Top 10 TVO documentaries you need to see this summer

Sit back, relax and binge free documentaries that are available ad-free 24/7 on tvo.org
By TVO News - Published on Jul 12, 2017
The Stairs

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Looking to discover something new this summer? Check out our list of top summer docs that explore captivating stories and new perspectives. 


1. The Stairs

Winner of the Toronto Film Critics Association prize for Best Canadian Feature of 2016, The Stairs is a challenging look at the lives of those who live on the margins. With unprecedented access to its subjects, the film was shot over five years and closely follows three former or current habitual drug users working in harm reduction in Toronto’s Regent Park.



2. Bobby Sands: 66 Days

In 1981, 27-year-old IRA prisoner Bobby Sands caught the world’s attention when he went on a hunger strike for 66 days. Find out more about the incredible perseverance of one brave young man who stood up for his convictions and paid the ultimate price.



3. The Lost Highway

You’ve probably driven down some stretch of Highway 7 – once the main road between Toronto and Ottawa and now a black ribbon of failed businesses and derelict properties. Don’t miss this intimate portrait of the people living along the Lost Highway and the hopes and dreams that keep them there.



4. My Millennial Life

Millennials are getting dumped on from all sides – from parents, employers and the economy. This award-winning documentary takes a look through the eyes of a group of resourceful, charming and talented 20-somethings as they take on the world and try to leave their mark. Along the way there are big dreams, crushing disappointments and the re-imagining of personal identities.



5. Down the Deep, Dark Web  

If you think you know the internet, you need to explore Down the Deep, Dark Web – a sinister investigation of the shadowy world of the “darknet”, where criminals, drug dealers and hitmen lurk under the cover of digital anonymity. This in-depth investigation promises to reverse everything you thought you knew about the internet and illuminate the dangers of the online world.



6. Stop at Nothing

Lance Armstrong is the man behind the greatest fraud in sporting history. For years he was a hero, held up to near God-like status for his athletic ability and inability to lose, but then it all came crashing down. Catch this intimate and explosive look at the man who would stop at nothing to win.


7. Lowdown Tracks

You might walk right by a busker on a busy corner – but would you stop and listen? Join filmmaker Shelley Saywell and activist Lorraine Segato as they set out to discover and document the music and stories of those living and singing on the streets of Toronto. It’s a journey that takes us along abandoned tracks, beneath bridges and inside alleyways to celebrate the music and survival of those who live on the outside.



8. West Wind: The Vision of Tom Thomson

How did a commercial illustrator with an otherwise ordinary life become one of our country’s foremost painters? West Wind: The Vision of Tom Thomson explores the life, art, and death of a Canadian art icon.


9. 9-Man: A Streetball Battle in the Heart of Chinatown

A gritty ball game played in the parking lots and back alleys of Chinatowns across North America, 9-Man was created in the 1930s. Today, the sport is restricted to players of Chinese origin and serves as a lasting cultural connection for a new generation of men fighting to preserve tradition.



​10. Vamizi: Cradle of Coral

Vamizi is a spectacular island off the coast of Mozambique, and home to some of the world’s oldest and most pristine coral reefs. Dive into this virtual wonderland of marine biodiversity as experts work to defend this thriving ecosystem from corporate interests.


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