Documentaries Essay Examples and Topics

When writing essays on Documentaries, you may be struggling with topics, structure, and content. Don’t worry; we have collected some tips that will help you write the best Documentaries essay.

  • If you don’t have a topic yet, focus on a subject that you are passionate about. Do you care about climate change? Choose a documentary that examines environmental issues. Do you follow a healthy lifestyle? There are plenty of films about nutrition available. You can also search for a Documentaries essay topic online – this will surely give you some great ideas!
  • To ensure that your essay is structured well, create an outline before you begin writing. Start with a simple structure (introduction, main body, and conclusion) and add more sub-topics as you progress.
  • To make your essay stand out, pay a lot of attention to the analysis. You can find a film analysis worksheet online to help you structure this part of the paper. Using resources from the internet, you can also document analysis examples from other essays on the topic.
  • Finally, relate the content of your chosen film to current events to produce the best essay. Documentaries often focus on the topics that are pertaining to modern society, so this part should be easy. You can watch some television or check social media to see if you can find any news related to the chosen topic. Examining how the content of the documentary is relevant and applicable today will definitely earn you extra marks.

We hope that these tips will make writing your Documentaries essay much easier. To explore recent documentary films and watch them online, be sure to check out this website.

Fast Food, Fat Profits

The documentary film Fast Food, Fat Profits is aimed at exploring various issues such as the underlying causes of obesity in the United States, the eating habits of American people, and the factors that shape their dietary choices. This movie can be discussed with the help of frame analysis developed by Erving Goffman. This approach […]

Documentary Review: Kony 2012

The film Kony 2012 dwells upon the struggle of young people against a man who committed horrible crimes in Uganda. This is also a story about the power of technology and communication that can help people unite and solve really difficult issues. Jason Russell tells a story about their struggle against Kony, a leader of […]

“Sicko” Documentary

Introduction Federal government has the most expensive health care system. However, it still struggles to offer the best health coverage. In fact, countries like France and Canada offer better health care benefits than the United States. Issues of great concern include high cost of premium, among others. Health care reforms began in 1965 when Lyndon […]

“Obsession” Documentary Film

Introduction Obsession is a 2005 documentary film exposing the radical views of extreme jihad activists against the western world. It uses several television extracts from Middle Eastern televisions (which are normally not broadcasted to the western world) to expose the views of the radical Muslims (Clarion Fund, 2011). The movie has caused a stir in […]

Terms and Conditions May Apply Documentary

The paper dwells on the specification of terms and privacy regulations through the analysis of Terms and Conditions May Apply documentary. The motion picture starts with a cartoon element that regards the issue of terms agreements. Through the traditional representation of the problem, the director manages to reach a desirable effect: he links the procedure […]

The Movie “Color of Fear”

The three words that come to mind after watching the “Color of Fear” documentary are color, racism, and America. Color comes to mind because the film is aptly titled “The Color of Fear”. Consequently, color is an important part of the producer’s main message. As soon as the film starts, the presence of people from […]

The Corporation

“The Corporation” is an award winning Canadian documentary that explores the structures and autonomies of modern-day corporations. The film is the brainchild of Canadian law professor Joel Bakan. When the film was being produced, Bakan accompanied it with a book named “The Corporation: The Pathological Pursuit of Profit and Power”. “The Corporation” elicited mixed reactions […]

“Salud!” and Cuban healthcare system

According to the film ‘Salud’, physicians reside within the neighborhoods that they are supposed to serve (Gorry, 2009). The Cuban healthcare system focuses mainly on preventive services and execution of rapid treatment whenever patients are admitted to hospitals. Effective emergency responders to cater for unexpected events such as earthquakes have also been trained in Cuba. […]

“China in Revolution, 1911-1949”

The movie, China in Revolution, 1911-1949, is one of three films written by Sue Williams and directed by Kathryn Pierce Dietz. This 1989 masterpiece officially describes the economic and political advancements in China. It also highlights the collapse of the preceding emperorship that was rocked by a series of resistance between two opposing political groupings. […]

Chinese Stereotypes Reflected in Movies

Introduction Perceptions of alien cultures are normally formed through a series of impressions from varied sources. Some may be newspaper articles written about people from that land; others may be books on the same while others are television programs or movies about that culture. Every contact that an individual has with any of these avenues […]

Michael Moore’s Documentary “Bowling for Columbine and Elephant”

Introduction Michael Moore’s documentary Bowling for Columbine and Elephant is a quasi-satirical revolving around gun crime culture in America and aggression. The documentary is entirely on the infamous killings that took place at Columbine High School. These killings revealed extreme forms of aggression prevalent in an industrialized society. The killings were among several gun sprees […]

Who Does She Think She Is?

