Minneapolis Minnesota Downtown and the Stone Arch Bridge at Sunset
Scruggelgreen. Getty Images.


Three Documentaries That Shocked The Mainstream In 2023


Too often, reporters prefer narratives over the truth.

If you’re waiting for the mainstream media to apologize for ignoring Hunter Biden’s laptop or promoting the Russian collusion hoax, keep waiting.

That lets documentary filmmakers tell the stories that aren’t being told.

In the past, that’s given us Amanda Milius’ “The Plot Against the President,” which predated the Durham Report’s shocking expose on the Trump/Russia storyline. The 2021 documentary “Rush to Judgment” skewered the press for declaring the Covington Catholic High School kids guilty without having all the facts at their disposal.

This year uncorked three such films, documentaries that shed a harrowing light on corruption. These filmmakers picked up stories reporters wouldn’t touch, and the results proved explosive.

“The Essential Church” 

The Essential Church. Grace Productions. IMDB.

Grace Productions. IMDB.

Grace Community Church took the COVID lockdowns on the chin, and the congregation refused to forgive and forget. The church put its grievances on screen via a powerful documentary that connected the past with the uncertain present: “The Essential Church.

“Church” recalls similar situations when governments stopped citizens from worshiping, giving the film historical heft. Still, reliving the recent lockdown era proves chilling, especially since we’ve learned the measures had little positive impact and plenty of severe ramifications.

The core of the film follows Grace Community Church’s lawsuit against California’s pandemic measures. Head pastor John MacArthur’s fight is echoed north of the Border as two Canadian pastors fight similar battles against similar restrictions. 

This isn’t the first time a Christian community picked up a camera and told a story. In the past, that meant low-budget films with awkward performances and cringe-worthy plots.

“The Essential Church,” in comparison, is handsomely mounted and packs plenty of cinematic polish. The film’s spiritual component is profound, but you don’t have to be a person of faith to process the cruelty behind the lockdown measures or how politicians applied them unequally.

Bustling Black Lives Matter protests could proceed sans restrictions yet sitting before a pastor put everyone’s lives at risk. And they risked severe fines and even jail time for sharing the Holy Word with their flocks.

That may have gone unnoticed by the mainstream press, but the filmmakers behind “Church” couldn’t let it go.

“Police State”

IMDB. Police State.

Meet the new Dinesh D’Souza.

The provocateur behind “2016: Obama’s America” and “Trump Card’ no longer nurtures his inner Michael Moore. The stakes are too high, and the evidence he summoned for his most recent films doesn’t require a radically partisan lens.

It’s all scary no matter your party affiliation.

His 2022 documentary “2000 Mules” raised questions about election integrity, complete with footage that should have sent shockwaves through government ranks. 

Now, with “Police State,” the immigrant asks if his beloved America is becoming a new form of dictatorship. Sound hyperbolic? You won’t say so after processing D’Souza’s compelling evidence.

Conservatives already know some, but not all, of the terrifying stories the pundit-turned-filmmaker shares. Mothers dubbed “domestic terrorists” for questioning their local school’s curricula. Senior citizens hunted down like criminals for simply standing around the Capitol on Jan. 6. Big Tech platforms teaming with the FBI to prevent citizens from flexing their First Amendment rights.


Sadly, there are many more tales to be told, and “Police State” assembles them in a cold, calculating fashion. D’Souza admits he couldn’t tell his tale if America had a full-blown “Police State.” He suggests we’re running out of time to prevent that reality, and his case is convincing.

“The Fall Of Minneapolis”

Collin. IMDB.

Collin. IMDB.

Journalist Liz Collin watched her city burn in the wake of George Floyd’s death. The Minnesota-based TV reporter had a secondary stake in the rancor. Her husband, Bob Kroll, served as the head of the local police union at the time.

That put a target on the couple, realized during a BLM protest that literally came to their front yard. Those gathered took turns swatting piñatas dressed as Collin and Kroll, an event featuring a local Democrat running for elected office.

Now, Collin is sharing her side of the Floyd aftermath with “The Fall of Minneapolis,” streaming for free on Rumble.

Neither Collin nor a crush of talking heads raise their voices about what they call the false narratives that emerged following the black resident’s death.

The tone is relentlessly calm as Collin’s team assembles court documents, eyewitness testimony, and bodycam footage to correct the media’s record on Floyd, Black Lives Matter, and more.

We watch veteran police officers tear up as they recall their orders to abandon their precinct to raging protesters. The former peace officers watched their building go up in flames, lucky to escape with their lives. Their supervisors refused to grant them riot gear to protect them from the bricks, Molotov cocktails, and fireworks hurled at them.

That’s only part of “Fall’s” story.

The film opens with a full body-cam reel leading up to Floyd’s death. We watch local police officers patiently try to put Floyd in their car after he tried to pass off fake money at a local shop. 

They beg and plead for him to obey to no avail, and seconds after Floyd crumples to the ground they summon EMS.

We also learn that Floyd’s initial autopsy results showed no physical damage to his neck, even though the media told us officer Derek Chauvin’s unorthodox police hold prevented the suspect from breathing.

There’s more, so much more, and the alleged corruption spreads to the media, local community organizers … even the FBI.

None of this would be available to the public without filmmakers eager to ask the tough questions and answer them to the best of their ability.

* * *

Christian Toto is an award-winning journalist, movie critic and editor of HollywoodInToto.com. He previously served as associate editor with Breitbart News’ Big Hollywood. Follow him at @HollywoodInToto.

The views expressed in this piece are those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.

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The Daily Wire   >  Read   >  Three Documentaries That Shocked The Mainstream In 2023