Looking For Documentaries & Films To Inspire Intelligent Conversation
February 25, 2018 6:48 AM   Subscribe

I am looking for movies and documentaries that will inspire good conversation. Things that have a psychological or philosophical component are especially of interest. If there is an aspect of moral complexity, even better!!!

I am looking for movies and documentaries that will inspire good conversation. Things that have a psychological or philosophical component are especially of interest. If there is an aspect of moral complexity, even better!!!
posted by kbbbo to Media & Arts (27 answers total) 21 users marked this as a favorite
 
Movie: The Truman Show

Questions: What psychological effects does constant surveillance have on a human life? Moreover, when it tries to bring safety into one's life, when does surveillance and isolation cross the line into harassment and overbearing control?
posted by mr_bovis at 7:11 AM on February 25, 2018 [1 favorite]


Exit Through The Gift Shop
Black Panther
Los Angeles Plays Itself
Fog of War
posted by nickggully at 7:12 AM on February 25, 2018 [1 favorite]


The Imposter
posted by jindc at 7:14 AM on February 25, 2018


Mindhunter did that for us just recently. I had to sit with a notebook open to jot notes/things I had to google as soon as we'd finished that session.
posted by humph at 7:17 AM on February 25, 2018 [2 favorites]


Cave of Forgotten Dreams
The True Cost
Icarus (you have to keep watching through the first half hour - it turns into a completely different film at that point)
posted by FencingGal at 7:29 AM on February 25, 2018


Last Days In Vietnam —about the evacuation of Saigon. I watched this over a year ago and still think about it. Definitely thought provoking and also meets the moral aspects of your inquiry.
This is a great question and I’ll be watching the responses.
posted by bookmammal at 8:05 AM on February 25, 2018


Dead Man Walking deals with the death penalty
posted by Sassyfras at 8:16 AM on February 25, 2018


Primer and Upstream Color.
posted by vrakatar at 8:29 AM on February 25, 2018 [3 favorites]


In A Dream
posted by gudrun at 8:31 AM on February 25, 2018


Mary and Max. It is this dark, funny, charming, quirky movie about unlikely pen pals who become friends. There is so much going on in it and the characters deal with issues such as Asperger's, alcoholism, loneliness, anxiety, suicide, and body image in ways that respectful and incredibly touching.
posted by August Fury at 8:32 AM on February 25, 2018 [1 favorite]


movies :
Dogtooth
Sin Nombre, A better LIfe (and 2 docs on the subject, Which way home and the other side of immigration)
Moon
posted by beccaj at 8:39 AM on February 25, 2018


My Dinner With Andre is itself an intelligent conversation ...
posted by philip-random at 8:50 AM on February 25, 2018 [2 favorites]


Twinsters -- about Korean twins who were adopted to separate families on different continents and who met in their early twenties.
posted by platitudipus at 8:56 AM on February 25, 2018


The BBC's new epic documentary Civilisations will be on PBS from mid April (rescripted, actor narration, etc. but should still be a must-see).
posted by humph at 8:58 AM on February 25, 2018


(For those with access to the BBC iPlayer service, Kenneth Clark's 1969 13 part series Civilisation is available on iPlayer.)
posted by humph at 9:04 AM on February 25, 2018


Documentary series: All Watched Over By Machines Of Loving Grace

posted by shanek at 9:11 AM on February 25, 2018 [1 favorite]


2001: A Space Odyssey
posted by ecorrocio at 9:24 AM on February 25, 2018


Possession (1981)- Andrzej Żuławski has all of that in spades. It helps if you have some background knowledge in film theory/history and understand some of the ways that Polish filmmakers found to beat the Soviet censors and talk about moral and political issues while seeing to talk about anything and everything else. None of that is necessary though. Absolutely nothing is what it seems about this movie. History, reality, sin, redemption, the other, the self, East vs West, the body, ethics, morals you name it. All get cast and then recast again and again and played out against a backdrop that's either the story of madness in the face of lost love, pure phantasmagoria, or a spy thriller with shades of the techno/supernatural. I sat with friends for four hours after seeing this dissecting the movie until we came to final understanding that is so complex I'm not sure I could recount it here.
posted by Conrad-Casserole at 9:32 AM on February 25, 2018 [3 favorites]


Werner Herzog's documentary on capital punishment, Into the Abyss, is remarkable.
posted by fairlynearlyready at 9:42 AM on February 25, 2018 [2 favorites]


Circle is sort of like trolley problem combined with a game of Werewolf. You could probably get interesting opinions on it out of anyone by talking about how different people in it play the game. It's on Netflix.
posted by Wobbuffet at 9:57 AM on February 25, 2018


The Century of Self has aged a bit, but it's content is still very relevant, I think. It's about PR and propaganda, from the BBC. It's up on YouTube, but I don't know of anywhere else it's streaming.
posted by backwards compatible at 10:42 AM on February 25, 2018 [1 favorite]


Mindwalk is a movie depicting a conversation among three people walking around Mont Saint-Michel in France discussing a range of topics.
posted by XMLicious at 10:43 AM on February 25, 2018 [1 favorite]


Mr. Death, a doc about a guy who’d set himself up as the premiere expert on capital punishment in the US and transforms into a Holocaust denier. The banality of evil personified.

Marwencol. A fascinating doc about a guy who loses his memory after being beaten almost to death outside a bar and winds up coping with issues of idenity and memory with a huge art project that involves creating a 1/6th scale WWII era town in his backyard.
posted by xyzzy at 11:39 AM on February 25, 2018


The Diving Bell and the Butterfly.

Based on the memoir of a man with locked-in syndrome. It’s meditative and thought-provoking and also incredibly cinematically beautiful.
posted by Salamander at 4:20 PM on February 25, 2018


Documentaries:
Deep Water is about an around-the-world yacht race. If you don't know anything about this story, don't spoil it for yourself.
Protagonist compares the lives of four fascinating real people to classical dramatic structure.
The Endurance is a riveting retelling of Shackleton's daring, ill-fated Arctic expedition.
In The Five Obstructions, Lars von Trier asks Jorgan Leth to remake one of his short films repeatedly, with different artistic restrictions.
Koyaanisqatsi is almost indescribable.

Films:
The Music of Chance
Human Nature
Brainstorm
posted by heatvision at 3:48 AM on February 26, 2018




The film Tickled stirred up some unexpected conversations in my circle of friends.
posted by Ashwagandha at 1:08 PM on February 26, 2018


« Older Kid's Play Place   |   Millimeter by millimeter Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.