Documentary Films

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Latest Additions:
Against My Will
Cult Witness
Chosen
Panic
The Lost Girls Of South Africa
The Trouble With Evan
The Most Hated Family in America
Kids Behind Bars
Four Corners: Forced Marriages
False Accusation
Inside The World Of Human Sex Trafficking
America's Medicated Kids

Abuse:

theatersChild Abuse (15)
Documentaries about abuse inflicted on a child (someone under 18yo) by an adult. It can be physical, sexual, emotional/verbal, or neglect.
Child of Rage
CBS, 1992, length: 00:27:28.

A classic documentary based on the true story of Beth Thomas, who suffered from reactive attachment disorder as a result of being sexually abused as a child.
Out of Darkness, Into Light
WLRN, 2012, length: 00:28:25.

An Emmy award winning documentary which delves into the lives of three adult survivors of child sexual abuse.
Just, Melvin: Just Evil
2000, length: 01:14:35.

A documentary about three generations who were sexually abused by their relative, Melvin Just, while they were children.
The Trouble With Evan
The Fifth Estate, 1994, length: 1:24:20.

Documentary about the effect emotional abuse had on an 11yo boy from Canada.
3,096 days in captivity
2013, length: 00:51:13.

Documentary about Natascha Kampusch, an 8yo Austrian girl who was kidnapped and kept in a 54 sq ft cellar for more than eight years.
Chosen
Channel4, 2008, length: 1:36:32.

This BAFTA award winning film deals with a subject often whispered but rarely spoken about - the sexual abuse of boys by teachers in Britain’s private schools.
Men Surviving Sexual Abuse
Shatterboy, 2012, length: 27:15.

Five men discussing the impact of sexual abuse on men.
Unspeakable
The Cayman Story Company, length: 1:03:30.

Documentary confronting Child Sexual Abuse in the Cayman Islands.
The Lost Girls Of South Africa
Real Stories, 2017, length: 1:15:52.

In a country where a child is raped every three minutes, and where AIDS continues to spread with epidemic ferocity, we follow four girls aged 11-13 as they struggle to come to terms with the crimes committed against them and fight the social stigma that comes with the abuse.
Selling The Girl Next Door
CNN, 2011, length: 42:42.

Documentary about child sex trafficking in the US.
Boys For Sale
1981, length: 1:57:34.

Documentary focused on the abuse of prostitute boys in Houston, USA.
Cyntoia Brown: 16yo killer
2013, length: 00:56:59.

Documentary about a child prostitute serving a life sentence for murdering a client.
Kids Behind Bars
Length: 1:38:34.

Documentary about abuse of children in prisons around the world.
Children Of Darkness
PBS, 1983, length: 57:16.

Documentary about mentally ill and emotionally troubled children and young adults living in various private and public residences, and state institutions.
America s Medicated Kids
BBC, 2010, length: 1:00:50.

Louis Theroux documentary about parents who have turned to medication to keep their children under control.
More about Child Abuse: phone local_library shopping_cart
theatersDomestic Abuse (12)
Documentaries about abuse inflicted on one adult by another, while both share the same household. For example, physical abuse by an intimate partner, or abuse of elderly parent by their adult child.
Behind Closed Doors
BBC, 2015, length: 59:01.

Shot over 12 months, and starting from the moment an emergency call is received, the film follows three brave women who each waive their right to anonymity to show how insidious and terrifying domestic abuse can be.
Love You To Death
BBC, 2015, length: 1:34:44.

86 women were killed by their partners in 2013 in UK. This documentary names each of them, and, through interviews with families, friends and neighbours, tells the stories of seven of them in detail.
Against My Will
Humanist Broadcasting Foundation, 2003, length: 50:19.

The stories of three women who took refuge at the Dastak women's shelter in Pakistan founded to help women fleeing abusive and murderous families.
Living in Fear
NPT Reports, 2013, length: 57:06.

Domestic violence through the eyes of survivors, supporters, and abusers.
Faces of Fear
PBS, 1996, length: 56:08.

Examines the crosscultural phenomenon of domestic violence and looks at how the medical community and law enforcement agencies are helping to end the silence.
Abused In Silence
Length: 46:55.

