ARTS & CULTURE

The Five Documentaries You Can't Miss At The Toronto International Film Festival

07/31/2012 03:35 pm ET | Updated Aug 29, 2012

The Toronto International Film Festival released their documentary lineup today and the list of films, ranging from bizarre to heartbreaking, tell stories that extend around the globe. (Arguably even beyond, if you count the film on Jared Leto's band Thirty Seconds To Mars.) These are the five films you cannot miss at TIFF this year.

Although originally meant to depict the lives of caricaturists in Egypt and Syria, the film's vision gained new momentum during the Arab Spring. Syrian director Alabdalla portrays the bravery and heart of artists who aim to create a better world through political art.

The Central Park Five
Ken Burns, David McMahon and Sarah Burns, USA

This documentary examines how five black and Latino teens could be wrongly accused of raping a Central Park jogger in 1989 and how the police, public and justice system were blind to the truth.

A follow up to the controversial film "Wanted and Desired," the film follows Roman Polanksi's 10-month imprisonment in 2009. Exploring the effects of celebrity and the media on the search for justice, the film gives insight into a story that has long entranced and repulsed the public.

Iceberg Slim: Portrait of a Pimp
Jorge Hinojosa, USA

Watch the fascinating evolution of Robert Beck, aka Iceberg Slim, the pimp who became a poetic cultural icon. The pioneer of the Street Lit movement published seven books in his lifetime, detailing the harsh life in the inner city. The film contains interviews with Slim himself, along with Chris Rock, Henry Rollins, Ice-T, Quincy Jones and Snoop Dogg. (Snoop also stars in Reincarnated, which traces his spiritual rebirth in Jamaica.)

The Act of Killing
Joshua Oppenheimer, Denmark/Norway/United Kingdom

The film follows a group of remorseless death-squad leaders who have been raised to associate genocide with heroism. Exploring their memory, imagination and the horrors that become part of their banal daily routines, the film presents an unflinching cinematic portrayal of self-proclaimed killers. (The executive producer is, perhaps not suprisingly, Errol Morris.)

Let us know what TIFF films you are excited for in the comments.

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