1. Triumph of the Will
Scandalous because it’s so dazzlingly made, Leni Riefenstahl’s Nazi propaganda film revealed the dark side of cinema’s power.
2. Let There Be Light
John Huston’s movie about World War II veterans helped to put shell shock (and psychotherapy) on the map.
3. Night and Fog
Alain Resnais’ disturbing landmark showed the world the Holocaust.
4. Titicut Follies
Frederick Wiseman’s film about the treatment of patients at a Mass. mental hospital was banned for decades — a testament to its bitter truth.
5. Gimme Shelter
The death of the ’60s, mythologized by the Maysles brothers as a Rolling Stones concert ends in murder.
6. Hearts & Minds
An Oscar-winning Vietnam doc that made the war’s contradictions indelible, and caught Gen. Westmoreland speaking his mind.
7. The Thin Blue Line
Errol Morris’ true-crime doc ended up exonerating death-row inmate Randall Adams. As a result, he was freed.
8. The Civil War
Ken Burns brought a pivotal era to life. A nation, suddenly hungry for history, tuned in.
9. The War Room
It used James Carville to catch the age of spin, defining the new world of media politics.
10. Fahrenheit 9/11
Made Moore an icon in the culture wars.