If you don’t currently watch documentaries, you are surely missing out on some serious growth in conscious awareness. I mean that because documentaries, alongside books, have been incredibly transformative for my thought process and mind as a whole. I have a list of literally about 70 documentaries I have watched in the past 4 years or so and my life is permanently altered with each one. I encourage you to choose one of interest and dive it. Let it speak to you. Remember to tap into your common sense as you watch them. Don’t take everything in such a literal way, try to learn from it if it makes sense to you and allow your mind to remain open as you’re exposed to new ways of thinking about things. Documentaries give perspective, and usually one we haven’t considered and that’s why I love them so much. They help us see that our way isn’t the only way and it keeps us humble – and aware. Your life will inevitably be enriched with each one you watch.
One of my absolute favorite resources for documentaries is Netflix. There is a ridiculous amount of them to choose from on there and they usually have some of the most controversial ones which makes me adore Netflix more and their ability to be real. Most of these documentaries I mention are free on Netflix so if you don’t already pay $10 a month for it you can sign up for the free trial and watch them free during that. Just remember to cancel your account before your trial is up if you don’t want to keep paying. You can also use your family member’s accounts too – if they let you 😉 – because the regular membership allows you to stream on 2 devices at the same time!
Another resource I use sometimes is Amazon Prime Video. We have it as part of our Amazon Prime membership and it’s great for us for kids shows, but they actually have a good amount of documentaries on there as well so if you already have Amazon Prime this would be a good source too!
Where to watch: for free on their website here.
What is it about? “EARTHLINGS is a 2005 American documentary film about humankind’s total dependence on animals for economic purposes. Presented in five chapters (pets, food, clothing, entertainment and scientific research) the film is narrated by Joaquin Phoenix, featuring music by Moby, and was written, produced and directed by Shaun Monson.”
Why it’s on the list: This documentary was perhaps the most transformative one for me of all time. I was not a vegan when I watched it. I considered myself an animal lover, but I was NOT aware. I supported speciesism and I didn’t even realize it. And wow, my perspective was ROCKED. If you consider yourself an animal lover of any sort, if you have your own pet or love others, use or eat animals – then do yourself a favor and enlighten yourself. You need to be making a conscious choice about what you are contributing to. There were so many eye-opening moments for me, I literally could not believe I hadn’t seen things in this light before. I’ve heard multiple times “oh I don’t want to watch that stuff. I don’t want to see that”. If you know that there are things going on that you can’t even bare to watch, how can you blindly continue to support it? At least do yourself and all other species on this planet a favor and give it a watch, be educated no matter what decision you make. This was also one of the main things that helped me make a total shift to plant-based eating and commit to it.
Where to watch: rent for $5 on their website here, download for $9.99 or watch for free on Netflix! (free trial available on their website if you don’t have Netflix already)
What is it about? “This is a story about clothing. It’s about the clothes we wear, the people who make them, and the impact the industry is having on our world. The price of clothing has been decreasing for decades, while the human and environmental costs have grown dramatically. The True Cost is a groundbreaking documentary film that pulls back the curtain on the untold story and asks us to consider, who really pays the price for our clothing?”
Why it’s on the list: I watched this documentary for the first time back in 2015 when it first came out. I was just beginning to explore how toxic the clothing we wear can be and was already trying to eliminate synthetic fibers – especially new clothes made of them – from my closet. However, I honestly had never even considered how much our obsession in this world with materialism and always needing to buy lots of super cheap low-quality products is truly affecting everyone else, not just us, in negative ways. More than ever, we need to vote with our dollars, and stop supporting industries that are harming our earth and humanity.
