Documentary List!!

For all of the TV shows and movies you watch every week that are funny, meaningless and mindless… please take the time to at least watch a few of these movies that are extremely eye opening, mind blowing and REAL. They matter, a LOT. I have watched every single one of these movies from start to finish and each one of them inspired me, changed me and opened my eyes to what’s really going on in the world. By no means is this a complete list… please check back once you’ve watched them all as I will have probably added more!  

In no particular order:

Vegucated

An award winning documentary that follows three meat- and cheese-loving New Yorkers from different backgrounds who, for six weeks, adopt a vegan diet and a whole new way of thinking about food. It educates on the benefits of being vegan for the planet, the body and the animals and leaves you with a higher sense of awareness.

The Corporation

In the mid-1800s, corporations began to be recognized as individuals by U.S. courts, granting them unprecedented rights. The Corporation, a documentary by filmmakers Mark Achbar and Jennifer Abbott and author Joel Bakan, delves into that legal standard, essentially asking: if corporations were people, what kind of people would they be? Applying psychiatric principles and FBI forensic techniques, and through a series of case studies, the film determines that this entity, the corporation, which has an increasing power over the day-to-day existence of nearly every living creature on earth, would be a psychopath. The case studies include a story about how two reporters were fired from Fox News for refusing to soft-pedal a story about the dangers of a Monsanto product given to dairy cows, and another about Bolivian workers who banded together to defend their rights to their own water supply. The pervasiveness of corporate influence on our lives is explored through an examination of efforts to influence behavior, including that of children. The filmmakers interview leftist figures like Michael Moore, Howard Zinn, Naomi Klein, and Noam Chomsky, and give representatives from companies Burson Marsteller, Disney, Pfizer, and Initiative Media a chance to relay their own points-of-view.

Bananas!*

Exposes Dole Food’s role in spraying poisonous pesticide on bananas in Nicaragua and exposing agricultural workers to DBCP, which allegedly resulted in sterility for some of the affected campesinos. Gertten’s doc included footage of a Dole executive basically confessing on the witness stand during a lawsuit brought by the banana proletarians to using the pesticide in its Central America plantations.

What In The World Are They Spraying

Everyone has seen crisscrossing streaks of white clouds trailing behind jet aircraft, stretching from horizon to horizon, eventually turning the sky into a murky haze. Our innate intelligence tells us these are not mere vapor trails from jet engines, but no one yet has probed the questions: who is doing this and why. With the release of this video, all of that has changed. Here is the story of a rapidly developing industry called geo-engineering, driven by scientists, corporations, and governments intent on changing global climate, controlling the weather, and altering the chemical composition of soil and water – all supposedly for the betterment of mankind. Although officials insist that these programs are only in the discussion phase, evidence is abundant that they have been underway since about 1990 – and the effect has been devastating to crops, wildlife, and human health. We are being sprayed with toxic substances without our consent and, to add insult to injury, they are lying to us about it.

InGREEDients

For anyone who has ever wondered about the effects of partially hydrogenated oil on the human body, Registered nurse David Burton speaks with scientists, researchers, and leading health experts to expose the frightening health risks of consuming artificially engineered foods. It reveals the hidden dangers in many of the foods that we regularly eat, the alarming effects they have on our health, and what little the FDA is doing regarding food inspection.

I Am

Aprismatic and probing exploration of our world, what’s wrong with it, and what we can do to make it better, represents Tom Shadyac’s first foray into non-fiction following a career as one of Hollywood’s leading comedy practitioners, with such successful titles as “Ace Ventura,” “Liar Liar,” and “Bruce Almighty” to his credit. I AM recounts what happened to the filmmaker after a cycling accident left him incapacitated, possibly for good. Though he ultimately recovered, he emerged a changed man. Disillusioned with life on the A-list, he sold his house, moved to a mobile home community, and decided to start life anew.

Food Inc 

Explores where the food we purchase at the grocery store really comes from, and what it means for the health of future generations. By exposing the comfortable relationships between business and government, it gradually shines light on the dark underbelly of the American food industry. The USDA and FDA are supposed to protect the public, so why is it that both government regulatory agencies have been complicit in allowing corporations to put profit ahead of consumer health, the American farmer, worker safety, and even the environment? As chicken breasts get bigger and tomatoes are genetically engineered not to go bad, 73,000 Americans fall ill from powerful new strains of E. coli every year, obesity levels are skyrocketing, and adult diabetes has reached epidemic proportions. Perhaps if the general public knew how corporations use exploited laws and subsidies to create powerful monopolies, the outrage would be enough to make us think more carefully about the food we put into our bodies.

