1988 Documentary Movies

Public list by WPS with 39 movies or TV shows/series

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39 movies found (page 1/2):

Imagine: John Lennon(1988)

1h 40min | Documentary, Music
3.6/5 (with 31 votes)

The biography of former Beatle, John Lennon—narrated by Lennon himself—with extensive material from Yoko Ono's personal collection, previously unseen footage from Lennon's private archives, and interviews with David Bowie, his first wife Cynthia, second wife Yoko Ono and sons Julian and Sean.


| 1h 39min | Documentary
3.7/5 (with 65 votes)

An exploration of technologically developing nations and the effect the transition to Western-style modernization has had on them.

Directed by Godfrey Reggio - With Cheryl Tiegs

The Thin Blue Line(1988)

1h 43min | Crime, Documentary
3.9/5 (with 153 votes)

Errol Morris's unique documentary dramatically re-enacts the crime scene and investigation of a police officer's murder in Dallas.

Directed by Errol Morris - With Randall Dale Adams, Marianne Leone Cooper

Let's Get Lost(1988)

3.5/5 (with 17 votes)

Documentary about jazz great Chet Baker that intercuts footage from the 1950s, when he was part of West Coast Cool, and from his last years. We see the young Baker, he of the beautiful face, in California and in Italy, where he appeared in at least one movie and at least one jail cell (for drug possession). And, we see the aged Baker, detached, indifferent, his face a ruin. Includes interviews with his children and ex-wife, women companions, and musicians.

Directed by Bruce Weber - With Chet Baker, William Claxton, Chris Isaak, Lisa Marie

The Decline of Western Civilization Part II: The Metal Years(1988)

| 1h 33min | Documentary, Music
3.4/5 (with 28 votes)

An exploration of the heavy metal scene in Los Angeles, with particular emphasis on glam metal. It features concert footage and interviews of legendary heavy metal and hard rock bands and artists such as Aerosmith, Alice Cooper, Kiss, Megadeth, Motörhead, Ozzy Osbourne and W.A.S.P..

Directed by Penelope Spheeris - With Ozzy Osbourne, Alice Cooper, Steven Tyler, Joe Perry, Megadeth, Faster Pussycat, ...

Thelonious Monk: Straight, No Chaser(1988)

| 1h 30min | Documentary, Music
3.5/5 (with 7 votes)

A documentary film about the life of pianist and jazz great Thelonious Monk. Features live performances by Monk and his band, and interviews with friends and family about the offbeat genius.

Directed by Charlotte Zwerin - With Jimmy Cleveland, John Coltrane, Ray Copeland, Pannonica de Koenigswarter, Johnny Griffin

The Making of a Legend: Gone with the Wind(1988)

2h 4min | Documentary
4.5/5 (with 1 vote)

This documentary revisits the making of Gone with the Wind via archival footage, screen tests, insightful interviews and rare film footage.

Hôtel Terminus: The Life and Times of Klaus Barbie(1988)

4h 27min | War, Documentary
3.6/5 (with 13 votes)

Winner of a Best Documentary Academy Award, Marcel Ophuls' riveting film details the heinous legacy of the Gestapo head dubbed "The Butcher of Lyon." Responsible for over 4,000 deaths in occupied France during World War II, Barbie would escape--with U.S. help--to South America in 1951, where he lived until a global manhunt led to his 1983 arrest and subsequent trial.

Directed by Marcel Ophuls - With Jeanne Moreau, Claude Bourdet, Henri Varlot, Lise Lesèvre, Lucie Aubrac, Marcel Ophuls, ...

A Tale of the Wind(1988)

1h 20min | Documentary
3.3/5 (with 13 votes)

It is an autobiographical fiction starring Ivens as an old man who has spent his life trying to "tame the wind and harness the sea" by capturing them on film.

