1. The Act of Killing
In this Oscar-nominated documentary, film maker Joshua Oppenheimer travels to Indonesia to interview some of the people responsible for the mass killing of 'communists' living in the country in the 1960s. What follows is quite hard to believe, as the perpetrators re-enact their crimes, dressing up in ridiculous outfits and making light of the terrible events that occurred, making you wonder if they feel any remorse for what they did. This was a fascinating film and the final scene is so powerful it really stayed with me - definitely worth seeking out.
This moving documentary investigates the consequences of keeping Killer Whales in captivity, namely for entertainment purposes at Sea World in America. One such whale, Tilikum, was captured from the wild at a young age, and since then has been responsible for the deaths of three Sea World trainers. Looking at the history of the whales and how they are kept in confinement, it's easy to see why these beautiful creatures are not suited to living in captivity. One of the scenes where a mother whale is separated from her calves is heartbreaking to watch, and really highlights how unfair Sea World's practises are, and the lies they tell in order to make a profit.
3. The House I Live In
After watching The Wire and Breaking Bad it was interesting to learn about the history of America's war on drugs, and the way the criminal justice system deals life-changing blows to anyone caught up in drug crime. With contributions from those working in law to dealers on the street, it really hit home how the current justice system just isn't working, and how millions of American families are being let down by the harsh penalties in place for people already struggling to survive.
4. Food, Inc.
This film looks at the way in which our food consumption has changed in the past century. Food now travels thousands of miles before it hits our plates, and the health and safety of people and animals is so often put at risk in the process, in order for huge companies to provide fast food at a low cost.
5. Indie Game, The Movie
Although I'm not the biggest computer game fan I still really enjoyed this documentary, which revolves around a group of computer programmers trying to create their own games and release them to the world. The film features several interesting characters and, after seeing how they gave up so many hours to pursue their passions, I was really rooting for them to be a success.
6. Best Worst Movie
In 1990, a movie called Troll 2 was created which has since been dubbed the worst movie ever made. Twenty years on, the film's child star attempted to track down the other people who acted in it, including a likeable dentist who became a cult movie icon.
7. Bill Cunningham in New York
I really enjoyed this film which profiles 80 year old fashion photographer Bill Cunningham, who cycles around New York City taking photos of the creative outfits he spots along the way.