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5 Must Watch Documentaries on Netflix #StreamTeam

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Some of the most fascinating and entertaining films never come to your local theater.  In fact, most are incredibly hard to come by.  I am speaking of documentaries.  I know, before you role your eyes and close the tab on your browser, hear me out.

Long gone are the days (sort of) of the dry, slow, narrated by gentle spoken Brit, boring documentaries.  Today there is a whole pantheon of unique, engaging, entertaining, and mind opening films, in the category documentary. Some will enlighten you, some will sway you, some will have you in tears, some will move you to action, some will have you yelling at your screen, but no matter what you will have been “entertained.” And there is one amazing spot to go to find virtually all of them… Netflix!
Here is a short list some of my favorite docs that you can currently find on Netflix.
  BLACKFISH_Film_Poster
Wether  you are fan of Sea World or a follower of the PETA mindset, this film will surely move you or at least create though provoking dialog around the water cooler at work.  Do orca whales belong in captivity?  Does the funding for research and rescue efforts, as well as habitat cleanup, preservation and general awareness, generated by Sea World and the captivity of marine mammals justify the possibly inhuman environment the animals are placed in.  These are some of the questions posed by this amazing documentary.
 jobsOneLastThing
Steve Jobs: One Last Thing
Apple is more than just a household name, it is a movement, a status symbol, and a cultural icon.  But how many people know where and how it began?  Did you ever experience the Apple II? Or the Macintosh?  This film takes a look at the man who lead a generation into a new frontier of the digital age.  Some love him, some hate him, virtually no one stands in the middle.  This film is more on the “pro-Jobs” side of the argument, it is thought provoking, well crafted and even moving at times, bringing feelings of gratitude for the genius of Jobs for all he has given society.  A must watch.
 mile
Mile… Mile & A Half
This is one of the most inspiring documentaries of the group, inspiring to get off my butt and go do something incredible.  As a filmmaker myself I can relate maybe more than some to this group of friends (filmmakers) who set out to follow the 219 entirety of the John Muir Trail.  The fact my mother was the one who demanded I see this film justifies it’s presence on the short list of must see docs on Netflix.  The shear beauty of nature inspires, that is a given.  More than the portrayal of the wilds of the trail, the journey itself touched a place deep in my heart, a desire to challenge myself to do simple, yet great, things.  I find myself feeling the struggle of the 219 miles as I root for these friends as they face the challenges of Mother Nature.  Their humanity and the struggle for meaningful existence is made so accessible for the audience, it is impossible to not be captured in the adventure.
becomingElmo
Who didn’t grow up with Sesame Street?  Sure, my parents and grandparents generations… but that is not the point.  Elmo is one of the most recognizable characters in children’s entertainment, a cultural phenomenon.  Meet the man behind the puppet.  What the incredible story of a boy with a dream who is thrust into the spotlight as “Elmo.”  Not only does this film inspire one to reach for their dreams, it makes one feel grateful for the other dreamers who add to the richness of life’s experiences.
 Side_by_side_2012
Side By Side
Side By Side is the most niche film of the short list.  This film is by Keanu Reeves and explores the birth and expansion of digital technology in the more than one hundred year old craft of filmmaking.  As a filmmaker myself I am a romantic for the old ways, the smell of the unprocessed film, the way the shutter clicks and the film advances in film camera.  This film takes a look at the world of digital photography as it pertains to film and asks the question of some of the greatest filmmakers of our time, “Film or Digital.”

What is your favorite Documentary?

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