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5 Amazing Documentaries to Watch

Learning doesn’t always involve heads in a library peering at textbooks. The world is full of engaging people, conflicts, and revelations—and one of the most entertaining ways to access all that knowledge is via documentaries. If you’re a bona fide documentary lover or new to the scene, these are the best documentaries to watch for anyone.

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Cowspiracy

Where to Watch: Netflix

Cowspiracy follows the path of an ambitious environmentalist as he uncovers the secretive world of animal agriculture. Filmmaker Kip Anderson presents data demonstrating the deleterious effects animal agriculture has on our finite resources; yet, when he approaches the supposed leaders of world-famous environmental agencies, he’s met with closed doors and obfuscation. Kip challenges these environmental interest groups and leaves the audience with one seemingly unanswerable question: is there anyone we can trust to put the world ahead of their own selfish interests?

Where to Watch: Amazon Prime

At the time of this documentary, the city of Raqqa served as the capital of ISIS-controlled territory in Syria. Four men bravely battle ISIS, not with weapons and bloodshed, but with words and bravery. They form the coalition, Raqqa Is Being Slaughtered Silently, to criticize ISIS control and recruit more people to take up the cause for freedom. Through the loss of life and exile, we get an unprecedented look into the suppressed voices of Syria, and somewhat amazingly, the hope that keeps their spirits alive.

Untouchable

Where to Watch: Amazon Prime

Untouchable takes a hard look at the lives of America’s sexual predators. Illustrated through the eyes of a very powerful Floridian political lobbyist—whose daughter was a victim of sexually abuse—he immediately crusades to strengthen sex offender laws. Juxtaposing the anguish of those that suffer through sexual abuse and the unfortunate existence of disgraceful perpetrators is certainly disquieting—but it forces us into an understanding of both victim and offender.

Amy

Where to Watch: Netflix

Amy Winehouse’s life was sadly and abruptly cut short at the age of 27. We watched her fall apart from afar as tabloids reported on her erratic behaviors and tempestuous relationships. The woman beneath the frail figure and beehive hair remained a mystery until this brilliant 2015 documentary. Tapes recording Amy through various points in her career show a brilliant artist, a kind soul, and a quirky and care-free jazz singer who wasn’t ready for fame. Amy is a sensational piece that turns the camera towards us as we ponder, in grief and sadness, if we are not all complicit in her tragic death.

Iris

Where to Watch: Amazon Prime

Fashion celebrates individualism and audaciousness above all—which is perhaps why Iris Apfel has had such success. You’ll notice her by an ever-changing color palette, enormous black spectacles, and a vivacious personality. Her presence has impacted fashion for decades. In fact, 9 presidents have hired her as an interior designer for the White House. This film highlights Iris, who at 97, glides through life with confidence and unadulterated joy. It’s a documentary to put a smile on your face and some pep in your step.

Written by Logan Voss

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