The top documentaries about America don’t always show the positive side of life. In fact, most American documentaries focus on negative aspects and conditions that need changing. Documentaries give visual evidence of crimes, the human condition, and actions that the directors and producers hope the audience will be inspired to take action against. It’s a tough job to motivate people in a film, but many documentaries have been successful.
“Fahrenheit 9/11″ Michael Moore takes charge of this top documentary which tours the causes on the American attack on September 11th in this 2004 film. The questions posed strike a nerve, especially for the families of the 9/11 victims.
“Sicko” Michael Moore takes on the medical industry in this 2007 documentary that challenges the profit-making practices of hospitals, insurance companies and medical professionals while people die because they can’t get treatment or afford basic medical care. Moore traces the mega contributions made to American politicians and tracks their voting record in support of big drugs and big insurance.
“An Inconvenient Truth” Al Gore outlines global warming in this top documentary released in 2006. The images expose the melting of the ice caps and features interviews with important researchers studying global warming.
“Bowling for Columbine” Michael Moore takes on the gun lobby issue in this 2002 documentary that traces the availability of guns in America. Using the backdrop of the Colorad high school massacre at Columbine, Moore challenges the gun lobbyists motivations.
“Super Size Me” McDonalds and the fast food industry are the topics of this 2004 documentary that shows just how much Americans love the artery clogging foods served at most fast food chains, more specifically McDonalds.
Capitalism: A Love Story” Michael Moore questions why big business is allowed to go wild on the American people without safeguards or restraint in this 2009 documentary. The love story according to Moore is between the politicians and the modern American robber barons.
“The Fog of War” it’s nice to know when America commits to a war that kills thousands of soldiers and civilians that when the time comes to reflect, it turns out to be a massive mistake. This is the view of the very architect of the war plan Robert S. McNamara. The subtitle of this 2003 top documentary about America and war is: “Eleven lessons from the life of Robert S. McNamara.”
“Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room” While some Americans may have forgotten recent American history, the Enron meltdown took out a cast of over-hyped businesses who were allowed to overstate profits and operate on the fringes of moral business practices. This 2005 top documentary traces the meltdown and the excesses of the corporate executives who didn’t learn one lesson after the debacle.
“Inside Job” Winner of the 2011 Academy Award for documentaries, this film tracks the economic melt down in the United States in 2008. The filmmaker, Charles Ferguson, reminded the Academy audience that even though the congressional investigations are done and the guilty parties have been identified, nobody has been arrested. The film explores the concept of the congressional backside covering of the wilding-money managers.
“Who Killed the Electric Car?” The fate of the electric car and one car in particular, General Motors’ ‘EV1′, is the focus of this 2006 documentary by director Chris Paine. The documentary tracks the reasons for introducing the cars and the ultimate death of the leased car in a massive campaign to put an end to the production that included taking new cars to the junk yard smasher for disposal. Paine tracks down important film footage and squeezes some revealing statements from auto industry executives. By the time the narrative is done, it’s obvious the car industry cares not about consumers or the environment.