Civil Rights Documentaries

13th
Filmmaker Ava DuVernay explores the history of racial inequality in the United States, focusing on the fact that the nation's prisons are disproportionately filled with African-Americans.

20 Feet From Stardom
Filmmaker Morgan Neville shines a long-overdue spotlight on the hit-making contributions of longtime backup singers like Darlene Love and Merry Clayton.

3 1/2 Minutes, Ten Bullets
Filmmaker Marc Silver uses the shooting death of black teenager Jordan Davis to examine Florida's `Stand Your Ground' self-defense law.

Before Stonewall
This documentary investigates national cultural perceptions of homosexuality before the Stonewall Riot, looking back on previous decades, particularly in regard to conflicts with police and censorship.

The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution
Filmmaker Stanley Nelson examines the rise of the Black Panther Party in the 1960s and its impact on civil rights and American culture.

Bobby Kennedy for President
This four-part documentary series weaves together rare and exclusive footage of attorney general, U.S. senator, and presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy in the 1960s.

Brothers on the Line
An acclaimed documentary feature exploring the extraordinary journey of the Reuther brothers - Walter, Roy, and Victor - prolific labor statesman whose social justice movement, under the banner of the United Auto Workers union, transformed the landscape of a nation.

The Central Park Five
Filmmakers Ken Burns, Sarah Burns and David McMahon examine a 1989 case of five teenagers who were wrongfully convicted of raping a woman. After they had spent from six to 13 years in prison, a serial rapist confessed to the crime.

Crip Camp: A Disability Revolution
Down the road from Woodstock in the early 1970s, a revolution blossomed in a ramshackle summer camp for disabled teenagers, transforming their young lives and igniting a landmark movement.

The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson
Filmmakers re-examine the 1992 death of transgender legend Marsha P. Johnson, who was found floating in the Hudson River. Originally ruled a suicide, many in the community believe she was murdered.

Disclosure
Disclosure is an eye-opening look at transgender depictions in film and television, revealing how Hollywood simultaneously reflects and manufactures our deepest anxieties about gender. Leading trans thinkers and creatives hare their reactions and resistance to some of Hollywood’s most beloved moments.

Dying To Tell
War reporters, including several Pulitzer prize winners, talk candidly about the traumas they have witnessed, the fear they've experienced, and the losses they can never recover from as they risk their lives to keep the world informed.

For Sama
A love letter from a young mother to her daughter, the film tells the story of Waad al-Kateab’s life through five years of the uprising in Aleppo, Syria as she falls in love, gets married and gives birth to Sama, all while cataclysmic conflict rises around her.

Girl Rising
10x10 is a social action organisation seeking educational equality for underprivileged girls across the globe. Director Richard Robbins tells the moving stories of several of these girls, with help from some of the most recognisable female voices of today.

The Hard Stop
To understand the police shooting of Mark Duggan in Tottenham in August 2011, the riots that followed and the subsequent inquest verdict of lawful killing, documentarist George Amponsah meets the victim's childhood friends, Marcus Knox-Hooke and Kurtis Henville, as they try to rebuild their lives.

The Hunting Ground
An exposé of rape crimes on U.S. college campuses, their institutional cover-ups, and the devastating toll they take on students and their families.

I Am Not Your Negro
Raoul Peck’s fluid documentary uses the timeless anger of James Baldwin to animate his history of the black experience in America, from Hollywood stereotypes to police brutality.

LA 92
Examining the tumultuous period following the verdict in the Rodney King trial in 1992. The acquittal of four police officers for beating a black motorist saw several days of protests, violence and looting in Los Angeles.

Limited Partnership
A look at the love story between Filipino-American Richard Adams and Australian Tony Sullivan, who, in 1975, became one of the first same-sex couples in the world to be legally married.

A Love Song For Latasha
A reimagined narrative of Latasha Harlins through intimate memories shared by her cousin and best friend.

Matt Shepard Is a Friend of Mine
An intimate portrait of Matthew Shepard, the gay young man murdered in one of the most notorious hate crimes in U.S. history. Framed through a personal lens, it's the story of loss, love, and courage in the face of unspeakable tragedy.

Mercury 13
After rigorous testing in 1961, a small group of skilled female pilots are asked to step aside when only men are selected for spaceflight.

Miss Representation
Exploring how the mainstream media's often disparaging portrayals of women contribute to the under-representation of females in positions of leadership.

MLK/FBI
Based on newly declassified files, the film explores the US government’s surveillance and harassment of Martin Luther King, Jr.

Nobody Speak: Trials of the Free Press
This examination of the duties of the press in an age of inequality delves into the trial between Hulk Hogan and Gawker Media. The duel pitted privacy rights against freedom of the press and raised questions about how big money can silence the media.

Paris is Burning
This documentary focuses on drag queens living in New York City and their "house" culture, which provides a sense of community and support for the flamboyant and often socially shunned performers.

The Rachel Divide
The controversial life of Rachel Dolezal, an American woman of Caucasian parentage who identifies as black, and was forced to resign as president of the NAACP chapter in Spokane, Washington when her race and ancestry were exposed.

RBG
An intimate portrait of an unlikely rock star: Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. With unprecedented access, the filmmakers explore how her early legal battles changed the world for women.

ReMastered: Massacre at the Stadium
The shocking murder of Victor Jara at the beginning of Pinochet's regime turned him into a powerful symbol of Chile's struggle. Decades later, a quest for justice unfolds.

ReMastered: The Lion's Share
After discovering the family of Solomon Linda, the writer of "The Lion Sleeps Tonight," a reporter tries to help them fight for fair compensation.

ReMastered: The Two Killings of Sam Cooke
While Sam Cooke rose to stardom as a soul singer, his outspoken views on civil rights drew attention that may have contributed to his death at age 33.

ReMastered: Who Shot the Sheriff
The violent political suppression of the roots reggae movement in Jamaica told through an investigation into Jamaican politics and the CIA's involvement in the mysterious shooting of Bob Marley.

Reversing Roe
Filmmakers expose a decades-long political campaign to overturn Roe v. Wade using interviews with abortion rights supporters and opponents.

Rodney King
Rodney King is a 2017 American one-man show directed by Spike Lee and written by and starring Roger Guenveur Smith. The film is a one-man show where Roger Guenveur Smith does a multiplicity of voices, alternately taking and opposing Rodney King's side.

A Secret Love
Amid shifting times, two women kept their decades-long love a secret. But coming out later in life comes with its own set of challenges.

She's Beautiful When She's Angry
Filmmaker Mary Dore chronicles the events, the movers and the shakers of the feminist movement from 1966 to 1971.

The Square
A group of Egyptian revolutionaries battle leaders and regimes, risking their lives to build a new society of conscience.

Strong Island
When filmmaker Yance Ford investigates the 1992 murder of a young black man, it becomes an achingly personal journey since the victim, 24-year-old William Ford Jr., was the filmmaker's brother.

Time
Entrepreneur Fox Rich spends the last two decades campaigning for the release of her husband, Rob G. Rich, who is serving a 60-year prison sentence for a robbery they both committed in the early 1990s in a moment of desperation.

Time: The Kalief Browder Story
The criminal justice system tragically failed 16-year-old Kalief Browder, who spent three years in Rikers Island jail awaiting trial - two of those years in solitary confinement - after being arrested for allegedly stealing a backpack.

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