It has been said that history gets written by the victors. When one thinks about the United States, there is a distinctly pro-colonist view of what gets taught in the history books.
If you were part of the tribal culture during the initial settlement period, your feelings about the United States could be very different than what is societally “acceptable.” The same truth applies to the descendants of those who came to America due to slavery.
When we think about in-depth documentaries about America, we must look at the country’s individual stories. Here are some of the best ones out there.
This documentary shows what life is like in a North Dakota small town after it draws a massive influx of oil workers. These people live on day labor, call their cars home, and often receive little support. It profiles one pastor who welcomes them into a shelter at the dismay of the congregation.
After suffering years of abuse from their bosses, undocumented immigrants decide to unionize for better working conditions and fair wages. The employees partner with some young activists in NYC to fight against their managers and the well-connected investors who support the bakery where they work.
3. True Son
After an African-American man graduates from Stanford University, he returns to Stockton to run for the city council. The town is bankrupt, but that doesn’t mean race or socioeconomic circumstances exclude you from your community. The documentary’s main character talks to people that anyone can have a seat at the table, even if your father is in jail, and your mother was in her teens when she had you.
After managing a transgender transition, Kristin (formerly Christopher) discusses her challenges that range from military service to becoming the person she knew she could be. It’s a unique take on the concept of what it means to pursue life, liberty, and happiness.
This documentary follows two designers who teach a 12-month class in the poorest county of North Carolina. The film concludes with the group building a structure while ten students learn how to be successful in the construction industry – and much more.
What are some of your favorite documentaries about America?