After the documentary and experimental film canons (D-list and E-list), these are the next best, most popular, and most influential non-fiction films, excluding material made for TV; although the rest of this site was able to include every fiction film that scored 100 on RT, this gallery could only include every remaining non-fiction film that scored 100 on RT up until 2005 (in other words, there are a few from 2006-2015 that scored 100 and are not here), demonstrating that in the 21st century, improved access to improved technology has vastly widened the field for documentarians, a happy and important set of circumstances for anyone who cares about learning pleasant and unpleasant truths

Link to Letterboxd version

N1. Repas de bébé (Baby’s Meal) (Lumière, 1895)

N2. L’arrivée d’un train a La Ciotat (Lumières, 1896)

N3. The Kiss (Heise, 1896)

N4. L’arrouseur arrosé (Guy-Blaché, 1897)

N5. Electrocuting an Elephant (Porter, Smith, 1903)

N6. In the Land of the Head Hunters (Curtis, 1914)

N7. Emak-Bakia (Ray, 1926)

N8. Vormittagsspuk (Ghosts Before Breakfast) (Richter, 1928)

N9. Drifters (Grierson, 1929)

N10. Africa Speaks! (Futter, 1930)

N11. A Bronx Morning (Leyda, 1931)

N12. Igloo (Scott, 1932)

N13. En el infierno del Chaco (Funes, 1932)

N14. Granton Trawler (Anstey, Grierson, 1934)

N15. The Song of Ceylon (Wright, 1934)

N16. Coal Face (Cavalcanti, 1935)

N17. The Spanish Earth (Ivens, 1937)

N18. The City (Steiner, Van Dyke, 1939)

N19. Experiments in the Revival of Organisms (Yashin, 1940)

N20. Churchill’s Island (Legg, 1941)

N21. The Battle of Midway (Ford, 1942)

N22. Fires Were Started (Jennings, 1943)

N23. At Land (Deren, 1944)

N24. The Battle of San Pietro (Huston, 1945)

N25. First Steps (uncredited, 1947)

N26. Design for Death (Fleischer, 1947)

N27. Dreams That Money Can Buy (Richter, 1947)

N28. No. 3: Interwoven (Smith, 1947)

N29. Motion Painting No. 1 (Fischinger, 1947)

N30. The Petrified Dog (Peterson, 1949)

N31. Daybreak in Udi (Bishop, 1949)

N32. Christmas U.S.A (Markopoulos, 1949)

N33. Navajo (Foster, 1952)

N34. Mahatma Gandhi: 20th Century Prophet (Neal, 1953)

N35. The Sea Around Us (Allen, 1953)

N36. A Moment in Love (Clarke, 1956)

N37. The Silent World (Malle, Cousteau, 1956)

N38. Centuries of June (Brakhage, Cornell, 1956)

N39. White Wilderness (Algar, 1958)

N40. Araya (Benacerraf, 1959)

N41. Arnulf Rainer (Kubelka, 1960)

N42. Cosmic Ray (Conner, 1962)

N43. Empire (Warhol, 1965)

N44. Lights (Menken, 1966)

N45. The Endless Summer (Brown, 1966)

N46. Far From Vietnam (various, 1967)

N47. The Film That Rises to the Surface of Clarified Butter (Land, 1968)

N48. Monterey Pop (Pennebaker, 1968)

N49. Reason Over Passion (Weiland, 1969)

N50. Let it Be (Lindsay-Hogg, 1970)

N51. Eye Myth (Brakhage, 1972)

N52. Winter Soldier (Sachs, Weill, 1972)

N53. Dreamwood (Broughton, 1972)

N54. Dyketactics (Hammer, 1974)

N55. El desencanto (Chavarri, 1976)

N56: The Song Remains the Same (Massot, Clifton, 1976)

N57. News from Home (Akerman, 1977)

N58. A Grin Without a Cat (Marker, 1977)

N59. The Last Waltz (Scorsese, 1978)

N60. Gates of Heaven (Morris, 1978)

N61. Reassemblage: From the Firelight to the Screen (Minh-ha, 1983)

N62. Swimming to Cambodia (Demme, 1987)

N63. Powaqqatsi (Reggio, 1988)

N64. Thelonious Monk: Straight No Chaser (Zwerin, 1988)

N65. Privilege (Rainer, 1990)

N66. Brother’s Keeper (Berlinger, Sinofsky, 1992)

N67. Incident at Oglala (Apted, 1992)

N68. Baraka (Fricke, 1992)

N69. The War Room (Pennebaker, Hegedus, 1993)

N70. The Celluloid Closet (Epstein, Friedman, 1995)

N71. Paradise Lost: The Child Murders at Robin Hood Hills (Berlinger, Sinofsky, 1996)

N72. Buena Vista Social Club (Wenders, 1999)

N73. Winged Migration (Perrin, 2001)

N74. Etre et avoir (To Be and to Have) (Philibert, 2002)

N75. Tupac: Resurrection (Lazin, 2003)

N76. I for India (Suri, 2005)

N77. Deliver Us From Evil (Berg, 2006)

N78. Pray the Devil Back to Hell (Reticker, 2008)

N79. Dreams with Sharp Teeth (Nelson, 2008)

N80. The Order of Myths (Brown, 2008)

N81. Last Train Home (Fan, 2009)

N82. Afghan Star (Marking, 2009)

N83. Enemies of the People (Lemkin, Sambath, 2009)

N84. Waste Land (Walker, 2010)

N85. Exit Through the Gift Shop (Banksy, 2010)

N86. A Film Unfinished (Hersonski, 2010)

N87. Racing Dreams (Curry, 2010)

N88. Into Eternity: A Film for the Future (Madsen, 2010)

N89. Hell and Back Again (Dennis, 2011)

N90. This is Not a Film (Panahi, Mirtahmasb, 2011)

N91. Stories We Tell (Polley, 2012)

N92. The Missing Picture (Panh, 2013)

N93. The Square (Noujaim, 2013)

N94. Don’t Think I’ve Forgotten: Cambodia’s Lost Rock and Roll (Pirozzi, 2014)

N95. The Look of Silence (Oppenheimer, 2014)

N96. Citizenfour (Poitras, 2014)

N97. Democrats (Nielsson, 2014)

N98. Virunga (von Einsiedel, 2014)

N99. Sherpa (Peedom, 2015)

N100. In Jackson Heights (Wiseman, 2015)

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