Watching movies is my favorite non-physical pastime, but it was only last year I realized I was neglecting one of the most important kind of movies: documentaries. I’d always assumed they were boring and avoided them until I watched a spellbinding one called Food Inc. in my Environmental Science class. It graphically and powerfully depicted how our methods of food production were causing harm to the environment, animals, and ourselves as consumers and employees. It changed the way I ate, bought, and looked at my food… for the better.
There are boatloads of different documentary genres, but my favorite is definitely environmental. This media of information is surprisingly entertaining, informative, and inspiring. For most people, seeing is believing, so witnessing images of issues that need to be dealt with furthers your conviction and make you want to take action. The first step of targeting an issue is being informed about it and films and videos about environmental issues greatly complement articles and books by making visual connections.
My similar new obsession is TEDTalks. They’re several minute online video lectures done by riveting people on subjects across the board. They’re enlightening to say the least, so watch one when you have some free time. If you can spare a longer period of time, catch some of my favorite documentaries which include Gasland about how communities are being affected by the hydraulic drilling process known as fracking. An Inconvenient Truth is one of the best about Global Warming and has really cute animations by Matt Groening, creator of The Simpsons. One of the most relevant ones is The Dirtiest Place on the Planet about life in Linfen, China, a place where breathing the air is equivalent to smoking three packs of cigarettes.
These days anyone can be a filmmaker, so if you see a problem and want to capture it, consider making your own documentary.
OnAir says: A huge welcome to Melat–our newest OnAir blogger! We’re glad to have you on the team. Any readers out there interested in writing for us? Click here to apply!