Nothing like a good old doco… oh hang on a second, strike that. Nothing like a good old doco that makes a difference in the world actually! From changing the way we think and see things to spurring major debate and controversy, documentaries can have some serious power. It is for this reason for our next instalment in the Top 5 Series that we are looking at documentaries we believe to have changed the world. As always, agree/disagree in the comments section below and beware that the following might include a spoiler alert or two!
5. Supersize Me (2004) – Perhaps not as deeply moving and tear jerking as some of the other films on this list, you are essentially watching a man eat McDonalds for 30 days straight after all. Nonetheless, this doco was pretty widely watched and achieved some change for the better for our health. It was soon after the film was released that US Macca’s got rid of their ‘Super Size’ option and placed more emphasis on healthier options, although such moves where said by McD’s to be independent choices made and not influenced by the film.
4. Bowling for Columbine (2002) – There is no denying that Michael Moore is a bit of a controversial documentary maker. What you also cannot deny however is the impact of this movie. Shedding light on America’s gun problems in the wake of the Columbine High massacre in which two students shot dead 12 students and one teacher within the school. Aspects of this movie have been criticised over time but its ability to bring up important debate and critical thinking about guns in America has not.
3. The War Game (1965) – This one was a bit of a unique one. More of a doco-style drama, The War Game was a film that depicted what may happen to British society if they were to experience nuclear bombing. With the cast made up of only those who had never acted before, it was said by the BBC to be ‘too horrific’ to broadcast and was withdrawn from television screens.
2. Shoah (1985) – At a total, whopping length of 10 hours and 13 minutes, eleven years in the making, it is safe to say watching Shoah is probably the documentary viewing equivalent of taking on the New York City Marathon. A French one, this critically acclaimed film explores different aspects of the Nazi Holocaust.
1. An Inconvenient Truth (2006) – With climate change said to be one of the biggest issues of this time, this documentary featuring Al Gore tops the list for not only its popularity, but its wide spread success at spreading the word on climate change. Altering many a person’s opinions on climate change and bringing about serious political debate, it was certainly a documentary that had long lasting impacts.
Have you seen them all? What else would you add to this list?