A true story of a Muslim woman abused by her husband.
What Price - Bride Price?
MIFUMI, 2013, length: 47:13.

Bride Price or lobola is both a cherished but highly controversial culture practised throughout Africa. It is the price paid in cows or money by the groom to the parents of the bride. This inspirational documentary tackles important side effects of bride wealth, namely child marriages, domestic violence and poverty. It features a cross-section of survivors of domestic violence, judges, community leaders, policy makers and rights activists.
Four Corners: Forced Marriages
ABC, 2012; length: 44:20.

Documentary about what happens when young, educated, Australian-born girls are forced into unwanted marriages - often with relatives overseas.
Elder Abuse: The Crime of the Twenty-First Century?
BBC, 2014, length: 56:41.

Documentary about abuse in senior homes.
Elder Abuse Lecture
UCTV, 2012, length: 59:28.

Attorney Paul Greenwood has prosecuted more than four hundred felony cases of elder and dependent abuse, both physical and financial. He examines what constitutes elder abuse, how we handle these cases in our judicial system, why incidents of elder abuse are on the rise, and how you can protect yourself and your loved ones.
Men Dont Tell
CBS, 1993, length: 1:32:08.

TV drama based on the true story of a loving husband who is terrorized by the violent behavior of his wife.
Gaslight
MGM, 1940, length: 1:24:01.

Classic drama about emotional abuse: a husband convinces his wife that she is insane by making her doubt her reality.
More about Domestic Abuse: phone local_library shopping_cart
theatersRape and Sexual Assault (5)
Documentaries about non-consensual intercourse (vaginal or otherwise), where the perpetrator forces it on the victim against their will and the victim is helpless to escape.
The Unspeakable Crime Rape
BBC, 2013, length: 1:43:41.

Documentary exploring rape, from forensic medical to police investigation, court and beyond.
I Never Said Yes
BBC, 2012, length: 48:37.

Pips Taylor examines why so many rape victims fail to receive justice in the UK. With powerful interviews with victims, lawyers and police officers she explores who is to blame for this failure and discovers a system which favours the accuseds right over those of the victims.
Turned Out: Sexual Assault Behind Bars
Jonathan Schwartz, 2004, length: 54:12.

Estimates are that 20 percent of all men serving in US prisons have been raped. This film looks at the social system within prisons that allows this violent sexual behavior to occur.
Inside The World Of Human Sex Trafficking
2015, length: 1:49:32.

Documentary explores the cycle of neglect, violence and exploitation which each year leaves thousands of girls and women feeling that prostitution is their only option to survive.
False Accusation
2015, length: 22:40.

A story of how one woman falsely accused someone of rape, he was sentenced to 20 years of prison, but two years later she admitted no rape took place.
More about Rape and Sexual Assault: phone local_library shopping_cart
theatersReligious and Ritual Abuse (9)
Documentaries about a pattern of using a system of beliefs to inflict and/or justify abuse: physical, sexual, and/or emotional. Religious abuse might or might not take a form of a ritual, and can be perpetrated by an organized group of people or just a single person.
Cult Witness
Arthio Films, 2010, length: 1:14:28.

An intelligent exploration of how cults attract and manipulate their followers, sharing the disturbing firsthand experiences of Cult Witness director Samuel Stefan and six others who have freed themselves from cults.
I Escaped A Cult
National Geographics, 2012, length: 44:28.

Four people including Brent Jeffs discuss how they fled dangerous and brainwashing cults, and what it was like to live in a world of fear and abuse.
The Most Hated Family in America
BBC, 2007, length: 58:35.

Louis Theroux documentary about the Westboro Baptist Church, whose members are nearly all from one family and are infamous for extreme homophobia and picketing the funerals of fallen soldiers.
Banaz: A Love Story
Deeyah Khan, 2012, length: 1:08:30.

The film chronicles the life and death of Banaz Mahmod, a young British Kurdish woman killed in 2006 in South London on the orders of her family in a so-called honour killing.
House of Shafia
The Fifth Estate, 2012, length: 45:14.

Documentary about the honour killing of three teenage girls and their stepmother by their family.
Jonestown Cult Suicides
Channel5, 2007, length: 47:20.

