Inspiring Viewing: True Stories & Game-Changer Documentaries You Can't Miss

In the vast world of cinema, some films stand as powerful vessels of inspiration and information, transcending mere entertainment to provoke thought, ignite change, and leave a lasting imprint on our hearts and minds. In this selection, we bring you a quartet of films that accomplish just that – offering a blend of real-world revelations, eco-conscious insights, and a heartfelt plea for a better world.

1. Kiss the Ground (Netflix, 2020) - A Documentary Unveiling Earth's Hidden Treasure

"Kiss the Ground," a Netflix documentary released in 2020, invites you on a journey beneath the surface – quite literally. Narrated by the iconic Woody Harrelson, this documentary is a source of empowerment as it explores the transformative potential of something often overlooked: soil.

The film presents a revolutionary concept – regenerative agriculture as a powerful tool to combat climate change. With insights from science experts and the voices of celebrity activists like Gisele Bündchen, Tom Brady and Ian Somerhalder, "Kiss the Ground" paints a compelling portrait of our Earth's most precious resource.

The core message is simple yet profound: by farming in harmony with nature, we can restore balance to our planet. This documentary offers a message of hope and actionable change, reminding us that solutions are within reach, and our planet's vitality lies beneath our feet.

Our Rating 9/10

See The New York Times Review

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2. Painkiller (Netflix, 2023)  - Unveiling the Opioid Crisis

Prepare yourself for a journey that will challenge your perceptions and leave you with a profound sense of awareness. "Painkiller," a gripping series available on Netflix, takes you deep into the heart of the opioid crisis, unraveling a narrative meticulously researched and rooted in reality.

Each episode opens with the heart-wrenching story of those who have suffered the devastating effects of the opioid crisis, setting the stage for a powerful exploration. As the series unfolds, it uncovers the layers surrounding Purdue Pharma, owned by the Sackler family, while simultaneously tracing the harrowing journey of a family entangled in the crisis' destructive grip.

"Painkiller" is more than entertainment; it is a vessel for crucial truths. It underscores the importance of skepticism, regardless of a company's size, and showcases the profound impact a handful of courageous individuals can have on countless lives.

While "Painkiller" debuted on Netflix in August 2023, its narrative continues to unfold in the real world. The Sacklers' agreement to a potential $6 billion settlement in May 2023 serves as a poignant reminder that the battle is far from over.

Our Rating: 9/10 

See Time Magazine Review

3. Dark Waters (Netflix, 2019) - A Real-Life Thriller That Leaves You Stunned

"Dark Waters" is not just a film; it's a revelation. This gripping tale, available on Netflix, not only tells a riveting story but also exposes unsettling truths based on real events.

Mark Ruffalo leads the charge in this legal thriller, portraying the relentless pursuit of truth by attorney Rob Bilott. What he uncovers is nothing short of shocking: a chemical company polluting drinking water with a harmful substance. This story isn't fiction; it's a chilling account inspired by actual events.

As you immerse yourself in this narrative, you'll witness the unwavering determination of one individual to stand up against corporate deceit. Mark Ruffalo's performance ensures that you'll be emotionally invested from start to finish. "Dark Waters" is a stark reminder that the world isn't always as it seems and that fighting for justice demands immense courage.

For those seeking a film that experience’s both riveting and thought-provoking, "Dark Waters" is an absolute must-watch. This slow-burn thriller is a testament to the power of storytelling and the importance of shedding light on hidden truths.

Our Rating 8.5/10

See The Guardians Review

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4. Save Ralph (YouTube, 2021) – An Emotional Tale: An Animated Short Film about an Animal Test Rabbit Named Ralph

In just four minutes, "Save Ralph" conveys a message so powerful that it lingers in your heart and mind long after it finishes. This poignant stop-motion animated short sheds light on the dark reality of animal testing in the beauty industry.

Released on YouTube in 2021 and produced by the Humane Society International (HSI), "Save Ralph" is more than just a film – it's a call to action. With renowned voices like Taika Waitiiti, Ricky Gervais, Zac Efron, and Olivia Wilde lending their support, the film introduces us to Ralph, an animal test rabbit. As Ralph shares his story, his suffering becomes a symbol of the cruelty animals endure.

Although Australia has already banned animal testing on cosmetics, "Save Ralph" addresses the pressing global issue. Reports indicate that over 88% of leading beauty brands continue testing on animals overseas(1). The film passionately advocates for cruelty-free alternatives, serving as an emotional wake-up call that sparks empathy and action. Its simplicity and emotional depth captivate audiences, highlighting the profound impact of storytelling.

Our Rating: 9/10

See Variety Magazine Review

 

Watch 'Save Ralph' Short Film 

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As you consider your next movie night, remember that these four shows go beyond entertainment. They challenge our perspectives, inspire us to take action, and remind us that the power of film extends far beyond the screen. These are stories that empower, inform, and beckon us to be agents of change in our world.

 Reference: (1) 88% of Top Beauty Brands Fund Animal Testing (Animal Testing Statistics), Suzana Rose, Oct 4, 2021