Wednesday, April 23, 2008
What are the Best Documentaries and Inspirational Movies?
Have you seen a really inspiring documentary or movie lately?

I have been trying to add some informative and enlightening movies to watch in between the usual blockbusters.

This has been kind of hard because sometimes I just don't feel up to a deep or difficult subject.

Sometimes I don't want to face the content in the movie.

Sometimes it is much easier to just get a relaxing, fun mainstream movie.

Don't get me wrong. I love documentaries. Really I do.

But it is often easier to sit back and be entertained, rather than be inspired or informed about the truth that is going on in the world. Past and present.

On the other hand, I feel strongly that hard topics should be faced and as we face them, we can see our lives clearer, avoid mistakes, help those in need and appreciate our life and our world so much more.

So I am persevering in my goal and I have a long list of documentaries that I plan to see.

I feel that these two movies we recently watched have really enriched our family's lives.

Highly Recommended:

Emmanuel's Gift narrated by Oprah Winfrey

In case you can't read it well it says: "I think every parent should go take their children to see this movie because it will change the way your children think about what they can do and can be"....this is the story of a disabled orphan whose father abandoned him, whose village dismissed him and whose country thought him better off dead. This is the story of Emmanuel Ofesu Yeboah, who had nothing, but gave everything- and changed a nation forever


God Grew Tired of Us narrated by Nicole Kidman about the Lost Boys of Sudan.

This movie was made by National Geographic. It will make you experience every emotion. At some parts it was so funny we couldn't stop laughing. Both movies are excellent to show elementary age children and up. It will open their eyes to the world.

Other recommended DVDs:
Everythings Cool, Walmart: The High Cost of Low Price, Brians Song, Rudy, Lorenzo's Oil, Remember the Titans, Votes for Women, Miracle, Gracie, The Prize Winner of Defiance Ohio, Hotel Rwanda, The Untold Story of Emmett Louis Till, Is Walmart Good For America? Frontline, The Day After Tomorrow, Dead Poets Society, Its A Wonderful Life, Ghandi, Super Size Me, Who Killed The Electric Car, The Fog of War

My list TO SEE:

A Crude Awakening: The Oil Crash
Peaceful Warrior
Howard Zinn: You Can't Be Neutral
The End of Suburbia
The Corporation
A Man For All Seasons
The 11th Hour
Too Hot Not to Handle
Inside North Korea
Planet in Peril
The Devil Came on Horseback
Seoul Train: Independent Lens
Deepak Chopra: Seven Spiritual Laws
Magnificent Desolation
America: Freedom to Fascism
The Nazis: A Warning from History: Disc 1
The Nazis: A Warning from History: Disc 2
Tibet: Cry of the Snow Lion
The Peace!
This Is What Democracy Looks Like
Commanding Heights: Disc 1
Commanding Heights: Disc 2
Commanding Heights: Disc 3
Manda Bala
Lost Boys of Sudan
Little Buddha
My Flesh and Blood
Resurrecting the Champ
Sacred Planet
The Great Debaters
What Would Jesus Buy?
Blue Vinyl
4 Little Girls
Dark Days
Troublesome Creek
Brother's Keeper
Gaza Strip
Out of Balance
Planet Earth

Coming DVDs:

We Are Together
Flow: For Love of Water
Fields of Fuel
Dr. Bronner's Magic Soapbox
Hear and Now
Shake Hands with the Devil

Have any of you seen any of these films? Yea or Nay? Or do you have any to recommend? I am always looking for more to add to my list.



Blogger Rob said...
A few years ago, Dede & I had the pleasure of seeing MacGillivray Freeman’s "Dolphins" at an Imax theatre in San Diego. The film features narration by Pierce Brosnan, an awesome soundtrack of Sting’s jazzy songs & music, and strikingly beautiful visuals that live up to the Imax standard. We loved the film so much that we bought the DVD and have watched it easily half a dozen times.

Blogger Rob said...
I just noiced "Little Buddha" on your list. Not a bad movie, but I'd really recommend "7 Years in Tibet" and "Kundun" for far better movies about Tibet and the Dalai Lama. "Kundun" offers some fascinating tidbits on how, as a child, Tenzin Gyatso came to be the (current) 14th Dalai Lama.

Blogger Mumx3 said...
"March of the Penguins" is a fun movie but it gets a little slow in the middle. You sit back and wonder how they filmed it.

Blogger Maggie said...
I'll check back to that list for movie ideas. Two movies I found very thought-provoking (and disturbing) were Hotel Rwanda and Maria Full of Grace.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Here's another vote for Hotel Rwanda

I also loved Seven Days in Tibet which someone else recommended.

If you have not seen The Great Debaters you should put it on your list also.

Blogger Isle Dance said...
I love documentaries. Thanks for sharing! I've not watched a movie in a few years, but plan on making up for that in the future. :o)

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Surplus: Terrorized into Being Consumers. I've seen this one criticized for not being documentary-like enough. It's more about a feeling, about what it makes the viewer think. I find it really memorable and somewhat like an extended music video. There are some clips on the website linked above and also probably on YouTube. Definitely see Planet Earth too, which I see you've got on your list. And show it to children.

I know this is supposed to be about film, but I can't help but recommend a couple of books. Last Chance to See by Douglas Adams, who wrote Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is really great, and if you can get an audiobook version where he reads, even better. He makes funny amazing experiences and information about searching for endangered species. Also The Wild Trees is really good. The Author was on The Daily Show at some point. Amazing semi-biographical (of various people) book about the amazing places and ecosystems to be found, of all places, in the vertical communities of giant trees.

And squeaking in some more off-topicness, I find period movies and movies with beautiful, relatively undisturbed landscapes to be inspiring. I've seen a lot of documentaries over time, but I honestly can't remember most of them that well. Visual effect seems to be longer lasting.

Blogger clowngirl said...
I highly recommend Austism: The Musical. With 1 in 150 children being born with an autism disorder (my eldest son is one of these children), we all should be paying attention.

Blogger Lauri said...
as far as Inspirational movies, I love " What dreams may come" with Robin Williams. May not be good for your youngest ones... deals with death, heaven & hell... but I love this movie. It is beautiful and moving

Have you seen it?

Anonymous Jenn said...

I haven't left a comment before but I have been following your blog for quite sometime and just love all that you are doing for your family and the world!

This past weekend I watched Martian Child with John Cusack that I really found to be amazing. It is so heart warming and the nice part is that there isn't any profanity or sex so it's great for the whole family!!

Thank you so much for sharing your story and just being you!!


Blogger Marcie said...
I recommend King Corn and EXpelled. But they are pretty recent, king corn just came out on Video and EXpelled is new to Theatres.

Blogger Marcie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.

Blogger jeneflower said...
Thanks for the great ideas. After doing some more searching and looking into the suggestions I added these to my list also:
King Corn
War Dance
Genetically Modified Food
Bad Seed: The Truth About Our Food
Sweet Misery: A Poisoned World
Fed Up!
The Future of Food
The Future of Food: Bonus Material Darwin's Nightmare
Six Degrees Could Change the World
World in the Balance: Nova
The Last Cigarette
Thank You for Smoking
It Was a Wonderful Life
The War Game / Culloden
Sometimes in April
In Debt We Trust
Out of Balance
Lake of Fire
Sand and Sorrow
Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed
Our Daily Bread
We Are Together
Dolphins: Imax

The other suggestions I have seen already, but all good! Thanks for mentioning them!

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