Author Topic: Grimmest documentaries you've seen  (Read 75158 times)

Grimmest documentaries you've seen
« on: July 08, 2012, 03:17:55 AM »
'Just, Melvin - Just Evil'

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lY4eHaiVK9s&feature=youtu.be

Had to share that. What a thoroughly repulsive movie.

Re: Grimmest documentaries you've seen
« Reply #1 on: July 08, 2012, 03:39:00 AM »
Looks like a big bag of fun. I saw one at Sheffield Doc/Fest called 'Off Label', about pharmaceutical drugs destroying the lives of Americans. That was simultaneously depressing and sickening, particularly one graphic description of a horrendously grizzly suicide. They didn't show it or anything, it was just the guy's mother explaining how he did it, but it still made more people leave the cinema than I've ever seen. 

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Re: Grimmest documentaries you've seen
« Reply #2 on: July 08, 2012, 11:23:32 PM »
I watched a documentary on Liberia not so long ago and it fucked me up pretty bad. There were two: the VICE one which was fucking repugnant not because of the atrocities of the nation but the atrocities spewing out of the face of the smug hipster cunt "presenting" the whole thing, and another one called An Uncivil War. Extremely harrowing and quite frankly bizarre. Kids less than ten years old smoking heroin, dank stone bunkers crammed with emotionally distraught prostitutes, renegade soldiers self-named after tyrants like Hitler and Bin Laden (there are two famous Bin Ladens in the country's history) who take pride in the fact that they rose to power by gaining the courage from eating the hearts of their enemies... absolutely fucking terrifying stuff. Needed a good lie down after subjecting myself to that.

Re: Grimmest documentaries you've seen
« Reply #3 on: July 09, 2012, 12:40:09 AM »
I saw The Animals Film - http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0082020/ - about 20 years ago and doubt I will again. As if it wasn't sad enough, upon retrieving its IMDB link, I learned that Ernest Borgnine has died.

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Re: Grimmest documentaries you've seen
« Reply #4 on: July 09, 2012, 01:10:58 AM »
Earthlings is really rather bleak and upsetting.

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Re: Grimmest documentaries you've seen
« Reply #5 on: July 09, 2012, 03:00:46 AM »
High on Crack Street, the HBO doc about former boxer Micky Ward and his junkie mates near Boston, which is the real version of 'Crack in America' from The Fighter, is predictably bleak. Pretty much checks all the boxes you'd want from any drug addiction film. In fact it's so bleak it might as well have "AND EVERYONE DIED" before the end credits, and probably does, I forget.

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Re: Grimmest documentaries you've seen
« Reply #6 on: July 09, 2012, 09:33:32 AM »
TV Junkie

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0492494/

An anchorman films almost everything he ever does over 14 years. Becomes a crack addict.

Deliver Us From Evil

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0814075/

Priest molests kids. Gets moved around by the Catholic church. Molests some more. Is unrepentant.

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Re: Grimmest documentaries you've seen
« Reply #7 on: July 09, 2012, 09:52:55 AM »
TV Junkie

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0492494/

An anchorman films almost everything he ever does over 14 years. Becomes a crack addict.


Ahh, thanks. I was trying to remember the name of this all last night.

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Re: Grimmest documentaries you've seen
« Reply #8 on: July 09, 2012, 10:19:28 AM »
I saw The Animals Film - http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0082020/ - about 20 years ago and doubt I will again.

Yes, that is a tough watch... Stomach churning in parts.

The Titicut Follies. A black and white fly on the wall about the treatment of the mentally ill. That the guards seem madder than the patients will be the first of many distressing observations.

Capturing The Friedmans. Child abuse, family betrayal, court cases (filmed as they were taking place) and edited years later. The father's facial expressions are some of the saddest I've seen.

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Re: Grimmest documentaries you've seen
« Reply #9 on: July 09, 2012, 10:41:08 AM »
Dear Zachary is a film I'd probably never sit through again. Thought it was very good (though some stylistic choices by the director seemed to contrast the tone of the film) but by the second half I was literally yelling at the screen due to the injustice.

The first of the Paradise Lost West Memphis 3 doco's was pretty fucking awful, due in no small part to random photos of the bodies which I wouldn't necessarily have volunteered to see if I knew they were coming.

