Movie recommendations – Documentaries

Documentaries have a bad rap for being boring. I’m sure there are plenty of dull documentaries out there, but we’ve enjoyed some funny and thought-provoking ones recently. These are all available on streaming Netflix since that is our main movie source.

Exporting Raymond – The creator and head writer of “Everybody Loves Raymond” gets a deal to create a Russian version of the series. Culture clashes and translation issues ensue. My favorite line from the movie goes something like, “I always thought these themes were universal. Maybe not.”

Waiting for “Superman” – A look at public school performance, especially in low-income, urban areas. It follows the stories of several students who hope to get into charter schools. This is eye-opening and depressing, but this is reality. My favorite line from the movie goes something like, “The US ranks toward the bottom of developed nations in math and science. They rank #1 in confidence.” So kids are being told they can be whatever they want to be but are receiving a crappy education. This looks at why.

Nursery University – This follows several families as they try to get their kids into competitive private preschools in New York City. Several families are absolutely convinced that their kid will be a failure in life if the “right” school falls through. Having worked at a preschool, I found this very interesting. Brett thought all the people were crazy.

Forks over Knives – Two doctors got together to promote a plant-based diet after doing a lot of studies linking current prevalent diseases to consumption of animal products. Their research is certainly compelling, and while I’m not ready to convert to veganism, I agree that the normal American diet is way out of whack and we should all be eating more veggies.

The Business of Being Born – Childbirth in the last century has changed a lot. Are all the “medical advances” really helping the process? And where are OB/GYNs getting the information they’re passing on to their patients? This is a reality check about how the 21st century woman views childbirth and how that should be re-evaluated. (I watched this while Brett was out of town)

Have you seen any of these? Please share your opinion. If you haven’t, they’re worth checking out.

3 thoughts on “Movie recommendations – Documentaries

  1. I’ve seen Waiting for Superman & it is both heart-breaking & reality. The most haunting line to me was said by the narrator describing why he was so devastated as a child when he found out that Superman wasn’t real: if Superman wasn’t a real person, who was going to come rescue him from the poverty in which he was living?
    Very much worth your time to watch.

  2. I haven’t watched the business of being born yet, and I probably won’t. I was going to watch it on netflix, but the negative reviews really turned me off. I already know a lot of the truths about OBs and the medical culture that has taken over birthing, but I don’t know if I want to sit through what is most likely a very biased view of childbirth. I would like to see a documentary that looks at both sides of the issue – hospital births vs home births – equally without passing judgment on either side. I think there’s a time and place for medical interventions, and it sounded like this documentary was just going to say all hospitals and OBs are bad… and you should always go with a midwife, doula, home-birth, etc. :) I believe more strongly in empowering women to take more ownership of their healthcare rather than simply trusting doctors blindly. (Of course, that’s not to say we should be diagnosing ourselves with google ;)).

    • I think all documentaries are biased; they make them to show a point of view. This was definitely slanted toward home births but I liked their general message that healthy women with normal pregnancies are treated by most doctors as if they’re going through some sort of medical crisis.

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