I love documentaries, much for the same reason that I love nonfiction books. If it's done well (think Capturing the Friedmans, Spellbound, Hoop Dreams, No Time for Tears, Return with Honor) it will break down complicated issues in an interesting and fair way, while giving the viewer an opportunity to make up his or her own mind. And when it's done more as a piece of propaganda (think Fahrenheit 9/11, Hearts and Minds, and in the extreme, the Know Your Enemy series) it will still give you some serious stuff to ponder.
Entertainment Weekly had a piece this week about a bunch of documentaries that are coming out this year. The ones I am most looking forward to are below.
The Aristocrats - This doc is about a well-known dirty joke in the world of stand-up comics and how each comic makes the joke more or less funny depending on style. (Opens August 5)
Murderball - If you follow Sundance at all, then you've definitely heard about this doc which follows that sport of quad-rugby - that's rugby played by quadrapalegics. It won audience best doc award at Sundance. No sure what date it's coming out - but definitely this summer.
Rock School - The real story behind Jack Black's School of Rock, except that the teacher here apparentlyloses his temper when the kids eff up. (June 3)
Not included in EW's list, but certainly of interest to me:
Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room - Got an A from EW when it came out a month ago, it follows the book of the same title and apparently lays out the scandal is a straight-forward and interesting way. EW compared it to a really good ep of Frontline with better music. It's currently playing at the Clairidge in Montclair.