5 Documentaries That Will Change the Way You View the World

While Netflix is ripe with documentaries, there are a few that discuss the crossroads and intersections of difficult to talk about subjects. Some of these are documentaries that will change the way you view the world.

Listed are a few of my favorites that have raised some hard hitting questions and made me think, a lot, about how I view the world and others. Please note that these are documentaries that deal with really complex issues, so enter into watching them with an open mind.

1. How to Die in Oregon

Physician-assisted suicide is an incredibly controversial topic. Sometimes with these larger moral and political topics it can be hard to personalize the people effected by it. This documentary talks to experts on both sides of the issue and follows one woman and her family’s journey to this difficult decision.

2. Wasteland

So there was this giant landfill just outside of Rio de Janerio. I’m talking massive. Wasteland not only goes into the devastating effects this giant pile of trash had on the environment, but also the artist who decided to do something creative to try to solve the crisis and bring awareness to the situation.

This documentary is uplifting and shows us that even the worst circumstances can be changed for the better. It also raises the question: what are we going to do to prevent this from happening again and again?

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For more about Wasteland and its creator Vik Muniz, visit his Artsy page.

3. Fish Out of Water

The intersection of religion and sexuality is and will always be tricky. However, those in the LGBT community often find themselves shoved out of their religious practices by fire and brimstone preaching. This is the story of a young lesbian woman who decided that she missed religion in her life after coming out. She interviews Christian leaders about what they think about homosexuality—and some of their answers will surprise you.

4. GasLand

Wouldn’t it be terrifying to wake up one day to find that your water was flammable? Well for some people living in the US this was a real thing. Natural gas is an incredibly lucrative and in demand natural resource, but how far are you willing to go to get it? This film dives into the controversial practice, and there are arguments still raging about whether or not this was an ‘accurate’ portrayal of the severity of the health concerns. Not surprisingly, these stem from supporters of natural gas harvesting. Watch, research, learn, and decide for yourself.

5. Bully

I think my favorite controversy about this documentary was that there was a lot of talk at the time of its release as to whether or not children should be allowed to see it. Somehow people forgot that children were living the horrors of bullying and thought that seeing it on the big screen might harm them. Some people say that the bullying problem isn’t a problem at all. I’ve worked with people who say that children just aren’t as tough anymore. I encourage them, and you, to watch this heartbreaking story and try to say that afterwards.

We turn to documentaries to inform ourselves of the thick injustices that run rampant in our world. These fives listed here are just a few in a long list of documentaries that will change the way you view the world.

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Have you watched any life-changing documentaries lately? What should we seek out next?