Category: Society Documentaries

Poverty, Inc.

The documentary Poverty, Inc. introduces the audience to the drawbacks of foreign aid provided to poor nations.
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Peace Officer

Peace Officer explores the ‘militarization’ of police forces in the U.S. The documentary takes you through a few cases where S.W.A.T. were used in situations that didn’t require them, with outcomes that involved death or near-death.
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Penthouse North

Penthouse North is the story about a former actress/model who lives in a subsidized (I think) apartment in Manhattan, but struggles to pay the rent. The in-and-out of various roommates is documented, as is the acting history of this woman.

A good chunk of this film displays the attempts of her various friends who try to help this former actress as she slowly fades away from her former self and former life.
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Beijing Ants

The best part of the documentary Beijing Ants is everything you see in the trailer:
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Living on One Dollar

Living on One Dollar follows four guys from the US who decide to live on one dollar a day (i.e. how many in the world do) for 56 days. To do that, they move to a Guatemalan farming village and live as locals.
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Welcome to Leith

Welcome to Leith documents the crazy story of how one of the most prominent white supremacists tries to take over the small town of Leith, North Dakota. Slowly, the new resident of Leith (that initially kept to himself) starts buying up plots of land in town in hopes of starting a community of white supremacists (i.e. get enough of them to move and purchase land – and then take over town council with the votes). The townspeople get wind of this and the battle begins to chase him (and another hate-filled family) out of town.
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Above and Below

Above and Below melds three very different ‘living situations’ together into one documentary: A couple living in the storm sewers below Las Vegas; A man living alone in a abandoned army base in the desert; and a woman living in a Mars simulation world in the desert. Oh, there’s another guy who lives in the sewers too (but he seems to have a lesser role the documentary).
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Dreamcatcher follows around Brenda, a former prostitute who runs a foundation that helps women in Chicago going through the same plight that she went through. Both through her foundation and through her day job, she counsels women who have been sexually abused, those in prostitution, and those who may be on the verge.
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Straight Up: The Issue of Alcohol in Ontario

Straight Up: The Issue of Alcohol in Ontario is all about the ridiculousness of how alcohol is sold in the province of Ontario. It talks about the history of how the LCBO (government owned) and The Beer Store (owned by three private multinational breweries) began, and how smaller producers of beer and wine in this province are at a huge disadvantage. Also, of note, is the select few ‘wine stores’ that are also limited to a handful of owners.

It generally shoots down many of the arguments that are used to defend the ‘controlled’ environment that alcohol is sold in, in Ontario:

  • More availability = more consumption problems (then why has the LCBO and The Beer Store expanded greatly of late? Why are stores becoming larger, with more attractive environments? Why does the LCBO promote extensively — from advertising to free high-gloss colour magazines?)
  • The need to control who has access (can a group that has been trusted for years to keep tobacco and lottery tickets out of the hands of youth not be trusted with alcohol sales?)

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Just Eat It: A Food Waste Story

The documentary Just Eat It: A Food Waste Story takes you through the details of how (and how much) food is wasted in today’s society. It’s far beyond you and me simply throwing out food that’s been rotting in the refrigerator. A bigger problem, it seems, is the waste that occurs before it reaches the consumer’s table.

The stat given is that a whopping 40% of food raised/grown is wasted.
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