The documentary, “Who Does She Think She Is?” depicts the lives of three mother-artists. Female artists often lack the time and do not engage in making art for long periods. This phenomenon has a tendency to exist, as they are scared of losing their partners by not meeting the perceptions of an ideal wife due […]

Review and Critique of the Film “GasLand”

Summary of the Film The film GasLand is a documentary featuring exploring a place that has suffered from a new form of mining that had led to the water table becoming a volatile mix of chemicals and toxic gases. It is directed by Josh Fox, who never revealed when he started carrying out the investigation, […]

Documentary film called “The Corporation”.

Introduction The documentary identifies that corporations often apply some potentially harmful techniques in their production system as they seek to increase their profits. There has not been a lot of interest in identifying the potential harm that some production processes in corporations pose to ordinary people since most people have not been affected directly. The […]

Why We Fight

The 1942 film Why We Fight represents a classical example of American wartime propaganda. Given the fact that, during the course of thirties and forties, the majority of Americans shared an isolationist sentiment, it was crucially important for the America’s policy-makers at the time to convince citizens that country’s joining the WW2 was not optional.1 […]

“The Gate of Heaven Peace” by Richard Gordon and Carma Hinton

Introduction Among the best ever produced documentary movie is the “The Gate of Heaven Peace”, which demonstrates a split that existed in the student union, during their struggle for democracy in the then conservative society. Chai Ling, who is the overall student leader, suggests the clarifying upheavals and shocks through violence would be a lasting […]

Peace and Conflict Resolution

The main idea put forward in film, The Fog of War directed by Errol Morris explores whether those who took part in the Vietnam War are contrite, or excusatory for the negative effects brought about by the war. The director supports his claims by staging a series of interviews with the then secretary of defense. […]

What the Bleep Do We Know!? Review

Introduction In April 2004, the film industry was immersed in a new round of criticism and applause in equal measure as a new, low budget film was released to the public. The film was both confounding and challenging to film critiques who were trying to classify it into the conventional genres in the industry. This […]

“Promises” Analysis from a Contact Theory Perspective

Promises is a 2001 documentary movie that has received the audience award and has been recognized as the most intensely thought and provoking film featuring the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians through children’s viewpoint. The interaction among seven Arab and Jewish children has been displaced to define their attitudes, prejudices, and opinions about the war […]

Scene Analysis from “Finding Dawn” by Christine Welsh

One of the reasons why Native women account for a disproportionately large share of missing people in Western Canada, is that as compared to what it happened to be the case with Whites and the representatives of other ethno-cultural minorities, they appear to be particularly vulnerable to different forms of a societal abuse. Partially, this […]

“Reconstruction: The Second Civil War, Parts I and II”: Revealing Narratives and Lesser-known Lives

In the documentary Reconstruction: The Second Civil War, Parts I and II, the personal stories shared are intriguing because they have not been told in detail for most students. This era of US history had as much impact on subsequent events as did the Civil War itself. It was largely the result of the actions […]

Presentation and discussion: self-assessment

The topic of the presentation This presentation discusses the way in which the problem of violence against Indigenous women is explored in the film Finding Dawn. This movie shows that these victims face two significant challenges such as poverty and racial prejudice (Finding Dawn). These are some of the main obstacles that they often have […]

Review of “…So Goes the Nation” movie

Introduction …So Goes the Nation is a political documentary that focuses on the US political processes. It specifically follows the 2004 presidential elections between President George W. Bush and John Kerry. The events that are described in the movie are set in Ohio State that became the political battlefield for the two candidates in their […]