What is it about? “Modern industrialization is no longer about steam power, ocean ships, and railways. It’s about herd immunization, the mass drugging of our population, and the industrialized production of cheap, storable food. We’ve ended up with an entire society getting sicker and sicker while the industrial powers get richer and richer. What were once considered farfetched conspiracy theories are now being shown to be stark irrefutable realities. Serious illnesses have been on a steep incline since the number of mandated vaccines has skyrocketed (starting with infants within their first hours of life) coupled with the advent of GMO foods since the mid 1990’s. But if anyone dares question these remarkable correlations then they are labeled anti-science and ignorant. We used to brag that we had the most remarkable healthcare system in the world, the last example of a great private healthcare system. Now we are waking up to the fact that we don’t have a private system, we have a pharmaceuticalized system and it has created the sickest species ever to inhabit this earth…our children. Your food, your health, your family’s health has been Bought.” – Jeff Hays (film producer)
Why it’s on the list: You just need to watch it, with an open mind. It’s controversial, it’s eye-opening, it challenges so many things that society believes. No matter what your viewpoint is right now on any of the matters – you just need to be informed and this is an amazing documentary that encourages you to consider another side. We can’t make educated decisions without being given information from both sides and being aware of the choices we make and their possible implications. Documentaries like this are, in my opinion, incredibly important and incredibly brave.
What is it about? “What the Health is the groundbreaking follow-up film from the creators of the award-winning documentary Cowspiracy. The film exposes the collusion and corruption in government and big business that is costing us trillions of healthcare dollars, and keeping us sick. What The Health is a surprising, and at times hilarious, investigative documentary that will be an eye-opener for everyone concerned about our nation’s health and how big business influences it.”
Why it’s on the list: So I have watched a ridiculous amount of health documentaries that come from all angles. I think it’s extremely important to learn AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE from multiple sources and then take what you can from each of them. This documentary is powerful and the most recently made health one on the subject and sort of touches on a lot of those angles. They’ve delivered it in a strong manner which caused some backlash but the overall message is extremely important and cannot be overlooked! It encourages thought, and HOPEFULLY it pushes you to consider giving a damn about what you put into your body and the industry you support. Food is input, it can’t be canceled out with exercise.. your body still has to work through it all. You absolutely must be making conscious choices about what input you are putting in. They blew over the danger of processed sugar and that’s one area I was a little disappointed on, however I understand that they were trying to put focus and emphasis on the effects that animal proteins have on the body. This documentary is an excellent starting point for health.
Where to watch: It is free to watch on Amazon Prime Video (for Amazon Prime members) and also free on Netflix (free trial available on their website if you don’t have Netflix already). There are also multiple other ways to watch if you go to their website here.
What is it about? Held captive by the donor community – “The West has positioned itself as the protagonist of development, giving rise to a vast multi-billion dollar poverty industry — the business of doing good has never been better. Yet the results have been mixed, in some cases even catastrophic, and leaders in the developing world are growing increasingly vocal in calling for change. Drawing from over 200 interviews filmed in 20 countries, Poverty, Inc. unearths an uncomfortable side of charity we can no longer ignore. From TOMs Shoes to international adoptions, from solar panels to U.S. agricultural subsidies, the film challenges each of us to ask the tough question: Could I be part of the problem?”
Why it’s on the list: My perspective was totally rocked with this one in a positive way!! I had never considered how global aid and the way it’s distributed is actually holding countries back from recovering their economies. I actually cried watching it, thinking how important it is that we shift our view of “wanting to give items to help people” to “wanting to give items to help people help themselves“! It’s so so important to help other people but there are totally ways that this can be done that encourages long-term progress. Just watch and you’ll get it 🙂
What is it about? “A PLASTIC OCEAN begins when journalist Craig Leeson, searching for the elusive blue whale, discovers plastic waste in what should be pristine ocean. In this adventure documentary, Craig teams up with free diver Tanya Streeter and an international team of scientists and researchers, and they travel to twenty locations around the world over the next four years to explore the fragile state of our oceans, uncover alarming truths about plastic pollution, and reveal working solutions that can be put into immediate effect.”
Why it’s on the list: Because our obsession with plastic products is horrific and we absolutely need to recognize how important it is to reduce our consumption of products that involve plastic. These often one-use products wind up destroying the earth that we live on and the air and water that we need to survive. There are so many small changes we can be making to limit our negative imprint, this will help you see what those are.
So there you have it. 6 documentaries with the potential to change your life forever. May you be enriched and enlightened in ways you couldn’t have predicted possible! 🙂
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