Five Oscar-winning documentaries you shouldn't miss

Looking for productions that portray more reality than fiction? These documentaries, which were awarded by the Academy, will surprise you.

Alex Honnold's climb in Free Solo.

These productions have received quite positive reviews thanks to the development of their history that brings us closer to the true representation of reality. Photo: YT-Cinépolis

LatinAmerican Post | Theoscar Mogollón González

Listen to this article

Leer en español: Cinco documentales ganadores del Óscar que no puedes dejar de ver

Certainly, many of us dedicate a large number of hours to movies and television series, since it is no secret to anyone that these productions are more attractive to the eye and have more marketing. However, sometimes there comes a time when so many fictional stories start to bore us and that is exact moment when we decide to take a turn to try to connect with something more real; documentaries, a practice that year after year has been gaining value at the Oscars .

These audiovisual representations began to add importance to the Academy in the 1940s, specifically in 1942. Although it was a single category with four winners, for the following edition they made a modification that divided it into two: long film and short film . Since then, about 150 documentaries have not missed the most important awards ceremony in the United States , something that gives us to understand that their contribution continues to be valuable in the industry.

An Inconvenient Truth (2006)

An inconvenient truth is what this documentary shows. Some years ago, the campaign of former US Vice President Al Gore to educate citizens about global warming through a simple slideshow made a great impression on the producer Laura David who did not hesitate to meet with director Davis Guggenheim to make the feature film .

Gore's explanation was deemed "scientifically accurate" by NASA climatologist James Hansen , who further added that it was a complex issue that Americans needed to understand, which they surely achieved thanks to his easy-to-understand narrative style. . Without a doubt, it is one of the most realistic, brilliant and devastating documentaries that warns us of the path to global suicide.

Citizenfour (2014)

An example of when reality is stranger than fiction. This real-life thriller makes us think about the freedoms we have in the 21st century and how governments spy on their own citizens , in this case the United States. The 114 minutes of the documentary detail that abuse of power and justified paranoia that little by little mixes with the nervous energy of the revelation that is about to happen.

The origin of this production begins in January 2013, when the documentary maker and director Laura Poitras began receiving encrypted emails from a stranger under the pseudonym "Citizen Four ." He offered information on illegal wiretapping practices of different intelligence agencies in the United States. Poitras, accompanied by journalist Glenn Greenwald and reporter Ewen MacAskill, traveled to Hong Kong with her camera for her first encounter with the stranger, who happened to be Edward Snowden .

Also read: Oscar Special: Pilgrimage and social problems in 'Nomadland'

Amy (2015)

Music lovers cannot miss this documentary. In 2011, the incredible voice of Amy Winehouse stopped being heard at the age of 27 , this, after a stormy life where she struggled with substance abuse both before and after her music career reached the top . Unfortunately, the British woman was found dead inside her London residence after collapsing from withdrawal syndrome.

Director Asif Kapadia and his team managed to capture in this production a powerful and honest look at the twisted relationship between art and the artist, as well as that lethal spiral of addiction. This work became the most popular British documentary of all time . In addition, it also featured several unreleased tracks that Amy had completed since she began her career in 2003 until her death.

Icarus (2017)

What began as a simple experiment ended up becoming the most stirring investigation in the history of sport . The director and amateur cyclist Bryan Fogel had the idea of subjecting his body to various types of doping to try to compete in an official championship avoiding regulatory controls . For this, he was advised by the Russian doctor Grigory Rodchenkov, key in the Kremlin's anti-doping program.

However, as the investigation began, it took its own course, as the filmmaker began to discover that the background to doping in Russia was more complex than what could be seen with the naked eye. Much of the statements made in the documentary are supported by the McLaren Report, which was drawn up by the World Anti-Doping Agency to investigate the allegation that the Russian State, its Ministry of Sport and the Federal Security Service, falsified doping controls in several of his athletes.

Free Solo (2018)

Not suitable for those who suffer from vertigo. The story that the filmmakers Jimmy Chin and Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi documented has climber Alex Honnold as the protagonist , who achieved the feat of climbing, without any help, the vertical rock formation El Capitán (914 meters high), located within the Park Yosemite National in the United States.

The documentary spends some time in the production process, where Chin and his team discuss the challenge of not putting Alex in danger by distracting him or pressuring him to try climbing. In the end, after a lot of practice and extended workouts, they achieve the goal of not only reaching the top, but also documenting it with the best possible images that will take your breath away.