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Welcome to Documentary Addict - now that you've seen a fraction of what's on offer we hope you make this your place to watch free documentaries online. DA is manually curated for broken links so we hope you don't get disappointed when you go to watch the movie. If you do happen to find one though, send us some feedback and we'll get it back up asap.
What is a Documentary? The main purpose is to document reality into mediums such as film and television in order to maintain historical records and or, instruct others. In recent times, many good docs are found online in digital production.
There are so many top documentaries online here on DA. From famous presenters like David Attenborough, as well as major production houses like BBC, SBS, HBO and more, which have made up some of the best of 2014 and of course all other years that contain great films like Forks Over Knives. Some production houses are viewed as respectable, some not so much - it's all a matter of opinion.
There's a depth in these films that leaves an indelible impression on the minds of the viewers and can hold great historical value. The subjects range from generating awareness about a social practice to events in the life of a celebrity.
Watching a doc is like going deep into the subject to find a chord that touches the viewers. A story woven around facts that pulls at the emotional strings of the people is what separates them from other films.
The word documentary was reportedly coined by Scottish documentarian, John Grierson DOB: 04/26/1898, around 1926. He was of the opinion that maintaining originality is better than creating fictional characters lending a real aspect to the subject.
The period from 1920s till 1970s gave these films a dynamic new identity with films made on different genres like romanticism, city life, camera angles and newsreels.
1920s – The Romantic Period
Made in 1922 by Robert Flaherty, Nanook of the North, showcased romanticism, even showing how subjects would have lived 100 years back. Walter Ruttman's Berlin, Symphony of a City; Alberto Cavalcanti's Rien Que les Heures and Dziga Vertov's Man with the Movie Camera focused on people within their environment.
Kino-Pravda or cinematic truth utilized the camera angles, like stop motion and time lapse, to portray reality accurately. Depicting events that had already happened, newsreels were sometimes staged during film making.
1940s – The Propaganda Period
By the 1940s, propaganda films like Leni Riefenstahl's Triumph of the Will, had taken center stage. Interestingly, it was commissioned by Adolf Hitler. Social and environmental awareness took over film making like Frank Capra's Why We Fight.
In Britain, Grierson and other filmmakers became known as a movement. Grierson, Basil Wright, Humphrey Jennings and other filmmakers combined propaganda and facts in an artistic manner with films like Drifters, Songs of Ceylon and Coal Face among others.
1950s – The Technique Period
The 1950s to 1970s brought technical aspects to film making such as portable sync sounds and the use of light with films like Lonely Boy by Pennebaker and Don't Look Back by Koenig and Kroitor.
Following Grierson's definition as creative treatment of actuality, bringing people closer to topics or issues by providing educational information or describing people in a factual manner is not an easy task. These filmmakers paved the way for modern documentaries which encapsulate various shades of subjects and treatments.
Today, documentary films and sites have their own dedicated viewership and their number is constantly rising. The popularity of the genre can be gauged by the fact that even mega producers like Harvey Weinstein have joined the world of docos. In the end, film making or even media as a whole, is sometimes expressing one's belief but ensure you keep your mind open and learn from the wonderful experiences that these stories bring. Remember to come back to DA and please leave some feedback or give us a like on Facebook. We hope you make this channel, your home to watch documentaries online