Documentaries have the power to change the world. They are informative, entertaining, and evoke emotions that help us stay connected to the self, nature, and others.
Documentaries are nonfiction films that attempt to record real events, real people, real catastrophes, and real nature to spread knowledge through the medium of film.
Many are intense factual stories told by the people who lived the experience.
Watching documentaries is the perfect way to expand your knowledge and learn about different aspects of the world, including different cultures, languages, and global issues.
Documentaries are also a way to open your heart by experiencing empathy, appreciation, and compassion. This can help you connect to others, especially those who are unfamiliar.
Watching these films can also help you develop critical thinking skills and they are entertaining, relaxing, and an excellent way to decrease anxiety.
Here is a list of intriguing, entertaining, and educational documentaries that you need to watch during your lockdown hours.
‘The Century of the Self’
“This series is about how those in power have used Freud’s theories to try and control the dangerous crowd in an age of mass democracy,” said Adam Curtis, the documentary’s writer and producer, commenting on the first episode.
If you have questions about corporate marketing and how advertising influences rational choice, then this is the documentary for you.
“The Century of the Self” four-part documentary series explores consumer culture and the dominant forces of the economy. It examines what motivates people to buy products they were never interested in before encountering advertisements.
The documentary series explains how Freud’s family “ran with” his theories and created the first personal relations firm. This paved the way for corporations to use psychology to manipulate consumers’ desires through advertising and politics.
‘Philosophy: Guide to Happiness’
Philosophy, or the “love of wisdom,” has been an important field of study since its inception in ancient Greece. The study helps us, as human beings, approach fundamental questions about existence, knowledge, values, reason, the mind, and language.
Presented by the popular British philosopher and author Alain de Botton, “Philosophy: Guide to Happiness” is a six-part documentary series featuring six of history’s greatest philosophers and their ideas about the pursuit of happiness.
The philosophers include Socrates (on self-confidence), Epicurus (on happiness), Seneca (on anger), Montaigne (on self-esteem), Schopenhauer (on love), and Nietzsche (on hardship).
De Botton shows how philosophy can guide in pursuing a happy life, visiting the cities that produced these great thinkers and explaining and relating their histories with the modern world as he visits relics from their times.
‘Planet Earth II’
David Attenborough presents this BBC nature documentary series as a sequel to “Planet Earth.”
There are so many reasons to watch “Planet Earth II.” Along with David Attenborough’s soothing narrating voice, the series captures unbelievable cinematic shots exploring the lives of animals around the globe.
The documentary evokes strong emotions and gives viewers the opportunity to learn about ecosystems that are dramatically changing due to human behavior. It shows animals’ struggles and cruelty in their fight to survive.
Wildlife is precious and is rapidly depleting. “Planet Earth II” allows us to share an appreciation for the environment, so we can all protect this magical place called Earth.
‘Minimalism: A Documentary About the Important Things’
Minimalism is a lifestyle that requires downsizing possessions and keeping only those things that truly bring value to your life.
“Minimalism: A Documentary About Important Things” is a Netflix original documentary presented by Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus, two of the most well-known advocates for minimalism and value-based living.
The documentary examines the many aspects of minimalism by taking the audience inside the lives of minimalists from all walks of life: Entrepreneurs, architects, artists, journalists, scientists, and even a former Wall Street broker, all of whom are attempting to live simpler, more meaningful lives. The series delves into their varied motivations for choosing this path.
The minimalist advocates shed light on consumerism’s adverse effects on humans, and how minimalism can have a positive impact on anyone’s life by freeing them from the binds of modern culture.
Joseph Campbell and ‘The Power of Myth’
“The Power of Myth” is a six-part series of one-hour conversations between mythologist and storyteller Joseph Campbell (1904–1987) and journalist Bill Moyers.
In the documentary, Campbell presents his ideas about comparative mythology and the ongoing role of myths in human society.
Throughout the six episodes titled “The Hero’s Adventure,” “The Message of the Myth,” “The First Storytellers,” “Sacrifice and Bliss,” “Love and the Goddess,” and “Masks of Eternity,” Campbell focus on characters and themes found in cultural and religious mythologies. He argues that these timeless archetypes continue to have a powerful influence on the choices we make and the way we live.
“Follow your bliss and doors will open where there were no doors before,” said Campbell. According to the mythologist, there is a hero in us all. To find that hero, all you have to do is follow your bliss.
The name “Baraka” comes from the Sufi word that translates to “breath of life” or “blessing.” “Baraka” is a non-verbal documentary directed by Ron Fricke.
The powerful film explores themes via a compilation of natural events, life, human activities, and technological phenomena, shot in 24 countries on six continents over a 14-month period.
“Baraka” is an exotic and inspiring documentary with amazing visuals and beautiful music. It will help you reflect on life and look at the world in an entirely different light.
Ron Fricke succeeds in capturing the essence of life through visually stunning images of the intricate web of rituals in which we humans are embedded. Fricke shows how every person in every culture is part of the collective consciousness.
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