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Classic DOCS

Classic DOCS

A rotating selection of twenty-five of the most heavy-hitting, and/or iconic docs in OVID's collection, almost all of which are only streaming here on OVID.

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Classic DOCS
  • Free Cinema (eleven films)

    11 items

    Free Cinema not only reinvented British documentary making, but this highly influential period in the country’s cinema history was the precursor for the better known British New Wave of social realist films in the late 1950s and early 1960s.

    The term Free Cinema was coined by critic and filmmake...

  • The Wobblies

    Directed by Stewart Bird and Deborah Shaffer • Documentary • 1979 • 89 minutes

    Founded in Chicago in 1905, the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) took to organizing unskilled workers into one big union and changed the course of American history. This compelling documentary of the IWW (or “The...

  • Hotel Terminus: The Life And Times Of Klaus Barbie

    5 items

    Directed by Marcel Ophüls • Documentary • With Klaus Barbie, Claude Lanzmann, Marcel Ophüls • 1988 • 267 minutes

    A brilliant and epic Academy Award-winning examination of the Nazi SS officer Klaus Barbie, the infamous "Butcher of Lyon", HOTEL TERMINUS: THE LIFE AND TIMES OF KLAUS BARBIE weaves t...

  • Dark Circle

    Directed by Judy Irving, Christopher Beaver & Ruth Landy • Documentary • 1982 • 82 minutes

    It’s been 75 years since the start of the Atomic Age, with the U.S. nuclear bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki killing hundreds of thousands of civilians, but its trail of destruction has never ended.

    Dark...

  • Third Avenue: Only the Strong Survive

    Directed by Jon Alpert • Documentary • 1980 • 60 minutes

    This Emmy Award-winning documentary tells the stories of six "ordinary" people who live or work along New York City's Third Avenue, which runs for sixteen miles through Manhattan, Brooklyn, and the Bronx, cutting through the complex social...

  • Sherman's March

    Directed by Ross McElwee • Documentary • 1986 • 155 minutes

    When First Run released Ross McElwee's Sundance Award winning Sherman's March in 1986, it went on to become one of the largest grossing documentaries ever. Audiences and critics alike fell in love with McElwee's "quirky, funny and fasci...

  • 56 UP

    Directed by Michael Apted • Documentary • With Bruce Balden, Jacqueline Basset, Symon Basterfield, Andrew Brackfield, John Brisby, Suzanne Dewey, Nicholas Hitchon, Neil Hughes, Lynn Johnson, Paul Kligerman, Susan Sullivan, Tony Walker, Charles Furneaux • 2012 • 138 minutes

    ”Give me the child ...

  • Drifters

    Directed by John Grierson • Documentary • 1929 • 50 minutes

    Story of the North Sea herring fleets. Filmed around the coast of Yarmouth and Lowestoft and Lerwick in the Shetlands in all weathers, but using some studio sets for interiors.

  • Night Mail

    Directed by Harry Watt & Basil Charles Wright • Documentary • 1936 • 23 minutes

    A cornerstone of British documentary, Harry Watt and Basil Wright's NIGHT MAIL, with music by Benjamin Britten and verse by W.H. Auden, stands as a beacon for John Grierson's original purpose for documentary - to mak...

  • Karayuki-San, The Making of a Prostitute

    Directed by Shohei Imamura • Documentary • 1975 • 75 minutes

    From the late 1800s to the mid-1900s, Japanese girls and women were trafficked out of Japan and sent to foreign countries like China, Singapore, and beyond to serve as indentured prostitutes. These women were called Karayuki-san.

    Shoh...

  • Mario Ruspoli

    8 items

    "As his long friendship and association with Chris Marker might suggest, Mario Ruspoli is something of a trickster. This collection spans the Rome-born, Paris-dwelling filmmaker’s short documentaries from 1958 to 1972, which might suggest, with their rough aesthetics and salt-of-the-earth subject...

  • Forever

    Directed by Heddy Honigmann • Documentary • 2006 • 95 minutes

    Through a leisurely tour of the world-famous Père-Lachaise cemetery in Paris, the final resting place for legendary writers, composers, painters and other artists from around the world, FOREVER provides an unusually poignant, emotiona...

