I love documentaries. Instead of simply being entertained by a work of fiction, sometimes I'd rather learn about a subject. The experience makes me appreciate different facets of life here on this big blue marble. In other words, I believe it makes me a better person.
PBS's POV is the perfect place for documentary fans. They showcase all kinds of documentaries on their blog. The series regularly airs the films themselves on PBS.
POV has put together an infographic tallying the best documentaries released in 2011. But it's not just their opinion. They've aggregated the various doc awards and critic picks to create a list of the genre's finest.
The list is not without its faults. My favorite from the handful of docs I watched this year, POM Wonderful Presents: The Greatest Movie Ever Sold, isn't on this list. The compelling war film Restrepo is included on the matrix but it's a 2010 release -- thus its Oscar nomination last year.
Those criticisms aside, POV does provide a very good basis for exploring the best documentaries that 2011 had to offer. Here are their top 10 films. See the POV website for more info on all the entries.
- The Interrupters
- Nostalgia for the Light
- Project Nim
- Cave of Forgotten Dreams
- The Arbor
- Bill Cunningham New York
- Hell and Back Again