5 documentaries to watch now

Looking for something new after binge-watching Tiger King? Luckily there are great docs streaming on different platforms. Here are some of my current favourites.

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Fyre: The Greatest Party that Never Happened

Netflix

A few years ago, actors, models, musicians, and other influencers were promoting the Fyre Festival, a new island weekend getaway that promised to be a too-good-to-be-true experience of a lifetime (for a hefty price, for those willing to pay it). Well, it was too good to be true. The whole thing was a scam that ending up leaving thousands stranded in the Bahamas without food, water, or a place to sleep. The documentary follows the event organizers from day one and includes employee testimonials about when they realized things were going down the drain. Even though it’s from a few years back, it’s still relevant as some lawsuits against influencers are finally wrapping up.

 

The Great Hack

Netflix

Before watching this documentary, I had only heard briefly about the Cambridge Analytica/Facebook scandal. However, by the time I finished it, I was more concerned than ever about the influence social media has on our opinions and beliefs. The documentary explains in detail how tech giants, especially Facebook, allowed their user data to be used by Cambridge Analytica to target specific information to targeted audiences. This might have had a bigger influence on the last U.S. election and Brexit than you’d think. By the end, you’ll have a better understanding of data mining and the events that led to Mark Zuckerberg testifying in front of a special U.S. committee about user privacy.

 

When We Were Kings

Amazon Prime

In 1974, the “Rumble in the Jungle” heavyweight championship fight between Muhammad Ali and George Foreman was hosted in the Democratic Republic of Congo. This documentary shows Ali and Foreman prepare for the fight, while organizer/promoter Don King looks to secure capital to host the event. The documentary touches on international politics, Black cultural identity, and the boxing industry among other topics. It’s a great look into one of the most anticipated boxing matches of all time and the pressure on Ali to maintain his boxing legacy.

 

There's Something in the Water

Netflix

Made by Halifax native and Hollywood actress Ellen Page, this documentary focuses on the extent and impact of industrial waste in Nova Scotia. It addresses the difficulties and environmental racism that minority communities face and the fight for action against polluting companies. The film is based on a book of the same name written by Dal prof Ingrid Waldron, and follows female activists in different parts of the province as they share their experiences. I recommend that everyone, especially Nova Scotians, watch this documentary to learn about the oppression and racism that happens in our very own backyard.

 

Why Women are Quitting Their Side Hustle: Leaving LuLaRoe

YouTube

This Vice documentary is available for free on YouTube and talks about the hidden dangers of “get rich quick” schemes and business models. LuLaRoe is one of many companies that promise quick and easy money for those who sign up to sell their products. The documentary follows the experiences of three women who were LuLaRoe sellers who have since left the company. While these women initially built successful careers through LuLaRoe, faulty products, lack of company support, and other issues changed their lives for the worse.