Marflorious

  • Monica Malone

I'm a Slut for a Good Documentary

Updated: Apr 1, 2019

Much like biographies, I have a strange love for documentaries. While I love the power to tell a story through acting and art, watching a true story unfold without any script or rehearsals is fascinating. It's wonderful to watch people or nature, just do their thing. Many documentaries also end up being made because just one person has the inclining of, "Why don't people know about this? Why hasn't anyone told this true story?" They feel such an itch to share someone else's story, and that is something I can always relate to. Watching those types of documentaries gives me the encouragement to continue my love of history and research. It makes me want to know more about the world and other peoples lives and it, in my world, has become a very powerful medium.


Granted, one has to be LOOKING to learn more about the world and want to expand their understanding of the world. Not many people I know have that natural desire, though I wish they did. I just happen to be one of those "weirdos." And who knows, maybe through sharing more of my love of learning, others will feel the same (yes, I know. I am such a nerd). I used to only watch documentaries when I was a little depressed. Now I watch them all the time. Maybe my depression has gotten worse and I just can't tell the difference anymore. Or, perhaps maybe I have just realized what an interesting world we live in and want to learn more about it. Either way, I often find myself gravitating toward documentaries as a way to wake up in the morning and sometimes wind down at night.


***Oh god. It just occurred to me. Is this a product of me getting older? I did just turn 25 and I don't know if I will ever enjoy watching the news, so is this my way of getting information about the world? Do people still watch the news???***


Whatever, it is a much cooler (and more artistic) way of learning about life. there is a reason why documentaries win awards after all.


Because I am learning to embrace myself fully with this newfound love of 25 (25 is the year we start taking care of our ta-tas, y'all. - hello THIRDLOVE), I thought I would compile a list of my favorite documentaries at this point in time. I have a feeling this trend will continue, so in 5 years time I bet they will be completely different (maybe more sophisticated?). I already watch documentaries for fun so surely I am already a LITTLE sophisticated. I believe this is my equivalent to Leslie Knope reading a lot of political autobiographies. If I never find a Ben Wyatt who finds it endearing, I don't care. I find it endearing. Currently, these are just the ones I can't stop talking about. They help me believe in the world and in myself. They make me want to do better and be better. I hope they might make you feel the same.


IN NO PARTICULAR ORDER




Gaga: Five Foot Two

I have watched this documentary twice, which is why I decide to mention it first. I have always been a huge fan of Lady Gaga's and watching this made me see her in a whole new light. When she first became popular, many thought a lot of what she did was for attention and that is the truth in part. She more of an artist that I will ever be and I can only hope to have a bit of her creativeness and her confidence and strength. Even if you are not a fan of Lady Gaga, or have never listened to her music, this is just a wonderful documentary into the life of an international pop sensation. You see what it take to make the art we casually listen to in the car, in the club, or in the shower as well as all the prep work for a 20 minute show in the middle of a football field.


Africa

My love for wildlife has always been present. As of late, only people who have known me throughout my teen years know how deep that love runs. While tigers have always been and always will be my favorite spirit in the world, there is something about wild Africa that draws my soul. Perhaps it is the other big cats, maybe just all the big animals, but what I loved about this documentary series is that it covers the big and the small in every single part of Africa. Who knows when I will get to visit that incredible almost too magical place, but this series made me feel like I was there, living and breathing with each scene.


Feminists: What Were They Thinking

As my fav Sara Bareilles says in her song "Armor", "I see the unforgettable, incredible ones who came before me." Pay your respects to the ones who helped pave the way for where we are today. When I realized I was a feminist my freshman year of college, I did not know it would come with a whole lot of extra self-education. It is education I am willing to do however, because I love it so much and never want to stop. Seeing the feminists who came before me and learning about how much things have changed helps me to be strong like them and continue changing for the better.


This documentary was so beautifully done, narrated solely by the women they are interviewing, it is a special look into their lives at the time. They were just trying to live their best life, not really thinking about the feminist impact they would have on the world. It is a friendly reminder to take a look at the way the world is now. Actually pay attention to how it is treating you as well as those around you. It very subtly continues to ask the question: How can you make the world a better place?


RBG

How could anyone STOP talking about RBG? She great, y'all. She really great. Like, if you don't underSTAND how great she is, just take a little watch of this documentary. I fell in love with her even more. Can we also talk about how incredible it is that an elderly woman has become an #icon?


In keeping in tune with Feminists: What Were They Thinking, this shows how RGB was just tired of the sexist way the world was run and goes into detail about how she studied and fought to take down some of the most sexist laws in our country. If you think that being a warrior only means physically fighting, you would be very very wrong. RBG is one of the best warriors we have ever had. She fought hard to get us to where we are now and I believe the world would be very different now if not for her.


Ballet Now

If you are a dancer, or have ever been a dancer, this documentary is one that will make you want to get on your feet and create. Tiler Peck has been a big name in the dance circle for a long time; I remember seeing her in a Dance Spirit magazine and thinking how cool she was. Watching her work on this project that is all hers and seeing how she collaborates with other dancers and the technical elements was something not many people see. Not everyone understands how much work goes into even just a one-time performance. I wish I could have seen it live, but watching it on this documentary was enough for me. And might have been just enough to kick my ass and tell me to keep working.



Tiny Shoulders

There has always been a debate whether Barbie is a feminist icon, or if she's doing a disservice to the whole movement. This documentary shows how hard it is to work at the iconic company Matel and continue to progress with the world. It was a wild ride from start to finish, but was very neat to see the way people work together - even we they don't agree - and work on handling the public opinion before that opinion is even known. Releasing different size Barbie dolls was a revolution within a revolution. As a Body Positive activist, and knowing the struggles of not seeing yourself represented, I believe this was a step in the right direction for Barbie. Progress has been slow, but when big names take big steps like this, it helps in more ways than they can see.


It is also worth it to see Roxanne Gay's reaction to the new dolls if nothing else lol



That is my top few favorite documentaries to watch right now at this moment in time!

I am always getting new recommendations for what to watch next, and I love adding things to my list, so if you have a favorite leave a comment below! I look forward to watching them and discussing them with you in the future!


There is power in telling a true story just as there is in telling a fictional one. That is one thing I love about my chosen profession. I have the power to tell stories, and we get to watch them, work on them, and in a way live them. I am working on telling my own story. Every story deserves to be told, and I know for me, I want to hear as many as I can.

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