Movie posters have always been a hip form of art; the unique images designed for movies such as Anatomy of a Murder, Vertigo and Last Temptation of Christ are as much works of art themselves as they are stunning sales pitches for the movies they were made for. (Mea culpa; throughout my teen years, I slept under a poster for Subway — no, not the sandwich chain — because I thought it was the epitome of cool.)

Posters for documentaries are no less compelling. In fact, they have the higher calling of the double bottom line: not just selling the film, but also maintaining a similar political-social agenda. And so it is with great respect and admiration that I have put together what I consider the ten best documentary movie posters. (And, wouldn’t you know it, there’s a doc movie poster contest for the upcoming Full Frame festival. Submissions are due February 15th.

What are some of your favorite documentary movie posters?

Published by

Tom Roston
Tom Roston is a guest columnist for POV's documentary blog. He is a former Premiere magazine senior editor, who graduated from Brown University and started his career in journalism at The Nation and then Vanity Fair. Tom's freelance work has appeared in The New York Times, The Guardian, The Los Angeles Times, The Hollywood Reporter and other publications. He has written several Kindle Singles, including the bestselling Kindle Singles Interview: Ken Burns. Tom's current list of favorite documentaries are: 1. Koyanisqaatsi by Godfrey Reggio; 2. Hoop Dreams by Steve James; 3.Stories We Tell by Sarah Polley; 4.Crumb by Terry Zwigoff; 5. Montage of Heck by Brett Morgen