10 best documentaries they will shock you

As a visual medium, best documentaries frequently succeed in portraying the unimaginable far better then any book alone could do. Approching subjects such as the consequences of child abuse, or the horrors of nuclear warfare into the homes of millions, the following infamous documentaries shock the viewer and challenge perceptions.

Feel free to look them all up on the Internet, they’re usually available for viewing, free of charge. However, please note that almost all the videos featured contain graphic and disturbing content, relevant to the topic at hand. Curious?

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10. High on Crack Street (1995) | best documentaries

Following the struggle of three crack addicts, ‘High on Crack Street’ digs deep into the complex daily lives of individuals striving to obtain their next fix. From prostitution to pregnancies to STDs, we see the true dark side of drugs they don’t show you in school. Unfortunately there is no happy ending to this story.

9. Aokigahara / Suicide Forest (2012) | top documentaries

Lying at the base of Mount Fuji, Aokigahara Forest has a rather unsettling reputation as a suicide hotspot. This documentary follows a geologist as he performs a walk through of the forest, looking for both those who have, and may soon, succumb to depression. Spotting an abandoned car in the parking lot on the way in, passing signs dissuading suicide, and taking an ill trodden path into the bewildering forest, it isn’t long before we’re shown our first images of forsaken souls. From this point onwards, it only gets worse.

8. The Iceman Tapes (1992) | good documentaries

Vicious, ruthless, remorseless, brutal, fearless, violent, disturbed and callous are just some of the words which can be used to describe serial contract killer Richard “The Iceman” Kuklinski. ‘The Iceman Tapes’ attempts to take the viewer into the broken mind of a cold-blooded paranoid psycho-sociopath through a series of interviews conducted by psychiatrist Michael Baden.

7. Nuit et Brouillard (1955) | top documentary films

Drawing the viewer in with an almost poetic charm, few films portray the intricacies of the Holocaust better then this 1955 French film, Nuit et Brouillard, or—to give it its English title—Night and Fog. Featuring the camps at Auschwitz and Majdanek, we are taken on an uncompromising, and unforgiving, journey through the encampments history, and the fate of its occupants.

6. Atomic Wounds (2006) | top documentary

For all the propaganda and scaremongering that occurred during the Cold War, it is difficult for us to imagine the human effects of nuclear weapons—besides the massive loss of life, of course. We tend to imagine nukes as pulverizing all whom stand in it’s way, but a nuclear weapon doesn’t simply destroy, it poisons, it burns, it corrupts. Those unlucky enough not to be obliterated are left to suffer a horrific and painful death—often over months, years or even decades, rather then minutes or seconds.

5. Conspiracy of Silence | great documentaries

‘Conspiracy of Silence’ has never been released, and numerous parties have been attempting to prevent this documentary, espousing the perversion and abuse of power that occurs at the highest levels in society. A representation of how influence and wealth can be used for personal gain and the suppression of criminal acts, ‘Conspiracy of Silence’ takes us into the world we all know that exists, and yet hopes it does not.

4. The Killing of America (1982) | must see documentaries

A warning up front, ‘The Killing of America’ consistently provides the viewer with very real, and very graphic footage of criminal activity. From riots to outright murder, this documentary is far from shy of presenting the truth as is, with no sugar coating. “What truth?” you ask? Well, the fact that the United States was the most violent first world nation on earth.

3. Interview with a Cannibal (2012) | documentaries to watch

What drives a man to kill and cannibalize an innocent woman? ‘Interview with a Cannibal’ does just that, with the infamous case of Issei Sagawa—propelled to fame through his crimes, he was deemed insane by the courts and thus released without charge. A fascinating insight into the life of a man lost in his own fantasies, this documentary challenges perceptions about what humans are truly capable of.

2. Bulgaria’s Abandoned Children (2007) | interesting documentaries

Words simply cannot explain what is expressed in this BBC documentary. Put simply, Bulgaria has a serious problem with child abandonment, particularly of the disabled—and, worse yet, the government is apparently unable to care for them sufficiently. Recording numerous children over a nine month period, we are offered a unique insight into the appalling inner workings of a Bulgarian orphanage.

1. Child of Rage (1992) | best documentaries ever

Child of Rage documents the horrific effects of sexual abuse upon a young child named Beth. Consisting primarily of short clips of Beth being interviewed by a clinical psychiatrist, we learn—from both Beth herself, and the additional research done by the TV crew—that she was sexually violated and neglected at a young age by her birth father. This has resulted in the emersion of reactive attachment disorder—a psychiatric condition which, in this case, can in many ways be compared to sociopathy, although their causes are radically different. Beth simply does not feel empathy, and she lacks the ability to connect with others—a product of her mind’s attempts to shut out and detach herself from her past abuse.

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