Reflection Paper: “Blood Diamonds-The True Story” by Schmuddelginger

Introduction The film, Blood Diamonds-The True Story, is an assertive and fascinating documentary which explores infamous historical events. The film is an eye opener to the global population on little-known truth regarding the diamond trade. The key issues regarding civil wars in western and central Africa are attributed to the hefty money from the diamond […]

Critical review: “Food’s footprint: agriculture and climate change” by Jennifer Burney

Introduction The ability to unravel the current quagmire surrounding the causes and effects of global warming on food and agricultural production remain the key area towards effective policy design, management application and eventual sustainability assimilation in society. Although food security is the main driver and core determinant of the level of economic development, it presents […]

The Ways to Achieve a Romantic Effect of an IRA Gunman at the Run

Introduction: Political Situation in Narrative Films: Gripping Reality Of all movie genres, documentary seem the least enthralling for the general audience; while it is hard to consider the events of the past as something to be cared about in present, the omnipotent narrator, who, as a rule, takes the hold of the plot, can be […]

A State of Mind

A State of Mind is a 2003 documentary film intended for adult audiences. It was written and produced by Daniel Gordon. The film which has won various awards across the world focuses on the day to day life of North Koreans as dictated by the prevailing political regime. The film brings to focus issues of […]

Gillo Pontecorvo’s “Battle of Algiers”, Frantz Fanon’s “Concerning Violence” and Hannah Arendt’s “Reflection on Violence”

Introduction Some fundamentals on the topic While discussing the ways Gillo Pontecorvo’s film supports and challenges Frantz Fanon’s perception of violence and Hannah Arendt’s attitude towards the same issue, there is a need to consider some fundamentals of the Battle for Algerian Independence. As far as the topic of the current essay involves a deep […]

Film Review on Inside North Korea

Inside North Korea is a film reflecting the lives of the people of North Korea. The people in this country live in a closed and secretive society. The film has been well developed exposing the North Korean society to the extent no other film has. It brings out King Jong II who is described as […]

Film Review on Kimjongilia

Kimjongilia is a documentary film directed by Heikin which features the stories of escapees and survivors of prison camps in North Korean during the dictatorship regime led by Kim Il-sung and Kim Jong-iI. It is based on various interviews taken from residents of North Korea, people of all ages and status, who had survived the […]

Movie Review: A State of Mind

This 2003 film is a documentary intended for an adult audience. It was written and produced by Daniel Gordon. The film which has won various awards across the world focuses on the day to day life of North Koreans as dictated by the prevailing political regime. The film brings to focus issues totalitarianism, oppression, suppression […]

Smartest Guys in the Room

Introduction Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room was a documentary film showing the real story of the largest business scandal in the U.S. where top executive officers in Enron Corporation squandered over one billion American dollars while the Corporation investors and employees lost everything. Enron Corporation was a leading commodity, and Service Company established […]

Documentary Presentation: The Confessions

The Confessions is an award winning documentary, which investigates one of the major landmark cases on miscarriage of justice. The case involves four ex-soldiers from the US Marines accused and convicted of the murder of Michelle Bosko in 1997. The documentary raises several issues concerning police investigation. Evidently, the innocent Americans bear the burden for […]

Planet Earth in the Documentary “Pole to Pole”

Pole to pole was a premier episode that was produced in 2006, and aired in BBC. The main theme of the film is to show how natural features in the universe are I interconnected. The author proofs to people in the world that all lives in the universe are interconnected in one way or the […]

God Grew Tired of Us

Introduction The title of the film “God Grew Tired of Us” is rather succinctly used by the film maker in order to help audiences understand the plight of the 3 main characters in the movie and how it relates to the greater theme of the plight of people throughout Africa and the Third World. Poverty, […]

History of World Cinema

Introduction There is none of the anti-Semitic films produced in the early nineteenth century that became as popular as the film Jud Suss by Veit Harlan. Anti-Semitism was a common phenomenon across Europe and particularly in Germany during this film’s production; but this film had anti-Semitism that has never been in any other piece of […]

