10 Best Documentary Oscar Winners
Learn about 10 Best Documentary Oscar Winners from over the years. A documentary film is a nonfiction film often on a subject of world or national events. It is often made over a period of several years. The Academy of Motion Pictures and Sciences gives Oscar awards yearly for the best documentary film. There are often about four to five films awarded in this category yearly. The films are judged on several criteria: cinematography, film editing, music, sound editing, and writing. Most films are on serious subjects like drug abuse, war, famous movie stars, sports or education. Oscar Awards have been given in this category from 1940 until today.
- "King: A Film...Montgomery to Memphis." This is a documentary about Marian Luther King when he pushed the civil right movement. It is well planned out and edited for those that want to learn about his specific activities in civil rights. It was an Oscar winner in 1970.
- "The Challenge...A Tribute to Modern Art." This documentary won the Oscar in 1974. It is a rare look at artists working in their studios and talking about their work and art techniques. Some of the artists that are covered are Dalai, Mantissa, and Picasso. It was made by Herbert Line.
- "The Man Who Skied Down Everest." This documentary won an Oscar in 1975. It is about a Japanese skier that skis down Mount Everest. He has to climb the mountain then ski down the steep icy glacier. It is a film about his incredible adventure doing this treacherous task.
- "Scared Straight." This is a documentary about troubled kids. Inmates talk about their life in prison in an attempt to scare kids into behaving and not committing crimes. Many of the kids that meet with the inmates were scared about ending up in prison. The inmates give the ugly details of being in a maximum security prison. It won the Oscar in 1978.
- "The Cove." About an elite team of activists that have to penetrate a hidden cove in Tai, Japan. They have to document how this small seaside town commits severe ecological crimes. It is excellent investigative journalism about environmental problems that effect the world. The Oscar winner in 2009.
- "Just Another Missing Kid." This documentary won the Oscar in 1982 by John Artsy. It is about a family that hires a detective to look for a missing teenager. The film is serious and does not have a happy ending. The Canadian police and US cannot find him but the detective does. Eric Wilson left Ottawa in a camper on a trip to Boulder. Somewhere on the way to Nebraska he disappears.
- "Common Threads Stories From the Quilt." This documentary was made about people that have died from AIDS. They are remembered in the AIDS MEMORIAL QUILT. It is a memorial to the victims to show their courage when suffering with this deadly disease. It won the award in 1989.
- "Forever Activist Stories from Veterans of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade." The film won the Oscar in 1990. It is about a number of activists that fought when Spain was embroiled in civil war in the 1930's. This lead up to the World War II. Many people involved were imprisoned and jailed for participating in this movement. Many continued their activism in the United States becoming involved in civil rights and anti-war movements.
- "Anne Frank Remembered." It is the biography of Jewish teenager Anne Frank and her life during Hitler's occupation. It is based on her diaries of the time. It has unique photos, letters and documents. An educational film for children and adults to see. It won in 1995.
- "March of the Penguins." This is a documentary about the Emperor penguins that march to their breeding ground every years. They journey from their ocean home to a region that is desolate. They participate in the courtship and the female penguin lays an egg and then leaves. The male penguin must stay and keep watch over the egg or eggs until they hatch. Then female returns with food to save her family from perishing. It won the Oscar in 2005.