Open Culture – Free Documentaries Online

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The 20 best documentaries of the 2010s

In a decade where reality and fiction blurred, these movies showed us who we really are.

20. Dawson City: Frozen Time (2017)

To make Dawson City: Frozen Time, director Bill Morrison — who often works with old footage — reused hundreds of reels of nitrate film shot in the 1910s and 1920s and unearthed in 1978 in Dawson, a town on the Yukon River in northwestern Canada. The reels had been presumed lost, and Morrison stitches them together to reconstruct the history of the town, which is loaded with wild stories of fortunes made and lost, with twists and turns as exciting as any fictional film. It plays like a silent film, at times, but one with an eye toward the present, and toward the way old stories shape the future.

Alissa Wilkinson, Vox

Point of Order! Review by Andrew Sarris

The strange ironies of history aside, the star of the show is still the late Joe McCarthy — and what a performer he was! One can recall his jowly menace and five-o’clock shadow, but it is shocking to rediscover his nervous giggle and his showbiz personality. There was a strangely populist appeal working for McCarthy as the last apostle of direct democracy unsullied by all the confidential “arrangements” of the well born and well educated. When Ike plugged up his keyhole after throwing Stevens to the wolves outside the door, McCarthy was finished. Even the Trotskyists, who had toyed with the idea of using McCarthy as their golem against the Stalinists, were soon bored by Joe’s ludicrous inexactitude. Curiously, Joe’s medium was neither television nor radio, and he was hardly a Huey Long out on the stump. With succinctness as his forte and fear as his gospel, McCarthy may have been the first and last demagogue of the wire services.
—Village Voice, January 16, 1964

Andrew Sarris reviewing, Point of Order!, by Emil De Antonio and Daniel Talbot, from the book, Confessions of a Cultist: On the Cinema, 1955-1969