manner. The matter-of-fact way in which the killers recount their atrocities is chilling, and the film's graphic scenes of violence are difficult to stomach.
2 The Imposter (2012) Tells the story of a young man who impersonates a missing child, fooling the family and authorities for months. The film's use of reenactments and unreliable narrators creates a sense of unease and confusion, making it difficult to discern the truth.
3 Jesus Camp Exposes the intense indoctrination of children in a conservative Christian summer camp. The film depicts the emotional and psychological manipulation of young minds and the dangerous influence of religious extremism. The scenes of children speaking in tongues and crying out in religious fervor are unsettling.
4 The Bridge (2006) Features footage of real-life suicides from the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. The film is a sobering reminder of the devastating impact of mental illness and the human cost of societal neglect. The graphic and emotional nature of the footage is hard to witness.
5 Capturing the Friedmans Explores the accusations of child molestation against a father and son in a suburban New York family. The film raises questions about the nature of memory and the reliability of eyewitness testimony. The graphic descriptions of sexual abuse are difficult to hear.
6 Blackfish Exposes the cruel treatment of killer whales in captivity, focusing on the case of Tilikum, a whale responsible for the deaths of several trainers. The film highlights the moral and ethical implications of keeping intelligent and social animals in small tanks for entertainment purposes. The graphic footage of Tilikum's attacks is distressing.
7 Dear Zachary: A Letter to a Son About His Father Tells the heartbreaking story of a man's murder and the subsequent custody battle over his son. The film's twist ending is shocking and devastating, leaving the viewer with a sense of hopelessness and despair. The graphic details of the murder and its aftermath are emotionally overwhelming.
8 Titicut Follies Exposes the inhumane conditions of a Massachusetts state hospital for the criminally insane. The film's unflinching portrayal of mental illness and the abuse of power by the prison guards is disturbing. The graphic scenes of emaciated and distressed patients are distressing.
9 Grizzly Man
10 Tarnation (2003) Is a deeply personal and experimental exploration of the filmmaker's troubled family history. The film uses a collage of home movies, photographs, and voiceovers to create a jarring and disjointed narrative that blurs the line between reality and fiction. The graphic scenes of drug use and mental breakdowns are difficult to witness.
11 Paradise Lost: The Child Murders at Robin Hood Hills
Hard to watch? Yes, but no less important to watch. The story of The West Memphis Three, and all the tragic events leading up to and immediately following this horrible crime, and the subsequent travesty of justice that ensued.
12 A Life on Our Planet
13 Zoo (2007) Delves into the taboo world of zoophilia, telling the story of a man who died after having sex with a horse. The film explores the psychological and emotional motivations of the participants and the societal stigma surrounding their behavior. The graphic and unsettling nature of the subject matter is hard to stomach.
14 Supervillain: The Making of Tekashi 6ix9ine
BAdd New Item