Michael Moore'sfeted documentary Bowling for Columbine has been named the all-time favourite non-fiction film bymembers of the International Documentary Association (IDA). Announcing "Top20 at 20" today (Dec 12), an eclectic top 20 list to coincide with its20th anniversary, the IDA became the latest body to honour Moore'sstrident examination of America's gun culture. The film has picked upnumerous awards this year, including Best Documentary 2002 from the NationalBoard of Review and the 55th Anniversary Prize at Cannes. It received a BestDocumentary nomination yesterday for the 2003 IFP Independent Spirit Awards.
The list'ssubject matter ranges from the lives of Eskimos in Robert Flaherty's Nanookof the North to KenBurns' The Civil War, which was the highest rated series in the history of US publictelevision. The Maysles brothers, Albert and David, have three films on thelist - Salesman, Grey Gardens and Gimme Shelter. Moore gets a second mention for Roger And Me. Errol Morris was the only otherfilmmaker with multiple documentaries in the top 20 with The Thin Blue Line and Fast, Cheap and Out of Control.
"Thecommon denominator is that all of these films provide an intimatebehind-the-scenes look at the human condition," IDA executive director SandraRuch said in a statement. "Each of them grabs and holds your interest.They make you think about things you might not have ever considered before.This was a very difficult decision for our members. It is a little like askingthem to vote for their favorite child."
The release ofthe list begins a weekend of events celebrating the documentary form. IDA willfete the 2002 IDA Distinguished Documentary Achievement Award winners tomorrowevening (Dec 13) at the Directors Guild of America Theatre. Other highlightsinclude the presentations of the Career Achievement award to Ken Burns and thePioneer Award to Agnes Varda. All winning films will be screened on Dec 14 atthe IDA's annual DocuFest at the Eastman Kodak Company.
The IDA wasestablished in Los Angeles in 1982 as a forum for film-makers. It has around2,700 members in 50 countries.
The "Top20 at 20" films:
1 Bowling ForColumbine (2002) MichaelMoore, director
2 The ThinBlue Line (1988) ErrolMorris
3 Roger AndMe (1989) Michael Moore
4 Hoop Dreams (1994) Steve James
5 Salesman(1969) Albert & David Maysles
6 Nanook OfThe North (1922) RobertFlaherty
7 Night AndFog (1955) Alain Resnais
8 HarlanCounty, USA (1976)Barbara Kopple
9 GreyGardens (1975) Albert& David Maysles
10 The CivilWar (1990) Ken Burns
11 Crumb (1994) Terry Zwigoff
12 GimmeShelter (1970 Albert& David Maysles
13 7 UP series (starting in 1963) Michael Apted
14 Fast,Cheap And Out Of Control (1997)Errol Morris
15 TiticutFollies (1967) FrederickWiseman
16 When WeWere Kings (1996) LeonGast
17 AmericanMovie (1999) Chris Smith
18 Shoah (1985)Claude Lanzmann
19 The ManWith A Movie Camera(1929) Dziga Vertov
20 Sherman'sMarch (1986) RossMcElwee