Two of my favorite films, both work of Werner Herzog, that remind me of true story telling and human struggle through eccentric characters.
Fitzcarraldo, a film in which the crew actually hauled a ship up a mountain and back down the other side. An incredible story, accentuated by the always insane Klaus Kinski.
Aguirre, Wrath of God. A fictionalized depiction of the Spanish search for El Dorado, and the frenzied megalomania and insanity that may have resulted. Herzog has some raw scenes in this one that will remind you what cinema should be. Incredible movie from start to finish.