Documentaries

American Look (1958)
Short documentary made by Chevrolet about 1950s American design

Apollo 13: Houston, We’ve Got a Problem (1972)
Official NASA documentary about how the crippled Apollo 13 mission was brought home

Archive: The Internet Archive (2013)
Behind-the-scenes documentary about the Internet Archive, how it works and who runs it

Are You Popular? (1947)
Brief guide to how teenagers should behave in post-war America

Basic Brown, Basic Blue (1969)
Bizarre short documentary about colours by Homer Groening (father of Simpsons creator Matt Groening)

Christmas Reading of Genesis by Apollo 8 (1968)
The crew of Apollo 8, the first lunar mission, read from the Bible on Christmas Day while in orbit around the Moon

The Corporation (2003)
Documentary, the history and nature of modern corporations

Dating: Dos and Don’ts (1949)
Short instructional film advising post-war teenagers on how to have fun while courting

Don’t Be A Sucker (1943)
Short film made by the US government during World War Two, imploring people not to listen to racist conmen who claim to have easy answers

Duck and Cover (1951)
Civil defence film made by the US government during the Cold War, explaining how to protect yourself from a nuclear blast

Get Lamp (2010)
Feature-length documentary about the history of text adventures and interactive fiction

Häxan (1922)
Silent documentary/dramatisation about witchcraft, originally banned on its release

In The Suburbs (1957)
Short documentary, originally made to promote Redbook magazine to advertisers, but nowadays is more like a time capsule of 1950s consumerism

The Internet’s Own Boy (2014)
Documentary about the internet activist Aaron Swartz

Land and Live in the Jungle (1944)
Wartime air force documentary explaining how to survive in jungle environments

Let There Be Light (1946)
Army documentary by John Huston about soldiers returning from the Second World War suffering from PTSD, banned at the time and not released until the 1980s

The Mind-Benders: LSD and the Hallucinogens (1970)
Documentary made by the US government about the effects of illegal drugs

Moonwalk One (1970)
Official documentary about the 1969 moon landings, made by NASA

Nicotine Bees (2010)
Documentary about the decline of bee populations

Nothing to Hide (2017)
Documentary about internet surveillance

Paywall: The Business of Scholarship (2018)
Feature-length documentary about the “vampire” publishing corporations that pointlessly charge scientists to read each other’s research

Protect and Survive: Casualties (1980)
Public information film made by the British government, explaining what to do with dead bodies after a nuclear attack

The Quiet One (1948)
Oscar-nominated documentary about the rehabilitation of a disturbed young boy

The River (1938)
Award-winning short documentary about the Mississippi river, focusing on the environmental impact of logging

Sense of Flying (2011)
Short documentary about a BASE jumper in a wingsuit

Space Navigation (1968)
NASA documentary about the basic principles of space navigation, made just before the first Moon landing

The Story of Stuff (2007)
Documentary short about manufacturing and the consumer economy, presented in straightforward everyday language

The Story of Cosmetics (2010)
Short documentary about beauty products and their potential health hazards

The Story of Electronics (2011)
Documentary about electronic devices and their effect on the environment

3rd Ave. El (1955)
Oscar-nominated short documentary about the elevated railway in New York

This Place in Time: The Mount St Helens Story (1984)
Documentary by the US Forest Service about the devastation caused by the eruption of the Mount St Helens volcano in 1980

TPB AFK: The Pirate Bay Away From Keyboard (2013)
Documentary about file-sharing platform The Pirate Bay, and the high profile trial of its owners

A Trip Down Market Street Before the Fire (1906)
High-quality footage filmed from a cable car of Market Street in pre-disaster San Francisco

When Abortion Was Illegal: Untold Stories (1992)
Documentary about women’s experiences with “back street” abortions