It's been a banner year for the genre, as it has become a pop culture phenomenon and sparked real-world change.
Lauren Greenfield’s 2012 film The Queen of Versailles cataloged a family of timeshare billionaires and their efforts to build the largest house in America. It’s one of the best documentaries of the decade, and in her new and equally astonishing film The Kingmaker, she keeps her lens trained on all that’s gold and glittery, but with far more serious implications. The film tells the story of former Philippine first lady Imelda Marcos. She might be notorious for her shoe collection, but Marcos’s excesses are on a global scale, and included multiple Monets, New York skyscrapers, and a safari island full of zebras and giraffes imported from Kenya. (Of course, she evicted hundreds of families from their homes to make way for the wildlife.) Decades after the fall of her husband’s regime, and with memories of the billions the family stole and the brutality of their rule fading, The Kingmaker traces Imelda’s improbable—and deeply scary—return to power.—Gabrielle Bruney