Davis Guggenheim, director of the Oscar-winning documentary “An Inconvenient Truth,” returns to the screen with his new documentary “Waiting For Superman.” His latest documentary touches upon the state of our public education system and how it affects the children of this country. His documentary follows the lives of five American kids with dreams, using their hopes and dreams to point out the flaws in our failing education system.
Living in the state of Rhode Island, where the teachers in the Central Falls school system were all fired in 2009 for their failures in helping the students meet certain education requirements, this is a very timely and sensitive subject that needs to be addressed.
As a huge fan of documentaries, I have seen my share. To provide a short list of what I feel are the best is certainly not an easy task. However, here are three that I consider some of the best I have seen.
Super Size Me
“Super Size Me” is director Morgan Spurlock’s study into the reason behind America being so fat. With the obesity rate on the rise, Spurlock set out to prove that fast food is the reason behind this growing obesity rate. Eating only McDonald’s food three times a day and not engaging in any exercise, Spurlock ends up elevating himself to an unhealthy status in just 30 days. This documentary certainly opened my eyes to how bad fast food is, leading me to rarely touch it to this day. Spurlock’s documentary came at a time when the obesity rate in Americans is at extremely dangerous levels, and something needs to be done about it.
The Thin Blue Line
Another amazing documentary is Errol Morris’ “The Thin Blue Line.” Randall Adams was arrested and convicted of murdering a police officer in Dallas in 1976. Detailing the evidence gathered in the case through re-enactments and interviews, this incredible documentary is actually credited with the conviction of Adams being overturned. Morris exposes what happens when police are under fire to get a case solved, no matter who takes the fall for it. Adams, like many others convicted of murder, was on death row for a crime he didn’t commit. “The Thin Blue Line” reminds us that the justice system is often flawed and innocent people are convicted while the actual guilty party remains free to live their lives and even commit similar crimes.
Dear Zachary: A Letter to a Son About His Father
Probably the most powerful documentary I have seen comes from director Kurt Kuenne. Kuenne’s longtime friend, Andrew Bagby, was murdered after breaking up with his girlfriend. She later reveals she is pregnant with Andrew’s child. “Dear Zachary” is supposed to be a gift to his friend’s child so he can know who his father was as he grows up. Without revealing anything further about this amazing film, Kuenne’s efforts expose the failure of the Canadian government to keep a murderer behind bars, and allow her to walk free on bail while maintaining custody of her child. The film ends up detailing the struggle of Andrew’s parents as they fight to gain custody of their grandson from their only child. Kuenne’s film became a fight for bail reform in Canada. Because of this film, a bill was recently introduced to the Canadian Senate that would support the fight for bail reform in Canada.
All of these documentaries deal with serious subjects. They are eye opening and powerful, and are sure to move you in some way.
Waiting For Superman official site
Errol Morris official site
Dear Zachary official site