The festival premiered daring nonfiction films about deportation, Russian propaganda, high school, Alabama, and more.

Documentaries — whether they’re made in the traditional talking-head format or a more experimental mode — are a big part of the Sundance Film Festival‘s annual programming lineup, often setting the pace for the year’s most talked-about nonfiction films.

And the 2018 fest yielded a bumper crop of terrific offerings, including a number of lauded biopics about figures like Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the late actor Robin Williams, actress and activist Jane Fonda, women’s rights attorney Gloria Allred, and the beloved TV figure Fred Rogers.

But plenty of nonfiction films that premiered at Sundance and center on less familiar figures are also worth your notice. Here are seven to watch for in 2018.

Bisbee ‘17

Fernando Serrano in Bisbee ‘17
Jarred Alterman/4th Row Films/Sundance Institute
Fernando Serrano in Bisbee ‘17

Directed by unconventional documentarian Robert Greene, Bisbee ’17 is a fierce, lyrical probe into the soul of a town haunted by a history it would rather forget. It’s also an unsettling cipher for America, at a time when the ghosts of our past have revealed themselves in frightening ways.

Greene ventured to Bisbee, Arizona for the centennial of a 1917 incident in which 1,200 striking miners were illegally deported to New Mexico. By stitching together interviews with locals, quiet shots of the town and the stunning landscape that surrounds it, and footage of Bisbee’s preparations to reenact what happened, the film gently blows the dust of accumulated history off the past and, in the Read More Here