Good Documentary Recommendations

17 Apr

This weekend has been crazy, but mostly because it’s been so productive.

Yesterday, I worked at the “Touch-A-Truck” event in Rogers, promoting our NWA Mini Grand Prix, which is coming up in May. After a long day of lifting kids in and out of our Grand Prix car, my face and neck were sunburned, and Holly (friend and fellow CARE Board member) and I were wiped out and ready to relax.

From the moment I finally got home, my weekend relaxation consisted of documentaries and cutting paper for the wedding invitations.

Today, I got through THREE documentaries, while printing, cutting and sizing my pretty paper.

The first was called The Human Experience. It was about a couple of brothers who traveled the world in search of answering questions about the human condition; “Who am I? Who is man? Why do we search for meaning?” They traveled from NY, where they gave up all of their belongings and lived as homeless men for several weeks, to Peru, where they worked with disabled kids, to Africa, where they befriended the abandoned lepers in the forests of Ghana. What the young men discover changes them forever. Through one on one interviews and real life encounters, the brothers are awakened to the beauty of the human person and the resilience of the human spirit.

As if that weren’t heavy on it’s own, I immediately proceeded to God Grew Tired of Us, a heart wrenching documentary about Sudan’s “Lost Boys” who escaped Sudan in search of life outside of torture, sterilization and imminent death. The film goes through the history of violence in Sudan and the challenge thousands of boys and girls faced to get away from the killing zones and into safer territory. They left their families and homes, to seek safety and found new families in each other. Several years back, the US passed legislation to bring some of the boys (now men) to the US and gave them the tools they needed to fit into society, build a life hear and make money that they could use to send back home, if they so chose. The film documents their first experiences with indoor plumbing, refrigeration, mattresses, apartments, cars, cities… politics. The end of the film culminated around reunions between a son (now a US citizen) and his mother in an airport in Philadelphia. My heart ached in the best possible way, as the boy who left his mom at 13, saw thousands of kids die during their journey to safety, and made himself a name in America, saw his mother in the airport. I highly recommend this one too, as it challenges perception, faith, and necessity of convenience, while shedding light (once again) on how spoiled we are as Americans, at the cost of true happiness.

Lastly, I watched Food INC – A brilliant documentary on the farming situation in the US. The film exploits the “farms” and the politics that run the farms, along with the lack of quality that goes into everything we eat. I urge everyone who has a mild interest in organic foods and wanting to put only good foods into their bodies, to watch this film ASAP. We can all make a difference, we just have to try. This film in particular, arose several questions in my own mind as well as an absolute confirmation that organic and local are the way we should eat. I could write about this one for pages, but let’s just say, it’s worth every minute… just don’t watch it while eating.

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One Response to “Good Documentary Recommendations”

  1. Kate McQuillen April 19, 2011 at 9:30 am #

    So, I cried while watching Food Inc when they showed all the little chicks being unceremoniously brought in to the world, only to be immediately tossed, shoved, jabbed, and conveyor belted all over the place. It made me sick. However, it also motivated the heck out of me, and I’m really glad I saw it.

    BTW, another REALLY good doc is On the Line, it’s about the commercial fishing industry. But be warned, I watched it almost 2 years ago, and I haven’t been to sushi since, and I’m not sure I will go again. That’s not to say that I haven’t eaten fish, I have, but only fish I’d bought myself and knew where it came from.

    Sorry for the multiple paragraph comment. 🙂

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