The 8 Best Documentaries About Baltimore

Sep 16, 2023 | Best Of, Crime, News

Whether you’re a long-time Baltimorean, just passing through, or simply curious about the city and its history, watching documentaries about The Charm City will provide viewers with a unique perspective on the culture and vibrancy of this iconic place. From poignant tales of past struggles to uplifting stories of growth and progress, there is a documentary for every movie-goer. Here are some of the best documentaries about Baltimore that will give viewers an in-depth look at its character and culture.


1. Tax Broke’ Baltimore’s Dirty Secret | Rattling the Bars

The new documentary Tax Broke takes a deep dive into how Baltimore’s tax subsidies were leveraged to enrich the wealthy while leaving regular citizens no better off. From sweetheart deals that left taxpayers on the hook for millions of dollars without any benefit, to projects that promised jobs but failed to deliver, ‘Tax Broke’ exposes the city’s dirty secret. With insider interviews and in-depth analysis, this documentary seeks to shed light on why Baltimore often feels like a place where the rich get richer and everyone else gets left behind.


2. Baltimore: Anatomy of an American City | Fault Lines

Another must-see documentary about Baltimore is the award-winning 2012 film “Baltimore: Anatomy of an American City.” The film, which follows five individuals from various walks of life in Baltimore over a period of four years, highlights how intertwined poverty, racism and hopelessness can affect one’s life. It also paints a hopeful picture of how community leaders, activists and residents can work together to create a better future for Baltimore.


3. REVOLT Specials | Baltimore Burning

Aired in April 2015, this special edition of REVOLT is a powerful documentary that looks at the streets of Baltimore after Gray’s death and provides an intimate look into the uprising. Following people as they march through their city demanding justice, it gives insight into life on the ground before, during and after protests took place. Interviews with community leaders, activists and people who live in the city provide an unfiltered look at what it was like to be there during this pivotal moment. Additionally, it offers a unique perspective on the police response and how it impacted the people of Baltimore.



With this backdrop, several filmmakers have found the gritty city of Baltimore to be an interesting subject for documentaries. From crime, poverty and racism to culture and art, Baltimore has a rich history that draws many stories – both good and bad. Here’s a look at some of the best documentaries about Baltimore:“12 O’clock Boys” (2013): This documentary follows a group of young dirt bikers in West Baltimore who take pride in their death-defying stunts and wheelies, despite the danger they face from police.


5.Baltimore Gang War – Triple C

Fast forward to 2018, when HOV was finally arrested. With him out of the picture, boosie and fat correy were left in charge of the gang. The new leadership decided to break away from BGF, which caused a massive shift in power dynamics on the streets of Baltimore. Triple cee took over BGF’s drug spots, and their reign of terror continued. With the lack of competition, triple cee flourished and quickly became one of the top gangs in Baltimore. They adopted a policy of no snitching which made them nearly untouchable by law enforcement.


6. Healthy Harbor Documentary – Baltimore, MD

The video begins with a tour of the Baltimore Harbor and includes interviews from people involved in the Healthy Harbor Initiative. It takes us on a journey to learn how far the water has come and what challenges it still faces. The student filmmakers take us along as they explore some of the harbor’s greatest success stories, such as the new wetlands created by the 5th Street Marsh and the blue crab restoration effort. The documentary also tells us how local organizations, such as Blue Water Baltimore, are making a difference to improve water quality through stormwater management.


7. Behind The Scenes Of The Baltimore Fire Department | Firehouse E2

This documentary takes a close look at how urban disasters have affected Baltimore’s society and how communities have come together to recover from them. As the city of Baltimore is still struggling with the aftermath of a devastating fire, we see how citizens are rebuilding their lives one step at a time. This captivating documentary provides an in-depth look into the struggles faced by citizens and the lessons they’ve learned from these tragedies.


8. BFED – Baltimore Food Ecology Documentary

The documentary is available for free streaming on Vimeo and is also screened throughout the city. It’s perfect for those wishing to learn more about the Baltimore food system and how it affects local residents. It emphasizes the need for change but also shows that there’s already a lot of positive work being done to make this happen. Communities are coming together to build a healthier future for their families and neighbors. BFED is an inspiring look at what can be achieved when people come together to create positive, lasting change.


Read On – Our Latest Top Documentaries Lists

David B