Sociologists refer to subcultures as groups that reflect values, tendencies, interests, and activities that fall outside of the norm. We are likely familiar with subcultures as they have been profiled in notable feature films, on television shows, and in advertising and marketing campaigns. One of the most important ways in which subcultures have been introduced to us is through documentary film. Documentary filmmakers use the evocative and personal medium of film to express some of the insights that would otherwise be lost if we were to merely read about subcultures. Here, then, are 10 outstanding documentaries about subcultures.
10. Trekkies and Trekkies 2
Roger Nygard's Trekkies (1997) and Trekkies 2 (2004) offer a unique look at Star Trek fandom. His first film focuses mainly on the U.S. Trek scene, while Trekkies 2 illustrates the many instances of Trek fandom from around the world. Nygard's interviews with Trek fans show us the deep and personal connections that they feel with the legacies of the Star Trek world and its creator Gene Roddenberry. What is most significant about the films' expressions of subculture is the sense that we get that its members are not nerds, geeks, or people who need to "Get A Life" as William Shatner once famously joked; they are often dedicated people who take their oaths to the Federation seriously and who are involved in many noble social causes. In the end, Nygard's two documentaries humanize the misunderstood Star Trek community.