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Watching documentaries is a great way to feel good about procrastinating! 

For many years, documentaries have helped sensitize and inform people every time humanity goes through incredible or difficult times and have been in charge of balancing the good and hard news between making public what is happening. That’s why when I watch a documentary, I can’t feel bad for myself for putting away tasks that I need to get done ASAP. 

In today’s article, whether you like fashion, cinema, art, crime, nature, or social justice, I talk about five different documentaries that will entertain you, educate you, and blow your mind in many ways. Enjoy! 

1. Iris (2014) by Albert Maysles

If you are into fashion, this film is a must-watch. The documentary follows the life of the American businesswoman, interior designer, and fashion icon Iris Apfel (who is still alive and turned 100 years old in August 2021). Throughout the documentary, we follow Iris in her day-to-day life walking through the streets of New York, buying jewelry, advising models, attending events and runways, negotiating with clothing buyers, doing photoshoots, and more. The movie is an opportunity to learn about her story, and you definitely should watch it to discover how she became famous at the age of 83. 

2. Feminists: What Were They Thinking? (2018) by Johanna Demetrakas

This film talks about the struggles and prejudices that feminists have experienced since the beginning of the movement. The director, Johanna Demetrakas, does a great job telling the story of feminism by using rescues photos from a book from 1997 that was full of images from women who abandoned their cultural restrictions, fought against society, and changed the world. Judy Chicago, Jane Fonda, and many more are part of this incredible documentary, and I can guarantee you that you will feel the chills every time you hear what these powerful women have to say.

3. Casting JonBenet (2017) by Kitty Green 

Probably one of my favorite crime documentaries from Netflix, this film tells the story of the murder of JonBenet Ramsey, a six-year-old American child beauty queen. Casting JonBenet talks about all the conspiracies around the murder in 1996. However, this time the story will be told by very special people: the actors who are going to embody the protagonists of the case in a play inspired by the crime. You will see aspiring police officers, brothers, the victim, and, above all, different John and Patsy Ramsey, the girl’s parents and main suspects in the investigation. These actors, some professionals and others mediocre, will be in charge of giving their version of the events. But who killed JonBenet? Watch the documentary and decide for yourself!

4. Seaspiracy (2021) by Ali Tabrizi

Whether you are into nature documentaries or not, I can guarantee you that after watching Seaspiracy, you will reflect more on the impact we have on our oceans. When Ali Tabrizi, the director, was a kid, he was obsessed with the beauty and creatures of the ocean. However, the truth hit him when he started to grow up. Ali realized how in danger our planet is, but especially our oceans, which leads him to embark on a journey to discover what is happening and why no one does anything. What he never thought he would find, is one of the largest illegal fishing industries in the world!

5. The Movies That Made Us (2019)

If you are a fan of filmmaking or films in general, this mini-documentary series is a must-watch! The show from Netflix, The Movies That Made Us, features some of the most interesting behind-the-scenes stories of some of the biggest movies in history: Back To The Future, Jurassic Park, Forrest Gump, Pretty Woman, Home Alone, Ghostbusters, The Nightmare Before Christmas, and many more. Whether it’s problems with the studios, actors, budgets, or ideas that were terrible at first, this series shows us the difficulties that the people behind these movies had before the films became what we all know and love.

Montse Pineda

UWindsor '25

Montse is an international student from Mexico. She is in her first year as a film production student at UWindsor. She enjoys watching movies, getting to know female directors, and talk about the film industry in general. In her free time, she enjoys creating and sharing her art with others.
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