Monday, June 29, 2015

Sunday, June 28, 2015

The Top 100 Documentaries We Can Use To Change The World

A more beautiful, just and sustainable world is possible. Take this library and use it to inspire global change!
By Films For Action / filmsforaction.org
 
Documentaries have an incredible power to raise awareness and create transformative changes in consciousness both at the personal and global levels.

Over the last 8 years, we've watched hundreds of social change documentaries and cataloged the best of them on the site. There's now so many that we realized we needed to filter this down even further. So what follows is our list of the very best 100 - hand-picked for their quality, insight and potential to inspire positive change.

All of the films have been selected because they are either free to watch online, or can be rented online. There are several films we would have loved to add to this list, but they currently don't have an accessible way to view them. As that changes, we'll be updating this list over time. Enjoy!


The Economics of Happiness (2011)
65 min · Economic globalization has led to a massive expansion in the scale and power of big business and banking. It has also worsened nearly every problem we face: fundamentalism and...
Money & Life (2013)
86 min · Money & Life is a passionate and inspirational essay-style documentary that asks a provocative question: can we see the economic crisis not as a disaster, but as a tremendous...
Dirt! The Movie (2009)
80 min · DIRT! The Movie takes you inside the wonders of the soil. It tells the story of Earth's most valuable and underappreciated source of fertility--from its miraculous beginning to...
The Corporation (2003)
145 min · The Corporation is today's dominant institution, creating great wealth but also great harm. This 26 award-winning documentary examines the nature, evolution, impacts and future...
In Transition 2.0: A Story of Resilience & Hope in Extraordinary Times (2012)
66 min · This film is an inspirational immersion in the Transition movement, gathering stories from around the world of ordinary people doing extraordinary things. There are stories of...
Within Reach (2013)
87 min · Within Reach explores one couple's pedal-powered search for a place to call home. Mandy and Ryan gave up their jobs, cars, and traditional houses to 'bike-pack' 6500 miles...
Schooling the World (2010)
66 min · A note from Films For Action For the next month, the film-makers who created Schooling The World have generously made their film available to us in the spirit of the...
What A Way To Go: Life at the End of Empire (2007)
123 min · A middle class white guy comes to grips with Peak Oil, Climate Change, Mass Extinction, Population Overshoot and the demise of the American Lifestyle. Featuring interviews...
War Made Easy (2007)
70 min · War Made Easy reaches into the Orwellian memory hole to expose a 50-year pattern of government deception and media spin that has dragged the United States into one war after...
Food Inc. (2008)
93 min · For most Americans, the ideal meal is fast, cheap, and tasty. Food, Inc. examines the costs of putting value and convenience over nutrition and environmental impact. Director...
Beyond Elections: Redefining Democracy in the Americas (2008)
95 min · From Venezuela's Communal Councils, to Brazil's Participatory Budgeting; from Constitutional Assemblies to grassroots movements, recuperated factories to cooperatives across...
PROPAGANDA (2012)
95 min · Since it mysteriously appeared on YouTube on July 18, 2012, ‘Propaganda’ has been described as ‘1984 meets The Blair Witch Project’, ‘A mouthful of scary porridge’, and ‘Even...
Mark Corske's Engines of Domination (2014)
60 min · Political power -- armed central authority, with states and war -- is it part of human nature? Is it necessary for human communities? Or is it a tool that ruling elites use to...
Disruption (2014)
56 min · This is the story of our unique moment in history. We are living through an age of tipping points and rapid social and planetary change. We’re the first generation to feel the...
Crossroads: Labor Pains of a New Worldview (2013)
65 min · Crossroads: Labor Pains of a New Worldview is a documentary exploring the depths of the current human condition and the emergence of a worldview that is recreating our world...
Occupy Love (2013)
85 min · Join acclaimed director Velcrow Ripper on a journey deep inside the global revolution of the heart that is erupting around the planet. Humanity is waking up to the fact that...
Earthlings (2005)
