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Three Must-See Documentaries

Sometimes truth is stranger—and more entertaining—than fiction.

Catfish

Gist: After a photog befriends an artsy kid and her older sister online, an offline visit raises more questions than it answers.

Filmmakers: Emmy award-winning newbies Ariel Schulman and Henry Joost for their company Supermarché.

Highlight: A surprise ending that twists and turns until it's both heartwarming and nerve-rattling.

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Waiting For "Superman"

Gist: This startling (but hopeful) doc exposes the failures of the American educational system.

Filmmakers: Davis Guggenheim of It Might Get Loud, An Inconvenient Truth, and Obama's 30-minute campaign ad.

Highlight: Student subjects like fifth-grader Anthony Black, who lends a human face to a mountain of statistics.

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Freakonomics

Gist: Adapted from the 2005 best-selling book, the film topples a pillar of conventional wisdom in each of its five segments.

Filmmakers: Alex Gibney (Taxi to the Dark Side), Eugene Jarecki (Why We Fight), Morgan Spurlock (Super Size Me).

Highlight: "A Roshanda by Any Other Name," Spurlock's study of how unusual monikers affect people's chances of success.

David Walters

Courtesy of Rogue, Magnolia Pictures, Paramount Vantage
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