The Film Baraka and Its Spiritual Reflections

Introduction Baraka is a Sufi expression for “breath of life”. The film producer, director, and the composer gave the film its audio visual quality poem that reflects on the world, plus the diverse cultures that scramble on its surface. Baraka moves away from the conventional setting of man versus nature. The film is intricately anchored […]

Film analysis on The Inside Job Movie by Charles Fergusson

This essay is a film analysis that is based on the movie by the name Inside Job, which was directed by Charles Fergusson that is currently being played at theater. The essay includes the plot of the movie, it analyses characters, and then gives my own thought of the story of the movie in general. […]

“The West Memphis 3” Documentary

Introduction The West Memphis three documentaries revolve on the story of three teenagers who are victims of torture and eventual death. This led to the arrest and imprisonment of three men on the basis that they were responsible for the death of the three eight –year- old boys. One of the suspects was a minor […]

The World of Documentaries: Touching the Void and Bigger, Stronger, Faster

Introduction In the movie-making industry, there are a number of powerful works which deserve viewers’ attention and recognition. In spite of the fact that the vast majority of modern people are fond of exiting 3D ideas, the importance of documentary movies is regarded to be noticeable as well. With the help of documentaries, people get […]

When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts

On August 29, 2005 the world watched in horror as Hurricane Katrina slammed into New Orleans, Louisiana. As with so many others who were mortified, American director/producer Spike Lee felt compelled to tell this story and the fruit of his labour resulted in his third feature-length collaborative documentary with HBO entitled When the Levees Broke: […]

“Brother’s Keeper” a Film by Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky

Synopsis Brother’s Keeper is a film directed by Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky who portray the lifestyle of four brothers living in a rural setting (Munnsville) near New York City. Delbert Ward and his brothers Roscoe, Lyman and Bill live in isolation from the rest of other members of the community and the only time […]

After the Mayflower and Tecumseh’s Vision

After the Mayflower and Tecumseh’s Vision are two films that form the first and second parts of a five-part documentary known as We Shall Remain. The two documentaries explore the lives of two Indian leaders during the encroachment of white settlers and pilgrims on their land. After the Mayflower captures the period of the white […]

For The Bible Tells Me So

Fundamentalist Christians and Homosexuality The viewpoint of the fundamentalist Christians concerning homosexuality is that it is a sin and an abomination to mankind. Several fundamental Christians such as Mary Lou Wallner and Reitans openly reject their children who declare themselves as homosexuals. Wallner rejects her daughter while the Reitans gang up with the Minnesota community […]

Movie Review: Beyond the Nuclear Family

Today, the role and form of a modern family are the most discussed questions. In spite of the fact a family remains to be an important social institution, the associated aspects and norms are changed significantly. Such issues as the definition of family, family structures and roles, influential factors for changing families, and the family […]

The Kony 2012 Controversy

Introduction The film “Kony 2012”, a 28-minute film by the ‘Invisible Children’ was created to promote the movement ‘Stop Kony’ with an aim of creating awareness of the plight of children in Northern Uganda, southern Sudan and Central Africa (Pallota 1). This is the region where the African fugitive Joseph Kony and his militia have […]

Political Leadership in Africa (Do or Die Affair)

The do or die affair movie discusses political leadership in Africa. The setting is in Nigeria where the general election is about to take place. The current president is proposing the vice president as the most suited candidate for presidency. Moreover, one of the governors of the states in the country is expressing his interest […]

Documentary Movie “Why We Fight”

Why We Fight is a 2005 documentary movie directed by Eugene Jarecki, an author and a dramatic documentary film maker, his other works include Trials of Henry Kissinger, Freakonomics, Reagan, the House I live in amongst others. Why We Fight won the grand Jury award in the year 2005. The movie title is based on […]

The Summary of Harvest of Empire

The problem of immigration can be discussed as one of the most problematic issues for the US society because the vision of the Latinos’ immigration is based on great prejudice and a lot of stereotypes developed within the society. In the movie Harvest of Empire (2012) directed by Peter Getzels and Eduardo Lopez, the discussion […]

