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The 50 Best Documentaries Streaming on Netflix 2014

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21. Connected: An Autobiography About Love, Death & Technology

Year: 2011

Director: Tiffany Shlain

Tiffany Shlain’s father was a renowned surgeon and best-selling author whose theories about mass societal shifts between left-brained and right-brained thinking, masculine and feminine energy, analytical and holistic worldviews challenged conventional orthodoxy. She continued her father’s iconoclastic ways, creating the Webby awards, creating great documentary films that made extensive and effective use of pastiche and collage, and becoming one of Newsweek’s “Women Shaping the 21st Century.” When she began designing a film that would be a collaboration, she had no idea that her father would become ill shortly after they began filming. The film changed, and quickly. What began as an academic exploration became the most personal of journeys for Shlain, and what would have been simply an intellectually stimulating film became a wonderfully moving one as well. Connected was one of the truly thrilling experiences of this year’s Sundance, and easily the best documentary in competition.—Michael Dunaway


15. Stories We Tell

Year: 2013

Director: Sarah Polley

With Stories We Tell, actress-turned-director Sarah Polley has proven herself a consummate filmmaker, transforming an incredible personal story into a playful and profound investigation into the nature of storytelling itself. The central mystery of her documentary—that the man she grew up believing to be her dad is not her biological father—is public knowledge and revealed in the film’s trailer. Yet Polley conceals and reveals information—starting with her relationships to her interview subjects—in such a way as to constantly surprise, even shock, her audience. The result is a film that entertains and delights viewers while elevating her investigation to art.—Annlee Ellingson

ha!  i'm watching this one tonight, as a matter of fact.  it has been recommended to me THREE times in the past three days.  i figure it's a sign that i'd better get on it!

3 times in 3 days?! Wow. 

right?!  i feel like the universe is shouting at me!  but i couldn't get through it in one sitting (not because it was boring, but because it was 2am) so i'll have to try again tonight.  my mom is visiting now.  maybe it's for us to watch together?  we'll see... the universe works in mysterious ways!

I still don't know how the universe works. 

neither do i.  my mom and i couldn't get through the documentary!

I don't know how insurance works.

haha!  geege.  :)

Emily so the documentary was dull? Or confusing? Or both?

well, i don't want to knock it until i finish it, but i have 40 minutes left and it feels like homework!

okay, i finished it.  the father was an interesting character and an excellent writer.  other than his words and revelations, i found it uninspiring and self-indulgent... like reading someone's diary drivel.

That's how I feel about most documentaries, so at least it's representative of its genre. :)

hahaha!  touche!