Eye opening documentaries


Poverty Inc. (2014) Filmmaker Michael Matheson Miller investigates the complex global industry of foreign aid.


The Century of the Self (2002) A British television documentary series by filmmaker Adam Curtis. It focuses on the work of psychoanalysts Sigmund Freud and Anna Freud, and PR consultant Edward Bernays.


Five Steps to Tyranny (2001): This documentary by Elizabeth McIntyre foreshadowed what the hysteria and islamophobia spread after 9/11 would culminate in. This film reveals how atrocities like the Rwandan, Bosnian, and Burmese genocides can emerge anywhere people are unaware of — and fail to resist — the shadow side of group behavior. The five steps to tyranny include the following attitudes/actions:

  1. Upholding an us versus them attitude,
  2.  Unquestioningly obeying authority, 
  3. Dehumanizing others as a precursor to harm, 
  4. Standing by as harm occurs, and finally
  5. Exterminating the identified “other.”

Don’t Be a Sucker! (1943): Don’t Be a Sucker! is a short film produced by the US War Department in 1943 and re-released in 1947. It has anti-racist and anti-fascist themes. The film was made to make the case for the desegregation of the United States armed forces.


Hypernormalisation (2016): Timely documentary by Adam Curtis is packed with goodies to keep you afloat in a post-Trump world. We live in a time of great uncertainty and confusion. Events keep happening that seem inexplicable and out of control. Donald Trump, Brexit, the War in Syria, the endless migrant crisis, random bomb attacks. And those who are supposed to be in power are paralysed – they have no idea what to do.

This film is the epic story of how we got to this strange place. It explains not only why these chaotic events are happening – but also why we, and our politicians, cannot understand them.
It shows that what has happened is that all of us in the West – not just the politicians and the journalists and the experts, but we ourselves – have retreated into a simplified, and often completely fake version of the world. But because it is all around us we accept it as normal.
But there is another world outside. Forces that politicians tried to forget and bury forty years ago – that then festered and mutated – but which are now turning on us with a vengeful fury. Piercing though the wall of our fake world.


Fear of 13 (2015): After more than 20 years on death row, a convicted murderer petitions the court asking to be executed. But as he tells his story, it gradually becomes clear that nothing is quite what it seems. Directed by David Sington


Manufacturing Consent (1992):A documentary film that explores the political life and ideas of linguist, intellectual, and political activist Noam Chomsky.

Directed by Mark Achbar, Peter Wintonick


The Black Mixtape 1967-1975 (2011) :Forgotten documentations by Swedish journalists who came to the US drawn by stories of urban unrest and revolution. Gaining access to many of the leaders of the Black Power Movement Stokely Carmichael, Bobby Seale, Angela Davis and Eldridge Cleaver among them the filmmakers captured them in intimate moments and remarkably unguarded interviews.  The original 16mm film footages were rediscovered 3 decades later when Göran Olsson edited and directed the release of the film. Danny Glover co-produced it, and Questlove provided the film score.


The House I Live In (2012): A documentary film directed by Eugene Jarecki about the War on Drugs in the United States.


Lo and Behold, Reveries of the Connected World (2016) : Filmmaker Werner Herzog examines the past, present and future of the Internet and how it affects human interaction and modern society.


13th(2016): Filmmaker Ava DuVernay explores the history of racial inequality in the United States, focusing on the fact that the nation’s prisons are disproportionately filled with African-Americans.


The Wolfpack (2015): Locked away from society in an apartment on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, the Angulo brothers learn about the outside world through the films that they watch. Nicknamed the Wolfpack, the brothers spend their childhood re-enacting their favorite films using elaborate homemade props and costumes. When one of them manages to escape, the power dynamics shiftes dramatically and they now have the freedom to go out into a world that turns out to be very different from the manuscripts and movies they’ve lived through vicariously. Directed by Crystal Moselle


The War You Don’t See (2010):
British documentary film written, produced and directed by John Pilger with Alan Lowery, which challenges the media for the role they played in the Iraq, Afghanistan, and Israel/Palestine conflicts.



Why I’m not a feminist

I’ve been on the fence on this issue for a long, long time. Whenever I face an issue that I don’t have a stance on, I’m careful to not reject it or accept it outright without thorough consideration. I used to be a radical feminist as a teen, and I mean radical-man-hating-fist-thumping-angry feminist. And it didn’t help that my dad was one – in the real sense of the word. He’d always side with us girls and never our twin brothers because he believed that men have the upper hand in society de facto, so girls are in need of extra love and empowerment to make it out there. My dad, bless him, seems like a tough one on the outer, but on the inside, he’s all warm and fuzzy. I rarely see him as passionate as when he talks about the nature, animal cruelty, and kids. Anyway, when I reached my late teens, the anger that fuelled my radical feminism fizzled out and I become more mellow. Ever since, feminism has been on the back-burner, as I struggled with other issues in my life. And this morning I realized this: I don’t find the point of feminism as something I want to align myself with. I find that whenever one crucial issue in society is isolated and rallied for, it quickly turns into dogma and sectarianism. There are times where raising one’s voice,warring, and attacking is called for- but when this becomes the de facto state is when the original cause is lost. It becomes about people and power struggles. This is what I feel feminism , and other singular causes such as veganism,Green Peace, LGBT-issues, have turned into. They started out by addressing a rampant injustice, but then it attracted rebels without causes who were angry at anything and everything, and needed somewhere to channel their frustration. It’s the same thing with ISIS and their ilk.

There needs to be an overarching concept that transcends time and place. We have mental health stigma, poverty, corruption, climate change- the list is endless. We had other issues in yesteryear, and we’ll probably have more in two decades. Problems come with change and progress is dependant on how well we solve these issues. But to dwell on those issues hampers progress.

I think a nobler cause, for me personally, that I can relate to is to fight injustice in all its forms. Right now I’m concerned about the melting sea ice in the Arctic Circle that threatens polar bears who use the ice as a platform to hunt seals, and in the face of the disappearance of their habitat they are driven to the shores and land where they attack humans.

I’m concerned about this damning report on the silent plight of boys and men and the major social problems that it’s causing.

I’m concerned about how the West reacted to the Ebola crisis before and after it affected Westerners, and how trivial the thousands of Africans who were affected seem to us in the West as long as it does not involve us.

I’m concerned about Palestine and how the few on top get the last word because they got the deepest pockets.

I’m concerned about domestic abuse and the widespread misnomer about how easy it should be to leave.

I’m concerned about this war on drugs that is putting those most vulnerable at risk.

I’m concerned about these things. But they are transient. Because tomorrow there will be another issue, another crisis more acute than the aforementioned, and so I want to be adaptable and flexible. I don’t want to identify with a cause because that is extrinsic and whatever is extrinsic is finite and depletable. I want to tap into intrinsic motivation that comes from within me. 

I don’t want to embody something other than me. But I want to focus my being on things other than myself. Makes sense?

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