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Documentary watch

Documentaries to watch in 2019

What are the best documentaries to watch right now you asked?

Read on to find out !

Below is a meticulously curated list of the best documentaries to check out ASAP ! Many of them can be found on Netflix and/or Amazon Prime.

Let’s dive in.

Cowspiracy

Cowspiracy may be the most important documentary made to inspire saving the planet.

It tacles several issues surrounding the current environmental and ecological crisis in a very methodical and intelligent manner.

A documentary that will rock and inspire the environmental movement.

— Darren Aronofsky, Director of “Noah” and “Black Swan”

Grade 10/10

What The Health

What the Health is a 2017 documentary underlining several aspects of the American food system that are often criticized, including the amount of antibiotics used in agriculture, which is linked to growing health issues like antibiotic resistance.

The documentary also highlights the financial relationships between food industry companies and national public health groups.

Kip Andersen points out that companies like Kraft, Dannon, Oscar Mayer and more – which sell processed foods high in fat, sodium or sugar – are sponsors of the American Diabetes Association, and may have a financial stake in diet recommendations by health groups.

National nutrition guidelines are subject to lots of lobbying from the food industry – a common complaint among nutrition experts.

This brilliant documentary, with the help of numerous doctors, nutritionists and scientific research, debunks several myths about our diets and lifestyles.

A must-watch for everyone, literally everyone !

Grade : 10/10

One Strange Rock

One Strange Rock has a 82% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, and we all know how hard that is !

This Will Smith-narrated series contains enough visually sumptuous imagery to remind viewers of Earth’s cosmic uniqueness, and perhaps will serve as an incentive to make people think twice about how they treat our planet.

Probably the most esthetically-pleasing documentary on Netflix at the moment.

Grade : 9.5/10

The Story of God

Narrated by Morgan Freeman (obviously), the series is mainly a 6-episode quest in order to find how most religions perceive life after death, what different civilizations thought about the act of creation and other big questions that mankind has continuously asked.

A good find for the curious minds.

Grade : 7.5/10

Maradona

Maradona is a summer ’19 documentary, constructed from over 500 hours of never-before-seen footage.

The doc’ indubitably centers on the career and life of the legend himself, Diego Armando Maradona, and shows a side of him that fans never got to see.

A heartwarming and sometimes heart-wrenching documentary that’s definitely worth your while if you’re into sports.

Grade : 7.5/10

Our Planet

Marking the first nature documentary Netflix ever made, once again, Sir David Attenborough narrates a powerful documentary focusing on climate change.

In this documentary, everything is bigger, more beautiful and impressive.

The whole series is available to watch in 4K which is highly recommended if you have a compatible TV.

Grade : 8/10

Forks Over Knives

In this documentary, Lee Fulkerson explores the possibility that “diseases of affluence” such as heart disease can be reversed by simply adjusting our diets to include less processed and animal-based foods.

Back in the 1960s, Cornell University nutritional scientist Dr. T. Colin Campbell was working to find a way to feed the citizens of impoverished Third World nations when a trip to the Philippines forever changed the way he thought about food consumption.

There, he discovered that the rates of liver cancer among affluent children who subsisted on diets rich in animal-based foods were notably higher than in children consuming plant-based diets.

Meanwhile, surgeon Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn, head of the Breast Cancer Task Force at Cleveland Clinic, was also discovering that many of the diseases he was seeing in patients were practically nonexistent in areas of the world where people were primarily consuming plant foods.

Several subsequent investigations by the researchers (who would not meet each other until the 1980s), including a groundbreaking study in China by Dr. Campbell, led them to the revelation that a whole-food, plant-based diet could prevent, and even reverse, such degenerative conditions as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and some forms of cancer.

Health junkies like myself will love to feast on this documentary as it’s so eye-opening and factual.

Grade : 7.5/10

Super Size Me

First released in 2004, this documentary film shows the effects fast food can have on the human body.

A very fun and thorough study conducted by the filmmaker himself, Morgan Spurlock.

You can get it through this link for less than 5$.

Grade : 7/10

The Great Hack

The Great Hack is another eye-opening 2019 Netflix documentary. It explores how our personal data has become a commodity that is collected, analyzed and then spit back at us in the form of targeted messaging, with the hope of changing our behavior, as one of the movie’s subjects puts it.

Fun fact : If you watch it on Netflix, they might track your data, analyze it and then direct you to other alarming documentaries.

Who said Big Data was all bad ?

On a more serious note, the film explores how such tactics might have played a role in the 2016 presidential election, with Cambridge Analytica being the main target of the doc’.

Grade : 9/10

Before The Flood

Leonardo DiCaprio takes his role as a UN Ambassador very seriously.

