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If you have the time, anything by Ken Burns, but especially:

 

The Civil War

The West

Baseball

 

All 3 of these are a significant investment in time - as much as 14-18 hours, but the history is who we are, and the images and music contribute greatly to the story telling.

 

I would add "Jazz" to that list as well if you have any love for music. Keeping with the music theme a few more worth watching are....

 

20 Feet from Stardom (just won the Oscar for best documentary)

Sound City

Muscle Shoals

Edited by Baghorn
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If you have the time, anything by Ken Burns, but especially:

 

The Civil War

The West

Baseball

 

All 3 of these are a significant investment in time - as much as 14-18 hours, but the history is who we are, and the images and music contribute greatly to the story telling.

I've been checking out some of his Baseball one, and I agree it's good stuff.

Having said that--and i want to preface by saying this is highly politically incorrect, I realize--I felt the 1940s one spent too much time on Jackie Robinson. Was it clearly THE biggest story of that decade? Absolutely! Was the man amazing, both as a ballplayer AND a person (for putting up with all the had to)? Again, abso-freakin'-lutely!

 

Undoubtedly, then, he deserved the main spotlight for that decade. But, in the end, IMO it became too much about him, not enough about the several other stories that simply had to be a part of an intriguing WWII era period that we frankly didn't hear about. It seemed to me that the story on Jackie Robinson became so dominant, that Burns was indirectly preaching to everyone, and he was doing it long-winded, baptist style, to the point of exhaustion.

 

I have several very close black friends who I consider every bit a friend as any white person, and I always believe in treating everyone fairly, something which obviously hasn't happened historically. So, this isn't some veiled racism coming from me. Just would have liked to see more balance, even still clearly in Jackie's favor for the decade's stories.

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I've watched a couple of other documentaries since I started this thread that I would recommend:

 

The Woman Who Wasn't There - This was a pretty good doc about a lady who passed herself off as a 9/11 Survivor from one of the towers and actually became a president of a 9/11 Survivor group that was rather large. She did some really amazing things for the group and even met big guys like Giuliani but never really made any monetary gain off of it. It was interesting to see the different points of view from various survivors that she effected and had contact with.

 

Undefeated - This one followed a perennial losing High School football team in Memphis for one season. I'd definitely recommend it.

 

I tried watching Man on Wire, but got bored after 20 minutes and turned it off.

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