Eye opening documentaries

Poverty Inc. (2014) Filmmaker Michael Matheson Miller investigates the complex global industry of foreign aid.

The Century of the Self (2002) A British television documentary series by filmmaker Adam Curtis. It focuses on the work of psychoanalysts Sigmund Freud and Anna Freud, and PR consultant Edward Bernays.

Five Steps to Tyranny (2001): This documentary by Elizabeth McIntyre foreshadowed what the hysteria and islamophobia spread after 9/11 would culminate in. This film reveals how atrocities like the Rwandan, Bosnian, and Burmese genocides can emerge anywhere people are unaware of — and fail to resist — the shadow side of group behavior. The five steps to tyranny include the following attitudes/actions:

  1. Upholding an us versus them attitude,
  2.  Unquestioningly obeying authority, 
  3. Dehumanizing others as a precursor to harm, 
  4. Standing by as harm occurs, and finally
  5. Exterminating the identified “other.”

Don’t Be a Sucker! (1943): Don’t Be a Sucker! is a short film produced by the US War Department in 1943 and re-released in 1947. It has anti-racist and anti-fascist themes. The film was made to make the case for the desegregation of the United States armed forces.

Hypernormalisation (2016): Timely documentary by Adam Curtis is packed with goodies to keep you afloat in a post-Trump world. We live in a time of great uncertainty and confusion. Events keep happening that seem inexplicable and out of control. Donald Trump, Brexit, the War in Syria, the endless migrant crisis, random bomb attacks. And those who are supposed to be in power are paralysed – they have no idea what to do.

This film is the epic story of how we got to this strange place. It explains not only why these chaotic events are happening – but also why we, and our politicians, cannot understand them.
It shows that what has happened is that all of us in the West – not just the politicians and the journalists and the experts, but we ourselves – have retreated into a simplified, and often completely fake version of the world. But because it is all around us we accept it as normal.
But there is another world outside. Forces that politicians tried to forget and bury forty years ago – that then festered and mutated – but which are now turning on us with a vengeful fury. Piercing though the wall of our fake world.

Fear of 13 (2015): After more than 20 years on death row, a convicted murderer petitions the court asking to be executed. But as he tells his story, it gradually becomes clear that nothing is quite what it seems. Directed by David Sington

Manufacturing Consent (1992):A documentary film that explores the political life and ideas of linguist, intellectual, and political activist Noam Chomsky.

Directed by Mark Achbar, Peter Wintonick

The Black Mixtape 1967-1975 (2011) :Forgotten documentations by Swedish journalists who came to the US drawn by stories of urban unrest and revolution. Gaining access to many of the leaders of the Black Power Movement Stokely Carmichael, Bobby Seale, Angela Davis and Eldridge Cleaver among them the filmmakers captured them in intimate moments and remarkably unguarded interviews.  The original 16mm film footages were rediscovered 3 decades later when Göran Olsson edited and directed the release of the film. Danny Glover co-produced it, and Questlove provided the film score.

The House I Live In (2012): A documentary film directed by Eugene Jarecki about the War on Drugs in the United States.

Lo and Behold, Reveries of the Connected World (2016) : Filmmaker Werner Herzog examines the past, present and future of the Internet and how it affects human interaction and modern society.

13th(2016): Filmmaker Ava DuVernay explores the history of racial inequality in the United States, focusing on the fact that the nation’s prisons are disproportionately filled with African-Americans.

The Wolfpack (2015): Locked away from society in an apartment on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, the Angulo brothers learn about the outside world through the films that they watch. Nicknamed the Wolfpack, the brothers spend their childhood re-enacting their favorite films using elaborate homemade props and costumes. When one of them manages to escape, the power dynamics shiftes dramatically and they now have the freedom to go out into a world that turns out to be very different from the manuscripts and movies they’ve lived through vicariously. Directed by Crystal Moselle

The War You Don’t See (2010):
British documentary film written, produced and directed by John Pilger with Alan Lowery, which challenges the media for the role they played in the Iraq, Afghanistan, and Israel/Palestine conflicts.

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