Let’s be honest, after a long day at work, all you want to do is sink into the couch and watch Keeping Up with the Kardashians or SportsCenter. You crave something you don’t have to think too hard about, which is totally understandable.
But sometimes, we need to be proactive. It’s refreshing to learn something new and educate yourself, while also being entertained.
When you have some spare time, check out the 10 documentaries below, which are perfect for a day off.
This one might seem like a no-brainer, but many people still don’t know the origin of Catfish. Catfish is a very random noun that turned into a verb after this film, and even turned into a hit spinoff TV show. Watch the film that uncovered a phenomena and to get Nev’s back story.
This film details the time of four women suffering from anorexia and bulimia in South Florida. The four women are easy to relate to, thus making it hard not to attach yourself to each character. Their time at a rehabilitation center makes the issue real, showcasing the drama and cliques that inevitably form.
This film made a splash last year when animal lovers and even people who didn’t know they were animal lovers found themselves rooting for killer whales in captivity. The whales, who are trained to perform tricks at SeaWorld, began to lash out by injuring and killing their trainers. Both the whales and the late trainers, who truly loved the animals, were victims. The film sheds light on where these whales comes from, how they’re treated, and what goes on to produce the shows so many good-intentioned tourists enjoy all year long.
A quiet area in the Hudson Valley of New York was turned upside down when a seemingly perfect mother and wife drove the wrong way on the Taconic State Parkway, killing herself and seven others. The tear-jerker searches for answers, making the viewer constantly question whether Diane was just a reckless drunk or someone who needed help.
This film takes the phrase “treat others how you would want to be treated” to the extreme. Former Indonesian death-squad leaders reenact some of their most brutal killings in dramatic fashion, sometimes on themselves. This sheds light on an issue many probably did not even know about and thus may be difficult to watch, so prepare yourself.
Valentine Road details the story of sexually experimenting eighth grader Larry King, who was shot and killed during class by his peer, Brandon McInerney. It explores all angles, as both students can be seen as victims of the world around them. Your heart hurts for each as the backgrounds of their broken homes come to light.
This Netflix flick really hits the nail on the head. Happy instills the idea that more money doesn’t equate to more happiness. In fact, it might even cause more problems (shout out Biggie). Instead, happiness should come from meaningful relationships and things that cannot be purchased.
Talk about the ultimate catfish. The Imposter tells the story of a French man who tricks a Texas family into thinking he is their teenage son, who has been missing for years. After the family takes him on as their own, suspicions grow strong. What a creep.
Have you ever filled a time capsule with items that most accurately described your life or time period, in hopes that someone in the future will be able to better understand the past? This film acts as a digital time capsule, chronicling the 4,500 hours of footage submitted by people all over the world into 95 minutes showcasing what it was like to be alive on July 24, 2010. It really makes you think.
In this eye-opening yet light documentary, Chris Rock explores the world of African-American hairstyles after his young daughter asks him why she doesn’t have “good” hair. With testimonials from big names like Meagan Good and Nia Long, it will certainly keep you interested, while also exploring a topic many people take for granted.
Bonus: Inside: Chipotle
If you really just want something quick and light to watch, this is the documentary for you. In 21 minutes, Netflix explores the in’s and out’s of our beloved Chipotle as part of its “Inside” series. Learn some fun facts about the $11 billion, 1,400-store chain that made its way into our hearts.
Enjoy your day off!