The Cove

Richard O’Barry enjoyed a lucrative career as a dolphin trainer in the 1960’s; he captured the five dolphins that were used in the popular television series Flipper, and taught them the tricks they used on the show. Four decades later, O’Barry has renounced his former life as a trainer and become an animal rights activist, speaking out against the hunting of aquatic mammals and keeping them in captivity. O’Barry is not welcome in Taiji, a town along the Japanese coast where hunting dolphins is a major part of the local economy, but he and a group of activist filmmakers made their way into the city as well as the carefully guarded harbor in hopes of documenting the abuse of dolphins by fisherman and the poisoning of the waters that has taken a toll on the marine ecology. O’Barry and his colleagues captured some beautiful underwater footage as well as shocking images of how the town’s fisherman have sullied the dolphins and their habitat. The statistics and facts about what toxins are in the water and seafood will scare you… and the facts about what they are doing to humans by our consuming them, will shock you.

Hungry for Change

Exposes shocking secrets the diet, weightloss and food industry don’t want you to know about; deceptive strategies designed to keep you coming back for more. Featuring interviews with best selling health authors and leading medical experts plus real life transformational stories with those who know what it’s like to be sick and overweight. Learn from those who have been there before and continue your health journey today.

Earthlings

Using hidden cameras and never-before-seen footage, it chronicles the day-to-day practices of the largest industries in the world, all of which rely entirely on animals for profit. Be prepared to cry and never feel the same way about animals again.

No Impact Man

Colin Beavan, a NY writer, had the usual concerns over the future of the environment until he realized he wasn’t doing much about it. Beavan decided that it was time he and his family did something to deal with the practical issues of global warming and environmental sustainability, so he set out on a grand experiment — to see if he, his wife, Michelle Conlin, their young daughter, and their dog could live for a year in New York City without leaving any sort of carbon footprint. Michelle, a writer for Business Week with a taste for fashion, was a hard sell for the notion of spending a year without electricity, takeout, toilet paper, or motorized transportation, but in time she agreed and found that their new life was a life-changing experience. Colin, however, found his will tested by the experience and his ideals questioned when he began writing a book about his experiences and sharing his story with the news media, becoming a minor celebrity in the process. Colin and Michelle’s friends Laura Gabbert and Justin Schein are filmmakers who decided to capture the family’s year of environmental purity on film, and No Impact Man is a documentary that chronicles the nuts and bolts of living a carbon-neutral life as well as how the experience impacted the family.

Sharkwater 

Profoundly disturbed to discover just how much damage mankind is doing to one of natures most majestic and misunderstood creatures, filmmaker Rob Stewart sets out on a passionate mission to debunk stereotypes about sharks and show just how important a role they play in the planet’s fragile eco-system. Setting out to marine reserves in Costa Rica, Cocos Island, and the Galapagos Islands, Stewart and renegade conservationist Paul Watson of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society arms themselves with high-definition video cameras in an attempt to expose exploitation and corruption by poachers who earn a hearty living by ruthlessly slaughtering the creatures that could hold the key to mankind’s ultimate survival. Rammed by pirate boats, threatened by organized crime, and eventually drawn into a corrupt court system that thrives on greed, the determined conservationists are forced to flee or face death as they reveal that the creatures resilient enough to withstand mass extinctions may be wiped out at the hands of humans in just a handful of years.

Bag It 

Examines our society’s use and abuse of plastic. It focuses on plastic as it relates to our society’s throwaway mentality, our culture of convenience, our over consumption of unnecessary, disposable products and packaging—things that we use one time and then, without another thought, throw them away. Where is AWAY?? Away is over flowing landfills, clogged rivers, islands of trash in our oceans, and even our very own toxic bodies. Jeb travels the globe on a fact-finding mission—not realizing that after his simple resolution, plastic will never look the same again!

An Inconvenient Truth

Former vice president Al Gore shares his concerns on the pressing issue of global warming in this documentary. A long-time environmental activist, Gore first became aware of evidence on global warming in the 1970s, and since leaving public office he has become a passionate advocate for large- and small-scale changes in our laws and lifestyles that could help alleviate this crisis. It records a multi-media presentation hosted by Gore in which he discusses the scientific facts behind global warming, explains how it has already begun to affect our environment, talks about the disastrous consequences if the world’s governments and citizens do not act, and shares what each individual can do to help protect the Earth for this and future generations.

