SnagFilms: Free Documentaries on the iPad (and Web)

The online doc­u­men­tary web site Snag­Films recent­ly unveiled a new ver­sion of its iPad app, which makes 80 great doc­u­men­taries avail­able on yet anoth­er media plat­form. You can already watch the (gen­er­al­ly high qual­i­ty) films on Snag Films’ web site for free, though in this case “free” does entail being forced to watch a brief but soul-drain­ing adver­tise­ment tout­ing the social wel­fare ini­tia­tives of Gold­man Sachs.

For bal­ance — and per­haps some unin­ten­tion­al irony — Snag­Films adds the dis­claimer “the views and opin­ions expressed in this film do not nec­es­sar­i­ly reflect those of Gold­man Sachs,” and the col­lec­tion fea­tures doc­u­men­taries like the Nation­al Resource Defense Coun­cil’s Hunt­ing for Oil, Mor­gan Spur­lock­’s Super Size Me and the anti-cap­i­tal­ist Nao­mi Wolf doc­u­men­tary The End of Amer­i­ca. But, of course, many of the oth­er films go well beyond pol­i­tics. Some of our favorites include Love­craft: Fear of the Unknown and episodes of Carl Sagan’s Cos­mos.

Also worth check­ing out: The Nation­al Film Board of Cana­da offers a sim­i­lar iPad app for down­load­ing and watch­ing its excel­lent online col­lec­tion. It hous­es over 1,ooo films and includes clas­sics like Claude Jutra’s My Uncle Antoine (1971) and the love­ly 1965 doc­u­men­tary Ladies and Gen­tle­man, Mr. Leonard Cohen, plus new­er gems like Ryan, an Oscar-win­ning ani­mat­ed short from 2004. NFB makes its films avail­able in sev­er­al oth­er for­mats as well, includ­ing iPhoneAndroid, and Box­ee.

Last­ly don’t for­get our col­lec­tion of 200 Free Doc­u­men­taries Online, part of our larg­er col­lec­tion of 635 Free Movies.

Sheer­ly Avni is a San Fran­cis­co-based arts and cul­ture writer. Her work has appeared in Salon, LA Week­ly, Moth­er Jones, and many oth­er pub­li­ca­tions. You can fol­low her on twit­ter at @sheerly

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