#64: Watch 5 Documentaries

This is part of our 100 Things in 2014 challenge. Here’s the full list.

Happy People: A Year in the Taiga (2010)

Becky: Such a peaceful and calm way of life. The story-telling was soothing and fascinating and there were many quiet moments to savor.  Gorgeous visuals. I very much enjoyed this film.

Ben: These people live so differently than us. We like to complain about 20-minute commutes, but many of the primary subjects here don’t see their families for 4 months out of every year. I love my electric heat and Internet, but now I can see what people are longing for when they go off the grid.

Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead (2010)

Becky: This was interesting, if a bit extreme.  I admire Joe Cross for taking his health into his own hands.  Whereas, I don’t think his specific plan is the perfect path for everyone, I do believe that we all have the power to heal ourselves by simplifying our food and being conscious and mindful of what we eat.

Ben: We knew going in to this one that we wouldn’t totally agree with its message. We’ve done a lot of the same research Mr. Cross has, and came to different conclusions, but ours probably don’t work as well on screen. The idea of taking food out of your diet is a bit scary, but apparently you can get good results pretty quickly that way (though I was grateful he made sure to visit a doctor often).

Freakonomics (2010)

Becky: I very much enjoyed this book, so it was a treat to see a film version.  Highly fascinating.  I would watch this regularly as a tv series.

Ben: I’ve been listening to the podcast for quite a while, and I have to say that neither Dubner nor Levitt looked how I pictured them. The style and storytelling are pretty familiar by this point, though, and that’s a good thing. Highly recommended.

Busting Out (2004)

Becky:  So interesting!  Not smarmy at all. It blends personal stories with analysis, case histories, and humor.

Ben: Yes, they do make documentaries about boobs. This was an interesting look at the way our Western culture treats breasts, and if you’ve never thought deeply about the subject you might be surprised how much there is to know. I came away with more appreciation of what women go through walking around with these things attached to them.

Parts Unknown (2013 – present)

Becky:  I’ll admit that I’ve always been a Bourdain fan, however this new show of his with CNN is incredible.  Hands down the best travel journalism show being made today. Even when an episode is dealing with an uncomfortable or emotional topic I still come away a more enlightened and compassionate person and glad I watched.  Some of the best stuff on TV.

Ben: This feels like Mr. Bourdain finally making the show he always wanted to. After decades of working with travel and food networks, he made a confusing-at-the-time move to CNN, and it finally feels right. We’ve also been sampling from the early years of No Reservations, and there are hints that this is the kind of thing we could see from him; if you’ve never seen the Beirut episode (it’s currently the first one on Netflix), it’s worth your time. The stories and visuals are consistently amazingly good, and it’s really honest.

One thought on “#64: Watch 5 Documentaries

  1. Pingback: #28: Sunday Documentaries | Band of Charac­ters

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