On the heels of recent lawsuits against McDonald’s, director Morgan Spurlock takes a hilarious and often terrifying look at the effects of fast food on the human body, using himself as the proverbial guinea pig. For one month, Spurlock eats nothing but McDonald’s, ordering everything on the menu and “super-sizing” his order whenever asked. The result is a sobering examination of the line between personal and corporate responsibility.
Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman document the strange series of events that unfolds when a gifted 8-year-old artist named Abby contacts Nev, a 24-year-old photographer (and Schulman’s brother), through Facebook. After Abby sends Nev a remarkable painting based on one of his photos, Nev begins corresponding with her family — including her seductive 19-year-old sister. Realizing that something’s not quite right, Nev sets out to uncover the truth.
A gripping tale of intrigue and mystery in the art world, this film traces the history of the Barnes collection of Post-Impressionist paintings, which was worth billions and became the subject of a power struggle after the 1951 death of the owner. Dr. Albert Barnes collected 181 Renoirs, 69 Cézannes, 59 Matisses, 46 Picassos and many other valuable paintings. But the political wrangling over the collection eventually led to its division.
Daring animal activists arrive with surveillance equipment at a scenic cove in Taijii, Japan, to capture footage of a secretive and heavily guarded operation run by the world’s largest supplier of dolphins. As the group sets out to expose the horrifying truths behind the capture of dolphins for the lucrative tourist industry, they also uncover an environmental catastrophe. Louie Psihoyos directs this riveting, Oscar-winning documentary.
Filmmaker Chris Bell points the camera at his brothers and himself — all of them users of steroids — for this thought-provoking examination of sports, competition and the unyielding pressure to succeed. By exploring the reasons behind steroid use and its effects within his own family, Bell asks whether the winning-is-everything attitude that’s so prevalent in American society has truly built a better athlete.
When Amish teens turn 16, they have the opportunity to venture out in the “Devil’s Playground” (the Amish’s term for the outside world) and indulge in 21st-century vices such as drinking and smoking — a period called “Rumspringa.” This documentary tracks 18-year-old Faron’s struggle to reconcile his drug addiction with his deeply ingrained desire to live his parents’ Amish life. But ultimately, committing to the church will be his decision.
Amateur filmmaker Thierry Guetta’s project to chronicle the underground world of street art takes a fascinating twist when he meets Banksy, an elusive British stencil artist, in this Independent Spirit Award winner for Best Documentary. Unimpressed with Guetta’s footage, Banksy takes over filmmaking duties while Guetta reinvents himself as a street artist and — much to Banksy’s surprise — instantly becomes a darling of the Los Angeles art scene.
Filmmaker Steve Anderson explores the “F” word in this provocative documentary, which delves into the expletive’s history, taboo and power, and includes interviews with everyone from Pat Boone to Ice-T. Scholars trace the word’s origin and evolution, while others (including Kevin Smith, Sam Donaldson and Lenny Bruce) weigh in on issues such as free speech. The film also features Bill Plympton’s animations.
In this engaging documentary, a Fifth Avenue family goes green when writer Colin Beavan leads his wife, Michelle Conlin, and their baby daughter on a yearlong crusade to generate no trash and otherwise make no net impact on the environment.
Taking on rampant American consumerism with a focus on Christmas shopping, the Rev. Billy (Bill Talen) and the Church of Stop Shopping go on a cross-country journey to save citizens from the Shopocalypse in this hilarious documentary produced by Morgan Spurlock. Reminding shoppers of the true meaning of Christmas, Reverend Billy exorcises demons at Wal-Mart’s headquarters and preaches his message at the Mall of America and Disneyland.