6 Documentaries You Need to Watch on Netflix Right Now

Most of us can admit to binge-watching Netflix at some time or another. A lot of the popular shows add very little meaning and significance to our lives during those ten hours glued to the computer. What if you could watch Netflix while also learning about new topics that will help you grow as a person? That is what documentaries are for. Netflix is full of amazing documentaries containing a wide array of subject matter. These are the top seven that I think everyone should watch and learn from. The following films will, with out a doubt, change your outlook on life.

True Cost: True Cost single handedly made me stop buying unnecessary, cheap clothing. This film sheds light on the often-overlooked problem of outsourced labor. Big U.S. clothing companies trying to lower the cost of their products sacrifice the lives of those living in impoverished countries by paying them next-to-nothing to make their clothes. The film documents firsthand accounts of people working in horrible conditions to make clothing for companies such as Aldo, Gap, Forever 21, H&M and other popular clothing companies. This film will inevitably make you think twice before thinking that cute shirt is “such a good deal.”

Miss Representation: Miss Representation is one is for all the feminists out there. This film brings awareness to how women are represented in the media today. Females are scrutinized on TV, in magazines, in newspapers and many others places in our everyday lives. Sadly, this has become normalized in our society. Women are represented in the media in a derogatory manner that continues to develop negative stereotypes. Women are sexualized, ridiculed, edited and torn apart by our society and the media. It is time that women and men alike take the next steps forward in equalizing media coverage to make it fair and empowering to all.

Forks over Knives: Forks Over Knives made me rethink my own diet and health, as well as the general habits of the U.S. population. Obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure, cancer and diabetes, along with other food-related health issues, are at all-time highs in the country. The rate at which these diseases are diagnosed in the U.S. highlights the fact that our diet is the leading preventable cause of these illnesses. The amount of excessive animals products in the Western diet is a huge factor in this epidemic. The film advocates for a plant based diet as a form of treatment and dietary adjustment. We all need to take more responsibility of what we put on our plates and in our mouths to ensure a long and fruitful life.

Living on One Dollar: Living on One Dollar made me reevaluate all of the privileges I have in my life. The film follows two friends that move to rural Guatemala for eight weeks to live on one dollar a day. They wanted to see how people in extreme poverty live and survive on a daily basis. The film is both humbling and motivating to its viewers. It really teaches you to not take the simple things in life for granted. Some people cannot even afford food everyday. Education becomes secondary to feeding and providing for the family. “Living on One Dollar” conveys a reality for some that we will never be able to understand.

Blackfish: Blackfish is about Orcas in captivity primarily at SeaWorld parks around the country. The film documents the horrors behind the seemingly fun choreographed shows at the parks. Rarely do you think about how these animals were taken from their families in the wild and forced to live in close quarters and abusive environments in captivity. They are forced to live in small swimming pools, which can result in horrible mental effects altering the behavior of the animals. These majestic beings deserve to live in the ocean where they belong instead of forced to do flips and tricks for humans on vacation in Orlando.

I Am: I Am makes you want to be a better person. The film delves into the interconnectivity of the human race. All living beings on this planet are related to each other in some complex way that people cannot even begin to comprehend. Human hearts are able to send magnetic signals to each other and other things that communicate in ways that our languages cannot. Beneath the surface, everyone is a compassionate being. Our nature, as humans, is to love one another and be a part of helping our population prosper. These qualities have been covered up by what we think life should be: full of expensive, material stuff. But, happiness is simple at the root and is attainable by just serving the global community.