5 documentaries you should watch right now
Documentaries are not always pretty - but they are necessary. To be honest - we do not always like to watch them. One can tell that they tend to be subjective and biased - well, of course. After all, aren’t they focusing on specific topics? Regardless of opinions, that will always differ, the informational value of documentaries is unarguable. We decided to give you a short list of 5 documentaries that we watched and couldn’t “un-watch”. Ones that, though sometimes depressing and violent, changes us forever.
Let’s start with the one that changed our life. Absolutely brutal and skin-cringing process of dolphins massacres performed by role-following killing experts (showed mostly on the example of Japan), described in a way it left us crying for weeks after. Actually, it’s one that made Womb’s Kasia stop eating meat in the first place and brought a serious inner humanity crisis. An Academy Award winning portrait of human’s cruelty and useless, blind obedience to the rules that do not have any base in reality. It is a movie that you cannot pass without reflection, nothing can be the same after you’ve seen it. When the sock effect is over, you end up thinking what you can do better, differently - because it is impossible to live in a world where those things are possible. It’s impossible to accept the evil, brutal and completely senseless nature of business of killing those beautiful creatures, trustful and intelligent beyond measure. A movie that reevaluates humanity in its “dominance” over creatures that we simply don’t understand, but also laws of economy and business that are going entirely against the grain - logically portrayed in the argument against eating dolphin meat, which is considered a rarity in some societies, but is also heavily polluted with mercury and can be deadly. A watch for those with strong nerves, but strong sense of what is good and what is evil as well.
But humanity can be beautiful, on the other hand. This less known, quite long (all together lasting over 4,5 h) but incredibly detailed portrait of, just, human, proves it beyond any doubt. Intimate, minimalist video portraits shot both in macro as well as in micro scale, in form of long drone-like short and interview style black-background interviews respectively, giving space for debates of love, pain, war, longing, happiness, family, belonging. Those who had watched the remarkable Baraka and Samsara in the past do not need further convincing, as this masterpiece by Yann Arthus-Bertrand is visually very alike to those two in terms of how it tells the story, or rather, doesn’t tell it - but allows the images and filmed people tell it themselves. The interviewed protagonists in the movie, among whose none has more or less significance than the previous and next one, in their own native languages and with their own emotionality share stories that are universal to all of us, regardless of what we believe in, how we dress, how we look like and where we leave. We all know how to love, how to feel lonely, how to feel scares, angry, humble or grateful. All those after all, and more, are things that make us human.
BEFORE THE FLOOD
Before the Flood is one of those mainstream blockbusters nearly, in the world of environmental activism and climate change evangelism. Directed by Fisher Stevens (who, by the way, was also the Oscar-winning creator of previously mentioned The Cove) and co-created by Leonardo DiCaprio, with music composed by Mogwai, Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross and appearances of so many significant people it is hard to even list them here… and all of it to do one thing: to prove that climate change is real, it’s a problem and there is no more denying it. And one must remember that the movie was released back in 2016, when we really still had people referring to climate change or global warming as “myths”. Well, we still have them today but at least now we all agree they are idiots, right? Anyway - with beautiful footage, with testimonies of literally everyone that matters in the public debate, with scientific findings and proofs, and with really cool soundtrack, Before the Flood is one of those movies that will dazzle you into believing in what you should actually have been believing in the first place. It’s a really good piece of aesthetic activism, that was extremely needed at the time when it was made and remains equally needed and important today.
Ice on Fire
Since we mentioned Leonardo DiCaprio, let us suggest another documentary, released very recently by HBO and narrated by the actor - Ice on Fire. Much more science-oriented and much less mainstream-y, Ice on Fire is an attempt to target an issue of melting Arctic and rising levels of CO2 and methane in the atmosphere. With much more factual testimonies of scientists, researchers and innovators (so no, you won’t see Barack Obama, Al Gore or Alejandro G. Iñárritu) explaining, in much less publicist and storytelling manner, what we are dealing with. Scientific heaviness makes it a bit less easy to follow than any of the previously mentioned documentaries, but it is precisely the strength and, as it seems, the point of this documentary. Without beating about the bush, the film tells us what is happening with the ice sheets and what are the direct outcomes from their loss. It is also making a case for solar energy, showing innovators who are making this source of renewable energy not only more accessible but cheaper than fuel-powered energy. Sourcing testimonies from all around the world also helps to imagine the problem in the global scale, which is often the hardest, especially for the policy-makers who tend to stick to “our country does not pollute therefore we are safe” kind of story. We are all in this together, and we all need to act in order to save ourselves and the generations to come.
PERIOD. END OF SENTENCE.
Last but definitely not least, we wish to share with you a short documentary and a must see. If you have not seen it yet, then it’s honestly only your fault, because it won an Oscar this year and there is absolutely no reason not to watch it - regardless of if you are a woman or a man. Period is something that every other person on earth has to experience exactly once a month. There are few things that are more sure and unchangeable in how we, humans, operate and how we actually survive and evolve. Period is every woman’s superpower, it is an inalienable element in femininity. This short, brilliant film shows how, still in 2019, it continues to be misunderstood, downgraded and stigmatised. It shows us instances of women being denied education or simply rejecting education, because they are getting their first periods - and the sanitation amenities are not there. There are still places on earth where women have never seen a sanitary pad or a tampon - don’t even mention the newly trending zero-waste menstrual cup. The movie focuses on this interrelation of first periods with school dropouts (shame being frequently the reason) as well as incredible people trying to solve the problems that arise from it. An empathetic, beautiful and down-to-earth manifesto in praise of women, education and inclusion. Perfect for a little Netflix and chill session.