Many of us are still stuck in quarantine and if you’re like me, you are running out of ideas of watching something of quality and intelligence (something different from Tiger King). Hopefully this will help – a list of 12 visually-compelling, entertaining, clever, feel-good, making-you-sit-in-a-corner-rethinking- your-whole-life sort of documentaries. Some of them are about personal growth, some about health and body, and all of them about our impacts on the environment.
And if you’re not persuaded yet, most of them are available on Netflix.
- An Inconvenient Truth (2006)
Let’s start with the basics. This one is very well-known and probably doesn’t need an introduction. Basically, if there was a Climate Change 101 class in a movie form, this would be it.
If you haven’t seen it yet, definitely go check it out.
2. Before the Flood (2016)
This is a compelling documentary film about climate change. And the best part: narrated by – if I may say so – one of the few most incredible people to walk this Earth, Leonardo DiCaprio.
3. A Plastic Ocean (2016)
We all know by now (at least I hope so) how dangerous plastic is to nature. But just how much it’s hurting our marine environment is another story. This is this story, unfortunately not a fiction.
4. Our Planet (2019)
This visually stunning mini-series is about the creatures we share our planet with, and the threats they encounter due to climate change.
5. Terra (2015)
This French documentary film is a stunning visual masterpiece that questions the humans’ relationship to animals and humans’ progressive isolation from nature.
6. My Octopus Teacher (2020)
When I say I was apprehensive to watch it and then crying like a baby at the end, trust me, I mean it. This movie was a rollercoaster of emotions. I had no idea I would get so invested in an octopus, let alone rethink my whole life because of it.
It is beautifully shot, with an amazing true story, and most importantly holds a powerful message.
7. Blackfish (2013)
This documentary exposes the lives of orcas and whales held captive at sea worlds. Nothing more needs to be said; be warned though, you WILL cry with this one.
8. Rotten (2018-2019)
Have you ever wondered how the food on your table even gets to you? Unfortunately, it doesn’t just magically pop up in your local grocery store. Their story goes way way deeper. This is a documentary TV series about the dark side of some of our favourite foods.
9. Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret (2014)
A movie about animal agriculture and selfishness of human race. My wish is that everyone would watch this and actually stop and think about their dietary habits. Meat on your plate and the milk in your glass come from somewhere, and they don’t grow on trees.
10. What The Health (2017)
Does a human body really need all that pills to live a long, happy life? Well, maybe a long one, but definitely not a happy one. This movie is a genius when it comes to politely critiquing our health and dietary habits. Definitely worth a watch.
11. Minimalism: A Documentary About the Important Things (2015)
How to live happier with less. This movie challenges the idea that more is better and that humans can find happiness in material stuff.
12. The Minimalist: Less is Now (2021)
This one is basically a continuation of the first one, but it directly proposes an action to the viewer: 30-day minimalism challenge. Can you do it?
And that concludes this list. All that is left to do is to grab popcorn, get comfortable and get lost in these incredible true stories.