5 Of The Best Documentaries Around Right Now

In the past 6 – 12 months I have seen a lot of documentaries. A lot. And so it is with some confidence I can list my top 5.

I will tell you now, barring one of them, they are all highly emotional and only two of these I’ve watched because I chose them. The others were thanks to my college English class.

Of course, disclaimer, some of these documentaries are not completely accurate so don’t base all of your knowledge off of one documentary, as you already know.


Jiro Dreams of Sushi

PG – 1hr 22 min

Jiro Dreams of Sushi is the story of 85-year-old Jiro Ono, considered by many to be the world’s greatest sushi chef. He is the proprietor of Sukiyabashi Jiro, a 10-seat, sushi-only restaurant inauspiciously located in a Tokyo subway station. Despite its humble appearances, it is the first restaurant of its kind to be awarded a prestigious three-star Michelin Guide rating, and sushi lovers from around the globe make repeated pilgrimage, calling months in advance and shelling out top dollar for a coveted seat at Jiro’s sushi bar.

Jiro Dreams of Sushi is a thoughtful and elegant meditation on work, family, and the art of perfection, chronicling Jiro’s life as both an unparalleled success in the culinary world and as a loving yet complicated father.”

-From Amazon.com

As I love Japan, I chose this movie after looking at the documentaries on Netflix and boy was I happy with this one. It did make me very hungry and want some sushi, as well as to go to Japan like right now, but I also learnt a lot as well. It is subbed, so if you aren’t into foreign documentaries with subtitles, this may not be the right one for you, but come on! It’s sushi! Who doesn’t love sushi?! The filming was fantastic as well. Simple, elegant, and made everything just look so yummy! If you like sushi, or really food in general, and like Japan then you cannot miss this one!


Life According to Sam

NR – 1hr 34min

“A moving look at a couple’s inspiring efforts to save their only son Sam from the rare and fatal premature-aging disease of progeria.”

From Amazon.com

An extremely moving documentary about children who are born with a rare disease that causes them to age rapidly, dying by the age of about 15 years old. My English teacher met one of the kids and so he had wanted us to watch the documentary and learn about it and I have to say that it was one of the more eye opening documentaries. It’s made me appreciate life as these kids in the documentary will not live long and their parents who are way older will out live their kids, due to reasons that are not their own. The filming was great and it was well done though it was incredibly stressful to see these young children being treated like specimens. Overall it was extremely good but if you’re not into seeing something like this with kids and such, then this may not be the documentary for you.


Hot Girls Wanted

NR – 1 hr 22 min

“This 2015 Sundance Film Festival breakout documentary from producer Rashida Jones spotlights the “amateur” porn industry and the women it exploits.”

-From Netflix.com

This was a Netflix original and I probably would have never come across this or really wanted to watch it but something made me curious. It wasn’t my intent to actually finish it because I thought it was all going to be about sex and something stupid like that. But actually it was quite good. It followed one girl who found out about an ad on Craigslist and her story into the amateur porn industry and how it effects these girls and how they even find out about it. It was quite stressful but very eye opening and made me grateful for the family that I have. This is a mature documentary, even though it is NR, definitely because of the content, but it’s good for people to know about as well. People think that porn is all beautiful and perfect but they don’t realize the life some of these people have as well as how these girls get started and this did a pretty good job of showing it.

Warning: The trailer is kind of graphic. NSFW slightly and not for a younger audience. 


The Square

NR – 1 hr 35 min

“A group of Egyptian revolutionaries battle leaders and regimes, risking their lives to build a new society of conscience.”

-From IMDB.com

This was a fantastic documentary to learn about Tahir square and the kind of stuff which was going on around with that event, but I will have to give a few disclaimers. First off, it was quite violence and graphic. And violence and graphic in fiction is one thing but this was actual footage from the event and people died. You saw people shot at and others run over by vehicles and it was sickening and difficult to watch. There was also quite a lot of blood. Another disclaimer is that the translations are not accurate. It is known that they aren’t and while watching it there was a kid in my class who understands Arabic and was saying how some of the words they were saying were more sayings but the translations were making them seem so much bigger and more violent, which of course is what people filming documentaries want so they’d gain support for it and such. It was a good watch and I was able to understand a situation better, but please do not use just this as your information on the Tahir square revolution. Other than that, as supplemental information, as well as seeing it from their perspective, it was quite well done.


Blackfish

PG-13 – Ihr 24 min

“Killer whales are beloved, majestic, friendly giants, yet infamous for their capacity to kill viciously. Blackfish unravels the complexities of this dichotomy, employing the story of the notorious performing whale Tilikum, who — unlike any orca in the wild — has taken the lives of several people while in captivity. Blackfish expands on the discussion of keeping such …”

-From Amazon.com

This was a good documentary but I honestly hated watching it. It stressed me the hell out and was sickening to watch and I don’t want to go and see animal shows ever! I never went to Sea World as a kid and I’m so glad that I didn’t. Wile this documentary isn’t completely accurate and portrays the horrible side of everything, it was enough to make me not want to support companies in what they do. I had tears in my eyes from the beginning and felt violently sick throughout the entire thing. If you like animals and hate animal cruelty, this may not be the documentary for you because it will make you sick, but it is good to watch and be aware about because not many people know about all of the disasters that occur and what the lives are like for Killer Whales. And this made me know, even though I didn’t really want to know. Would I recommend this? Yes, but would tell the viewers to watch with caution.