I‘ve never really been a big fan of documentaries in the past. I used to only really watch TV to switch off, be entertained. In the past year or so though, I’ve been recommended a few really good ones and can’t get enough. I asked what others recommend at facebook, with the promise I’d share my current favourites as well. So here they are.
Anyone who lives on planet Earth should definitely watch this one. It was released for free, and while it’s sobering, it’s also inspiring. It really made my partner, my eldest daughter and I think about how we want to live our life. You can watch the trailer here:
The full movie can be watched here. This movie is intended to be free for everyone on this planet to watch.
An Inconvenient Truth.
This is another show about the environment, in more of a lecture style. It’s by Al Gore, warning us of what will happen to our world if we don’t make some huge changes, quickly. It’s also eye opening, and if I’m to be honest, it made me really glad we’ve moved to the Snowy Mountains, one kilometre above sea level! My partner and I joked that one day our property may end up a waterfront home.
My partner told me a few days later that studies have shown we are starting to turn this damage around. I’ll have to ask him for the source.
I’m not sure how well this reflects on Australian practices, but it’s still worth a watch. It’s about dodgy practices in the American food industry. Pretty disgusting, really.
Fast Food Nation.
This is the same topic as Food, Inc, except in movie form. It has sex scenes and drug use, so we haven’t let our kids watch this one. Still worth a watch, though. It’s very powerful.
Silence in the House of God: Mea Maxima Culpa.
This documentary is absolutely heartbreaking. It’s about the child molestation in the Catholic churches, worldwide, and the lengths this establishment will go to, to cover up these crimes in an attempt to preserve the church’s reputation.
Although it gives a lot of information about the vatican and the way they’ve dealt with what is a world-wide problem, it’s mainly centred around a boarding school in America. It was a school for students who were deaf. Most were unable to communicate with their parents, without the help of Father Murphy, their abuser. It makes me so glad to know there’s finally an Australian commission into these abuses, and not just among the Catholic churches, but all establishments that deal with kids.
I actually haven’t watched this one as recently, but I still think it’s an important one. This is about the treatment of children of evangelical Christians. As the title suggests, most of the documentary is set at a camp for the kids. It’s scary, disturbing and upsetting. I will point out though, that it’s not a representation of all Christians worldwide; in fact, most decent Christians I know are aghast at this behaviour. The American evangelicals, though? Terrifying people.
The King of Kong: a Fistful of Quarters.
It hadn’t occurred to me to mention this one, until someone else on facebook reminded me. I’ve watched it too, and loved it. For those of you who haven’t heard of it, it’s about competiting for the title of world record Donkey Kong player. Yes, it’s trivial, but fascinating to watch the skills some of these players possess, and disturbing as to just how corrupt the whole thing can get.
The Miniature Earth.
This isn’t a documentary, what you see below is the whole video. It’s based on the idea of how the world would look if you broke it down to only 100 people. Whenever I feel sorry for myself, I watch this and remind myself that I am one of the richest 25% of people on the entire planet. If you’re reading this, there’s a good chance you probably are too. I once made my eldest daughter watch this movie a few years back when she was refusing to eat her vegetables! Haven’t heard her complain once since. Absolutely brilliant.
I hope you give some or all of these a go. They’re just brilliant. Now, here’s the thing: I have the flu right now. I’ve watched all these great films above, and am looking for more good things to watch as I rest. Hit me with your best recommendations. One reader has already suggested ‘Sunday Best’, so I’ll be trying to get my hands on it! What else is good out there?