Top 10 Documentarians Who Were Sued By The Subjects of Their Films

There exists an odd relationship between documentarian and subject, one that some say can border on the exploitative. While the project should ideally be mutually beneficial, the nature of the medium can make it feel quite a bit less so at times for one side or the other (or both).

In general, documentarians tend to serve their project above all else, including the subject’s precious feelings. And for this reason, these films don’t always turn out resembling what their subjects had in mind.

Here are ten cases where documentary filmmakers wound up in court, sitting across from the subjects of their films. Many of these lawsuits are, at the time of this writing, ongoing; some of them were successful, some not; some were justified, some borderline frivolous. But always, the story behind the legal tussle is almost as interesting (and in some cases, more so) than the documentary itself.

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