“What is the goal of the life? It’s to create yourself a soul. For me, movies are an art more than an industry. And it’s the search of the human soul as painting, as literature, as poetry. Movies are that for me.”
I’ve had a huge documentary spree over the past couple of days and I thought I would do up a list of recommendations!
Blackfish - this is what made me suddenly interested in documentaries. I’ve seen this twice now and have found it crazily moving and incredibly well done. It’s about the killer whales kept at Sea World in the US, and focuses on this one whale Tilikum which has actually killed three people yet they still use him for shows. My heart broke watching this film, these whales are so intelligent and I learned a lot about them.
This Film Is Not Yet Rated - This was about the movie rating system in the US. I did find it interesting but I feel as though I already knew the main points through gifs on tumblr. I didn’t really like the witch hunt for the people on the rating board though, I thought that was a little boring. But I learned there is clergymen on the board too, which is crazy!
The Great Happiness Space - set in Japan, the documentary followed male hosts who worked in bars and their female clients. This one was really amazing, I was completely drawn in. The aim was to get the girls to pay huge amounts of money on drinks - a lot of them can easily drop $5,000 in one night. A lot of the customers themselves are sex workers - they need big salaries to afford to keep going to the clubs. A lot of them said they were in love with their hosts and the men totally strung them along; the point was to give them the ‘boyfriend’ experience. My favourite part was to see the relationships between the hosts and the clients - there was a lot of hatred and resentment bubbling beneath the surface on both ends.
The Imposter - This documentary was probably the most captivating one I have seen. It told the story of a man who posed as a 15 year old boy who had gone missing some 4 years prior and how he tricked the boy’s family into thinking their son had come home. It was filmed incredibly beautifully and even though there were little reenactments, they were never cheesy like a lot of crime shows tend to do. The man was interviewed throughout, as well as the family. It is crazily chilling and felt a lot like a suspense film.
The Invisible War - this was very heart-wrenching and hard to watch in some places. It focused on the sexual assault in the US military. Those crimes are often not dealt with at all and someone even described rape as an “occupational hazard” for women in the military, which is insane. It was painful to hear these people’s stories but I learned a lot from it.
Jiro Dreams Of Sushi - about the most famous sushi chef in Japan, Jiro. He is 85 and looks like a little turtle. It focuses on his life and the craft of sushi. I love sushi so this was amazing to watch, it is very mesmerising and well filmed, so visually beautiful.
Life in a Day - this was done via youtube, where people uploaded videos of their day spent on the 25th of July, 2010. All of their different footage is spliced together and it is really cool to see how people all over the world lead their lives. You got little in depth snippets throughout - a man telling his grandma he is gay made me cry. And they all answer the following questions: who do you love? what do you fear? what is in your pockets?
I hope you guys find something you like here! They are all fairly new, so I don’t think any would be hard to find.
When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts (2006) - dir. Spike Lee
Immediately after Hurricane Katrina, when Spike Lee’s HBO documentary was bouncing around little movie houses and theaters across America - this was an important film. It had been a while since Lee did something that was as socially relevant as he intended it to be. When the Levees Broke was just that - as a film, it’s full of breathtaking juxtapositional imagery, it’s full of hope and beauty and takes stabs less-so at racial boundaries and more at the class systems. It’s still a powerful documentary, but perhaps was made too expeditiously.
Years have passed since Katrina, and since the film was released. While New Orleans is still recovering today, one would think that a documentary of this magnitude would have more fuel to feed the fire, with the mishandling by government officials, the images as the cities and townships recover. Lee may have been too on top of it, combining the film’s immediacy with it’s lack of brevity, it sadly leaves When the Levees Broke as a fond memory of documentary filmmaking, and it’s no longer as poignant.
This 30-minute documentary leads the audience into a story about the current food challenges our civilization faces through the lens of UA Scientists who are building a greenhouse food production system that may someday be used on the Moon.
PBS 6: Sunday, July 20 at 3:30 p.m. Tuesday, July 22 at 3:30 a.m. UA Channel: Tuesday, July 22 at 8:30 p.m. Wednesday, July 23 at 2:30 a.m. Sunday, July 27 at 2:30 p.m. Monday, July 28 at 1:30 a.m. Tuesday, July 29 at 3 p.m.
what are some good physics/space oriented popular science documentaries? I’ve watched Cosmos (both), Through The Wormhole and BBC’s Wonders and basically anything goes from modern physics and astronomy to classical physics and history of physics. Thank