Whether you favour Wes Anderson over Quentin Tarantino or rom-coms over thrillers, there’s one thing we can mutually agree on: movies are the equivalent of modern day therapy. You’ll cry, you’ll laugh and you’ll question your relationship all in the space of two short hours. It’s incredible to say the least. But then comes those days when fiction seems a little too far from reality and we ain’t got time for Bridget Jones’s myriad of mares. Well, this is where the wonderful world of documentaries come in handy. From hidden truths to motivational films, documentaries are soul-food, helping us think clearer, eat healthier and live better.
So when you’re in the mood for something with a lil’ impact, check out these documentaries that will change your entire life. We ain’t exaggerating…you can thank us later.
Don’t fret, this isn’t another Tiny House film. Instead, minimalism is a way of life—a pretty frickin’ cool one at that. It’s all about keeping things plain and simple, getting rid of material assets and focusing on ourselves. Whether we like it or not, the majority of us are hungry consumers. We love a bargain, we love clothes, we generally just love stuff! Well, Minimalism encourages you to get rid of some of that stuff. It’s a way of life that promotes freedom from the trappings of fear and guilt that consumer culture has brought and welcomes true, authentic freedom. Admittedly, the idea takes a while to get used to and we too had our doubts. But at the very least, it’s food for thought. And for those of you who adopt the lifestyle, kudos to you!
If you haven’t yet seen Blackfish, you’ve got some catching up to do. Blackfish tells the emotionally wrenching story of a killer whale in captivity at SeaWorld theme park in San Diego. The documentary challenges us to consider our relationship with nature and demonstrates just how little we’ve learnt from these mammals. It shows how intelligent this animal really is, in comparison to the torturous conditions it’s forced to live. We’re not gonna lie, we shed many of tears watching this. Plus, post-view, there’s no way you’ll be willing to step foot in another animal park. So cancel that off your current holiday plan, ASAP please! If there’s one documentary here you watch, make it this one.
AKA “the film that will make you turn vegan”. Earthlings may just be the most powerful documentary to exist. Renowned author of Animal Liberation, Peter Singer, dubbed this the one film that every human must see. It showcases humans total dependence on animals for economic purposes. Broken into five chapters (pets, food, clothing, entertainment and scientific research), you’ll no doubt leave this film wondering if you’ve been living under a rock. It’s kind of like a slap in the face…where you realise you’ve been taught to live a life that has many flaws. Each chapter is incredibly thought provoking. If it doesn’t make you want to stop eating meat, it’ll at least have you noting down some serious life hacks in ya diary.
An Inconvenient Truth
A documentary that was said to open minds to the threat that climate change poses to Earth. It can be both frightening and frustrating to see. The effect our actions have had on the environment are often hidden in the media and An Inconvenient Truth showcases this harm in full glory. Not withholding anything for the imagination, you’ll see icebergs melting, rivers dying and seas reaching record temperatures. What’s more, An Inconvenient Sequel has just come out, so once you’ve finished the first, you can delve into the sequel! Get ya popcorn out and prepare for an afternoon of blobbing—informative style.
The True Cost
Hey you, ya fashionista—this one’s for you. Clothes are everywhere so it’s no surprise we don’t question where they were made, by whom or in what conditions. Well, The True Cost teaches us it’s about time we not only consider it but make ethical clothing a priority. By travelling to countries all over the world, from the most luxurious runways to the darkest slums, you’ll see firsthand where your clothes come from. (Cue awkward checking of pant label…). What’s more, influences such as Stella McCartney feature in the documentary. You’ll learn why clothing labels are able to sell their clothes for cheaper than ever, and who this is really effecting. BTW, it ain’t your wallet.
Living On One Dollar
Need a film to make you feel hella blessed? This is it. Seriously, the film follows four friends as they set out to live on just $1 a day for two months in rural Guatemala. What may seem impossible to the majority, is real life for over 1.1 billion people around the world. The boys find themselves battling hunger, parasites and extreme financial stress, however, they realise there are ways to make a difference. Astonishingly, this film has raised more than $750,000 which has gone to education and microfinance work in the village the boys filmed at in Guatemala. This is a documentary that will have you countin’ your blessings at the end and potentially, going through the trash to bury out the perfectly fine half eaten pack of chips you just threw away…
Man On Wire
A film to embrace the inner #yolo hiding away, Man on Wire documents Philippe Petit's high-wire walk between the New York Twin Towers. An event that took place in 1974 and continues to wow all audiences today, it’s an incredible film. Literally standing on a thin piece of wire, this man manages to walk his way between one tour to the other, with no harness. If you’re anything like us and scared of going up the lift in The Sky Tower, then you will lose your s*** watching this—But it’s epic nonetheless. Including some real-life images of Phillippe's training regime as well as still images of the actual event, this is one documentary you need in your life.
Prefer podcasts? These ones will teach you about sex.
Image credit: Minimalism