China’s lost girl

In most countries of the world, families get to choose the number of children they need. However, this is not the case in some countries like China. In the 1980s, China’s population increased at an alarming rate. This rapid growth concerned the Chinese government. Based on the country’s economy and politics, the government formulated a […]

Goodbye, Norma Jean: The World’s Most Famous Documentary Director about the World’s Most Beloved Movie Star

When it seemed that there was nothing else people never knew about Marilyn Monroe and when the entire world started to forget about the way an unknown starlet Norma turned into the most famous star the humankind has ever known, Liz Garbus came into the spotlight, promising to shed even more light on the actress’s […]

High and Tide: A film Evaluation

Global warming and globalization are two phenomenons that have gained worldwide attention over the past few decades. These two occurrences have had significant impacts on the environment and mankind. The 2005 film “Time and Tide” produced by the National Geographic channel under the directorship of Julie Bayer and Josh Salzman seeks to address these two […]

“Sicko” a Documentary by Michael Moore

Sicko is a documentary film produced by Michael Moore, who is an American filmmaker. The film mainly investigates issues of health care in the United States where it focuses on the pharmaceutical industry and health insurance. It compares the non-universal organizations in the United States which make profit with that of universal health care organisations […]

The Movie Life and Debt

Artistically set in beguiling Caribbean reggae beats, the film “Life and Debt” reflect on decline in the economy of Jamaica and subsequent effects on its tourism industry. After independence in 1962, Jamaica is rescued from financial huddles by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank through loans in 1976. However, the financial aid […]

The Interactive Documentary Wasteland

Introduction Wasteland is an interactive documentary that tries to explain the transformational role of art in our society. In this case, it explains the importance of nature in changing people’s lives. The movie takes us to the world’s largest dumb site that is located on the outskirts of Rio de Janeiro. While there, Muniz photographs […]

Fahrenheit 9/11

Fahrenheit 9/11, a 2004 documentary by Michael Moore, a political commentator is the most watched political documentary. The main argument is that the paranoia, patriotism and false values present in the American Security System (ASS) resulted to the incapability (poor decisions) of Bush administration when it came to dealing with security issues affecting the Americans […]

Waiting for Superman

The overall argument in the film waiting for superman is about public education in America. This film views education system in America as horrible since it focuses on how Unions can not let districts fire teachers who under perform. Futher, the film manifests how inner city schools are horrific and the way teachers are reluctant […]

The Grizzly Man

Introduction Werner Herzog made this movie in order to analyze the conflict between man and nature. He intended on showing that man cannot cause nature to dance to his tune, and it is this misconception that can sometimes lead to dire consequences. The production Contrary to what one might expect from the movie, Grizzly Bear […]

Black Power Mixtape

This is a movie shot in America by television journalist from Sweden. It talks in an ironic manner of black movements common in 60’s and 70’s. The movie is like a story told by an outsider in this society who views the insurgence of these black movement as a product of segregation and racialism. Black […]

Culture Artifact Film “Intro the great Pyramid”

The early part of the last century has seen contradictory opinions by various Egyptologists on whether Egyptians had entered the Great Pyramids long before the Mohammedan era. These conflicting surveys also linger on whether this entry into the Pyramids was through cunning art or some substantial knowledge of its methods of construction. The film ‘’ […]

Movie Review: The Children’s March

The Children’s March is a movie on an event that occurred way back in 1963 in Alabama, United States of America. Although the movie is not a real recording of the actual events that happened during that time, the core movie line presents a case scenario of real events that actually happened by use of […]

Triumph of the Will

Triumph of the Will, describing the 1934 Nazi Party Congress in Nuremberg, is a propaganda film of the highest caliber that was produced by the golden girl of the German film industry, Leni Riefenstahl. The propaganda in the film is its portrayal of the rebirth of Germany to its ancient heroism. The documentary falsely depicted […]

Videocracy: A Double-Sided Sword for the Fame-Hungry

Look Deeper into the Abyss – and Watch It Look into You Throughout the history of the world, there has always been the kind of power which could not be suppressed or overthrown. The people of the greatest influence, these beholders of the world’s power were merely the TV officials. Despite the fact that many […]