  • Far from Vietnam

    Directed by Jean-Luc Godard, Joris Ivens, William Klein, Claude Lelouch, Chris Marker, and Alain Resnais • Documentary • 1967 • 115 minutes

    Initiated and edited by Chris Marker, FAR FROM VIETNAM is an epic 1967 collaboration between cinema greats Jean-Luc Godard, Joris Ivens, William Klein, Clau...

  • Le Joli Mai

    Movie

    Filmed just after the March 1962 ceasefire between France and Algeria, LE JOLI MAI documents Paris during a turning point in French history: the first time since 1939 that France was not involved in any war.

    Part I, "A Prayer from the Eiffel Tower," documents personal attitudes and feelings arou...

  • Brickmakers (Chircales)

    Directed by Marta Rodriguez & Jorge Silva • Documentary • 1972 • 42 minutes

    Remastered! Considered a classic Latin American and Colombian documentary film, Brickmakers chronicles the search for a film production methodology that could be adapted to the sociopolitical conditions of Latin America....

  • On the Bowery

    Directed by Lionel Rogosin • Documentary • With Ray Salyer, Gorman Hendricks, Frank Matthews • 1956 • 65 minutes

    On the Bowery chronicles three days in the drinking life of Ray Salyer, a part-time railroad worker adrift on New York’s skid row. When the film first opened in 1956, it exploded on t...

  • How to Build an Igloo

    Directed by Douglas Wilkinson • Documentary • 1949 • 10 minutes

    A demonstration of igloo-building in Canada's Far North, showing how the site is selected and how blocks of snow are used to make a snug shelter in only an hour and a half. As the camera follows each stage, the commentary explains t...

  • Lonely Boy

    Directed by Wolf Koening, Roman Kroiter • Documentary • 1962 • 26 minutes

    The story of popular singer Paul Anka. He rose from obscurity to become the idol of millions of adolescent fans around the world. This film takes a candid look at both sides of the footlights as well as the promotion indus...

  • The Society of the Spectacle

    2 items

    Six years after the publication of his Situationist classic The Society of the Spectacle, Guy Debord released this semi-experimental, essay-film adaptation. Using the classic Situationist technique of “détournement” (think pre-digital remixing), Debord overlays a dizzying array of still and film ...

  • Last Grave at Dimbaza

    Directed by Chris Curling and Pascoe Macfarlane • Documentary • 1974 • 55 minutes

    In 1969, a small group of South African exiles and British film students formed Morena Films in London to produce films about apartheid. By 1974, they produced one of the first, and certainly the most influential, ...

  • The Battle of Chile
    Movie + 2 extras

    The Battle of Chile

    Movie + 2 extras

    On September 11, 1973, President Salvador Allende's democratically-elected Chilean government was overthrown in a bloody coup by General Augusto Pinochet's army.

    Patricio Guzman and five colleagues had been filming the political developments in Chile throughout the nine months leading up to that...

  • A Grin Without a Cat

    Directed by Chris Marker • Documentary • 1977 • 178 minutes

    Newly restored! A GRIN WITHOUT A CAT is Chris Marker's epic film-essay on the worldwide political wars of the 60's and 70's: Vietnam, Bolivia, May '68, Prague, Chile, and the fate of the New Left.

    Released in France in 1978, restored a...

  • Milestones

    Directed by Robert Kramer and John Douglas • Documentary • 1975 • 195 minutes

    MILESTONES is a lilting, free-associative masterpiece that follows dozens of characters — including hippies, farmers, immigrants, Native Americans, and political activists — as they try to reconcile their ideals with t...

  • Waiting for Fidel

    Directed by Michael Rubbo • Documentary • 1974 • 57 minutes

    Inside Fidel Castro's Cuba with a movie-making threesome whose hope is that Fidel himself will star in their film. The filmmakers are Joseph Smallwood, former Newfoundland premier, Geoff Stirling, radio and televison owner, and Michael ...