Documentaries are a great source of knowledge for any area of interest. In recent times, you can get a great deal of information with only a few clicks. But due to the abundance of online information, it is also tough to distinguish which is authentic based on actual evidence and which are speculations or simply fake. A documentary not only makes us aware of the real incidents, but it puts necessary information and helps us put the pieces together.
We also get to know many unheard opinions from relevant people, which helps us think from different perspectives. These up-close different personal opinions which shape our perceptions cannot be found on the internet. It is called a good documentary where heavy research, in-depth investigations, interviews, and many expert opinions are carried on. Here are some of our best-underrated documentaries that will enrich your knowledge:
- The Barkley Marathons: The Race That Eats Its Young
Not many people have heard the name of Barkley Marathons, also known as the toughest ultra-marathon trail race to date. In the last 25 years, only a few people have finished it. The Barkley Marathons documentary was released in 2014, and it is an underrated gem. The documentary makes us travel through the history of the race, the origin story, and some profiling of people who attempted the marathon. Karl Henn and Gary Cantrell founded the marathon. The documentary helps us discover the strange yet fascinating cult-like endeavor. Even if you are not somebody who runs marathons, the documentary helps you study some of the hardest working runners the world has ever known.
- Searching For Sugar Man
Searching for Sugar Man is a critically acclaimed documentary that has won a BAFTA Award for Best Documentary at the British Academy but has also managed to fly under the radar. Anyway, this documentary is about two men, Stephen Segerman and Craig Bartholomew Strydom, who set out on a journey to know more about South America’s prodigious musician Sixto Rodriguez. This talented musician has led a mysterious life, a relatively unknown artist for American and European audiences. The documentary is packed with surprising facts and incredibly touching moments, which will keep the viewers at the edge of their seats. This documentary is not available on Netflix. To watch it for free, you can visit this website to download it and watch it offline.
- Just for Kicks
Many documentaries have been made over the years, fascinating many viewers. Just For Kicks is one of those documentaries that lets viewers look at one of the most interesting cultural phenomenons that exist out there. Just For Kicks re-examines this far-fetching but tight-knit community of sneakers collectors. The documentary combines a series of interviews of the admitted sneaker-heads from the community, which explains the phenomenon of sneaker culture. This hobby has a significant color history and cultural shifts, and some of the game’s major players have taken on this hobby. You will see some familiar faces like
This documentary includes Missy Elliot, Grandmaster Caz, Ad-Rock, and many others. As the documentary progresses, the viewers often realize how much the history of sneakers has influenced some aspects of modern culture and revolutionized different streams of thought.
- Trouble The Water
One of the most criminally underrated documentaries, Trouble the Water, deals with the emotional turmoil of people that follows after a natural disaster. This 2008 documentary is an eye-opener for the viewers as we witness the devastation through the eyes of the victims. It mainly focuses on a New Orleans couple, Kimberly Rivers Roberts and her husband Scott, who refused to evacuate before Hurricane Katrina. Roberts had her camera rolling, and the viewers were astounded by the vivid footage throughout the whole disaster and years later after that. This exclusive footage was compiled by Tia Lessin and Carl Deal which tells a powerful anecdotal story of race, class, and political tensions between the government and the citizens of New Orleans.
- Everybody Street
Everybody Street is one of our top picks for an underrated documentary that has been made. It does not matter if you are into photography or not; this documentary will help you understand the life of a street photographer with a lot of depth. This 2013 documentary is brilliantly executed but has gone unnoticed by many. At its core, this documentary is about New York city’s most prolific and iconic street photographers. It features many in-depth interviews of prominent people like Mary Ellen Mark, Elliot Erwitt, Bruce Davidson, Ricky Powell, and Jamel Shabazz. We get to know about their process and source of inspiration. This documentary is a beautiful portrayal of the work of these artists against the backdrop of a city like New York.
With time documentaries have become increasingly popular among viewers. They force us to sit up, watch and listen. They help us reach a more constructive conclusion of a particular incident or personality. In short, documentaries can be a genuinely fascinating cinematic experience that allows us to process and think in a more organized manner.