I’ve always been a big believer that film is one of the most powerful and influential mediums.

In many respects film is a way for filmmakers to offer their view on the world, whether this is through fictitious allegories or observational documentaries. Either way it’s a view into someone else’s world – a world millions of miles away, or a world just next door.

I find it hard to comprehend many things, one of which is how little old me can make the slightest bit of difference when many things across the globe seem out of my control. However, I think the key is to start a discourse about topics which many like to remain blissfully ignorant to including climate change, abortion, racial injustice and modern slavery, because many people won’t talk about it – especially if it’s not too close to home. I would, however, argue these discussions are already in our homes – thanks to Netflix.

One of my favourite things to do of an evening is curl up and watch a documentary because, firstly, I know how to party and secondly there are some things we should try and comprehend – or at least think about. If, like me, you prefer a cold hard documentary over a blockbuster, then here are some films available on Netflix to awaken and ignite your social responsibility.

Time: The Kalief Browder Story

This series traces the tragic case of Kalief Browder, a Bronx teen who spent three years in America’s most violent jail, Rikers Island – two of which he was subjected to solitary confinement – and yet he was never convicted of a crime.

Nobody Speak: Trials of the Free Press

As a journalist this doc was an emotional rollercoaster. Free speech has economic value and it’s harrowing, and incredible, to see how much money people are willing to spend to keep journalists on a tight rein when it goes against their interest.

The True Cost

Fashion has become a lot like the food industry – fast. Sure it’s convenient for the consumer, but what about the people we don’t think about when we’re wearing our bargain garments? This doc shines a lot on the true cost of our fashion choices.

Reversing Roe

Who is in control of women’s bodies? Women? The government? Religion? This is a very intimate look at the abortion debate in America and who ultimately gets to decide whether women can or can’t decide their own fate.

Blackfish

Marine biologists and ex-Seaworld trainers uncover the corrupt and immoral capture of orca whales for sea-parks. Orcas are one of the most intelligent living mammals, yet some are trapped in swimming pools for our entertainment.

Dirty Money

Let’s talk the little man losing against the conglomerates, banks laundering cartel money, inhumane loans, and Trump – they’ve all got one thing in common: dirty money. This is an investigative series that the corrupt don’t want you to see.

Before the Flood

Leonardo Dicaprio talks to scientists, who have been giving us the clues and warning signs, about climate change. The world is literally disappearing with vital eco systems being wiped out. And yet, access to fossil fuels seems the priority.

Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret

No one likes being told what to eat. But what if cutting out beef could help alleviate climate change? What if it could help rebuild the Amazon and ultimately sustain our planet? This is one of those ‘ignorance is not bliss’ docs and rightly so.

Minimalism: A Documentary About the Important Things

Times are changing – we are no longer living in a material world. In fact, it’s becoming more apparent that we need less. This doc looks at ‘the important things’ and how they postively impact our wellbeing, lifestyle and finances.

Icarus

A film about experimenting with doping accidentally shines a light on one of the biggest political doping scandals. Fake victories and unexplained deaths – is it overly suprising that Vladimir Putin’s name is on the head of the snake…?

What the Health

Do you know what’s in your food? I know, it’s painful and simultaneously exhausting to know. But, just maybe, we should be taking note about what is in the products we consume, where these products come from and how they’re made.

13th

If you think the race debate is over, it’s because it has literally been locked behind closed doors. This intellectual doc looks into racial inequality in the modern day, and reveals how many African Americans are still wrongfully imprisoned.

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