Current’s countdown of 50 Documentaries to See Before You Die ends tonight, and it will name Hoop Dreams as its number-one pick.
The film is a 1994 documentary about two black teenagers recruited to play basketball at a suburban Chicago high school, and on the conclusion of the special tonight, Morgan Spurlock will talk to its stars, Arthur Agee and William Gates. (Spurlock’s own Super Size Me is number five on the list.)
The rest of the top 10 are The Thin Blue Line, Roger & Me, Waltz With Bashir, Super Size Me, The War Room, The Celluloid Closet, An Inconvenient Truth, Trouble the Water, and Grizzly Man.
The New York Times has the entire list of 50 documentaries, and the paper’s Mike Hale argues the list is dominated by “a relentless preference for the story-based or issue-based films that people now seem to think define the documentary field” and “the emphasis throughout ’50 Documentaries’ is on content rather than form.” He notes that the films were selected “by a panel that included Michael Renov, a University of Southern California film professor; Eddie Schmidt, president of the International Documentary Association; and Brian Graden, former president of programming for MTV Networks.”