Docs/ology | Award Winning Documentary Films

Docs/ology promotes documentary films that authentically and thoughtfully explore the truth about the human condition with excellence, artistry, and substance.


With so many documentary films being released each year it is nearly impossible to dissect the merely good and the great ones. So we created Docs/ology to help moviegoers know which films are the most praise-worthy — whether on your TV or in movie theaters. Through concise film reviews, features and interviews plus our ‘Docs/ology Award,’ Docs/ology will help you discover the films most deserving of your time.

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PRAISE WORTHY FILMS

American Heretics

American Heretics is a film about a group of defiant Oklahomans who have been labeled “heretics” for challenging fundamentalist Christian doctrine by calling for a more inclusive interpretation of scripture.

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For Sama

Framed as a letter to her daughter, Waad al-Kateab’s For Sama depicts human dignity in the midst of the horrors of war using her own footage from a besieged Aleppo.

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Roll Red Roll

Roll Red Roll is a true-crime thriller that goes behind the headlines to uncover the deep-seated “boys will be boys” culture at the root of high school sexual assault in America.

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Emanuel

Emanuel features intimate interviews with survivors of the tragic shooting that occurred in Charleston, South Carolina on June 17, 2015. This film is a poignant story of justice and faith, love and hate, and examines the healing power of forgiveness.

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Scheme Birds

Awarded ‘Best Documentary’ at Tribeca Film Festival, Scheme Birds tells the story of Gemma- a young girl growing up in the Scottish ghetto of Motherwell.

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The Biggest Little Farm

The Biggest Little Farm is a beautiful documentary by and about John and Molly Chester and their incredible journey creating a two-hundred acre, completely organic and biodynamic farm in Southern California.

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Hesburgh

During some of the most tumultuous times in our nation’s history, Reverend Theodore Hesburgh finds himself to be an influential voice leading the fight for peace and equality.

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The River and the Wall

The River and the Wall is a story about five adventurers, who set out on a journey along our nation’s southern border and attempt to explore the tough issues surrounding immigration.

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Amazing Grace

Amazing Grace captures a breathtaking performance by the legendary Aretha Franklin, and invites us all take part in what was a truly extraordinary evening.

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Jump Shot

Jump Shot tells the story of Kenny Sailors-the unsuspecting inventor of one of the most iconic maneuvers in basketball.

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Strange Negotiations

Strange Negotiations is a film about David Bazan, as he reflects on his long career in the music business, his family, and his faith that has played a central role throughout.

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Bluebird

What you’re left with at the end of Bluebird is an enormous appreciation and gratefulness that some smart and caring people kept this remarkable place alive all these years.

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The Story of God

The Story of God, which begins its third season March 5 on National Geographic, follows Oscar-winning actor Morgan Freeman as he and the show’s crew travel around the globe, exploring fascinating and often hidden facets of the world’s religions.

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Tigerland

In his new documentary, Tigerland, Ross Kauffman impresses upon us the urgency with which conservationists are working to save the tigers. 

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Midnight Family

Midnight Family is the story of the Ochoa family as they run their private ambulance in Mexico City.

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Honeyland

Honeyland tells the story of Hatidze, a woman who lives in a remote area of Macedonia and is the last living beekeeper of her kind in the world.

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Midnight Traveler

Hassan Fazili, his wife, and their two young daughters, fled Afghanistan in 2015 to Tajikistan when the family learned that the Taliban had put a price on his head. This documentary chronicles the Fazili family’s incredible journey and struggle to find safety.

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Monrovia, Indiana

Monrovia is a celebration of small towns and community but also of friendship and family. More significantly, though, it’s a celebration of our shared humanity.

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On Her Shoulders

On Her Shoulders is a testament to a perseverance born out of immense suffering. Nadia Murad has been through much more than most, and that has instilled in her an ability to endure the burden of advocacy for her people.

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Paris to Pittsburgh

Paris to Pittsburgh makes a powerful argument that the fight against climate change in the U.S. is as strong as ever thanks to hundreds of cities, states, universities and businesses who picked up the baton and continued the goals of the Paris agreement, despite the Trump administration’s position.

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MARS

Mars offers a unique, grounded look at space exploration and shows us how it relates to those of us whose feet will always be planted on earth.

