For as long as I've been subscribing to Netflix, I've watching documentary films almost back-to-back. On days like today, a zenfully lazy Sunday, I get cozy and engage in my Netflix marathons. Lately, I've been particularly intrigued by documentaries that take a profound look into topics of the human condition, destruction of politics, or anything of the sort. In case that was unbelievably vague (I did say that this was a lazy Sunday, right?), here are some examples of films I watched recently that I really enjoyed:
Diamonds of War: Africa's Blood Diamonds
In this movie, NatGeo follows the trail of the diamonds from Sierra Leone to the diamond markets of Belgium and provides and in-depth look at how African conflict diamonds make their way into and get long amongst the certified diamond market. The journalists in this film took on a great deal of risk to secretly film many parts of this movie. The most significant takeaway from this one was the question of how a simple pebble could have so many meanings: love, affection, power, greed, violence, etc.
Stress: Portrait of a Killer
This one is a very detailed look at how stress affects the human body. The scientists in this film examine the responses that various animals have to stress and compare them to that of humans. It also looks into the negative physiological outcomes of excessive stress. The profound takeaway from this one was the fact that humans are the only animal on the planet that can produce stress from a mere thought. For every other animal, stress is strictly reserved for physical strains such as physical pain and "fight or flight", adrenaline-driven responses.
Inside North Korea
By claiming that they are going to film an eye surgeon performing pro-bono lens replacements for cataract patients (which they do), the makers of this film get both a raw, uncensored look into North Korea and its brainwashing machine and the idealistic, censored version that Kim Jong Il meticulously projects to the rest of the world. The main takeaway from this film was the idea that there is no real difference between being a true believer in something and fear that same thing. The North Korean dictatorship makes die-hard believers out of their starving nation by striking fear into their hearts to keep them subordinate.