Documentaries serve many purposes. They expose truths, offer new perspectives, take the viewer somewhere new and, as the name suggests, they document events, ideas or people. Here are five documentaries everyone should watch:
180° South: Conquerors of the Useless
This documentary follows the journey of Jeff Johnson, a climber, surfer and adventurist, as he attempts to achieve his life goal of summiting Cerro Corcovado in Patagonia, Chile. Inspired by Yvon Chouinard and Doug Tompkins, who made a similar trip to Patagonia in 1968, Johnson sails from Mexico to Chile to follow his dreams. Unforeseen stops, new perspectives and unexpected companions greet Johnson along his journey. This documentary is meant for those afflicted with wanderlust and a passion for conservation. It leaves the viewer with a call to action to preserve places that you love.
“If you love a place, you have a duty to protect it. And to love a place, you must know it first.”
The Rickshaw Run
YouTube content creators, Jack and Finn Harries, participated in, filmed and edited their experience competing in the Rickshaw Run, along with their five closest friends. For the purposes of raising money for the Teenage Cancer Trust, this group raced across India in three rickshaws while documenting the entire thing. With monsoons, flat tires, food poisoning and more, they push onward through India in an unforgettable journey. This documentary was produced in a four episode series and can be viewed on their YouTube channel, JacksGap.
Born on a boat and living her first five years at sea, a 14-year-old Dutch girl had the desire to sail around the world alone. A controversial decision, Dutch courts attempted to bring Laura Dekker into child protective services in an attempt to stop her from making this dangerous trip. Dekker sets off on her solo trip around the world encountering beautiful sea life, devastating storms and memorable experiences. A must-watch, especially for adventure enthusiasts, this documentary leaves the viewer with a desire to go out on a limb for their passions.
This documentary takes place in a northern Ugandan town that has been torn apart by war, violence and child abduction. In this town, a school leaned on music and dance to build strength and carry on through tragedy. This group continues work toward the goal of making it to the National Music Competition, the largest in Uganda. Although bringing change to areas of Africa plagued with violence and war is complex, this documentary brings hope through the power of music and tradition.
The People vs. George Lucas
In hilarious claymation, this documentary explores the relationship between Star Wars fans and George Lucas, its director. With any movie saga, there will always be a fandom, and upsetting a fandom, especially one as intense as Star Wars, can bring some major heat. With the Star Wars prequels, many fans felt that George Lucas exploited the original three films and ruined the saga. This documentary serves the purpose of trying to identify whether Lucas owns Star Wars, or its fans do.