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I took another quick look at Roger Ebert's site and ran across his top twenty list of documentaries released in 2011. Though I was vaguely aware that someone had done a documentary of Conan O'Brien, I hadn't heard a thing about the rest of them, including The Interrupters, above.
But this year [the Academy's Documentary Branch] has made a particularly scandalous sin of omission. It doesn't include "The Interrupters" (currently scoring 99% on the Tomatometer), which has received better reviews and been on more critic's Best lists than any other.
For Steve James of Kartemquin Films, who made "The Interrupters" with author Alex Kotlowitz, this is an old story. The Documentary Branch also failed to shortlist James's "Hoop Dreams" (1994), which is generally considered one of the greatest documentaries of all time. In a scandal at that time, it was revealed that the branch's volunteer screening committee turned off "Hoop Dreams" after watching only 15 minutes.