The Future Of Food 

Farming was once one of the most common professions in America, but now the growing of food for America’s dinner tables is primarily in the hands of a small number of large agricultural corporations. With deregulations placing less federal scrutiny on how crops are grown, and an increasing number of “agri-business” firms introducing genetically modified vegetables and grains, some experts have begun to question just what we are eating, and how it got that way. At a time when some firms have started seeking patents for new strains of modified seeds and plants, will there come a day when the growing of certain essential foodstuffs will be controlled by private corporations who own a “copyright” on, say, wheat or tomatoes? The Future of Food is a documentary which focuses on growing concerns over how our crops are produced, and how science is altering the foods we eat.

Eco Pirate

Tells the story of a man on a mission to save the planet and its oceans. The film follows “professional radical ecologist” Captain Paul Watson as he repeatedly flouts the law, so that he may apprehend what he sees as the more serious law-breakers; the illegal poachers of the world. Using verité sequences shot aboard his ship as a framing device, the documentary examines Watson’s personal history as an activist through archival footage and interviews, while revealing the impact of this relentless pursuit on his personal life. From the genesis of Greenpeace to sinking a pirate whaling ship off Portugal, and from clashes with fisherman in the Galapagos to Watson’s recent headline-grabbing battles with the Japanese whaling fleet in Antarctica, this film chronicles the extraordinary life of the most controversial figure in the environmental movement – the heroics, the ego, the urgency – of the world’s original eco-pirate.

The 11Th Hour

Interviews with some of the world’s leading scientists and creative thinkers in a film that asks whether or not it’s too late to avoid the ecological disaster that looms ominously on the horizon. In addition to exploring how the human race has arrived at this crucial point in history, conversations with 50 leading thinkers, scientists, and leaders including former Soviet prime minister Mikhail Gorbachev, world-renowned scientist Stephen Hawking, and sustainable design experts Bruce Mau and William McDonough to find out just what humankind can do about the most pressing issues of our time.

Farmageddon

The story of a mom whose son healed from all allergies and asthma after consuming raw milk, and real food from farms. It depicts people all over the country who formed food co-ops and private clubs to get these foods, and how they were raided by state and local governments.

Craigslist Joe

America is a wealthy, diverse and technologically sophisticated country – yet some say we’ve lost the sense of community that used to carry us through tough times. Today it’s every person for themselves.  Have we become so caught up in our own lives that we don’t notice life outside of our bubble? This movie follows one man’s month long journey into the world of Craigslist. He survives completely off of the kindness of strangers for his food, shelter, entertainment and transportation. It’s a great film that shows you just how much there is to be found in the used/free community if you’re willing to put in the effort and search for it.

Midway

A visually stunning documentary project from Chris Jordan that reflects on the immense environmental impact of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch—a mammoth collection of waste located in the Pacific Ocean. Jordan and his team focus specifically on the “magical” Midway Island. Located in the center of the Pacific Gyre, the island is populated with albatrosses which have been badly affected by the environmental disaster. As debris washes up on the island, Jordan works to document the plight of thousands of birds caught up in the man-made waste.

The Business of Being Born 

While the United States has perhaps the most advanced health care system in the world, it also has the second-highest infant mortality rate of any industrialized nation, and many have begun to question conventional wisdom regarding the way obstetricians deal with childbirth. While midwives preside over the majority of births in Europe and Japan, fewer than ten percent of American mothers employ them, despite their proven record of care and success. How do American doctors make their choices regarding the way their patients give birth, and who is intended to benefit? Director Abby Epstein and producer Ricki Lake offer a probing look at childbirth in America in the documentary The Business of Being Born, which explores the history of obstetrics, the history and function of Midwives, and how many common medical practices may be doing new mothers more harm than good.

Polar Bears: A Summer Odyssey

Shot over twelve months, this blue chip wildlife documentary tells the story a young polar bear’s epic migration through the icy waters of Hudson Bay and his subsequent adventures on land, where he must spend the ice-free season. It is his first summer alone without his mother to guide and feed him. His struggle to survive is set against the biggest environmental story of our time: CLIMATE CHANGE.

One response to this post.

  1. I like this list. Pretty good to introduce people to many issues we face. Love this list.

    Reply

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