Top 18 Documentaries To Inspire Social Change

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Documentaries serve as excellent tools to help us learn about subjects we might never have come across or researched ourselves, or dive deeper into ones we’ve already explored.

In fact, documentaries are what triggered my own ‘awakening’ and my quest to find out what’s truly going on in the world and our purpose here within it. When I first dove into this world of alternative information and news I learned about so many topics, from corruption to consciousness and everything in between.

Documentaries were a wake-up call for me, and a way to become more informed on events occurring around the globe. The first step to creating change on this planet is raising awareness, and documentaries do so in an engaging and accessible way. Here is a list of the top documentaries I believe can inspire social change.

Cowspiracy

An inside look at the dramatic toll that animal agriculture has on our environment and the reasons no one is talking about it.

Fed Up

This film focuses on some of the leading causes of obesity in the U.S. and showcases just how much of an impact sugar, often hidden in processed foods and in staggering quantities, is contributing to this epidemic.

The Human Experiment

A very eye-opening and shocking film that exposes just how many chemicals we are being bombarded with each and every day. Many of these chemicals are completely unregulated and have not even been tested for safety, yet they are in virtually every thing we use and eat, and everywhere we go.

Citizenfour

Citizenfour uncovers the story of Snowden and the information from the NSA he obtained and released to the public. The filmmakers follow this brave whistleblower in realtime as the controversy unfolds. Truly gripping, this documentary is an absolute must-see if you would like to learn more about of the Snowden story, or if you just like really well-made documentaries.

Origins

This amazing film takes a look at our biological roots and explores the immense toll modern technology is taking on the environment. By over-sanitizing, we are drastically impacting not only the health of ourselves, but of our planet. If we don’t do something — and fast — the fate of the planet itself may be at risk.

What the Health?

The film exposes the collusion and corruption in government and big business that is costing us trillions of healthcare dollars, and keeping us sick. What the Health? is a surprising, and at times hilarious, investigative documentary that will be an eye-opener for anyone concerned about our nation’s health and Big Pharma’s stranglehold over it.

The Culture High

An in-depth look at marijuana prohibition, where it came from, and where it is going, this film covers the war on drugs in the United States. It explores both pro- and anti-marijuana legalization campaigns, and reveals the benefits and harms legalization could offer.

The True Cost

Where do your clothes come from? Do you ever wonder where they are manufactured, from what materials, and by whom? Stop for a minute to think of the major clothing chains that are in every large city — that is a lot of clothes. But what is the true cost of having cheap clothing that is only in style for one season? This documentary will answer that question and many more.

Prescription Thugs

This film delves into the prescription drug addiction crisis facing America today. Is there more to this than meets the eye? Should these drugs be legal and so readily prescribed by doctors? What’s in it for them? Find out the answers to these questions and more in this revealing documentary.

Illegal

This is a documentary about mothers in Brazil who, despite the risk, illegally use cannabis to treat their children’s cancer — and how it’s working. This documentary shows us that there are other options available, outside of the mainstream medicine, but some of them are illegal. Should these laws be changed worldwide to grant legal access to everyone to be able to heal?

Pink Ribbons Inc.

Based on a 2007 book titled Pink Ribbons Inc: Breast Cancer and the Politics of Philanthropy and written by Queen’s University professor Samantha King, the film explains the difference between the reality of the disease and the high-profile public perception of it, delivering eye-opening interviews from the chairman of the Susan G. Komen Foundation, Nancy Brinker, as well as women who have terminal breast cancer. It exposes the Run For The Cure fundraising event and brings up important points about the fear and suffering events such as these create. In an interview, one woman from a terminal cancer support group says, “The message is that if you just try really hard, you can beat it, while those who died, weren’t trying very hard.”

13th

This film explores the racial inequality within the United States and presents cold, hard evidence proving that today’s prison system is largely just a nicely packaged form of modern day slavery. It unfolds the corrupt justice system and takes an in-depth look at how people of colour, and specifically black people, are targeted and sent to prison for minor crimes, representing the highest percentage of people occupying U.S. prisons by a landslide.

I Am Jane Doe

This documentary explores a battle waged by furious mothers who are fighting for justice for their daughters who were sold into child sex trafficking. They are trying to hold someone responsible, and it has been an epic fight to do so. It shows us how child sex trafficking is something that can happen to any child no matter their age, race, or socioeconomic class.

Food, Inc.

Documentary filmmaker Robert Kenner examines how mammoth corporations have taken over all aspects of the food chain in the United States, from the farms where our food is grown to the chain restaurants and supermarkets where it’s sold. Narrated by author and activist Eric Schlosser, the film features interviews with average Americans about their dietary habits, commentary from food experts like Michael Pollan, and unsettling footage shot inside large-scale animal processing plants.

The War You Don’t See

A thought-provoking film on war and propaganda, The War You Don’t See challenges the media for the role they played in the Iraq, Afghanistan, and Israel/Palestine conflicts. It traces these conflicts back to World War One and may even change your perspective about the wars that are currently being fought today.

Ecological Consciousness

This documentary follows Andrew Faust, a man dedicated to teaching people how to apply permaculture in the urban landscape. He presents the knowledge he’s accumulated over the last 20 years as an educator and over eight years of living off the grid. Permaculture is a way of thinking, it’s a way of seeing, and what Andrew shares is the way of seeing ourselves as biological organisms who are deeply rooted in the life-matrix of the planet Earth.

The Choice Is Ours

This documentary explores the determinants of behaviour to dispel the myth of “human nature,” demonstrating that environment shapes behaviour. It illustrates how our social structures impose our values and behaviours and our global monetary system is obsolete and becoming increasingly insufficient to meet the needs of most people. It concludes with the vision of The Venus Project to build an entirely new world from the ground up, a “redesign of the culture” where all enjoy a high standard of living, free of servitude and debt, while also protecting the environment.

Neurons to Nirvana

An in-depth look at the current renaissance that is taking place in the realm of psychedelic substances for healing purposes. From addiction to PTSD, marijuana to LSD, this documentary explores these mind-altering substances and dives into the research being done to show that these substances are here to assist us, if we use them properly.

Are there any that you would like to add to the list? Please do so in the comments section.

Much Love

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