5 Incredible Films About Incredible People

While stuck at home, you may want to rewatch The Office for the fifth or sixth time.

But you may also find yourself scrolling through Netflix in the mood for something new but no desire to commit to hours’ worth of watching. 

That was my predicament a few weeks ago, with no patience to sit through an entire series or even a two-hour movie.

But I discovered Netflix’s selection of bite-sized documentaries that immerse you in the world of others’ experiences.

While they may seem like intense topics to watch during a global pandemic, they all left me inspired to act and be engaged in the world and the life I live.

Some of these films show incredible people doing incredible things, others highlight struggles around the world. 

I’ve put together my five favorites that I’ve watched over the past few weeks.

I hope that one of these stories sticks with you like they stuck with me.  


  1. 1. "Zion"

    This is a super short watch (only 11 minutes) that shows the achievements of a boy named Zion who was born without legs.

    On his high school wrestling team, he strives to be the best he can, and finds the power that comes with confidence. 

    Reading the synopsis for this, I was worried that it would be a sad story that only highlighted tragedies.

    While some tragedies were shown, Zion still left me inspired me to strive to be the best I can be.

  2. 2. "Ladies First" (2017)

    This is another inspiring documentary about human excellence and perseverance that left me filled with awe.

    It tells the story of Deepika Kumari, who became the world’s best female archer at the age of 18. 

    She grew up in poverty in India, where rights were limited for women.

    So, she left home at a young age to take the financial burden off her parents and avoid a forced arranged marriage, and in turn an arranged life.

    As a result, she found an arching academy and worked hard to become the best.

  3. 3. "Heroin(e)" (2017)

    This story shows three women in different roles battling West Virginia’s opioid epidemic.

    While it does reveal the grim realities of the epidemic and the struggles of people going through it, it also shows the incredibly selfless and compassionate women who are helping people in their communities in different ways.

    It’s easy to focus on all the negatives in the world, but it’s important to recognize the people who are doing their best to help make it a little better, and that’s why I really loved this documentary.

  4. 4. "Mercury 13"

    This documentary tells the story of women who fought to be seen as equal to men in the world of space travel and astronauts.

    It’s just over an hour, but these women’s stories are worth the time.

    I needed to share the story of these women.

    Their fight against the status quo is inspiring and another reminder of the rewards that come when you fight for something you care about. 

  5. 5. "I Am Maris"

    I discovered this movie deep in the “More like this” tab of another documentary, and I wish it wasn’t so hard to discover on Netflix.

    It’s a story of Maris, a young girl who uses yoga to cope with her emotions and regain control over her life as she battles anorexia.

    Along the way, we watch her find the self-acceptance and forgiveness that comes with recovering from an eating disorder.

When I first started watching these movies, I was worried that the weight of the subjects would fill me with despair about the difficulties of the world and our lack of control we have over them.

But I found they did something different.

During the COVID-19 era, where nothing about the future seems to be certain, these movies instilled me with faith in the resilience of the human spirit.

They made me reflect on my own abilities and desire to fight for things I care about and left me in awe at the ability we all have to overcome struggles.