The 2014 True/False Film Fest has come and gone, like a strange and wonderful whirlwind. Every film festival wants to be a physical incarnation of the love of cinema, but a lot of them wind up taken over by the business end of things. This four-day Columbia, Missouri, party for docs and doc-lovers is the real deal. The programming is creative and eccentric and so are the audiences and volunteers, among the most refreshingly enthusiastic people I have ever encountered in a movie theater. It really is a unique and shining spot on the American movie calendar.

But enough about True/False on the whole. I saw a whole bunch of really interesting, unexpected films over the course of my long weekend in Columbia. Many of them took the name of the festival to heart, blurring the line between narrative and documentary. All of them contributed to the growing notion that nonfiction cinema is an equal form of artistic expression to more traditionally art-house fiction filmmaking. Here are my eight favorites:


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