So much to watch, so little time. If you love a good documentary and fancy settling into something a little meatier and a little less double-screeny than Friends for the billionth time, read our round-up of the best documentaries to watch this week.
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Climate Change – The Facts
A solid, well-rounded documentary on climate change presented by David Attenborough. There’s just the right amount of informative and easy ‘ways to help’ to balance out the scary facts and images that are hard to look away from. The first half is explanatory and helps viewers understand what is being said on the news and why it’s happening. After Greta Thunberg speaks, the documentary switches and shares easy, practical ways that everyone can help fight climate change. Emotive but empowering in the end, it’s impossible to watch this and not take something practical and positive away with you from it.
Extremely British Muslims
Sweet and funny, this doc takes the viewer behind the scenes and into the world of some of Britain’s Muslims. The first episode focuses on a common difficulty that young Muslims might face – feeling torn between the traditional expectations of their parents and their independent 21st century lives. One mustn’t let the media dictate their world view and this is just the programme to keep one grounded in reality.
Follows the thrilling (written with both positive and negative connotations in mind) life of professional rock climber Alex Honnold as he prepares for and attempts to climb, with no safety net, an infamous 900 metre vertical rock at Yosemite National Park. For those who like adventure and don’t mind watching via the occasional hand-over-eyes move when you get too far to the edge of your seat.
A Plastic Ocean
This one is… a more difficult watch. It’s a film documentary produced by Plastic Oceans‘ founder Jo Ruxton. It follows Craig Leeson who heads out to sea in the search for a blue whale and ends up discovering a much more common, sinister resident: plastic. Information is power, so watch it, but do have tissues at the ready.
A Very British Brothel
A truly interesting subject and very relevant to the current ongoing conversations on decriminalising sex work, A Very British Brothel goes inside one of Sheffield’s massage parlours, run by a caring and likeable mother and daughter team.
Louis Theroux: Talking to Anorexia
Trigger warning: Eating Disorders. Louis Theroux spends time at two London eating disorder facilites and really gives the viewer a very clear look at the illness – the secrecy, the intensity, the heart-wrenching psychological affects of it and how much it takes to clear the illness from the mind, something some sufferers claim never truly happens.
Aileen: Life and Death of a Serial Killer
The last woman to be executed in the USA is, we think, an eerily intriguing subject. For an intimate but safe behind the screen look into Aileen Wuornos’s muderous but also human eyes, watch this dark documentary exploring her terribly tragic life and perhaps come away with a hint of understanding about what sometimes leads a killer to kill.
‘”I’m one who seriously hates human life and would kill again,” she wrote earlier this year. “I have hate crawling through my system.” Keeping her alive, she added, would be “a waste of taxpayers’ money”‘ – read this 2002 Guardian article