November 15, 2006
Documentary Contenders

The Academy announced today that there will be 15 films competing for the Best Doumentary Feature Award. They are:

“Can Mr. Smith Get to Washington Anymore?”
“Deliver Us from Evil”
“The Ground Truth”
“An Inconvenient Truth”
“Iraq in Fragments”
“Jesus Camp”
“Jonestown: The Life and Death of People’s Temple”
“My Country, My Country”
“Shut Up & Sing”
“Sisters in Law”
“Storm of Emotions”
“The Trials of Darryl Hunt”
“An Unreasonable Man”
“The War Tapes”

"An Inconvenient Truth" is obviously the favourite here and Barbara Kopple's name will probably see to it that "Shut Up and Sing" gets nominated as well. I think I'd bet on "Jesus Camp", "Deliver Us from Evil" and "Iraq in Shambles" for the last three spots but I'll freely admit that I always find this category difficult to predict.

I also often wonder at what films like "The U.S. vs. John Lennon" do to miss out here. I don't love the film but it seems like the sort of thing they'd go for. There are a couple of surprising omissions from this list every year.


I'm also surprised that Wordplay was left out, although I really hope Jesus Camp gets a nomination. It was very compelling.

Wordplay, Heart of the Game, and Who Killed the Electric Car are all docs that would have been strong in this category. Not this year, I guess.

This isn't based on anything but blind speculation, but it's possible that "The U.S. Versus John Lennon" fell prey to the same stupid rule that felled the great "Grizzly Man" last year: that it contains too much filmed material already publicly available.

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