The 16 Best Documentaries About The 60s

Jul 16, 2023 | Best Of

The sixties were a time of immense change and upheaval, from the civil rights movement to the Vietnam War. Documentaries about this era offer unprecedented insight into what it was like to live through such extreme societal transformation. So journey back in time and explore some of the most impactful documentaries about the 60s – ones that inspire us and remind us of our shared humanity.From the activists who fought for justice to the protests that shook America, these compelling films will provide you with a unique perspective on this era of history.


1. The Sixties (2022)

The 1960s were a decade of great change and historical significance. It was a time marked by major events such as the space race, the Cold War, and civil rights movements. This series delves deep into the decade to uncover its impact on our history and how it shaped our world today.




2. The Day the ’60s Died (2015)

The events of May 1970 at Kent State University ignited a firestorm that would engulf the entire nation. The repercussions and aftermath of this fateful day have been described as the most polarizing since the Civil War. With its focus on key players such as college students, military personnel, and government officials, The Day the ’60s Died paints a vivid and gripping portrait of a tumultuous and pivotal moment in American history.






3. The 1960s (2009)

Take a journey through some of the most transformative years in history, from Berlin to Birmingham. Witness the changing landscape of our world as we delve into the events and people that shaped one of the most tumultuous decades.




4. The Sunshine Makers (2016)

In “The Sunshine Makers”, viewers are taken on a journey back in time to the height of the 1960s drug counterculture. Through the lens of Nicholas Sand and Tim Scully, this documentary uncovers the true story behind one of the most iconic eras in American history.







The Best Free Documentaries About The 60s


1. 1967: The Counterculture Year That Changed The World

The 1960s was an era of immense social and cultural change, marked by the emergence of a new wave of music that spanned genres and captivated the world. 1967 in particular stands out as a year where this creative revolution exploded into life – from its kaleidoscope fashion to its iconic musical movements, it was truly a counterculture year like no other. In this article we explore how 1967 changed the world through its influence on art, culture and politics. Dive into the Summer of Love with us as we take you back to one of history’s most defining moments.


2. The Sixties – The Years That Shaped a Generation

The 1960s was a decade of great social and cultural upheaval, marked by the civil rights movement, the Vietnam War, and a seismic shift in music and fashion. It was also an era that shaped generations to come, as people around the world were inspired to challenge the status quo and embrace new ideas. To understand this transformative period more fully, here are some of the best documentaries about ‘the sixties’ that explore its history through interviews with key figures from the time. From civil rights leaders to musicians who defined an era – these films offer unique insights into one of history’s most influential decades.


3. AMERICAN NOSTALGIA: The 1960’s Thrifty Wife

The 1960s was a time of immense change in the American way of life. It was a decade that saw the breakdown of traditional values and the emergence of new ones. The Thrifty Wife documentary captures this transition, exploring how economic forces shifted family dynamics as well as cultural expectations for women. This insightful look into an era gone by provides viewers with an understanding not only of what it meant to be part of an American family during this period, but also how these changes continue to affect our lives today.


4. Love Or Hate Hippies From The 1960s

The 1960s saw the emergence of a unique and vibrant counterculture, defined by the hippie movement. From their free-spirited approach to life to their distinctive clothing and art styles, hippies embraced a way of living that was dramatically different from conventional society. But what drove people to join this culture? And how did it spread so quickly throughout America and beyond? To understand the full story behind this fascinating period in history, one must explore Love Or Hate Hippies From The 1960s – an informative documentary that seeks to uncover the truth about these enigmatic figures. Dive deep into their motivations for joining this alternative lifestyle and discover how they challenged societal norms while influencing movements such as organic food production. With interviews from those who experienced it first-hand, get ready as you embark on an enlightening journey through time!


5. American Negro – Unreleased Documentary From 1960s

The 1960s was an important period in US history, full of pivotal moments for the civil rights movement and African-American communities. Four prominent figures from this time—James Farmer, Roy Wilkins, Whitney Young and Ralph Metcalfe—were at the forefront of these changes. The American Negro is a documentary that focuses on their stories and experiences, as well as the progress made in areas such as voting rights, housing and education during this decade. It provides an invaluable insight into one of America’s most turbulent times – a must watch for those interested in learning about the struggles faced by African Americans during this period.


6. The Fabulous Sixties: 1960

The 1960s was a decade of great turmoil, but also of amazing progress. From the assassination of John F Kennedy to the space race and from student protests marches to the war in Vietnam, this period saw significant changes that shaped our world today. Peter Jennings takes us on an incredible journey through this fascinating decade with his documentary The Fabulous Sixties: 1960. Come join him as he explores the unforgettable sights and sounds that marked one of America’s most turbulent times in history!


7. A Year To Remember – 1960

As the 20th century came to a close, many of us looked back at the defining events that shaped our lives. From civil rights movements and counterculture rebellions to groundbreaking music and innovative technology, the 1960s were an incredibly influential decade. And what better way to explore this era than through classic documentaries? A Year To Remember takes viewers on a journey through time as it recalls all of these important moments from one of history’s most remarkable decades. Join us now as we take you back to 1960!


8. The Who: The Most Influential And Controversial Acts Of The 60s

The Who were one of the most influential and controversial acts of the 1960s, and now their story is being told in The Who – Under Review 1964-1968. This documentary features rare studio performances from the band, as well as insightful commentary from a panel of experts including producer Shel Talmy, journalist Paolo Hewitt, biographer Alan Clayson, former Melody Maker writer Chris Welch, Classic Rock Magazine’s Malcolm Dome and more. Audiences will get to experience classic hits like “I Can’t Explain”, “My Generation” and “Pictures Of Lily” while learning about The Who’s impact on music history.


9. 1960s Child Abuse Documentary

In the 1960s, a revolutionary book was published that changed how society viewed and responded to child abuse. Written by Henry Kempe, “The Battered Child” sparked a wave of awareness that still has an impact today. This documentary takes viewers on a journey through the events surrounding this groundbreaking work and explores what it means for children everywhere. From its inception to its lasting legacy, this film is an essential look at one of the most important social movements in history.


10. Joe Gallo: The Iconoclast Who Ruled the 1960s

From his notorious assassination of Albert Anastasia in 1957 to his own untimely death in 1972, the life and times of Joseph “Crazy Joe” Gallo and his brothers Albert and Larry is an iconic story that has enthralled audiences for decades. Their wild ride through the 1960s was filled with drama, danger, and daring do – a perfect recipe for a captivating documentary that shows how these three men made their mark on this era. Join us as we explore the lives of these legendary characters from the ’60s whose legacy still resonates today!


11. The 1960s in the Arab World

The 1960s in the Arab World was a period of tremendous political and social change. From government ministers to broadcasters, activists to writers, many people experienced its shifting sands firsthand. Here we explore their stories as they recall the events of this transformative decade and reflect on how it shaped the region’s future.


12. 1960s NEW YORK CITY

The incredible 1960s saw New York City become one of the most iconic cities in the world, with its vibrant culture and bustling streets. From the magnificent skyscrapers that line Fifth Avenue to the renowned cultural attractions such as The Metropolitan Museum of Art and Guggenheim museum, there’s something for everyone. Not forgetting the religious sites like St. Patrick’s Cathedral or Temple Emmanuel Synagogue, plus all the fine shopping experiences from Steuben glass to Tiffany & Co., it’s no wonder why people flock to this amazing city every year – not least for Columbus Day Parade! All these elements combine to make New York a truly unique destination that needs to be experienced at least once in your lifetime.

Read On – Our Latest Top Documentaries Lists

David B