10½ Documentaries We Love

We know, we know! You’ve been waiting for us to write a post about our favorite documentaries. Organic energy bar companies are where all the cool kids get those sweet, sweet film tips. Okay, that was full on sarcasm, but really, we are avid documentary fans and have some awesome ones to share with you. Do you like documentaries about food, comedy, or conspiracy? We’ve got something for each of those interests and more!

1. Supersize Me

Supersize Me, Morgan Spurlock

Let’s start with an oldie, but a goodie. Supersize Me follows Morgan Spurlock on his 30-day challenge to only eat McDonald’s food. His journey’s purpose was to show the physical and mental effects eating fast food can have on your body, and man, did his body suffer. The film explores the fast food industry’s influence as well as how it promotes crummy nutrition to make itself a buck. Watching this film makes some of us swear off McDonald’s for life, while it makes some of us just reallllyyyy want to go get a Big Mac.

2. Citizenfour

Edward Snowden, Citizen Four

Citzenfour, one of Liz’s favorite documentaries, is a film directed by Laura Poitras about Edward Snowden and his reveal of the NSA spying scandal. Snowden offered Poitras information about illegal wiretapping he’d found through his work at the National Security Agency and revealed ways the NSA watches American citizens. These ways include sweeping phone records, accessing tech giant servers such as Google and Facebook for information, the ability to see almost everything a user does on the internet, and the ability to bypass web encryption technologies and internet security. It’s a worrisome look into big brother and may cause you to tape over your laptop webcam before even finishing the film.

3. Thank You Del: The Story of the Del Close Marathon

Thank you Del: The Story of the Del Close Marathon Documentary

Thank You Del is the story of the Del Close Marathon in New York City. The film celebrates improv comedy, Del Close, and the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater. Our Client Manager, Aimee, appropriately made this recommendation as she comes to us from the improv scene in New York City itself. So, we can see why this delightful documentary would be close to her heart. The film features testimonies of Del Close’s vision, humor, and inspiration to now legendary comedians whose lives he changed.

Thank You Del: The Story of the Del Close Marathon – Trailer

4. Grizzly Man

Grizzly Man Documentary Timothy Treadwell and Amie Huguenard

This film, recommended by our Quality Assurance Champion, Krysta, documents the life and death of bear enthusiasts Timothy Treadwell and Amie Huguenard. The pair spent huge amounts of time with grizzly bears in the Katmai National Park in Alaska. They studied, spent time with, and filmed the bears. The documentary has footage from the pair as well as interviews with wildlife experts, and their friends and family. It depicts a passionate, yet misguided man who loved bears beyond his or their own good.

5. Forks Over Knives

Forks Over Knives Documentary

Forks Over Knives is a film that promotes a plant-based diet as a way to fight chronic disease. As an organic energy bar company that only works with plant based foods, it’s no wonder we love it! Another title for this film could be, “Eating Good Food vs. Getting a lot of Surgeries” as they explore the contribution a Western diet can make towards diabetes, obesity, and cancer.

6. Miss Representation

Miss Representation Documentary - Nancy Pelosi Miss Representation Documentary - Carol Jenkins Miss Representation Documentary - Geena Davis

Our Graphic Designer, Hannah, had about seven feminist documentaries on her list to share in this blog post. Luckily, she was (barely) able to cut that list down to just this gem. This film discusses how mainstream media adds to the under-representation of women in influential positions by spreading narrow and disparaging depictions of women. When it comes to how women are portrayed in the media, the whole country is hurting. Interviews with discouraged teenage girls in the film show an inside look at how young women are affected by these damaging images of vapid, over sexualized, submissive female characters. The film includes calls to action to change education and political policies that contribute to this damage. Its motto sums it up: “You can’t be what you can’t see.”

7. Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead

Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead Documentary Joe Cross

This documentary follows lovable Australian, Joe Cross, as he travels the US,  juice fasting his weight away. By the end of his trip, Cross had lost 100lbs and gained many friends. In addition, he was able to toss all his medications that fought the side effects of his unhealthy weight and lifestyle.

8. 13th

13th - Ava DuVernay Documentary

13th is an award winning documentary directed by Ava DuVernay that discusses the “intersection of race, justice, and mass incarceration in the United States.” The film is in dialogue with its title, 13th, the amendment that outlawed slavery while still allowing slavery practices since the Civil War through systemic racism and imprisonment. It provides a powerful, scary, and wildly eye opening look into how corrupt it is to have a for-profit prison system that benefits from racist policies.

9. Craigslist Joe

Craiglist Joe Documentary

Produced by Zach Galifianakis, Craigslist Joe follows Joseph Garner’s 30-day journey across the United States, supporting himself only through the people he finds on Craigslist. No money, no contacts, just the kindness of strangers. It’s a sweet story that reminds us of the goodness of people and community.

10. Fed Up

Fed Up Documentary Sugar and Cocaine Brain Scans

Created by Stephanie Soechtig, Fed Up dials in on the cause of obesity in the United States, especially in children. It presents evidence that sugar is the root of the epidemic and accuses “corporate sugar” of blocking policies that could fix the issue.

There you have it, a list of 10 documentaries we love. But wait. Why did we promise 10½, documentaries? Well, that’s because when Patrick was asked what his favorite documentary was, he said, “Aliens” and then walked away. So, that’s a half point for Patrick who would walk around terrified if he actually thought the Aliens movie showed true events. Which it doesn’t.

Or does it…?

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