13 Documentaries You Have to Catch up on Before 2020 Ends

As the year-end holidays are approaching, we are looking forward to quieter days with less incoming emails and more time for ourselves. Since many of us are also in strict lockdown, it's the perfect time to catch up on some worthwhile watches. Here are our recommendations, grouped by category.


Documentaries on racism


The 13th

Uncovering the practical implications behind the 13th amendmend to the US Constitution, this movie by director Ava DuVernay exposes the exploitation of black and minority families in the US today.


When they see us

This four-part mini series is another masterpiece by Ava DuVernay, narrating the true story of five teenagers from Harlem (the so-called 'Central Park Five'), who were falsely accused of an attack on a woman in Central Park.











Explained: The Racial Wealth Gap


Touching upon topics like slavery, racial segregation, housing discrimination, inequality and systemic racism, this short episode explains in detail the concept of the "wealth gap" among different groups in today's US society.




Sustainability


Cowspiracy

While not all scientific claims made in the movie might be accurate, it's still an eye-opening watch that makes you think about your own impact on the earth's climate.









David Attenborough: A Life On Our Planet

An equally beautiful and alarming chronicle of the life of British naturalist Sir David Attenborough and his observation of our planet's environmental changes over the last decades. The movie ends with a powerful message to our generation.



The Game Changers

This thought-provoking documentary tries to illustrate the positive effects of a plant-based diet on athletic performance. Its claims are criticized, but the message is still valid, so it's worth the watch.





Explained: The world's water crisis

Imagine a world without clean, drinkable water. This episode provides valuable insights on how humanity got to the point of facing a worldwide water crisis and at the same time, it introduces valuable ideas on how to protect clean water and ensure that third-world countries continue to have access to this resource.



Society


Feminists

A portrait of second wave feminism during the 1970's, this documentary gives an introduction to feminism and shows why it is needed to this day.






The social dilemma

Chances are, you've already watched this one when it came out. But if you haven't - maybe give it a watch now and then peacefully turn off your phone or notifications over the holidays.





Explained: Why women are paid less

Despite societies' fight for equal pay, there have been major forces in play denying the same opportunities for women as for men. Cultural norms, the "motherhood penalty", and more, this episode walks us through the main reasons causing the gender pay gap.




Becoming

An inspiring and candid memoir of former first lady Michelle Obama, and offering a look behind the scenes of her book tour, this is a great one to watch together with your family.









Innovation

Explained: Designer DNA

Can you imagine being able to pick and choose which traits your kid will have before it's born? This episode explains how gene editing is not only already possible but might be an extended practice in the years to come. Whether it's a scientific breakthrough or a horrible unethical experiment - that's for you to decide.


Explained: Can we live forever?

This Explained episode explores the question of why most of the earth’s population makes it only two thirds of the way to the maximum life expectancy of 120, and how we might be able to change that.



Have you watched any of the above? Let us know what you thought in the comments!


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