September’s here and the weather is on the turn – no more weekend BBQ’s and basking in the late summer sun, it’s back to night’s in, avoiding the wind and rain and desperately trying to distract yourself from the fact that it’s going dark earlier and earlier every evening. There’s not much else to do at times like this than binge watch Netflix and it’s latest offerings and hope you stumble across something genuinely worthwhile. Well fear not as we’ve got five documentaries that if you haven’t watched them already, consider yourself very fortunate – because you’re in for a real treat. All centred around disparity and dilemma in the US it’s The MALESTROM’s unique way of acknowledging the presidential election race.
Requiem For The American Dream – For those of you not overly familiar with the work of Noam Chomsky, it’s not too late to get yourself acquainted. Considered one of the leading intellectual thinkers in the western world, Chomsky is a philosopher, historian, critic, activist, theorist and without doubt one of if not the most important socio political voices around. In Requiem For The American Dream he explores through a series of interviews, economic inequality, the plight of middle class America and the concentration of wealth to a small and powerful elite group operating within American society. A fascinating mind and necessary protagonist in an increasingly volatile world. Particularly pertinent if you’re following the current US election saga.
The Hunting Ground – A disturbing look at the US college campus and the alarming number of rapes that occur on an all too frequent basis. Following traumatised survivors and there frustrating fight for justice against institutions that prioritise reputation money and positive statistics above all else, even their students mental and physical health. It’s a highly important piece of filmmaking as you listen to first hand testimonies, and watch on exasperated as young women starting out in life face the challenge of persuading those in power to take action, and serve justice. It’ll make your blood boil at times, but it’s a necessary expose.
Dawg Fight – Dawg Fight explores the bloody and violent world of backyard brawling in the suburban ghetto of West Perrine Florida – where young men use bare knuckle fighting as not only a means of putting food on the table but also an opportunity to pursue an unlikely career in MMA and leave suburban poverty behind. Paying specific attention to organiser and entrepreneur the giant Dhafir ‘Dada 5000’ Harris and his own personal journey into the world of mixed martial arts and that ever elusive shot at fame and fortune. He was once the late Kimbo Slice’s bodyguard – now surely that’s got to help. Bloody and brutal but brilliant documentary filmmaking all the same.
Cartel Land – If you’ve not seen Cartel Land then where the hell have you been, living under the sea?! In fact if you’ve not seen this documentary – then stop reading right now and go and watch it! Director Matthew Heineman has incredible access to the frontline of a war being waged between the notorious and vicious ‘Knights Templar’ Mexican drug cartel and a variety of have a go vigilantes that are on a mission to put an end to their reign of terror both in Mexico and on the US border and beyond in Arizona. It’s intense and gripping and at times feels like you’re watching a bloody and violent live action wild west movie. A brilliant doc, that’s more than worthy of it’s many plaudits and critical acclaim.
Cowspiracy – Did you know that 51% of global greenhouse gases are caused by the meat industry?! All that methane, or cow farts to put it more simply are having a greater affect on global warming than transportation exhaust fumes. What’s more 56% of water in the US is specifically used in growing feed crops for livestock. This is a mere drop in the ocean of the mind boggling facts and stats you’ll pick up while watching Cowspiracy, that are sure to make the beers down the boozer with the boys a lot more entertaining and you seem a lot more intellectual than you were last week. In the main this very relevant doc looks at the unsustainable methods used by the agricultural industry in the US and the astonishing impact it’s having globally. Kip Andersen walks us through this murky world and looks for solutions while confronting the very organisations that should be doing the same. Equally depressing and inspiring, it probably won’t make you want to give up meat altogether but you’ll certainly start searching out organic grassfed beef next time you do the weekly shop. Oh yeah, the cut on Netflix is by non other than eco-womaniser Mr DiCaprio himself who we’re told is the Exec Producer, great stuff.