This epic documentary follows his travels to examine firsthand the effects of climate change, and to learn more about possible ways to prevent catastrophic damage that could make the Earth unsustainable for human life.

During his journey, he speaks with such influential figures as President Barack Obama, Pope Francis and tech innovator Elon Musk, and makes a speech before the United Nations calling for greater action on this issue.

Grade : 7.5/10

Trump

Trump is Netflix documentary following the current POTUS’s rise to power.

It retraces his early beginnings and his business moves back in the day, as well as bits of his personal life and management style.

Grade : 7.5/10

Fyre

Fyre is one of Netflix’s most successful documentaries.

Simply put, this documentary gives you an exclusive behind the scenes look at the infamous demise of the Fyre music festival.

It documents how Billy McFarland, CEO of Fyre Media Inc, and rapper Ja Rule tried to create a music festival located on the Bahamian private island of Great Exuma, to promote their companies music booking app.

Unfortunately, things didn’t go quite to plan and the organizers ended up being the subjects of at least eight lawsuits, one of which was seeking more than $100 million in damages!

A fun one to watch.

Grade : 7.5/10

Explained

Explained is a television series that premiered on Netflix on May 23, 2018.

Interestingly, this doc’ is based on Vox’s previous YouTube videos series, which followed a similar format.

The show’s episodes average between 16–18 minutes, with each focusing on a different topic. Highly educative and informative, the topics range widely and are put forward in a compelling manner.

Grade : 7/10

Eat, Race, Win.

EAT. RACE. WIN. is a behind-the-scenes, on and off-the-bike adventure into the biggest annual sporting event on the planet: The Tour de France.

Known as the Queen of Performance Cooking, Chef Hannah Grant takes you on her race within the race, sourcing fuel-packed food for Australia’s pro cycling team, Orica-Scott.

If you want to eat like an athlete and perform like one, check this cook book out.

Grade : 7/10

Take Your Pills

This documentary addresses the increase in the use of prescription stimulants, particularly Adderall, by students, athletes, and competitive professionals in the worlds of finance and tech. Take Your Pills asks, according to its synopsis, “At what cost?”

Apparently, the cost can be the same as any substance abused out of ignorance. 

Take Your Pills features a number of characters offering testimonials about their experiences with Adderall, and rather than providing evidence that such a controlled substance is bad in and of itself, they reveal themselves to be deluded, exceptional in their experiences or having had acted stupidly.

Grade : 7/10

Chasing Coral

No doubt most people have read the occasional news story about the world’s coral reefs disappearing at an alarming rate, but so far this has been the very definition of an “out of sight, out of mind” problem.

That’s why Jeff Orlowski’s “Chasing Coral” could be a game changer in terms of public perception. Like Al Gore’s “An Inconvenient Truth”, the film makes a powerful case less through argument than by using cinema’s most basic tool: visual proof.

Don’t miss out on this one, it’s a must-watch !

Grade : 8/10

Dirty Money

Do corporations actually care about their consumers anymore or is it all about the money?

Well, that’s what this six-part Netflix original series investigates, among many other justice evading entities.

You witness the documenting evidence from a variety of stories around the world that exposes the greed, corruption, and crime that’s spreading throughout the world.

Banks, corporations, pharmaceutical companies and drug cartels all for one reason or another, manage to evade justice.

A thought-provoking doc’ to say the least.

Grade : 7/10

Icarus

Icarus is a documentary film by Bryan Fogel. It currently makes my top 3 best sports documentaries ever made.

Bryan sets out to uncover the truth about doping in sports, in particular the prestigious Haute Route, the Tour de France for amateur cyclists.

He found it difficult to believe that his rival cyclists could be that much better than him. So he made it his mission to document how easy it is to evade doping rules in cycling.

He hired the head of Russia’s anti-doping agency, Grigory Rodchenkov to help make his point, and boy was this a turning point !

Grade : 8/10

Lo and Behold

Lo and Behold, Reveries of the Connected World documents Herzog’s thoughts on the existential impact of the Internet, robotics, AI, the Internet of Things, and human life.

Herzog sets out to examine how technology has shaped our lives since its conception.

Meanwhile, during his journey, he meets a variety of characters and takes a careful look at how the Internet has changed their lives, for better or worse.

Grade : 6.5/10

The Game Changers

I left this one for last because it’s yet to be out, but this documentary is set to disrupt the sports industry like no other has.

With the backings of Arnold Shwarzinger himself and the world’s strongest man in the world, Patrick Baboumian, this film will unveil the truth and correlation between high protein diets and strength.

There you have it !

I may have missed out on some old documentary films so drop me a line in the comments section and I may consider watching/adding them to the list.

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