Agree with Deliver Us From Evil, too. I think it's a very important film but it made me feel unhealthy levels of rage.

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Re: Grimmest documentaries you've seen
« Reply #10 on: July 09, 2012, 10:57:40 AM »
Agree with Deliver Us From Evil, too. I think it's a very important film but it made me feel unhealthy levels of rage.

I have no idea how the documentary maker didn't smack the priest in the face when he was so unapologetic for what he'd done.

Re: Grimmest documentaries you've seen
« Reply #11 on: July 09, 2012, 01:56:46 PM »
TalHotBlond.

Not overly grim, but what an incredibly messed up situation.

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Re: Grimmest documentaries you've seen
« Reply #12 on: July 09, 2012, 02:26:19 PM »
Also just remembered I Think We're Alone Now. A documentary following two superfans/stalkers of 80s pop star Tiffany. Both of them have such sad stories and are really quite ill. There are moments (usually involving the male fan) that are almost humorous but for the most part it's just a sad, lingering look at two deeply unstable people. I'd still recommend it though!

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Re: Grimmest documentaries you've seen
« Reply #13 on: July 09, 2012, 02:42:54 PM »
Dear Zachary is a film I'd probably never sit through again. Thought it was very good (though some stylistic choices by the director seemed to contrast the tone of the film) but by the second half I was literally yelling at the screen due to the injustice.

That was the first one I thought of. Just awful. When the 'twist' comes, it's utterly heartbreaking and, as you said, makes you so angry. Me and a friend recommended it to the whole newsroom when it was on Storyville and despite working on a day-to-day basis with car crashes, sick children, murders, etc, this was the most visibly upset I'd seen people. No one wanted to talk about it, but they couldn't stop themselves.

TalHotBlond.

Not overly grim, but what an incredibly messed up situation.

I haven't seen it, but the aformentioned friend did and said the same.

Along those lines, has Catfish been definitively proved a hoax/manufactured? I enjoyed it, but remember people were crying foul over it. When the director went on to do Paranormal Activity 3, it raised my suspicions.

Re: Grimmest documentaries you've seen
« Reply #14 on: July 09, 2012, 03:15:08 PM »
I don't think its been completely proven to be real, or fake, but its by far a poor man's TalHotBlond.

Re: Grimmest documentaries you've seen
« Reply #15 on: July 09, 2012, 03:16:58 PM »
And thanks to Hank, I'm now going to watch Just Melvin - Just Evil.

I love horrendously dark cinema. I've seen Dear Zachary four times now, once alone, and each other time with separate partners. Its the go too 'close affection' film.

Re: Grimmest documentaries you've seen
« Reply #16 on: July 09, 2012, 03:17:11 PM »
Dear Zachary is a film I'd probably never sit through again.

The title of this thread alone upset me, as it reminded me of this.

Re: Grimmest documentaries you've seen
« Reply #17 on: July 09, 2012, 04:53:38 PM »
Darwin's Nightmare - a documentary about the area around Lake Victoria in Tanzania. The Nile Perch was introduced to the lake in the 1950s and has wiped out other species, but has led to a huge commercial fishing blitz on the area. The lake has been subsequently wildly over-fished to provide Perch for European supermarkets, and the local population have been left with nothing and in abject poverty - it is "too expensive" commercially to sell the fish nationally. The presence of the fishermen has helped create a thriving sex trade in the area, a trade which is increasingly "staffed" by the impoverished locals. What's more, the planes that come for the fish bring ammunition and weapons to be bought and used in regional conflicts, which wipes out the progess brought by European aid money. It's the most depressing thing I've ever seen. I couldn't make it to the end.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0424024/

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Re: Grimmest documentaries you've seen
« Reply #18 on: July 09, 2012, 05:05:23 PM »
I remember idly flicking through the channels one late night sometime in the early 90's and coming across this documentary on Channel 4 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s1ceO0gtlJ4 It absolutely totally traumatised my stoned brain and having watched it again recently all the want through just to see if was as awful as I remember it I can safely say  - it is! Do watch it though because it is interesting and well shot. If the idea of small children having to eat their parents raw appeals to you then you'll probably find it a jolly good watch.

Re: Grimmest documentaries you've seen
« Reply #19 on: July 09, 2012, 05:54:30 PM »
Well Just, Melvin - Just Evil was thoroughly depressing.

