I do not usually get to see a lot of documentaries. In fact, I have only seen a handful of documentaries this year. In fact, over the last 48 hours, I beefed up the resume of docs seen thanks to Netflix, iTunes, Hulu and YouTube.
I do wish I could see more, but the only documentaries that tend to come to the theaters near me are the ones like Hillary’s Evil World and How She Plans to Destroy It. Okay, that wasn’t the actually title of that film, but I did not see it. Those types of political hack jobs by people like Dinesh D’Souza do not interest me. I want to see a real documentarian.
I have a Top Ten list for Documentaries that I have seen in 2016.
#10. Team Foxcatcher. This was the real life story behind the film Foxcatcher. The story of millionaire John E. DuPont and his building of a wrestling group he called Foxcatcher and the tragic end to the story.
#9. Amanda Knox. This was the amazing story of an American living in Italy who gets blamed, arrested and convicted of the brutal murder of her roommate. However, the evidence is not compelling and “Foxy Knoxy” has to go through the Italian court system for years.
#8. Michael Moore in Trumpland. This was an interesting evening with filmmaker Michael Moore as he held a show in the heart of “Trump country” trying to convince Trump supporters that Hillary Clinton was the better choice.
#7. Audrie & Daisy. This documentary tells the stories of two underage females who had been sexually assaulted and how the community and the schools reacted to the girls. This was very emotional and the sheriff from Maryville dealing with Daisy’s assault is one of the worst figures I have seen on film this year.
#6. Beatles: Eight Days a Week. Ron Howard’s love letter to the tour of the Beatles across the USA. There was very little conflict within this documentary, but the music is always great.
#5. Gleason. This was the sad but inspirational story of former NFL football player Steve Gleason who was diagnosed with ALS. Watching the disease slowly eat away at Steve and seeing how it affected his wife and his father was heart breaking. And yet, he continues to fight to this day.
#4. 13th. Director Ava DuVernay looks at racial strife and inequality in America and how the overcrowding in American prisons is one more symptom of the racial imbalance in our country. The stats revealed in 13th are mind blowing.
#3. The Resurrection of Jake the Snake. A film focusing on former professional wrestler Jake Roberts and his attempt to get clean and sober. Roberts got involved with Dallas Page and his DDP Yoga and credits that with saving his life.
#2. Weiner. This documentary followed around Anthony Weiner, former congressman who resigned in disgrace after he had sexted pictures of his penis to women. Weiner decided to try to run for Mayor of New York, and this documentary followed him through that ill-fated campaign as the scandal returned.
#1. Tickled. This is easily the best documentary I saw this year, and it will be making my top movies list, somewhere. Who thought that a fluff story for a New Zealand news program involving “competitive tickling” would devolve into a dark and sordid tale of harassment and online threats and cyberbullying? There are things that happen in this film that you can not believe.