Go Away With … Ken Burns

Famous for his documentaries “The Civil War,” “Mark Twain” and “Baseball,” among others, filmmaker Ken Burns has a new film ready to roll out in 2014: “The Roosevelts: An Intimate History.”

“The Beauty Academy of Kabul”

When “liberators” don’t understand the country they’re trying to help, the end result can be well meaning, but diluted. In the documentary The Beauty Academy of Kabul, filmmaker Liz Mermin focuses on a group of American hair stylists who travel to post-Taliban Afghanistan to teach local women how to beautify themselves and their customers.

“Grateful Dawg” keeps music in the forefront

The footage in “Grateful Dawg” is raw, the camerawork is iffy and the sound bites aren’t compelling enough to warrant feature film treatment. But the music of the late Jerry Garcia and David “Dawg” Grisman–the stars of this documentary–makes this 81-minute excursion worthwhile.

“Rats in the Rank”: Australian town throws its `Rats’ in ring for documentary

Shot over a nine-month period in Leichhardt, Australia, the documentary “Rats in the Rank” follows the absurd antics of 12 council members maneuvering to get their mayoral candidates elected to office.

“Rhyme & Reason”

Peter Spirer’s documentary “Rhyme & Reason” widens the focus on hip-hop, presenting it as a lifestyle that happens to include music. And by allowing the artists to narrate the piece, director Spirer manages to captivate viewers without glorifying or vilifying the controversial art form.