There was a time when people thought documentaries to be dry, boring and meant for a niche audience. Then came modern masterpieces such as Fahrenheit 9/11, Baraka, March of the Penguins and Earth, and the genre exploded on everyone's consciousness. Today, documentary films are not restricted to only movies but have transcended into television, radio, and podcasts as well. If you consider yourself a docu-nado (a poor portmanteau of the words documentary and aficionado), here are 10 you can watch on the internet for free:
1. The True Cost
Busy with ransacking the racks of clothes in a store, we usually don't spare a thought for the people who work round the clock to make them. The True Cost gives a name and face to the thousands of workers toiling away at the bottom of the garment manufacture industry for low wages and often at the risk of personal health.
2. Super Size Me
A film by Morgan Spurlock, this documentary presents an eye-opening picture of how the fast food industry sells us weight gain and health problems under the pretext of taste and economy. This simple piece follows Spurlock as he eats only McDonalds food for a month, and depicts how it consequently affects his mental and physical health.
3. Jiro Dreams Of Sushi
For all the people who search for #foodporn on social media, the story of Jiro Ono is a must watch. Directed by David Gelb, this documentary chronicles the daily life of the 85-year old Sushi master, who, despite being an acclaimed sushi chef, is constantly reinventing himself to make the culinary experience better for his customers.
4. This Is The Zodiac Speaking
Those living on the dark (possibly psychotic) side of the internet would have heard of this one. 'This Is The Zodiac Speaking' delves into the case of the Zodiac Killer, who terrorized California in 1969 and is still counted among the most mysterious cases of all time. Featuring interviews with authorities and the Zodiac's survivors, this one will keep you on the edge of your seat.
5. A Brief History Of Time
While Stephen Hawking's book of the same name dives into the depths of cosmology, the movie is actually a biography of the physicist's life. Featuring interviews with Hawking's family, colleagues, and friends, this one takes a look at one of the greatest minds of the 21st century and is sure to be a treat for science buffs.
6. Free To Play
If your friends and family disapprove of the time you spend playing video games, make them watch this film by Valve Corporation. Set around the time of The International, the annual DoTA (Defense of The Ancients) 2 eSports championship, the movie focuses on how the game has affected the life of three players, Benedict "hyhy" Lim, Danil "Dendi" Ishutin, and Clinton "Fear" Loomis. Not all heroes wear capes; some play DoTA.
7. The Boy Who Lived Before
You may have heard of life after death, but this documentary about a Scottish boy named Cameron, who tells increasingly detailed stories of his former life on the island of Barra, put things into a whole new perspective for me. This one fascinated, puzzled, and freaked me out all at once.
8. Into Eternity
Ever since the world discovered nuclear power, there is a bigger question that has been plaguing scientists all over: how do we manage the vast amounts of nuclear waste generated every day, especially when it’s, well, eternal? Thus, this film follows the construction of the Onkalu Waste Repository in Finland and addresses the questions that come with it: How do you make something that can contain danger within its walls for eternity? More importantly, how do you make sure that no one ever finds it?
9. Zeitgeist: The Movie
Every now and then, there comes along a documentary that leaves you with a feeling of ‘Woah’. Zeitgeist may be a series, but it sure does fall under that category. Through archive footage, narration and animation, each of the three movies in the Zeitgeist series presents popular conspiracy theories. Whether they’re true or not is up to you, but you sure will wonder if your life was a lie all this time.
10. The Men Who Killed Kennedy
The assassination of John F. Kennedy was a pivotal moment in the history of the world, hence the theories surrounding it. This controversial documentary sheds light on the events of November 22, 1963, when the former US President was shot in the head at a public event. Originally consisting of two parts, the discovery of additional evidence led to the release of three more in 2003, of which the last implicated Kennedy’s successor, Lyndon B. Johnson, thus causing a furor.
Before you subject me to your straight face and the very pointed reasoning, "These won't be for free. They will cost me precious data packs," you should check out Vodafone's SuperHour packs. Meant for movie buffs and gossip mongers like us, the packs give users an hour of unlimited 4G/3G internet (or talk time) every day. So, the next time boredom strikes on a long train ride, #BeSuper, follow this link and enjoy entertainment and education rolled into one with one of the masterpieces above.