“The “Running Fence” by Amelia Knight

I viewed the video Running Fence. It reveals the process of creation one of Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s artworks under the same name. The film tells about the process of gaining permits to carry out the project. The video also highlights negative attitude of people living in the neighborhood who oppose the project. Many people do […]

Documentary Film “The Big One” by Michael Moore

The Big One is a documentary film by Michael Moore that was released to the public in 1998 as a follow-up to his 1989 film called Roger and Me. The film was produced during Moore’s tour around the U.S. in forty-seven towns to promote his book called Downsize This! His visits made him to discover […]

The Corporation & Our Media, Not Theirs

The film by Joel Bakan “The Corporation” deals with the most significant facets of the issue of corporations in our society. This film produced a very strong impression on me, made me think of our society development and our future. First of all, I’d like to point out that this film made me feel as […]

“The Corporation” a Film by Mack Achbar, Jennifer Abbott and Joel Bakan

“The Corporation,” a film by Mack Achbar, Jennifer Abbott and Joel Bakan, is a fascinating film presenting convincing and realistic perceptions on the origin, nature, emergence and impacts of the modern corporate institutions, which are dominating the economical, political culture and the social life of many people, while also presenting people and organizations fighting against […]

Fluoride and Mercury – The Dumbing Down of our Population

Introduction ‘Fluoride and Mercury – The Dumbing Down of our Population’ is a documentary that commences with assessing the ethical principles behind environmental degradation emanating from government services as well as from privatization of its services. Blaylock highlights that the government takes little concern while carrying out functions related to environmental issues, as evidenced by […]

“Examined Life”, Cornel West – Summary and Analysis

Introduction “Examined life” is a film that reveals people’s philosophical view of the world. In addition, it tries to apply rationality in lives. This paper will examine three philosophers in the documentary. It will also try to examine interesting, frustrating, agitating, and exciting things about them. Cornel West Cornel West is a professor at Princeton […]

The Corporation: 2003 Movie Reflection Paper. Documentary Review Essay Example

The Corporation is a documentary written by Joel Bakan in 2003, which revolves around the attainment of legal status by corporate companies, which accords them the privilege of enjoying similar rights as human beings. It brings to the fore the social injustices that corporate companies commit in their business ventures. The Corporation reaction paper seeks […]

No Rest for the Wicked

Introduction The documentary series “is the last of a four part series that deeply explores the cultural, economic scientific and political aspects of Protestantism. The sixty-minute documentary produced by historian Tristan Hunt unravels the influence of Calvinism, Puritanism, and the Industrial Revolution on the current global order that is dominated by capitalism. Looked from a […]

“Shadow of Hate” film analysis

Question 1: Intolerance in the documentary film “Shadow of Hate” has been expressed through the portrayal of discrimination of various ethnic, racial, class, and religious groups in America, from the early days of settler activities to present times. Many religious denominations developed in the colonies, and this resulted in the discrimination of some of them […]

The Cove Documentary

The “Cove” is a United States documentary film that reflects events taking place along coastal routes of Japan. Taiji, a village in Japan, experiences extensive hunting of dolphins which occur throughout the year. This has been witnessed mainly in peak seasons from March to September (Masters par. 1). This film intends to create and heighten […]

“World in the Balance: China Revs Up”

The DVD “World in the Balance: China Revs Up”, focuses on the fast paced growth of the Chinese economy and its impact on the environment. Within the past three decades China’s economic policy, supported by government initiatives aimed at economic reform, has attempted to remodel the Chinese economy into a global economic powerhouse. The result […]

Documentary “Super Size Me”

1. “Super Size Me” is a 2004 documentary film which tackles the problem of obesity as related to the consumption of fast food products from McDonald’s. Morgan Spurlock is the writer, director and main actor in this movie which documents his 30-day experiment of consuming nothing but products from McDonald’s for his meals. This study […]

Bus 174 Commentary

Introduction Directed by Jose Padilha, Bus 174 is a fascinating documentary published in 2002 in Brazil. It includes people like Sandro, Williams, Luciana, among others. Sandro is a street boy who hijacks a bus, demanding to kill the passengers, a case that forces their journey to stand still for four hours. The media collect this […]