Back on track, set to graduate and then shot dead

Searching for Sugar Man (movie)

From 'Salinger' to 'Mitt' and 'Chicagoland,' TV rediscovering documentaries

From 'Salinger' to 'Mitt' and 'Chicagoland,' TV rediscovering documentaries

Documentaries were supposed to be a dying genre -- and living proof that we were becoming dumber as a nation.

Reality TV is cheaper and easier to make. And who has time for lengthy, in-depth explorations of anything any more in the age of Twitter? Docs were dead, the conventional wisdom decreed, another victim of our rats-on-LSD attention spans.

But everywhere you look these days, it seems as if there's another documentary premiering. And some filmmakers believe that's the result of a change in audience attitudes toward the troubled state of American life today.

Last week on PBS, it was an "American Masters" biography of J.D. Salinger, and it drove the late...