In June 2011 Texas Monthly assembled a group of film aficionados to come up with a list of the best films ever made in or about Texas. And while I love The Last Picture Show, Tender Mercies, and No Country for Old Men, it bothered me that in the ground rules, documentaries were explicitly ruled out.
Texas is extraordinarily rich territory for stories worth documenting, so in an effort to give some love to these types of films, I’ve come up with my own list of the ten best documentaries made in our state. Not all of them are about subjects unique to Texas, and I gave deference to films clearly rooted here, with some diversity in representation by genre, region, and the time the films were made. And being documentaries, they’re, of course, all true.
In chronological order, here’s my list.
The Blues Accordin’ to Lightnin’ Hopkins (1968)
A Well Spent Life (1971)
Chulas Fronteras (1976)
People talk about being moved by a film, but these three