Documentary about the 1978 mass suicide of 918 members of the Peoples Temple, a cult led by Jim Jones.
Charles Manson - Dianne Sawyer Documentary
ABC, 1994, length: 44:03.

An interview with a leader of the Manson Family, a cult that arose in California in the late 1960s. The Family committed nine murders to speed up an apocalyptic race war that they called "Helter Skelter".
Sex in a Cold Climate
Channel4, 1998, length: 49:35.

The documentary interviews four women, three of whom were incarcerated in Magdalene asylums in Ireland, about the abuse they underwent.
The Shame of the Catholic Church
BBC, 2012, length: 58:50.

Documentary about child sexual abuse by Catholic priests in Ireland.
More about Religious and Ritual Abuse: local_library shopping_cart

Mental Health:

theatersTherapy (10)
Documentaries about therapy: how to choose a good therapist, what to talk about in their office, and when to quit.
What is psychotherapy anyway?
Dr. Gerald J. Gargiulo and Dr. Amira Simha-Alpern, 2012, length: 22:10.

A down to earth discussion between two psychoanalysts of what deep therapy is all about: how growth in self awareness is basic to living a satisfying life.
A Former Therapist's Critique of Psychotherapy
Daniel Mackler, 2014, length: 59:33.

What makes a good therapist, how to assess a therapist's quality, why he thinks most therapists are not so good, boundaries in psychotherapy, the value in self-therapy versus therapy, and the subjects of diagnosis and psychiatric drugs.
Bellevue Inside Out
HBO, 2001, length: 1:16:54.

Documentary about the emergency room and psychiatric ward at Bellevue Hospital in New York City: interviews with patients, doctors, nurses, etc.
Open Dialogue: an alternative Finnish approach to healing psychosis
Daniel Mackler, 2014, length: 1:13:59.

documentary film on the Western Lapland Open Dialogue Project, the program presently getting the best results in the developed world for first-break psychosis - approximately 85% full recovery, a far majority off antipsychotic medication.
BPD: Back From the Edge
Lichtenstein Creative Media, 2010, length: 48:11.

Documentary film featuring three people who are living with and recovered from Borderline Personality Disorder. The production also features leading experts in the field.
Ride the Tiger: A Guide Through the Bipolar Brain
PBS, 2016, length: 54:24.

Documentary about that tells the stories accomplished individuals who have been diagnosed with bipolar, and explores treatment options.
Treading Water
From Here To There Films, 2015, length: 1:06:36.

Independent Documentary about depression, interesting, and not patronizing.
Depression: The Misunderstood Epidemic
2010, length: 56:47.

One by one the topics are addressed in candid detail: symptoms; suicide; the stigma and lack of understanding; the stress in families and relationships; the loss of ability to work. The film also discusses the pros and cons of medication, different types of therapy, and support groups.
Depression: Out of The Shadows
PBS, 2008, length: 1:25:12.

Approximately 15 million American adults live with this devastating disease which affects all age, race, gender, and socioeconomic groups. Through the voices and stories of people living with depression and interviews with scientists, this documantary provides a portrait of the disease never before seen on American television.
The Truth About Depression
BBC, 2013, length: 56:00.

Stephen Nolan lifts the curtain on the stigma surrounding depression and gains a better understanding of this illness. He meets people whose life is a constant battle against it and examines the science behind this potentially life-threatening condition.
More about Therapy: phone local_library shopping_cart
theatersPTSD and Anxiety (8)
Documentaries about how to ground when you're triggered, dealing with panic attacks and flashbacks, managing phobias, etc.
Resolve: A Guide To Post Traumatic Growth
Greg Storm, length: 1:21:02.

Ten trauma survivors offering practical advice for millions of trauma victims, their families and friends worldwide.
Childhood Trauma and the Process of Healing
Daniel Mackler, 2011, length: 58:54.

Topics covered: denial in the family system, addiction to comfort, self-therapy and healing childhood trauma, four stages of emotional healing, and suicide - the trap of the family system.
Healing Minds, Changing Attitudes: PTSD
AETN, 2014, length: 1:57:31.