Radio Bikini(1988)

56min | Documentary
3.7/5 (with 7 votes)

It starts with a live radio broadcast from the Bikini Atoll a few days before it is annihilated by a nuclear test. Shows great footage from these times and tells the story of the US Navy Sailors who were exposed to radioactive fallout. One interviewed sailor suffered grotesquely swollen limbs and he is shown being interviewed with enormous left arm and hand.

Directed by Robert Stone

Comic Book Confidential(1989)

| 1h 30min | Documentary
3.4/5 (with 12 votes)

In the 20th century, no artistic medium in North America with so much potential for creative expression has had a more turbulent history plagued with less respect than comic books. Through animated montages, readings and interviews, this film guides us through the history of the medium from the late 1930s and 1940s with the first explosion of popularity with the superheroes created by great talents like Jack Kirby and hitting its first artistic zenith with Will Eisner's "Spirit". It then shifts to the post war comics world with the rising popularity of crime and horror comics, especially those published by EC Comics under the editorshiop of William B. Gaines until it came crashing down the rise of censorship with the imposition of the Comics Code. In its wake of the devastation of the medium's creative freedom, we also explore EC's defiant survival with the creation of the singular "Mad Magazine" by Harvey Kurtzman.

Walking After Midnight(1988)

1h 32min | Documentary

Explores the past-life experiences of various celebrities.

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Cane Toads: An Unnatural History(1988)

| 47min | Comedy, Documentary
3.5/5 (with 16 votes)

A documentary detailing the spread of Hawaiian sugar-cane toads through Australia in a botched effort to introduce them as counter pests.

Directed by Mark Lewis

Calling the Shots(1988)

1h 40min | Documentary

Documentary about women in the film industry. Numerous notable actresses and female directors share their thoughts.

Directed by Janis Cole, Holly Dale

Moscow Elegy(1987)

1h 26min | Documentary
3.2/5 (with 4 votes)

A 1988 documentary film directed by Alexander Sokurov, about the later life and death of Soviet Russian filmmaker Andrei Tarkovsky. The film was originally intended to mark the 50th birthday of Tarkovsky in 1982, which would have been before his death. Controversy with Soviet authorities about the film's style and content led to significant delays in the production.

Land of Dreams(1988)

3h 5min | Documentary
3.5/5 (with 4 votes)

"Land of Dreams" - When the daughter Johanna is born in 1983, Jan Troell tells the story about his childhood Sweden and how things were when he grow-up in the land of fairy tales and potential prosperity.

Directed by Jan Troell - With Rollo May, Ingvar Carlsson, Tage Erlander

The Congress(1989)

1h 29min | Documentary, History
4.5/5 (with 1 vote)

For 200 years, the United States Congress has been one of the country's most important and least understood institutions. In this elegant, thoughtful and often touching portrait, Ken Burns explores the history and promise of this unique American institution. Using historical photographs and newsreels, evocative live footage and interviews with David Broder, Alistair Cooke, Cokie Roberts, Charles McDowell and others, the award-winning film chronicles the personalities, events and issues that have animated the first 200 years of Congress and, in turn, our country.

A Rustling of Leaves: Inside the Philippine Revolution(1988)

1h 50min | Documentary

A chronicle of the three points of a political triangle — the legal left, the illegal (armed) revolution, and the enemy which threatens them both: the armed reactionary right. It is 1987. The dictatorship of Ferdinand Marcos has just been overthrown. Newly elected President Corazon Aquino struggles to wrench control of the country from her own military. A Rustling of Leaves poses the key question facing the revolutionaries and the Filipino Left: Should the People’s Movement continue the guerilla war, or do they dare enter legal politics and reveal the hidden face of the revolution?

You Don't Have to Die(1988)

27min | Documentary
3.3/5 (with 3 votes)

A young boy's successful battle against cancer and his subsequent efforts to help other children overcome their fears of the illness.

Directed by Bill Guttentag

Sakura-tai Chiru(1988)

1h 53min | Documentary
2.9/5 (with 2 votes)

A documentary about the lives of actors in the Sakura-tai theatrical troupe, which had arrived in the island of Hiroshima to begin preparations for the staging of a play just before the atomic bombing.

