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Most Disturbing or Upsetting Documentary Film You Ever Seen?

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Most Disturbing or Upsetting Documentary Film You Ever Seen?

Old 06-23-17, 09:00 AM
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Most Disturbing or Upsetting Documentary Film You Ever Seen?

I've watched a lot of documentaries in my time including quite a few covering difficult subject matter, but man, the film I started watching on Amazon Prime was so extreme that I felt sick to my stomach and had to turn it off.

The film is called 77 minutes and the subject is the 1984 San Ysidro Mcdonald's massacre. I was too young to remember this mass shooting when it happened, but was pretty shocked years later when I read about it and an event that you just never hear anyone talk about it.

The film is called 77 minutes because that's all long it took the police to take this guy out. It never really made sense to me why the police just stood outside for over an hour while this guy is committing carnage inside. To the film's credit, I did get some insight in the interviews with the responding officers, and they said their tactics have drastically changed since that day.

But 77 minutes is not a well-produced doc. I like documentaries that tell the story from the beginning, but this film immediately takes us to the aftermath, then talks to survivors then jumps to the beginning of the shooting and then decides to tell the story of the shooter and what happened prior to his decision to go hunt humans. Apparently, the filmmakers didn't have much content because, in the midway point, they decide to show you the completely uncensored video taken inside the restaurant. The camera slowly shows each dead victim covered in blood and even taking close up shots. I had to turn it off at that point.

I get that it is somewhat necessary to show crime scenes to really convey to the audience the magnitude of the horror and senseless of death, but this went way too far, imo. I had a similar problem with Spike Lee's doc on Hurricane Katrina. It was a well done doc until he takes the viewer on an extremely long montage of dead bloated bodies on the street. It made me never want to watch his film ever again.
Old 06-23-17, 09:18 AM
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Re: Most Disturbing or Upsetting Documentary Film You Ever Seen?

That one with Ted Haggard and a camp.
Old 06-23-17, 09:28 AM
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Re: Most Disturbing or Upsetting Documentary Film You Ever Seen?

Strange you write this post, I started watching this a couple weeks ago and didn't even finish it. I can't believe some of the video they showed.
Old 06-23-17, 09:41 AM
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Re: Most Disturbing or Upsetting Documentary Film You Ever Seen?

The Act of Killing
Jesus Camp
Zoo
Titicut Folllies
Brother's Keeper
Capturing the Friedmans


I'm sure Dear Zachary will be mentioned here a lot. Although it is disturbing, I found it to be poorly made.
Old 06-23-17, 09:48 AM
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Re: Most Disturbing or Upsetting Documentary Film You Ever Seen?

Originally Posted by inri222
I'm sure Dear Zachary will be mentioned here a lot. Although it is disturbing, I found it to be poorly made.
That's the one that came immediately to mind. The amateurish production actually makes it more powerful IMO. It's very personal.
Old 06-23-17, 09:55 AM
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Re: Most Disturbing or Upsetting Documentary Film You Ever Seen?

I don't think Dear Zachary would have been nearly as powerful if it wasn't deliberately misleading in order to better sell the "twist".
Old 06-23-17, 10:03 AM
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Re: Most Disturbing or Upsetting Documentary Film You Ever Seen?

Originally Posted by Fist of Doom
That's the one that came immediately to mind. The amateurish production actually makes it more powerful IMO. It's very personal.
I'm not referring to the production, I'm referring to the technique and execution. Very manipulative.
Old 06-23-17, 10:34 AM
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Re: Most Disturbing or Upsetting Documentary Film You Ever Seen?

After reading reviews of Lake of Fire, there is no way I could watch it, even though it sounds like it's probably the most important film made on abortion.
Old 06-23-17, 10:47 AM
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Re: Most Disturbing or Upsetting Documentary Film You Ever Seen?

The Paradise Lost films open with footage of little kid bodies. I find it hard to top that, even before I had kids.
Old 06-23-17, 11:40 AM
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Re: Most Disturbing or Upsetting Documentary Film You Ever Seen?

Kinda off topic, but can anyone listen to Welcome Home Sanitarium without thinking of Paradise Lost and the awful images of those kids?
Old 06-23-17, 01:07 PM
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Re: Most Disturbing or Upsetting Documentary Film You Ever Seen?

"Dear Zachary" is the one that came to mind first as well.
And its because unlike several documentaries, where we know the outcome coming in, here we are kept on the dark. And we really get to know the characters through their home videos beforehand so we become invested and also emotionally attached because we all have parents brothers, friends that we see in them, so when the succession of events start to happen is just heart breaking, and just when you think it would get better there is more. I don't think i can ever watch it again, and now with kids even less. I was depressed for a good week after watching it. And thank God I watched it during work in an office environment in the middle of the day.
Old 06-23-17, 04:00 PM
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Re: Most Disturbing or Upsetting Documentary Film You Ever Seen?

The Keepers was a good documentary series on Netflix. It's about sexual abuse of schoolgirls by the Catholic church and a murder cover-up.

And I liked Dear Zachary, flaws and all.
Old 06-23-17, 04:45 PM
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Re: Most Disturbing or Upsetting Documentary Film You Ever Seen?

Jonestown: The Life and Death of Peoples Temple. Saw this on PBS and the image of dead Congressman Leo Ryan and mass of people dead on field was pretty disturbing. Jim Jones was a evil bastard and hope he burn in hell forever.
Old 06-23-17, 05:01 PM
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Re: Most Disturbing or Upsetting Documentary Film You Ever Seen?

I remember The Cove being a rather difficult watch.
Old 06-23-17, 06:25 PM
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Re: Most Disturbing or Upsetting Documentary Film You Ever Seen?

Originally Posted by TomOpus
The Keepers was a good documentary series on Netflix. It's about sexual abuse of schoolgirls by the Catholic church and a murder cover-up.

And I liked Dear Zachary, flaws and all.
About halfway thru that one. Really really disturbing especially since Iím catholic. That priest wasÖpure evil.

Dear Zachary destroyed me when I saw it. Good thing it was before I had a kid. I donít think I can watch that now.
Old 06-23-17, 07:46 PM
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Re: Most Disturbing or Upsetting Documentary Film You Ever Seen?

i haven't seen as many as i probably should, but the one where the guy befriends bear and bear eats man. Grizzly Man, i believe. the one with the kids held up in house by strict dad and made those recreations of great movies, some Tarantino, others, i think. that was pretty weird...
Old 06-23-17, 10:36 PM
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Re: Most Disturbing or Upsetting Documentary Film You Ever Seen?

I'm bracing myself for watching the BFI restoration of German Concentration Camps Factual Survey next week - been reading it's some pretty hardcore footage of WWII civilian victims.
Old 06-23-17, 10:43 PM
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Re: Most Disturbing or Upsetting Documentary Film You Ever Seen?

The Future of Food
Old 06-24-17, 12:22 AM
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Re: Most Disturbing or Upsetting Documentary Film You Ever Seen?

The Crime Scene extra from "Wonderland" was quite gruesome (and disturbing).
Old 06-24-17, 03:07 AM
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Re: Most Disturbing or Upsetting Documentary Film You Ever Seen?

LA 92 is probably one of the best documentaries I ever saw. No voice over or commentaries; just video of the riot and looting told through uncensored footage.

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