By Camille Fernandez
If you’re that somebody that tells people that documentaries are boring, then you’ve clearly never watched a good one. We can see where the notion of “boring” might come from since the main purpose of a documentary is to inform and to educate, so when executed poorly, of course, it may come out boring. However, when done right, they can be powerful films exposing surreal stories that are almost too unbelievable to be true.
Now, we don’t recommend for you to watch all these six documentaries in a row, but we definitely do recommend that you watch these if you’re looking for something new, and well, true.
What Happened, Miss Simone? (2015)
There have been plenty of biopics focused on the lives of musicians, but never quite as accurate as this one. Based on the career of songstress Nina Simone, this documentary reveals the “High Priestess of Soul'”s involvement in key events in black history, and how she lent her voice to the Civil Rights Movement. Told through her music, her journals, and the people who knew her best the good and the ugly of her life are shown without filter, making it not only brutally honest, but compelling as well.
The Battered Bastards of Baseball (2014)
We all love an underdog story. They are fun, touching, and difficult to get tired of. If you think underdogs are solely limited to fiction, then you’ll be proven wrong with this film. A sports biopic based on the true story of actor Bing Russel’s independent baseball team Portland Mavericks, The Battered Bastards of Baseball will make you feel like this story is too good to be true.
The battle between Man and Ape is what makes the Planet of the Apes an epic franchise, but in reality the existence of apes are under threat. Virunga is a film that focuses on the parks noble fight to protect the last living mountain apes from poaching and oil companies. It’s an eye-opening watch that explores the bond between Man and Animal.
This won’t be an easy watch, but if you want to know more about war crimes, then this is a must-watch. The “E-Team” stands for “emergency team,” which consists of a group of people that were assigned to document war crimes. Their job is dangerous, but important, seeing that it exposes human rights violations and reminds people to stay aware of what is happening in the world.
Mission Blue (2014)
There are growing concerns over the amount of plastic being found in the Ocean these days, and this documentary will show you why. Filled with Nat Geo worthy imagery of ocean life and voiced over by the soothing voice of activist Sylvia Earl, it’s the kind of film that will remind you that even you can contribute to saving the Earth.
Dear Zachary: A Letter to a Son About His Father (2008)
We’re not going to lie, Dear Zachary is like nothing else on this list, and we recommend that you do not do any research prior to watching this film. But we’ll tell you this: What starts out as a touching tribute starts to take a dark turn. That’s all you need to know. And trust us, it’s for your own good. Otherwise the intended effect of the documentary will be lost. Probably one of the best documentaries of year 2000s, we can already imagine you staring at the ceiling for hours after watching this film.
Photo from Virunga/ Orlando von Einsiedel