Directed by Kaneto Shindō

Mondo New York(1988)

1h 23min | Documentary
2.6/5 (with 3 votes)

A young woman wanders around New York City and stumbles across a number of strange characters and settings that represent the "underground" areas of the city. She sees stand up comedy in Central Park, a prostitution auction, a voodoo ceremony, an S&M club, and a number of very interesting performance artists. These are just a few of the sights and sounds of New York that she encounters.

Directed by Harvey Keith - With Ann Magnuson, Joey Arias, Rick Aviles, Karen Finley, Veronica Vera, Lydia Lunch, ...

Computer Dreams(1988)

A documentary about the exciting possibilities of computer animation and the shaping of never before imagined worlds.

Directed by Geoffrey de Valois

The True Story of Frank Zappa's 200 Motels(1988)

4.5/5 (with 1 vote)

A one-hour documentary on the making of Frank Zappa's bizarre 1971 comic musical. Vintage private footage from Frank's personal archives plus behind-the-scenes of the actual shooting and recording. With Ringo Starr, Theodore Bikel, Keith Moon and such songs as "Sleeping in a Jar," and "Strictly Genteel." The inside history of the first feature-length film to be shot on video in 6 days.

Directed by Frank Zappa - With Theodore Bikel, Jimmy Carl Black, George Duke, Aynsley Dunbar, Ringo Starr, Ian Underwood, ...

Promises to Keep(1988)

58min | Documentary
3.0/5 (with 1 vote)

Promises to Keep follows agitator Snyder and the Community for Creative Non-Violence by showing film-fragments, news-bulletin images from records, and newspaper headlines about the fight to force the government to live up to their promise to provide the homeless of Washington D.C. with proper shelter.

Directed by Ginny Durrin

Cannibal Tours(1988)

1h 12min | Documentary
3.0/5 (with 4 votes)

The film follows a number of European and American ecotourists as they travel from village to village throughout the Sepik River area in Papua New Guinea, driving hard bargains for local handcrafted items, paying to view formerly sacred ceremonies and taking photographs of every aspect of "primitive" life. With some prodding, the tourists unwittingly reveal an unattractive and pervasive ethnocentrism to O'Rourke's cameras. The tourists thus become somewhat dehumanized by the camera, even as the tourists themselves are busy exoticizing even the most mundane aspects of Sepik River life.

Directed by Dennis O'Rourke


51min | Documentary

Documentary exploring the experience of Soviet soldiers during the Soviet war in Afghanistan.

Directed by Peter Kosminsky

Growing Up in America(1989)

1h 30min | Documentary
5.0/5 (with 1 vote)

Filmmaker Morley Markson shows Abbie Hoffman, Jerry Rubin, Allen Ginsberg, Timothy Leary, and other '60s rebels, then and now in a follow up to his 1971 film "Breathing Together: Revolution of the Electric Family.".

Directed by Morley Markson


| 1h 55min | Documentary
3.1/5 (with 3 votes)

MISSILE follows the 4315th Training Squadron of the Strategic Air Command at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, where Air Force officers are trained to man the Launch Control Centers for the Minuteman Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles. Sequences include discussion of the moral and military issues of nuclear war; the arming, targeting and launching of the missile; codes; communications; protection against terrorist attack; emergency procedures; staff meetings and tutorial sessions.

Directed by Frederick Wiseman


56min | Documentary
3.5/5 (with 1 vote)

Leon Golub's massive canvasses depict scenes most of us would prefer not to see - mercenary killings, torture, and death squads. Golub offers not simply a profile of a painter with a political conscience, but an investigation into the power of the artist to reflect our times and to change the way we think about our world.

Directed by Gordon Quinn

American Tongues(1987)

56min | Documentary
3.5/5 (with 1 vote)

A sociolinguistic documentary examining American English dialects and accents and perceptions thereof.

Directed by Andrew Kolker, Louis Alvarez - With Molly Ivins, Robert Klein, Trey Wilson
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