Despite my best intentions to get out and about this winter, the truth is, it’s actually just really really nice to curl up under a blanket in front of the tv when its freezing cold outside. I am *very* into documentaries, conspiracy theories and morbid stories about kidnappings. Does this make me a nutcase? I’m not willing to get into that right now, but I am willing to give you a list of some of the best documentaries I’ve watched recently.
This is a movie about how Facebook can reconnect twins who were separated at birth and grew up in adopted homes across the world from one another. It’s a beautiful modern love story that made me cry and laugh and feel so happy inside. I’ve since been following sisters Samantha and Anaïs on social media and I feel truly invested in their lives.
Watch it with: If you’re a girl, watch this with your sister or mom or by yourself with a huge bowl of popcorn and a box of tissues.
Going Clear: Scientology and the prison of belief
Along with conspiracy theories, my other big interest is cults. I am totally fascinated by how one person can influence so many people to give up their lives and families to follow their often highly unorthodox teachings. So obviously Scientology is right up my alley.
After reading Beyond Belief: My Secret Life Inside Scientology and My Harrowing Escape by Jenna Miscavage Hill, I was interested to learn more about this pseudo-religion/cult. This documentary is a great look at what happens behind the closed doors of Scientology, a religion based on the science fiction writings of L. Ron Hubbard.
Watch it with: Pretty much anyone.
Hot Girls Wanted
This documentary is a well-produced and in my opinion, unbiased look at America’s amateur porn industry. It gave me a shocking insight into the short-sightedness of young girls who have grown up never leaving their small towns, and enter into the porn industry with big dreams of becoming famous “Porn Stars”. In my opinion, the filmmakers did a great job of not pushing an agenda and the film doesn’t try to show the porn industry in any particular light. It’s just an honest depiction of how young girls (often virgins) are leaving their homes to get into an industry they don’t know nearly enough about.
Watch it with: I’d recommend watching it alone. I felt really emotionally raw after watching it, and needed some time to process before I could be social.
*Warning, this documentary might haunt you for months to come.
Making A Murderer
If you haven’t watched this yet, you are in for a treat. It follows the story of Steven Avery, a man who was freed from prison after serving 18 years for a wrongful conviction. Only to be persecuted once more by the hometown authorities who put him behind bars in the first place. It’s shocking to see how a family can be can manipulated and used because they don’t know any better. Throughout the story you’ll be angry, confused and shouting at your tv. You’ll probably want to clear your calendar and binge-watch this.
Watch it with: Anyone. I mean, it’s great.
What an emotional rollercoaster! This is the story of a family of nine kids and two parents who live together in a mobile home, surfing up and down the coasts of the USA. What starts out as a totally idyllic lifestyle where these 9 kids get to surf from sunrise to sunset, eat healthy diets and hang out with their uber-progressive surfer/doctor/sex guru dad all day turns to a really realistic look at what it means to be an adult who grew up without an education. I cried and cried and couldn’t stop talking about this documentary for weeks.
Watch it with: Your friends who think also think a childhood of all surf and no school sounds dreamy.
If you enjoyed The Jinx, you’ll enjoy this. In fact, the film’s main character, John E. du Pont reminded me a lot of The Jinx’s Robert Durst. It follows the story of wealthy du Pont, who sets up a programme for elite athletes on his property, and tries to ingratiate himself into their social circles while spirals into an increasingly dangerous state of paranoia. It ends in tragedy and will leave you feeling sad.
Watch it with: Bae.
A Field Full of Secrets
The only subject that interests me as much if not more than conspiracy theories and cults, is aliens. This documentary follows director Charles Maxwell into 42 crop circles, as he tries to decipher their meaning and origins. Then he meets a transsexual inventor, and together they start building a UFO using the designs of crop circles as their blueprint. It’s equal parts fascinating and funny and I love the director/narrator Charles Maxwell’s little to-camera moments where you can tell even he thinks things have gone too crazy and too far.
Watch it with: Alien enthusiasts and skeptics alike will enjoy this one.
A letter to a son about his father. Tears. Anger. A beautifully told story. I don’t want to give too much away, so just take my word for it and watch this one.
Watch it with: Anyone.