1. Being Elmo - I saw this about a month before Kevin Clash resigned. I still recommend it, if for no other reason to see the complicated side of human nature. When a Make-A-Wish foundation child met Elmo, I cried. You'll probably get the impression that I cry a ton because I make a lot of warning in this list, and I would have argued against that. But I don't have a good argument. I've become a big blubbering fool that seeks out tear-jerkers.
2. The Cove - Documentary about Japanese whaling with themes on cultural sensitivities, treatment of animals, and rising mercury levels. Warning: It's super graphic and I cried.
3. Dear Zachary - A documentary that starts out as a tribute to a murdered friend and takes on several new layers of meaning as the film was made. It's pretty much devastating and yet there is something about the enduring human spirit in the face of that devastation that is inspiring.
4. Downfall - This is a non-documentary, but it's a historical drama of the downfall of Hitler. Warning: It's super sad and I cried. (Not because Hitler got what was coming to him but because of some of the side stories.)
5. Skin - A dramatized version of a true story about a dark skinned girl born to white parents during apartheid in South Africa. It's truly moving and made me think a lot about race issues, motherhood and forgiveness.
6. Unforgivable Blackness - The story of Jack Johnson, the heavy weight champion of the world, with themes on racial disparity in the US, media coverage, sports history and the humanity of it all.
7. What's Eating Gilbert Grape - Oh right, so another non-documentary but still a gritty drama so I think it fits with the rest. I bet you can guess I have a warning coming about me crying . . .
And now I'm off to find a box of tissues.