We can’t think we’re creating truth with a camera. But what we can do is reveal something to viewers that allows them to discover their own truth.

50-documentaries-to-see-before-you-die-rank-300x199This quotation is from”50 Documentaries to See Before You Die“, a great little five part TV show which ran in 2011 and was presented by Morgan Spurlok. Spurlock is the guy behind the documentary “Super Size Me” where he only ate McDonald’s meals for 30 days and gained 11kg while doing so. The show is a mix of a countdown, old film clips, interview snippets with well known film makers and Spurlock going on a cross country tour to talk to some of the makers and participants of the fifty most influential and/or important documentary films from the past 25 years.

I always thought documentaries were boring, would always make annoyed faces unless they related to gruesome crimes, yup i am a weirdo. Anyway, i was pleasantly surprised by the program cause it fits 10 documentaries each into nice, pint-sized 40 minute parts. The show doesn’t require you to have seen the films in question in order to enjoy the countdown. 50_Docs_Before_You_Die_logo“50 Documentaries to See Before You Die” presents them like important slices of culture and history caught on film by some of the most talented observers/film makers in the world. The fact that they include the last 25 years makes the topics discussed more relatable, whether sports, crime, politics or nature. There is a whole argument to be fought on the topic of objectivity in documentary film making and if its role is to simply observe and record, or simultaneously encourage debate on said topic. While i might not go out of my way to watch all 50 of them at this very moment, it did spark an interest into that area of story telling in me.


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