There are a lot of documentaries freely available on YouTube.
Sometimes the producers release them for free, but most often other people upload the films and the copyright owners don't bother with taking them down.
xDocumentaries is a central place where you can easily find these documentaries...
A 2015 BBC documentary about the life and work of Pablo Picasso (1881 - 1973) with an emphasis on the women in his life and how they influenced his art.
Born in Malaga, Spain, Picasso lived for most of his adult life in France and was involved with many women, having serious relationships...(show more)
A 2018 crowdfunded film presented by Danny O'Dwyer and produced by his media company Noclip. The documentary focuses on the Half-Life first-person shooter video game series created by Valve, its development, its innovating gameplay ideas, and the impact it had on gamers and overall on the game...(show more)
A 2011 documentary about the life of American chess grandmaster and eleventh World Chess Champion Bobby Fischer (Robert James Fischer, 1943 - 2008), considered by many one of the greatest chess players of all times.
The film follows his story as a brilliant chess player from an early age,...(show more)
A 2013 documentary produced by GamerSpawn that looks into the evolution of the Grand Theft Auto (GTA) video game series from the first title released in 1997 and up to GTA V in 2013, showing gameplay footage, talking about how the games were received and the impact they had.
Developed by...(show more)
A 2002 British television documentary series by filmmaker Adam Curtis. It focuses on the work of psychoanalysts Sigmund Freud and Anna Freud, and PR consultant Edward Bernays. In episode one, Curtis says, "This series is about how those in power have used Freud's theories to try and control...(show more)
Environment, 2005, with Joaquin Phoenix, 1 hr 36 mins
A 2005 American documentary film about humanity's use of other animals as pets, food, clothing, entertainment, and for scientific research. The film is narrated by Joaquin Phoenix, features music by Moby, was directed by Shaun Monson, Executive Produced by Libra Max and was co-produced by Maggie...(show more)
Science, 2008, with Richard Dawkins, 2 hrs 25 mins
A 2008 documentary written and presented by Richard Dawkins looking into Charles Darwin's life work that introduced and explained the theory of evolution. Dawkins insists that evolution is now not just a theory, but scientific fact, and explores why a significant part of today's society is...(show more)
A 2008 National Geographic documentary presenting an imaginary journey starting from Earth and exploring — and learning about — the most important parts of the known universe. It is narrated by Alec Baldwin.
The documentary uses images from the Hubble telescope as a starting point and is...(show more)
A 2009 documentary that explores and questions dolphin hunting practices in Japan, especially the annual dolphin capture and slaughter in a cove in the Japanese fishing town of Taiji. It follows Ric O'Barry and people from the Oceanic Preservation Society as they conduct a covert operation...(show more)
Both a tale of one family's powerful ambition and of Europe's struggle to emerge from the ravages of the Dark Ages. Beginning in the 14th century, The Medici used charm, skill and ruthlessness to garner unparalleled wealth and power.
Standing at the helm of the Renaissance, they ruled...(show more)
A 2016 BBC documentary by British filmmaker Adam Curtis. The film was released on 16 October 2016 on the BBC iPlayer. In the film, Curtis argues that since the 1970s, governments, financiers, and technological utopians have given up on the complex "real world" and built a simple "fake world"...(show more)
Philosophy, 2000, with Alain de Botton, 2 hrs 25 mins
A Channel 4 TV series written and presented by Alain de Botton in which he presents the main ideas of the six philosophers he admires the most, Socrates, Epicurus, Seneca, Montaigne, Schopenhauer, and Nietzsche, how these ideas apply to our modern life and how they might make us happier. The...(show more)
A 2006 two-part television documentary directed by Ross Wilson and featuring British actor and comedian Stephen Fry. It explores the effects of living with bipolar disorder on other celebrities and members of the public. Fry himself suffers from a milder and less severe version of the illness...(show more)
A 2014 documentary about the life of computer programmer, entrepreneur and political hacktivist Aaron Swartz.
Swartz started programming at a young age, was involved in the development of the RSS web feed, was one of the early architects of Creative Commons, and his company InfoGami merged...(show more)
Religion, 2006, with Richard Dawkins, 1 hr 36 mins
A television documentary written and presented by Richard Dawkins in which he argues that humanity would be better off without religion or belief in God.
The documentary was first broadcast in January 2006, in the form of two 45-minute episodes (excluding advertisement breaks), on Channel...(show more)
A 2014 documentary film about Edward Snowden's leaks that started the 2013 NSA spying scandal. It was directed by Laura Poitras and contains real footage of several meetings Poitras, journalist Glenn Greenwald, and Ewen MacAskill from The Guardian had with Edward Snowden in Hong Kong as he...(show more)
A 1990 American documentary film directed by Jennie Livingston. Filmed in the mid-to-late 1980s, it chronicles the ball culture of New York City and the African-American, Latino, gay, and transgender communities involved in it. Some critics consider the film to be an invaluable documentary...(show more)
A 2003 Canadian documentary film written by University of British Columbia law professor Joel Bakan, and directed by Mark Achbar and Jennifer Abbott. The documentary examines the modern-day corporation. Bakan wrote the book, The Corporation: The Pathological Pursuit of Profit and Power, during...(show more)
A 2008 documentary about Philippe Petit's incredible high-wire walk between the tops of the World Trade Center's twin towers in 1974. His performance at 400 meters (1,312 feet) above the ground was not authorized, so Petit and his accomplices had to clandestinely get the equipment to the towers'...(show more)
A 2005 documentary depicting the consequences of the Decree 770 authorized in communist Romania by Nicolae Ceaușescu in 1966 which made abortion illegal, excepting women over 40 or already having four children.
