The Baby of Macon (1993)

Streaming on Amazon Prime | imdb | no trailer available

This is about as arthouse as you can get. The Baby of Macon is up there among director Peter Greenaway’s better movies. The story is a critique of societal corruption that takes place during the Italian Renaissance. It’s set up like a stage play, the costumes and sets are very elaborate, and the cinematography is stunning. Sounds nice right? Maybe you could watch it with your mom to show her how sophisticated you are? Not at all. This movie has several extremely disturbing scenes that would send your mom through the roof. Some parts remind me a bit of Ken Russell’s The Devils. It also shares the same frantic energy and borderline overacting. If you can make it through the whole thing, you should get some kind of certificate. However I honestly think this is a fantastic movie. Oh and for you English comedy fans, look out for a young Jessica Hynes from Spaced.

Available on Blu-ray from Atlantic Films.

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White Light/Black Rain: The Destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki (2007)

Streaming on Amazon Prime | imdb | trailer

The title says it all. This documentary might wreck your day, but it gets my strongest recommendation.

Not available on Blu-ray.

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Defiance (2008)

Streaming on Netflix | imdb | trailer

Here’s a solid big budget history-based war film about three Jewish brothers that were resistance fighters in WW2. This has a good blend of drama and action. I was a bit torn on recommending Defiance as it’s a borderline blockbuster. What the hell, I liked it.

Available on Blu-ray from Paramount.

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Polytechnique (2009)

Streaming on Amazon Prime | imdb | trailer

This is a fictionalization of a 1989 Montreal mass shooting in which 14 women were murdered. It’s obviously brutal at times, but the filmmakers balanced out the movie well with victim and witness storylines. With it’s elegant black and white cinematography, and tasteful approach, I would say this is one of the most well made films about a tragic event I’ve ever seen.

A Blu-ray was released in 2010 but appears to be out of print.

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The Photographer of Mauthausen (2018)

Streaming on Netflix | imdb | trailer

This movie revolves around World War 2 Spanish prisoners in the Mauthausen concentration camp. Here’s another history-based drama that tells an interesting story I was totally unfamiliar with. The lead actor is Mario Casas from The Invisible Guest, who does a fine job. As you will imagine, this film is very dark. It is also, at times, brutally graphic. There are moments that feel a bit cheesy, but overall it’s an effective movie that I fully recommend.

Not available on domestic Blu-ray.

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Cold Case Hammarskjöld (2019)

Streaming on Hulu | imdb | trailer

A Danish comedian looks into a conspiracy theory behind the mysterious 1961 death of the Secretary-General of the United Nations. The film starts out with a Spinal Tap feel and ends with some very real and disturbing discoveries. Highly recommended.

Not available on Blu-ray.

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