Watch All The Documentary Movies You Can Handle, Free Online - And Yes, It's Legal.
My favorite genre of movies these days is the documentary. I seek them out like some bizarre addict, soaking up 90 minute chunks of knowledge and feeling good knowing that my time in front of the TV (or computer) has at least taught me something. I get many of these films from the library, free. But that does involve a wait and traveling to and from the library. I also have the basic Netflix subscription, which gives me instant access to dozens of great docs whenever I want. But now, I've found a third great option, and it's the best of both worlds — free and instant.
FreeDocumentaries.org is a website devoted to bringing documentary movies to the masses. Why free? Well, here's what the site has to say about it:
Why do documentary film makers allow their films to be streamed for free on the internet?
Many documentary film makers realize that having their films streamed on the internet for free will not only educate people on their perspective but will also encourage people to purchase the DVD.
I'll be the first to admit that although some people will buy the DVD, many probably won't. So, I'm not sure I agree with the last part of that statement. But the rest makes good sense. Most documentary movies are made by people passionate about a subject, and they are done on a dime. They are a labor of love, and the focus is not on money but education. Therefore, a free outlet for their voice to be heard, well, it's common sense.
I did my due diligence though and looked further on the site for reassurance that I wasn't ripping anyone off or stealing content. This also comes from the site:
Do producers give you permission to show their films?
We follow all copyright laws. We deal with streaming partners who handle all copyright issues. By embedding films we can not legally be liable for any copyright infringement as stated by the DMCA. If you feel that your film is online without your permission, we will forward you to our streaming partners. When they agree that a copyright infringement has taken place, your film will be removed from our site.
Basically, the site will take anything down that does not comply with copyright laws. And I did find some of these docs, in full, posted on youtube by the makers of the movies. That also leads me to believe that they really do want to get the word out.
So now that the issue of legality is out of the way, what can you enjoy? Well, what would you like?
I found some big hits, including the modern classic Super Size Me by Morgan Spurlock, Sicko by Michael Moore, and the web sensation Loose Change, about 9/11. But there are many other titles to choose from, leaving me with that great feeling of being a kid in a candy store. Here are just a few titles of interest that I'll be watching over the next few weeks:
Most of the movies come with a trailer and synopsis, so you can see what the main subject matter is before diving in. The site also posts comments about the movies. And when you've chosen your movie, it plays full screen for you. So, better get that broadband connection or face a constantly sticking flick.
This site is a great example of freedom of information. These films were made with blood, sweat and tears. They were made to reach out to us and drive home a point. Whether you agree or disagree with that point is not the issue — the fact that we live in a society where films like these can be made and watched without fear is the greater issue here. And I for one will be taking advantage of this wonderful resource.
Oh, and if you do watch one of the movies, let us know how it was. I don't have time to watch them all. Shame.