Essential Documentaries

Here are some important documentaries that I think every young Dem (or Dem of any age) should see.


Hearts and Minds – The film that helped end the Vietnam War.

Fahrenheit 9/11 – Michael Moore v. George W. Bush.

Loose Change – There are several versions of this film. My favorite is Second Edition, but I’m linking to the most recent (theatrical-release) version because I think it was the most thoroughly fact-checked version. The thesis throughout all the versions is that 9/11 was an inside job, and they present several pieces of evidence, including a $3.55 billion insurance policy taken out on the property just months prior.

Iraq for Sale: The War Profiteers – Robert Greenwald exposes the deals that were signed days after bombing the middle east.

The War of the World: A New History of the 20th Century – Niall Ferguson frames the Cold War as the “Third World’s War” and exposes how tensions in the West led to the rise of the East.


Capitalism: A Love Story – Learn how unions helped mid-twentieth century America, about the current housing crisis and its toll on real American citizens, and how Citibank sent out a memo declaring that the United States is once again a Plutonomy (for the first time since the 1920′s).

The Ascent of Money: The Financial History of the World – Niall Ferguson frames the current financial crisis against the long history of money.

Roger & Me – Michael Moore’s attempt to get an interview with GE Chairman Roger Smith.

The Big One – In Michael Moore’s second big film he takes on Nike, P&G and PayDay as he tours the country to promote Downsize This. Along the way he finds some Borders employees banned from forming a union.

The Corporation – How they came to exist, how they became people, and the problems they pose.

Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Price – Robert Greenwald exposes Wal-Mart’s employment practices, and the company finally agrees offer to low quality healthcare for its employees (better than nothing, right?).

The Yes Men and The Yes Men Fix the World - Andy Bichlbaum and Mike Bonanno pose as representatives of various global companies in a hilarious attempt to tell what these companies really want to see happen in the world.


An Inconvenient Truth – Al Gore’s PowerPoint presentation on global warming.

Gashole – Has big oil been buying up patents, threatening entrepreneurs, and burying R&D on technologies that get 100+ MPG?

Gasland – Josh Fox examines the environmental impacts of fracking. Can you light your home’s water on fire?

Who Killed the Electric Car? – Why did GM pilot a fully electric car, the EV1, in the western United States in 1996 and then not only take it off the market despite demand, but send each and every one to the trash compactor?

Gun Control

Bowling for Columbine – Michael Moore v. The NRA


Sicko – Michael Moore shows you that even Cuba has universal healthcare. Republican scare stories about Canada and Britain’s rationing systems prove to be just that, stories.


Slacker Uprising – Follows Michael Moore as he tours the country trying to get out the youth vote in the 2004 presidential election. This film was released directly to the Internet, legally, as a gift to his fans. You can still watch it for free by clicking the link.

MoveOn: The Movie – BraveNew Films documents the grassroots movement that was born out of a single email.

Running a Campaign

Swing State – The 2006 Ohio Gubernatorial Race from Lieutenant Governor candidate Lee Fisher’s family’s perspective.

The War Room – Bill Clinton’s 1992 presidential race from Lead Campaign Strategist James Carville’s and Communication Director George Stephanopoulos’s perspectives.

Voter Disenfranchisement and Civil Liberties

American Blackout – From Kenneth Blackwell’s successful efforts to keep his own race down in the 2004 presidential election to voter ID laws still popping up this very day, this film follows Georgia Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney’s struggles after she questioned the Bush administration on 9/11.

America: Freedom to Fascism – Aaron Russo tries to find out what law forces us to pay federal income tax.

Hacking Democracy - The film the Diebold corporation doesn’t want you to see.

All of the Above

The Awful Truth (TV Series) – Michael Moore’s brilliant but short-lived stint into television.

Please comment with your favorite liberal films!

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