Current TV's 50 Documentaries to See Before You Die

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Created by MM.

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Over the past two decades the documentary film has graduated into mainstream cinema, becoming a major box office draw and an important part of contemporary culture. To celebrate this new age of the cinematic documentary, Current TV has commissioned a brand-new series that explores the most powerful, memorable and moving documentary feature films to have hit our cinema screens in recent years.

The shows will count down from fifty to one, eventually revealing what our panel of preeminent film critics, academics and industry insiders has chosen as the most entertaining, powerful and influential modern documentary. However, this is not your average list show. Renowned documentarian Morgan Spurlock will embark on a road trip to track down the filmmakers and characters behind some of the most remarkable moments in contemporary cinema. Along the way, he'll meet maverick directors and eccentric contributors, travel to iconic locations and explore the impact that the documentaries have made on both their subjects and society, all the while counting down to number one.

The five, one-hour shows will take the viewer from the plains of Antarctica in March of the Penguins to the basketball courts of Chicago in Hoop Dreams; from early examples of the blockbuster doc like Roger and Me and The Thin Blue Line to more recent hits such as Catfish and Inside Job. The series will form part of a two-month season in which Current will air full-length presentations of many of the featured docs.

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  1. 13 -

    The Fog of War: Eleven Lessons from the Life of...

    2003, in 6 top lists Check
  2. 40 -

    When We Were Kings

    1996, in 6 top lists Check
  3. 6 -

    The War Room

    1993, in 2 top lists Check
  4. 44 -

    Burma VJ: Reporter i et lukket land

    2008 — a.k.a. Burma VJ: Reporting from a Closed Country, in 1 top list Check
  5. 7 -

    The Celluloid Closet

    1995, in 1 top list Check
  6. 47 -

    One Day in September

    1999, in 0 top lists Check
  7. 35 -

    Paragraph 175

    2000, in 0 top lists Check
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Last updated on Dec 27, 2011; source