The 10 Best documentary DVDs

It’s possible to lose yourself for hours - in some cases, weeks - to these beautifully shot non-fiction films...

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The Independent Culture

1. Great Barrier Reef


This three-part documentary with Monty Halls explores the 3,000 reef systems and the tens of thousands fish and animal species that live in the Great Barrier Reef.

2. Hell and Back Again


Filmmaker Danfung Dennis follows US Marine Nathan Harris who was shot in Afghanistan in 2009 and struggles to adjust to his life back home. Sobering viewing.

3. When The Levees Broke


Spike Lee's take on the Hurricane Katrina disaster and the botched government response is more than a documentary; it's an oral history, told by the people that lived it.

4. Britain's Lost Routes with Griff Rhys Jones


There's just enough babble, mixed with drovers, bearded cattlemen and rough sailors to satisfy without this becoming self-congratulatory.

5. Life on Land


Life on Land brings together 15 of David Attenborough's discs from his 20-year natural history journey looking at groups of living organisms that share our planet.

6. Pina


A feature-length dance documentary from Wim Wenders with the ensemble of the Tanztheater Wuppertal charting the life and inspiring work of Pina Bausch.

7. Wonders of the Solar System


Professor Brian Cox visits some of the most inhospitable places on earth to explain how the laws of physics carved natural wonders.

8. A Bigger Splash


Jack Haran's film takes its name from David Hockney's famed painting. It charts, without his official participation, the artist's love affair with Peter Schlesinger.

9. Frozen Planet


This exploration of the Arctic and Antarctic, both of which Sir David travelled to, boasts lovely scenery, wild elements and more animal life than you can poke a stick at.

10. George Harrison: Living In The Material World


Directed by Martin Scorsese, this film weaves together childhood footage, interviews with George's friends and live performances.