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10 life-changing documentaries on Netflix

Documentaries are amazing because they’re an art form for film makers to share their values and passions with the world and Netflix has bulit up quite the collection of great documentaries. From simply a source of insipration to a complete change in my beliefs, here is a list of 10 documentaries that have truly impacted my in life.

10. Iris

A personal favorite of mine, this light hearted documentary show cases the life and times of interior wizard and fashion icon, Iris Apfel. Directed by Albert Maysles over a few years, you really get a feel for who Iris is and her quirkey-unconvential life. Fully-loaded with good advice and a women who has always been unapoligetically herself, especially at 95.

9. Amanda Knox

I think everyone remebers the 2007 murder of Meredith Kercher an exchange student from America staying in Italy with her roommate, Amanda Knox, who was covicted of her murder in 2011 and then aquitted in 2015; this Netflix documentary is focused on the events of that case. Directed by Rod Blackhurst and Brain McGinn, “Amanda Knox” will have you on the edge of your seat, while also making you feel sympathy for Knox and her whole situation. This is the first film Knox has agreed to apear and speak in, making it all the more powerful.

8. Cowspiracy: The Sustainablity Secret

This documentary will have you seriuously rethinking your food choices when you learn that factory farming is depleating our natural resources. Directed by Kip Anderson and Keegan Kuhn, “Cowspirancy” is about the impact of animal agriculture on our enviorment and why many environmental organizations refuse to mention it. This film is interesting because it’s a completely different take on the food indutry than we’re used to; it is completely based on the enviormenatal side of the argument rather than the ethical or economic stand point.

7. How to Survive a Plague

“How to Survive a Plague,” directed by David France is an insipring yet heart-wrenching documentary about a group of young, mostly HIV-positive, LGBT activists. Placed during the 1980’s AIDS crisis these young indviuals fought for the government to acknowledge that there was a problem, when at the time, they refused to admit millions of people were dying and the actvists took it upon themselves to get this FDA approved drug out to the public faster. This documentary is about such an importatant part of our history that often gets over-looked, when in reality what these activists did was amazing and live saving.

6. Blackfish

This influential and controversial documentary directed by Gabriela Cowperthwaite is foucsed around Tilikum, an orca whale held at Seaworld that was resposible for the death of 3 indivduals. Cowperthwaite explores the harms of keeping killer whales in captivity, like the extreme stress it brings on the whales and the attacks that happend to their trainers. Blackfish was so influential and viewed by so many people that it was basically the beginning of the end for Seaworld, who after outrage from the public, has stopped breeding ocras.

5. She’s Beautiful When She’s Angry

This documentary highlights the brilliant and awe-insipring activists of the 1960’s modern womens movement, while also covering topics of race and sexual orientation. Directed by Mary Dore, “She’s Beautiful When She’s Angry” looks at the tough women activists from the years 1966-1977, starting with the foundation of NOW and spreading to more radical groups. Doe covers their street antics and recounts from the women who were there. At the end of the day, this documentary will light a fire inside you and make you want to go out marching right then and there.

4. The True Cost

“The True Cost” is a 2015 documentary directed by Andrew Morgan on “fast fashion,” and who is really paying for our global capitalism. Morgan focuses on the lives of low-wage workers in lesser developed countries and the turmoil that the garment industry puts them through, while also exploring the social, enviormental and psychological affects. This documentary has really helped people undertand why fair trade is so important and how damaging “fast fashion” is. As a fashion major, this documentary completely changed how I saw the whole industry, and made me strongly consider what I could do to change this in the future.

3. What Happened, Miss Simone?

Directed by Liz Garbus for Netlilx, this documentary is about legendary singer, musician and civil rights activist, Nina Simone. This is hands down one of the best biographical documentaries I’ve ever watched. Garbus did an amazing job really capturing both the power and senstivity within Nina Simone. Including testimonials from Simone herself and small interviews with her family are which really bring this documentary to life and offer insight into her fame, depression and abuse. 

2. Miss Representation

This well known documentary has gotten its fair share of press, but for good reason. Director Jennifer Newson explores the importance of how women are represented in the main stream media and its direct correlation to the lack of females in postions of power. Miss Representation will make you want to go out and change the world when its over and it actually has insipred many women to do just that. The gutrenching statistics shown in this documentary were what really gave me chills; it was almost a tie for first place.

1. 13th

This award winning documentary explores race, mass incarceration, and our flawed justice system like you’ve never seen it before. Director Ava DuVernay explains how we went from the 13th amadendent to mass incarnation of African Americans and just how much money is being made by corperations from these incarerations. I placed this documentary at number one because not only was it extremely well produced, it was also so eye opening and influential in my life. I highly recomend watching this, you will not regret it.

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