Free Solo took home the win for Best Documentary Feature in the 91st Oscars last February 25, 2019. Its four other competitors were pretty deserving of their nominations, as well. This year’s selection was amazing and the match was tight, with the respective documentaries coming from different perspectives. These are the nominees that night for the best documentary feature:
Free Solo (Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi, Jimmy Chin, Evan Hayes, and Shannon Dill)
Free solo climber Alex Honnold has always wanted to have a go at El Capitan, the 3,000-foot granite rock in Yosemite National Park. Although it was always his desire, he is suddenly plagued by injuries. Due to this, his friends and family worry for his safety. However, this does not stop him. Even up to this day, Honnold is the only athlete that made the treacherous ascent without ropes.
Hale County This Morning, This Evening (RaMell Ross, Joslyn Barnes, and Su Kim)
A documentary of the dreams and experiences of friends Daniel and Quincy, and also of Boosie, the mother of Quincy’s children, as they go about their lives in Hale County, Alabama.
Minding the Gap (Bing Liu and Diane Quon)
Bing Liu films his fellow skateboarders over the years. In doing so, he wonders why many of them have experienced contentious relationships with their fathers. He focuses on his friend Zack, who is about to become a father himself. Along the way, Liu eventually realizes that he will have to resolve his feelings about his own abusive childhood.
Of Fathers and Sons (Talal Derki, Ansgar Frerich, Eva Kemme, and Tobias N. Siebert)
Documentarian Talal Derki returns to his homeland, Syria, and gains the trust of Abu Osama, founder of the Al-Qaeda-affiliated Al Nusra Front. He watches as Abu Osama indoctrinates his sons in his very own beliefs, sending the oldest two, Osama and Ayman, to a military training camp.
RBG (Betsy West and Julie Cohen)
Here. we follow octogenarian Ruth Bader Ginsburg, sworn in as a Supreme Court justice in 1993. With this nominee for Best Documentary Feature in the 91st Oscars, we follow Ginsburg as she has spent her first legal career battling laws that allowed gender discrimination. Her husband, a lawyer, and their two children support her in her work. As a result of her hard work and perseverance, she receives acknowledgment for her work ethic, liberal outlook, and intellect.