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The Three Hard-Hitting Documentaries on Netflix You Need to See

What the Health

Need-to-see-meter: 3/5

No matter what you watch, whether it be in a movie, documentary or TV show, you should always do your own research. “What the Health” is certainly one of those.

Released earlier this year, it is entirely focused around the growing health crisis and widespread chronic disease. This movie looks at the role that meat may be playing. Kip Anderson, the brains behind the movie, investigates, makes endless phone calls, does countless interviews and, of course, does extensive research. He suspects that we aren’t being told everything, due to sponsorships and advertisements, and works to expose the truth. If anything, this movie might make you think twice the next time you go through a drive-thru or pick up meat at the store.

 

Blackfish

Need-to-see-meter: 4/5

If you have fond memories of SeaWorld or hope to one day visit, you might want to skip this one.

“Blackfish,” premiering in 2013, exposes how killer whales, particularly one named Tilikum, are treated at SeaWorld. I am not someone who gets really attached to animals, so I never had any pets growing up, but I was surprised at how much this documentary affected me. In the 33 years that Tilikum was in captivity, he was responsible for the death of three employees. The movie uses each of those incidents to highlight that killer whales should not be kept in tanks.

They are massive animals who literally need an entire ocean to swim around in. They are not meant to see or interact with humans, especially on a daily basis. The movie included many statistics to help cement this idea. The most alarming one, however, is that male killer whales, in the wild, live an average of 60 to 70 years. Tilikum, having died in captivity just earlier this year, was only 35 years old.

 

The White Helmets

Need-to-see-meter: 6/5

Lastly, “The White Helmets” is a short, 40-minute documentary that follows some of the most noble and selfless humans you will ever see as they try to save the people of Syria.

We hear about Syria from time to time in the news but not nearly enough considering what is going on there. To sum it up, Syria’s government is killing its own people because they oppose the current president. This means there are daily bombings that kill many innocent civilians.

The White Helmets are a group of about 3,000 volunteers who come from all walks of life. Their job is to wait each day until there is a bombing and then try to rescue as many people from the rubble as they can. They all have families and know that they are taking huge risks every time, yet they continue to do this work and have for the past several years. These people see the worst, most of them having lost family and friends, and they hardly have anything left.

Yet, their motto could not be more hopeful: “To save a life is to save all of humanity.”

While this movie is certainly heart-wrenching, you will be amazed at these will-power of these people and their drive to help others. If you have never watched a documentary before, start with this one because, as cheesy as this sounds, it is life-changing. It puts all of your challenges in perspective.

You can donate to the White Helmets here

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