Line Street Productions

With the incorporation of documentary films as a part of the industry, many of them bagged various awards. However, few of them garnered international fame and recognition. Subsequently, we’ll discuss only a random selection of these documentaries, giving a brief description for each. We picked the relatively recent ones.

1.   The Act of Killing

The Act of Killing, directed by Joshua Oppenheimer, is a 2012 film set in Indonesia. It spotlights the 1965-66 killings of an estimated one million people said to be members of the local communist community. Following a failed coup in 1965, the then President appointed a death squad in the area called North Sumatra. This squad, led by Anwar Congo and Adi Zulkadry, carried out the brutal killings. They also collected money from some in exchange for their lives. There was some negative response because of Anwar’s testimony and worry about Indonesia’s image. However, the film won the European Film Award for Best Documentary and got other nominations in 2013.

2.   13th

13th is a 2016 movie directed by Ava DuVernay that focuses on the American justice system and the prison boom. They adopted the title from the Constitution’s thirteenth amendment. That’s because it abolished slavery and involuntary servitude, save as a punishment for a criminal conviction. Thus, the film depicts the issue of racial injustice and mass incarceration. It shows a practice that enabled the police to arrest people of color and minorities, forcing them to work for the state. The film also explores slavery’s economic history and the profitability of prison complexes to certain corporations. It features many activists and public figures, including Angela Davis, Michelle Alexander, and Cory Booker.

3.   I Am Not Your Negro

This film is Raoul Peck’s vision of the unfinished manuscript of James Baldwin titled Remember This House. The book was a collection of notes and letters he wrote in the mid-1970s. Thus, they recount the lives of three of his close friends- Martin Luther King Jr., Medgar Evans, and Malcolm X as civil rights leaders. Aptly, they picked Samuel L. Jackson as the narrator. The film received various favorable reviews over time. According to Joe Morgensten of the Wall Street Journal, Baldwin’s notes illuminate the civil rights struggle. Premiered in 2016, I am Not Your Negro went on to win the best documentary at the British Academy Film Awards. It also had numerous other nominations with several wins to its credit.

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