4. Documentaries

Last week I made a list of some of the movies about music that were on my list of favorites. Ernst added two very good movies to that list that just didn’t make it into my list due to several reasons, like the lengthiness off the list if I had put in all the movies I liked and so. What I noticed was that most movies about music that made it high up in my list were about realistic situations, maybe combined with some irony. Therefore today a list about realistic subjects. Documentaries.

Not every documentary shown on news channels made it through the qualification round. I think documentaries should for this list at least should have a name, should be available on the internet or on dvd or so. Otherwise I could add a lot of documentaries that I saw on tv in a Dutch program I used to watch when I was a little kid, called Netwerk. These documentaries are still available by the way and I can really recommend watching them if you have some spare time (and understand Dutch).

I think documentaries are highly underestimated. Not only the hard work the film maker puts into making the documentary, but also the views, opinions, the format of the documentary, and maybe most of all the influence a good conducted documentary can have on modern society. It is part of our culture, part of criticism towards our ways of living, part of information about things we might not know. A good documentary in my eyes is trustworthy, reliable and clear and honest about the goals of the producer.

  1. The Cove (2009)
    To be honest, I still haven’t watched this documentary, so why did it make it to my list? Because I trust the people in my surroundings who are telling me that I should watch this movie. I put it on the first place because the story told in this documentary is worth the attention and because I think any documentary that can teach us how to treat our world better is worth our support.
  2. Metal: A Headbanger’s Journey (2005)
    This documentary was both educating me on the music I like to listen to and fun to watch. Not every documentary needs an urgent topic. Sometimes a journey of discovering your roots can be enough to become interesting and valuable.
  3. Fish
    I just got to see this short documentary about a fish shop in New Orleans last Thursday at school and I was sold. The inspiration this documentary provides cannot be beaten by anything I have ever seen before. Maybe there are millions of people, of pieces of work, of bands, of movies that provide the same energy and joy, I don’t know. This one shows that it is not important what you do, but how you do it. That you can actually be of value to anyone’s life of people who are just passing by. And all this by doing something that makes you happy too: Play!
  4. Super size me (2004)
    To all of those who say food is not influencing their life, think again. Choices we make in what we eat, what we buy, what we do influence our lives every single day! I am fine with whatever choice you make, but this movie made me realize once again that when I complain about low energy levels, feeling just a bit off, wanting to indulge more food, that all of those might be signals of bad choices in the stuff I shove into my mouth. I lately have been experiencing the influence that healthy choices can have on energy levels and I hope never to go back to the overindulgence of candy and sugar and cakes and pies and cookies and … and… and…
  5. Bowling for Comumbine (2002)
    Untill now this is the best Michael Moore documentary I have seen. It is straight forward, shocking, trying to put things into another perspective and trying to wake people up.
  6. Zeitgeist (2007)
    I don’t care what you believe. I don’t care what your religion is. I respect your choices and if your life works for you, I am totally fine with that, on one condition: do the same for the rest of the world, respect each other. This documentary shocked me. I know that it does not represent the majority of the world (or at least I hope so). It was interesting for me to get some insights on something I don’t really know a lot about and to see a side of radical movements. On the other hand, I did not agree on all the parts of this documentary and by the end I think the documentary is loosing it’s power and sharpness and is turning more into a commercial.
  7. Capt. Charles Moore on the seas of plastic
    This is actually a TED speech about seas of plastic drifting in the oceans. Huge wake up call!

My list of documentaries might be quite short, and I am sure that there are so many other brilliant documentaries that I really should see, so please, let me know which documentaries made it onto your list, or which documentaries you want to share with the world.


3 Comments to “4. Documentaries”


  2. Hey Ernst, Thanks for your comment! I will definately check out your suggestions for documentaries! Going to start with Adam Curtis tomorrow evening:D.

  3. I love documentaries! I like everything by Adam Curtis (check out his last work on Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I6EBpLfLHCA)

    It’s about the human condition mostly, dont watch it when depressed ;-)

    My faves:
    – “Pandora’s Box” on rationality (this one set me on the trail of Adam Curtis, as it dissects everything we think to know about our reality (and shows how we were wrong everytime) it’s a real mindfuck (pardon my French)
    – “all watched over by machines of loving grace” picks up where “pandora” left, show’s us how we deal with our percieved reality.

    – from the BBC Horizon series “How Violent Are You?” where the good humoured presenter undergoes an experiment to make him into an angry monster. disturbing stuff.

    – “How to Kill a Human Being” (with the same presenter) is really disturbing but intriguing too. And is about the paradox in the death penalty

    – now for something less darker “the perfect home” by alain de botton is about architecture and the philosophy of happiness. very enjoyable

    – for comic relief, I love the BBC “japanorama” series too

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