Documentary filmmakers have the unique opportunity to use such a visual medium to bring together narratives from across the globe. There are some amazing documentaries that bring to light the narratives of women, people of color, and other marginalized groups that are not accustomed to having their stories told. As technology continues to advance, media hubs like Netflix and Hulu offer millions of us access to insane amounts of visual content, making documentaries more powerful (and wide-reaching) than ever. Documentaries have the power to affect real change by bringing visibility to those who desperately need it.
Here are some empowering documentaries that are available now on Netflix that you should consider watching.
Half the Sky – Director Maro Chermayeff is inspired by the book by the same name and tells the story of women all over the world who are fighting against systemic oppression. The film shines a light on just how dangerous sex trafficking and gender based violence are to the population. The documentary is filmed throughout ten countries with many celebrity advocates voicing their concerns for these important human rights issues.
Dark Girls – Directed by D. Channsin Berry and Bill Duke, this emotional documentary explores all forms of Western beauty standards and the challenges those standards then enforce on dark-skinned women. This film offers a very exhilarating and candid look into the meaning of skin color in black America, and tackles a topic that countless young women experience today.
It’s a Girl – Directed by Evan Grae Davis, It’s a Girl explores the continuing and growing epidemic of female infanticide particularly in India and China. In these countries there are more unwanted baby girls killed each year than there are born annually in the United States. The huge imbalance in numbers of males to females leads to a higher rate of sex trafficking, prostitution and kidnapping of young girls for marriages. This film reminds us of the importance of getting this message out, and that baby girls are of equal value to boys, even if some cultures don’t think so.
What inspiring documentaries have you watched lately?