The first hour features a documentary about PTSD in children and youth. Following, a panel of experts discuss what PTSD is, the causes, signs and symptoms, diagnosis, and treatments.
Panic
HBO, 2001, length: 51:59.

Documentary exploring the devastating, often disabling medical condition which has plagued such well-known figures as actress Kim Basinger and football legend Earl Campbell.
Afraid Of People
APT, 2011, length: 1:29:25.

Documentary about Social Anxiety, a disorder affecting 19.2 million Americans.
The Man Who Loved The Number 12
ITV, 2005, length: 1:29:33.

A remarkably intimate and moving film that offers an insight into the extreme Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. Hugh is trapped in a world of endless order and repetition, which places a huge strain on him and his family.
House of Agoraphobics I
Barcroft TV, 2006, length: 47:38.

Three agoraphobics move into a house together where they will face their worst fears, hoping to find a better life.
House of Agoraphobics II
Barcroft TV, 2006, length: 48:33.

Second part of the above film.
More about PTSD and Anxiety: local_library shopping_cart
theatersDID/MPD (4)
Documentaries about Dissociative Identity Disorder (aka Multiple Personality Disorder), where it comes from and how we live with it.
Multiple Personality Disorder
HBO, 1993, length: 58:58.

Emmy award-winning film is a look into how people can develop multiple personalities to survive abuse through the splitting off of personalities. Usually taking hold in childhood, DID/MPD is thought of as people's way of shutting out abuse and trauma from their formative years. During this film we get to see some people who suffer from the disorder, whilst exhibiting their various different personalities.
Mistaken Identity
Length: 45:57.

Documentary about the controversy surrounding Dissociative Identity Disorder, previously known as Multiple Personality Disorder.
DID Talk
Informal university lecture, 2013, length: 1:18:30.

Abuse survivor who has DID, sharing her thoughts on what it's like (and what it isn't like).
Dissociative Identity Disorders and Trauma: GRCC Psychology Lecture
Colin A. Ross, MD, 2016, length: 2:13:28.

More about DID/MPD: local_library shopping_cart
theatersSelf Inflictions (10)
Documentaries about suicide, self-harm, eating disorders, addictions, or any other non-accidental behaviors that are harmful to your body.
Down
Length: 41:45.

Documentary about depression, suicide, and self injury in teens.
Boy Interrupted
HBO, 2009, length: 1:32:16.

The intensely personal story of every parent's worst nightmare: the death of a child by suicide.
Life After Suicide
BBC, 2014, length: 58:23.

Dcumentary about how suicide affects your loved ones.
Cut Up Kids
BBC, 2008, length: 59:36.

Documentary which gives an insight into the phenomenon of self-harming teenagers by following three young people who have resorted to it as a way of coping with what life has thrown at them.
Anorexia Nervosa: Being Too Thin - An Inside Story
BBC, 2015, length: 1:35:48.

Documentary about Anorexia Nervosa, an Eating Disorder characterized by restricting one's food intake in order to lose weight.
Rain in my heart
Paul Watson, 2006, length: 1:38:16.

Gritty, very real and heartbreaking, it is an upfront, unapologetic glimpse into the world of addiction and alcoholism.
Cybersex Addiction
Real Stories, 2005, length: 46:38.

Each day, hundreds of thousands of individuals access the Internet to make sexual contact with each other without ever having met eye-to-eye or having said a simple hello. The Internet has actually removed touch and human contact from sex.
Heroin: The Hardest Hit
VA State attorney's office, 2016, length: 43:13.

A very involved film providing a graphic and up close look at heroin addiction and prescription pain pill abuse.
Methadonia
Michel Negroponte, 2005, length: 1:27:50.

Methadonia is the borderland between high and straight, where recovering heroin addicts on methadone "maintenance" exist.
The City Addicted to Crystal Meth
BBC, 2009, length: 56:44.

Louis Theroux documentary about how drug addiction has torn apart the city of Fresno in Central Valley, California.
More about Self Inflictions: phone local_library shopping_cart

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Hush! Check those words. Do not cure ill with ill and make your pain still heavier than it is.
~ Sophocles
This page was last updated on May 27th, 2017
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