True crime is one of the most compelling documentary sub-genres. I often find myself drawn to these films and the incredible, nightmarish and heartbreaking stories they tell. It is sometimes hard, however, to explain the reasons behind my attraction to these documentaries.
I certainly do not view them as pure entertainment. My heart is always with the victims, my mind on how our world and its systems of justice could be improved. The vast majority of these documentaries are seeking an audience for good reason.
The best films in the true crime documentary sub-genre have an important role to play in raising awareness of injustice and shining a light on some of the most troubling issues in society.
There are, of course, hundreds of true crime docs. Picking seven was no easy task. As a result, I decided to focus on the films that have made a real difference - many of the documentaries on my list have left an impressive and lasting legacy.
In addition, many of these films have made a significant impact on the world of documentary filmmaking in terms of style and content. Lots of these films have inspired other filmmakers and changed how we think about documentaries.
So, without further ado, let’s take a look at these seven powerful true crime documentaries…
Do you have any filmmaking documentaries that you would like to recommend? If so, do let us know in the comments section below or over on Twitter. You can find me @500DaysOfFilm.