How many times have you heard the following statements:
- “One person can’t make a difference”
- “What we don’t know won’t hurt us”
- “Ignorance is bliss”
- “They (politicians/companies) won’t do anything, so why bother”
- “I’m not voting – it’s not going to make a difference anyway”
- “That’s (insert subject matter here) not true, I don’t believe it”
We all have a responsibility to educate ourselves and to seek the truth. If we continue to walk around with our ‘blinders’ on, we remain ignorant to the events that are happening around us. Ignorance is not bliss, it is just plain ignorant.
I have compiled a list of documentaries that explore different political and social issues that have allowed me to become more informed and educated on the certain specific topics of what the films are based on. I hope that you allow yourself to ‘remove the blinders’ and become more aware of what things are happening throughout the world, who the players are and become inspired to act for the greater good of the planet, your health and for the wellness of all of humanity. Here is my list:
Forks Over Knives (2011)
Directed by Lee Fulkerson
This movie examines the benefits of a low-fat whole foods, plant-based diet as a means of combating a number of diseases. It also provides an overview of a 20-year China-Cornell-Oxford Project that led to Professor T. Colin Campbell’s findings, outlined in his book, The China Study (2005) in which he suggests that coronary disease, diabetes, obesity, and cancer can be linked to the Western diet of processed and animal-based foods (including dairy products).
An Inconvenient Truth (2006)
Directed by Davis Guggenheim
Al Gore’s film about the current and potential future effects of global warming or climate change.
Zeitgeist: The Movie (2007)
Directed by Peter Joseph
Presents a number of conspiracy theories based on religion, the financial crisis and the September 11, 2001 attacks. This movie has companion pieces in the form of Zeitgeist: Addendum and Zeitgeist: Moving Forward.
Fahrenheit 9/11 (2004)
Directed by Michael Moore
A look at the Bush administration and the events that took place prior, during and post the 9/11 attacks. This documentary is currently the highest grossing documentary of all-time (preceded by Madonna’s Truth or Dare, which held that title for 11 years).
I Am (2011)
Directed by Tom Shadyac
Narrated by Tom Shadyac – this movie follows Tom’s personal journey to seek the answers of the nature of humanity and materialism after a near-fatal bicycle accident in 2007.
The Times of Harvey Milk (1984)
Directed by Robert Epstein
Looks back at the rise, death and legacy of Harvey Milk, the first openly gay man to get elected into public office in the United States.
Blue Gold: World Water Wars (2008)
Directed by Sam Bozzo
This movie looks at the world water crisis and examines the impacts (both environmental and political) on the planet’s decreasing water supply
Who Killed The Electric Car? (2006)
Directed by Chris Paine
Narrated by Martin Sheen, this movie explores the creation of the electric car and the bureaucracy/politics as to why they were not made widely available. A great companion piece to this documentary is the 2011 documentary (also directed by Chris Paine) entitled: Revenge of the Electric Car.
March of The Penguins (2005)
Directed by Luc Jacquet
A look at the lives of a group of emperor penguins in the Antarctica and the hardships they face. This Oscar-winning documentary is narrated by Morgan Freeman, Sotie Grabol, Marek Kondrat, Gosta Ekman, Amitabh Bachchan and Fiorello.
Directed by Michael Moore
Investigates the state of the health care system in the United States and compares it to other health care systems around the world.
Directed by Marissa Miller Wolfson
Explores the challenges faced by those who have chosen a vegan diet.
Bowling For Columbine (2002)
Directed by Michael Moore
This film takes an in-depth look at the causes of gun violence in America after two students went on a shooting rampage in a Columbine High School.
Inside Job (2010)
Directed by Charles Ferguson
Who helped create the 2008 financial crisis that crippled world economies? This film helps us answer this question.
10 Questions for the Dalai Lama (2006)
Directed by Rick Ray
This movie follows the filmmakers attempts to seek the 14th Dalai Lama (Tenzin Gyatso) in hopes of asking His Holiness questions such as: “Why are the poor traditionally so much happier than the wealthy?” and “Is it necessary for a society to abandon its centuries old traditions to move into the future?” – just to name a few. The move also delves into the history of various cultures despite the threat of the political dangers.
Grey Gardens (1975)
Directed by David Maysles, Albert Maysles, Ellen Hovde and Muffie Meyer
This documentary looks into the everyday lives of a reclusive mother (Edith Ewing Bouvier Beale – Big Edie) and daughter (Edith Bouvier Beale – Little Edie) who both live in a run-down, rodent infested home. Both reminisce about the past and their socialite past. A HBO film called ‘Grey Gardens‘ starring Jessica Lange and Drew Barrymore was aired on HBO in April 2009. The film won six Primetime Emmys and two Golden Globes.
Super Size Me (2004)
Directed by Morgan Spurlock
Morgan documents himself as he eats nothing but McDonald’s – the results are not very surprising but never-the-less interesting.