5 Documentaries

One of my 101 in 1001 goals was to watch 5 documentaries. I am always interested in documentaries, but I never actually get around to watching them, and with the plethora of cool ones available on Netflix, I thought it would be a fun and informative goal. I’m really glad that I did it, too! I noticed a theme with the ones that I picked: social issues. Go figure, right? I think I will be watching a lot more documentaries in the future.


The Invisible War (5/5)

I watched this one while I was still in Ireland. It details the epidemic of sexual assaults within the American military. It is a stark, affecting look at a very real problem in society at large, illustrated with perfect clarity in the microcosm of this American institution. It pissed me off, watching it. It made me cry. It made me an even more strident feminist. I think this should be required viewing, especially for those of us who think that we don’t need feminism, or who think sexual assault is no big deal.


Food, Inc (5/5)

After reading the book Eating Animals by Jonathan Safron Foer last spring, I became a vegetarian, full stop. I couldn’t stomach the implications of continuing to eat meat, not just for myself but for society as a whole. I thought it would be difficult, but it has been more than a year and we are both still going strong, with only the occasional twinge for bacon (at least in my case). Watching this documentary made me really really happy that I don’t eat meat. But it also kind of made me wish that I didn’t have to eat other food either. I told Bryan, “Yup, I’m just going to stop eating altogether.” The things we don’t know about what goes into our bodies are ASTOUNDING. Everyone needs to be more informed. We have committed to buying more products from the local farmers’ market, and I am also trying to avoid too many starchy and/or processed things. It is hard. But I feel so much better when I do. Anyway, this documentary is pretty eye-opening, too, but prepare to be a bit grossed out and horrified.


Outfoxed: Rupert Murdoch’s War on Journalism (4/5)

I am  a bit late to the party on this one. I have a couple of friends who rave about this documentary, and often. One friend has it on her iPhone and puts it on as background noise at work because she likes it so much. It is a fascinating look at the Fox News network and how its biased form of journalism is wreaking havoc on the medium as a whole. It comes off as a bit of  an imbalanced witch hunt at times, but it also benefits from the input of ex-Fox employees and others with direct experience with the network. For sure worth a look!


The Greatest Movie Ever Sold (5/5)

This documentary about advertising in movies is brought to you by Morgan Spurlock, the guy who did Super Size Me. I loved it. It is a compelling, balanced look at the power of advertising, and the greatest part is that we get to see the whole process: cold calling companies, meeting with brands, pitching ideas, negotiating contracts, meeting with lawyers, everything. Hollywood directors, people on the street, even Noam Chomsky, all get to have to their say. There was even brain imaging, which made the psych nerd in me do a happy dance.


Inside Job (4/5)

In which the economic crisis of 2008 is examined through the context of Wall Street corruption. It’s narrated by Matt Damon, which is awesome. It’s fascinating and frustrating and enraging. Very informative, too, there are a lot of aspects of economics that I understand better now that I have watched this film. It can be a bit dry at parts, but the worst thing about it is how you want to strangle everyone in it who saw the disaster coming – or, worse yet, pretty much orchestrated it on purpose – and did nothing. Gits.

Yup, it’s official. I need to watch more documentaries! I loved watching these, and not only being entertained, but feeling far more informed afterwards.

Have you watched any great documentaries lately? Have you seen any of these ones? What did you think?

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Jessica can most often be found with her nose in a book, or writing her newest short story/screenplay/novel, but she also has a passion for travel, child-care & development, psychology, feminism (and other forms of equality), and making the world a better place in general. Email Me