Friday, May 27, 2011

A few fantastic documentaries

I'm often looking for something to watch on Netflix Instant while I crochet. Having made it through all the available seasons of Say Yes to the Dress (seriously), I've moved on recently to less embarrassing fare.

If you have access to Netflix Instant movies, check out these three documentaries. I bet you'll enjoy them as I did!

All images from Netflix; click the images for more information on their website.

The Wildest Dream

Awhile back, I read the book Paths of Glory by Jeffrey Archer. It's a novel based on the true story of George Mallory.

Mallory tried to climb Mount Everest long before Sir Edmund Hillary successfully conquered the peak. Mallory died close to the top of the mountain, but no one knows for sure whether or not he made it to the top before falling to his death.

I really enjoyed the book, and have been fascinated with Everest ever since. When I came across this documentary, I knew I wanted to watch it. It's about Conrad Anker, an Englishman who wanted to attempt to climb Everest without fancy equipment, just as George Mallory attempted, to see if it can be done.

Anker is interviewed throughout the movie, so we know he survived his quest...but we don't know if he succeeded until near the end. If you enjoy suspenseful, real-life adventure stories, check out The Wildest Dream.

God Grew Tired of Us

I was ignorant regarding Sudan until I watched this movie. I didn't know about the thousands of boys who fled Sudan during its civil war (1993-2005), many of them ending up in refugee camps (and many of them dying along the way.) They are called the Lost Boys of Sudan.

God Grew Tired of Us is about several of these boys--now young men--who immigrate to America. They have to learn to use to handle requests for money from refugees back at the to survive in a place where both wages and expenses are ridiculously high compared to where they'd lived in Africa.

Watching their adjustment to America is fascinating, and watching their hard-fought successes is inspiring.

By the way, don't let the name fool you; this is not a move that is antagonistic toward people of faith. Watch this one if you want to see both Africa and America from a different point of view.

National Geographic: Inside North Korea

A few years ago, Lisa Ling traveled to North Korea with a cataract surgeon who went there to give sight to the blind. (There is very little medical care in North Korea.) Ling pretended to be a nurse, but was actually there to document the real North Korea, one of the most secretive and oppressive countries in the world.

The whole movie is eye-opening, sad, and fascinating; and the last scene is positively chilling. I'm horrified that this country has nuclear weapons now.

Inside North Korea is only 50 minutes long, and I hope you'll be able to watch it. (When you're done, you might like to watch Kimjongilia, a 73-minute documentary about the oppressive regimes of Kim Jong Il and his father, and about people who have successfully escaped North Korea.)


If you watch any of these documentaries, be sure to let me know what you think!

Disclosure: These are unpaid reviews of movies I just felt like watching.


Call Me Cate said...

Perhaps once I finish the, umm, quality series I'm in the middle of (Twin Peaks), I'll check a couple of these out. They sound interesting. I <3 Netflix streaming.

Sandra said...

These sound really interesting, Beth. But what caught my interest too is that you don't think Say Yes to the Dress is quality television??!! I think of it as sort of Pride and Prejudice meets The Devil Wears Prada! :) I love watching it, Cupcake Wars, and any Food Network Challenge. In my opinion, although not highbrow, those are alot better choices than the sitcoms that have so much bad language and sex.