As contraceptive methods were also de facto illegal, the result was a lot of...(show more)
A 2001 documentary presenting the life and work of innovative film director Stanley Kubrick (1928 - 1999), telling his story by focusing on his iconic films, including Spartacus, Lolita, Dr. Strangelove, 2001: A Space Odyssey, A Clockwork Orange, The Shining and Eyes Wide Shut.
The film...(show more)
A 2014 documentary written and produced by Stuart Brown that explores the evolution of computer graphics in video games starting with the first games in the '70s and up until present day games.
The film goes through the different graphic techniques employed over time, showing gameplay footage...(show more)
A 2013 documentary presenting the events at the Large Hadron Collider at CERN in Geneva from the first firing in 2008 and up to the identification of the Higgs boson in 2012.
The film follows different theoretical and experimental physicists working at or directly interested in the developments...(show more)
A 2006 documentary narrated by David Carradine that explores the important role the United States played in World War I from when they first entered the conflict in April 1917 and up to the end of the war in November 1918, by focusing on those stories about the American troops that became most...(show more)
A 2007 American documentary film made by filmmaker Michael Moore. The film investigates health care in the United States, focusing on its health insurance and the pharmaceutical industry. The movie compares the for-profit, non-universal U.S. system with the non-profit universal health care...(show more)
A 2008 American documentary film directed by filmmaker Robert Kenner. The Academy Award-nominated film examines corporate farming in the United States, concluding that agribusiness produces food that is unhealthy, in a way that is environmentally harmful and abusive of both animals and employees....(show more)
A 1999 documentary series presented by Matthew Collings exploring the different expression forms in modern art by looking at the work and ideas of dozens of prominent artists, including Andy Warhol, Francis Bacon, Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko, Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, Rene Magritte, and...(show more)
A 2010 American documentary written and directed by Josh Fox. Nominated for an Academy Award for Best Documentary in 2011, the film focuses on communities in the United States affected by natural gas drilling and, specifically, a method of horizontal drilling into shale formations known as...(show more)
Music, 2008, with Jimmy Page, The Edge, Jack White, 1 hr 38 mins
A 2008 documentary directed by Davis Guggenheim which looks into the careers and playing styles of the three famous guitarists Jimmy Page, The Edge, and Jack White.
As the three meet up in a 2008 summit of talking and jamming together, the film presents flashes from their lives intertwined,...(show more)
A 2005 French feature-length nature documentary directed and co-written by Luc Jacquet, and co-produced by Bonne Pioche and the National Geographic Society. The documentary depicts the yearly journey of the emperor penguins of Antarctica. In autumn, all the penguins of breeding age (five years...(show more)
A 2002 American documentary film written, produced, directed, and narrated by Michael Moore. The film explores what Moore suggests are the primary causes for the Columbine High School massacre on April 20, 1999, and other acts of violence with guns. Moore focuses on the background and environment...(show more)
A 2004 documentary written and presented by Matthew Collings that tries to explain the Impressionism art movement of the 19th century by focusing on the lives, works and art philosophies of four of its greatest painters: Courbet, Manet, Monet and Cézanne.
We see how Impressionism started...(show more)
The story of a mathematical genius whose career was cut short by a descent into madness. At the age of 30, John Nash, a stunningly original and famously eccentric MIT mathematician, suddenly began claiming that aliens were communicating with him and that he was a special messenger.
A 2006 documentary directed by Marty Callaghan that looks into the military and political events that unfolded in the Middle East during and after World War I to understand why this region has been so unstable since then.
The first part presents how the Ottoman Empire got involved in World...(show more)
A 2016 BBC documentary by Stephen Fry in which he presents the stories of several people suffering from bipolar disorder (also known as manic depression) by interviewing them, going through their manic episodes and how they each try to cope with their mental illness, in an effort to see how...(show more)
A 2011 BBC documentary written and presented by art critic Alastair Sooke in which he goes through the list of the top ten most expensive paintings ever sold at an action as of 2011, exploring what made those paintings so valuable.
The list contains works by famous painters such as Francis...(show more)
A 2000 documentary following the lives of a group of Netscape engineers in Silicon Valley. It covers Netscape's last year as an independent company, from their announcement of the Mozilla open source project until their acquisition by AOL. It particularly focuses on the last-minute rush to...(show more)
A 2009 American documentary film directed, written by, and starring Michael Moore. The film centers on the late-2000s financial crisis and the recovery stimulus, while putting forward an indictment of the current economic order in the United States and unfettered capitalism in general.
A 2005 direct-to-DVD documentary produced by The History Channel about the events that started when a mob of angry Parisians stormed the Bastille and seized the King's military stores forcing the end of feudalism and the rise of equality and a new world order.
The Revolution overthrew the...(show more)
A 2004 American documentary film directed, written by, and starring filmmaker, director and political commentator Michael Moore. The film takes a critical look at the presidency of George W. Bush, the War on Terror, and its coverage in the media. In the film, Moore contends that American corporate...(show more)