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Social Animals

In Social Animals one thing becomes clear – for all the ways Instagram allows someone to filter and frame their life, it can’t help but also be truly revelatory. What we choose to show and not show discloses who we are and what we value.

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Intelligent Lives

When it comes to some of our most vulnerable men and women—people with disabilities that we might avoid or discount— ‘Intelligent Lives’ reminds us more progress needs to be made.

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Cielo

Cielo creates space of the cinematic kind so that the viewer can create space inwardly to reckon with the vastness of outer space and all it contains, an immensity which we can only see with our naked eye in the night sky.

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Behold the Earth

A meditative and gorgeously filmed experience that asks the question, “Is the root cause of the environmental crisis we face spiritual in nature?”

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Science Fair

Science Fair makes you smile—not just a surface smile because it’s a fun, entertaining, well-made documentary (which it is), but a deeper smile. One that comes of being encouraged and inspired by these high schoolers, and what they can do in the coming years.

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Free Solo

Free Solo is the kind of documentary that makes you hold your breath, both because you don’t want Alex to slip off the granite face of El Capitan and because you can see how easy it would be for him to slip free of those who love him.

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Crime + Punishment

Crime + Punishment is riveting and persuasive. It’s not an instrument in tearing down a treasured institution as much as a potential tool to help rebuild it.

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Generation Wealth

The temptation in observing outlandish people is to “other” them. Generation Wealth wants to do the opposite — to see how we are like them, so that we may reconsider our own selfish pursuits.

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Minding the Gap

The past has its own gravity, pulling at us, keeping us in the same circular orbits we’ve always known. To break free requires tremendous resolve, not to mention a little outside help.

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The King

Eugene Jarecki’s brilliant The King may be the most surprisingly profound documentary film of the year.

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Three Identical Strangers

Three Identical Strangers hits every note of emotion and questions the very fabric of human nature in light of a story that is just as sad as it is joyful.

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RBG

RBG documents the legacy and marriage of the iconic supreme court justice, Ruth Bader Ginsberg.

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American Jail

American Jail isn’t just brave filmmaking. It’s loving. It wants us all to be free, and it knows that it must act in love even now in the face of such injustice if love is to triumph over all.

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Won’t You Be My Neighbor?

Won’t You Be My Neighbor? is a beautifully simple portrayal of a man who had the quiet audacity to challenge the status quo in everything he did.

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The Heart of Nuba

The Heart of Nuba chronicles the life of a community of Catholic aid workers and the Nuba peoples who surround, work, and are helped by the hospital.

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Hondros

‘Hondros’ is not just an informative piece of nonfiction filmmaking; it is also a tribute to a man who was remarkable for reasons beyond his bravery and facility with a camera.

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Summer in the Forest

‘Summer in the Forest’ reminds us of the simplicity of life—how simple and beautiful it is to love someone, to work with our hands, to play with our friends, and to laugh, learn, and remember.

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Strangers on the Earth

Strangers on the Earth, which accompanies thousands of pilgrims as they traverse the Camino de Santiago in northern Spain, is expansive, making room for all to participate in this ancient, devotional act of faith.

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The Heretic

The Heretic tells Rob Bell’s story, focusing on his teachings – why it appeals to so many and also why his teaching has branded him a “heretic” among others.

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25 IN 24

Performing 25 shows in 24 hours, SWITCHFOOT frontman Jon Foreman dives headlong into the paradox of order and chaos that forms music.

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Icarus

Cyclist and filmmaker Bryan Fogel set off to uncover the truth about doping in his sport, but the truth took him on a ride he never anticipated.

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Heroin(e)

A judge, a fire chief, and a local ministry leader are the three pillars of hope that this 2018 Oscar-nominated documentary Heroin(e) highlights.

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Quest

Quest follows its subjects over the course of nearly a decade, fostering with the audience a connection that comes only through dedicated consideration.

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One of Us

One of Us gives a raw and rare behind-the-scenes look into the Hasidic community in Brooklyn, New York.

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Submissions

Do you have a film you think we should know about? Are you a filmmaker looking to get the word out about your film? Did you see a film you loved that we haven’t covered yet? Send in your submissions to Docs/ology by filling out our sign up form.

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