Best of Everything Nonfiction 2019
Here are the best books, films, and documentaries reviewed on Everything Nonfiction this year.
An American Sickness by Elisabeth Rosenthal – A detailed look at our healthcare system.
Denial Written by Deborah E. Lipstadt – A writer is sued for libel by a holocaust denier.
Little Shoes written by Pamela Everett – Part memoir, part true crime, part wrongful conviction story.
Zoo Nebraska written by Carson Vaughan – A behind the scenes look at a roadside zoo and the story of one escaped chimpanzee.
Amity and Prosperity written by Eliza Griswold – A look at the environmental impact of fracking on two small rural Pennsylvania towns.
Charged written by Emily Bazelon – An examination of our broken criminal justice system and the resulting mass incarceration.
Poisoned written by Alan Bell – A memoir of the author’s experience dealing with an environmental poisoning.
The Fifth Risk written by Michael Lewis – The story of the inept Trump administration in the first few months of his term.
What the Eyes Don’t See written by Mona Hanna-Attisha – A memoir from the person who first identified the Flint water crisis.
Dark Money written by Jane Mayer – How a handful of people have shaped American politics, policy, and conspiracies.
The Children’s Blizzard written by David Laskin – Life on the great plains during the early days of weather forecasting and the story of one deadly blizzard.
Lassoing the Sun written by Mark Woods – Twelve national parks in one year.
The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind Written by Chiwetel Ejiofor and William Kamkwamba, directed by Chiwetel Ejiofor – A boy in a small African village builds a windmill to help power a water pump.
Hotel Mumbai written by John Collee and Anthony Maras. Directed by Anthony Maras – The 2008 terrorist attack on a hotel in Mumbai.
Apollo11 directed by Todd Douglas Miller – The story of Apollo 11 told through archive footage.
Bryan Banks written by Doug Atchison and directed by Tom Shadyac – A star college football player is convicted of a rape he did not commit.
Midway Written by Wes Tooke and Directed by Roland Emmerich – The Battle of Midway.
The Report written and directed by Scott Z. Burn – Uncovering the truth about enhanced interrogation techniques used by the CIA in the aftermath of 911.
Dark Waters written by Matthew Michael Carnahan and Mario Correa. Directed by Todd Haynes – A case of chemical pollution by Dupont.
Harriet directed by Kasi Lemons – The story of Harriet Tubman and the underground railroad used to help free slaves.
As is usual this time of year, there are several nonfiction films that have come out or will be out soon that I haven’t yet had a chance to see. But here are some that I am looking forward to seeing:
Ford vs Ferrari
A Beautiful Day in the neighborhood
Fyre: The Greatest Party that Never Happened Directed by Chris Smith – A con man, social media, and the musical festival that never was.
Abducted in Plain Sight directed by Skye Borgman – A kidnapping, a pedophile, religion, and the parents poor choices.
The Devil We Know Directed by Stephanie Soechtig and Jeremy Seifert – Tells the same chemical pollution story as told in the film Dark Waters.
American Factory Directed by Steven Bognar and Julia Rechert – A look what happens when a Chinese company opens a factory in the U.S. and the culture clash that occurs.
One Child Nation – The devastating impact of China’s one child policy.
The Disappearance of Madeleine McCann Directed by Chris Smith – A look at the Madeleine McCann case.
Confession Tapes Season Two – False confessions
Exhibit A – This four-episode series tells stories of wrongful convictions that are the result of questionable forensics.
I Love You, Now Die written and directed by Erin Lee Carr – A two-part docuseries that looks at the manslaughter case against Michelle Carter, the seventeen-year-old accused of encouraging her boyfriend to commit suicide through text messages.
Free Meek – A five-part docuseries covering Meek Mill’s interactions with a punishing, unfair probation system.
Inside Bill’s Brain – Catching up with Bill Gates’ philanthropical endeavors.
The Devil Next Door Directed by Yossi Bloch and Daniel Silvan – Was John Demjanjuk the murderous Ivan the Terrible, who worked the gas chambers at the Nazi death camp Treblinka, or was he a victim of misidentification? That’s the question at the center of this five-part Netflix documentary series.
Don’t F**K With Cats written and directed by Mark Lewis – An unbelievable tale of using the Internet to track down a psychopath.
John Adams – A seven episode miniseries starring Paul Giamatti and Laura Linney. Besides offering an excellent history lesson on the birth of our nation, this series shows that political discord has been a part of politics from the very beginning.
The Loudest Voice – The rise and fall of Roger Ailes.
The Hot Zone – Based on the book The Hot Zone, which is about Ebola.
When They See Us – The wrongful conviction story of the Central Park Five.
Chernobyl – The how and why of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster.