We watch documentaries to be informed. While nobody has ever balked at a documentary that’s as entertaining as it is informative, the appeal of the entire documentary concept is based on the fundamental joy that one derives from learning more about a particular part of our world. The documentary industry wouldn’t exist unless there were enough people in the world who are willing to not only learn about something new but learn more about something that they thoughtthey already knew.
This makes it all the more strange to consider how easily a documentary can become truly controversial. The idea behind a documentary is that a filmmaker wants to devote a lens to some part of our world or shared history that they feel everyone needs to see. Oftentimes, though, these filmmakers soon find out that there are many people in the world who simply didn’t want to know more about that part of our world – or at least didn’t want to see it portrayed in the manner that it was. The most controversial documentaries of all-time not only inform us of a particular subject, they remind us that nothing will ever be as controversial as the world we go to other movies to escape from.
These are the 15 Most Controversial Documentaries Ever Made.
15. THE BRIDGE
Did you know that San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge is one of the most popular suicide destinations in the world? When filmmaker Eric Steel learned this fact, he set out to make The Bridge; a documentary which aimed to not only discover why Golden Gate Bridge is such a popular suicide destination, but show people committing – or attempted to commit – the act itself.
Steel’s goal wasn’t to turn suicide into entertainment, but rather to expose just how little is being done to prevent people from killing themselves by jumping off the bridge. In the process, he also sheds a little light on the often confusing culture of suicide itself. Still, there are many who claimed that The Bridge only encouraged people to commit suicide by somehow normalizing the action. Members of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area agency have also stated that Steel failed to disclose his true intentions when he requested a filming permit.