Re: Grimmest documentaries you've seen
« Reply #20 on: July 09, 2012, 06:11:09 PM »

Re: Grimmest documentaries you've seen
« Reply #21 on: July 09, 2012, 06:35:40 PM »
Well Just, Melvin - Just Evil was thoroughly depressing.

It was. Quite an odd documentary, weird bits with the main guy showing footage of him dancing, and going on about how high his IQ is, and then utterly horrible bits of his family members giving accounts of the abuse, yet completely unable to confront him later on.

Re: Grimmest documentaries you've seen
« Reply #22 on: July 09, 2012, 06:48:08 PM »
Aye, the bit in the home got me, how they did, well, literally nothing but show him love, bar one or two of them.

Some of the alleged abuse though, fooking hell.

Re: Grimmest documentaries you've seen
« Reply #23 on: July 09, 2012, 09:03:39 PM »
Along those lines, has Catfish been definitively proved a hoax/manufactured? I enjoyed it, but remember people were crying foul over it. When the director went on to do Paranormal Activity 3, it raised my suspicions.

I had no idea of the plot of the documentary, or heard anything about it being fake. But within about 3 minutes in I could smell it was a set-up (the bit where he's unpacking boxes), just something screamed that the people were acting. Then as soon as the prodigal child painter subject matter was introduced it was obvious where the plot was going.

Either the whole thing is a fabrication, or they filmed the meeting with the woman and then re-shot lots of stuff retrospectively to give it a more dramatic fabricated story-arc based on the real events. All very fishy though, ho ho, but the guys making the doc did seem like smarmy type of hipsters who would fake something like that.

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Re: Grimmest documentaries you've seen
« Reply #24 on: July 09, 2012, 09:11:49 PM »
The Bridge.

Cameras filmed the Golden Gate bridge for a year, the operators on the look out for people trying to commit suicide. They would always notify the authorities as soon as possible, but many leapt to their deaths. The film speaks to relatives, friends, rescue workers and survivors.

Interesting and touching, but I would never watch it again.

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Re: Grimmest documentaries you've seen
« Reply #25 on: July 09, 2012, 11:00:54 PM »
The Emperor's Naked Army Marches On has several pretty grim scenes, largely due to not really being sure whether the protagonist was somewhat right or completely wrong.

The Cove, obviously.

Salesman is in some ways so grim that it's pretty funny, might rewatch it soon, actually.

American Dream, largely due to how it contrasts to Kopple's earlier film. Haven't seen this one in ages though so I could be way off.

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Re: Grimmest documentaries you've seen
« Reply #26 on: July 10, 2012, 11:52:06 AM »
I really ought to watch a lot of these documentaries, but I just don't know when is the right time to sit back and get myself thoroughly disturbed and depressed. I got City of Life and Death on DVD from my dad as a birthday present, and it seems like a really interesting film, but I think I'd choose anything over witnessing Japanese soldiers torturing, raping and murdering Chinese women over and over.

Although Capturing the Friedmans is bloody grim, I was moved to tears by the end by the rather heartwarming return of Jesse to his mother. There was a semblance of hope in that film, I feel.

Terry Pratchett: Choosing to Die was grim as fuck. I cried like a baby during the final scene of [spoiler]Smedley's death[/spoiler]. One of the bravest and most affecting things I've seen on telly.

Am I missing something very clever and funny about the truly horrible Dear Zachary tag?

Re: Grimmest documentaries you've seen
« Reply #27 on: July 10, 2012, 03:33:20 PM »
No, it is a bit cuntish.

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Re: Grimmest documentaries you've seen
« Reply #28 on: July 10, 2012, 11:43:30 PM »
Bulgarias Abandoned Children
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d1V53U3XHOA

Highlighting the plight of the poverty stricken, corrupt orphanages in Bulgaria.  Deeply affecting, but not without moments of hope.  Thankfully there is a 'revisited' documentary that shines a great deal of light into the darkness.

Bulgarias Abandoned Children - Revisited
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0ah_W9tS-8c

Re: Grimmest documentaries you've seen
« Reply #29 on: July 10, 2012, 11:57:42 PM »
I always find Charles Crumb's part of Crumb quite chilling.