95 min · EARTHLINGS is a feature length documentary about humanity's absolute dependence on animals (for pets, food, clothing, entertainment, and scientific research) but also...
The Choice Is Ours (2015)
59 min · This film series explores many aspects of our society.  To rethink what is possible in our world, we need to consider what kind of world we want to live in.  Although we refer...
Lifting the Veil:  Obama and the Failure of Capitalist Democracy (2011)
114 min · This film explores the historical role of the Democratic Party as the "graveyard of social movements", the massive influence of corporate finance in elections, the absurd...
Edible City: Grow the Revolution (2012)
60 min · Edible City tells the stories of the pioneers who are digging their hands into the dirt, working to transform their communities and do something truly revolutionary: grow...
Fall and Winter (2013)
102 min · This stunning film takes you on a hypnotic journey, reaching to the past to understand the origins of the catastrophic environmental transitions we now face. Over two years...
Real Estate 4 Ransom: Why Does Land Cost the Earth? (2012)
39 min · REAL ESTATE 4 RAN$OM outlines a genuine alternative to the global property speculation that forced so many into debt. Doubling the pressure, the tax game has become just that...
2012: Time For Change (2010)
85 min · "2012: Time for Change" presents an optimistic alternative to apocalyptic doom and gloom. Directed by Emmy Award nominee João Amorim, the film follows journalist Daniel...
The War You Don't See (2010)
98 min · A powerful and timely investigation into the media’s role in war, tracing the history of embedded and independent reporting from the carnage of World War One to the destruction...
Peace, Propaganda And The Promised Land (2004)
79 min · Provides a striking comparison of U.S. and international media coverage of the crisis in the Middle East, zeroing in on how structural distortions in U.S. coverage have...
The Crisis of Civilization (2011)
87 min · A dark comedy remix mash-up bonanza about the end of industrial civilization. featuring clowns, car crashes, explosions, super heroes, and xylophones and much, much more ...
The Evolution of Ecological Consciousness (2013)
109 min · Permaculture designer Andrew Faust gives us an inspiring and heady narrative about the evolution of all life and human consciousness on Mother Earth.  For more info about...
Zeitgeist: Moving Forward (2011)
162 min · A feature length documentary by Peter Joseph that presents the case for a needed transition out of the current socioeconomic monetary paradigm which governs the entire world...
The Power of Community: How Cuba Survived Peak Oil (2006)
52 min · When the Soviet Union collapsed in 1990, Cuba's economy went into a tailspin. With imports of oil cut by more than half – and food by 80 percent – people were desperate. This...
For The Next 7 Generations (2009)
84 min · In 2004, thirteen Indigenous Grandmothers from all four corners, moved by their concern for our planet, came together at a historic gathering, where they decided to form an...
Capitalism: A Love Story (2009)
127 min · Michael Moore’s Capitalism: A Love Story comes home to the issue he’s been examining throughout his career: the disastrous impact of corporate dominance on the everyday lives...
Inequality For All (2013)
90 min · A passionate argument on behalf of the middle class, INEQUALITY FOR ALL features Robert Reich—professor, best-selling author, and Clinton cabinet member—as he demonstrates how...
First Earth: Uncompromising Ecological Architecture (2010)
90 min · FIRST EARTH is a documentary about the movement towards a massive paradigm shift for shelter -- building healthy houses in the old ways, out of the very earth itself, and...
END: CIV (2011)
75 min · Directed by Franklin Lopez, END:CIV examines our culture’s addiction to systematic violence and environmental exploitation, and probes the resulting epidemic of poisoned...
Fresh: New Thinking about What We're Eating (2009)
70 min · FRESH celebrates the farmers, thinkers and business people across America who are re-inventing our food system. Each has witnessed the rapid transformation of our agriculture...
The Canary Effect: Kill the Indian, Save the Man (2006)
63 min · From multi-award winning directors Robin Davey and  Yellow Thunder Woman, comes this 'Illuminating Documentary' (Time Out). Delving deeply into the often misunderstood and...
Inhabit: A Permaculture Perspective (2015)
92 min · Humanity is more than ever threatened by its own actions; we hear a lot about the need to minimize footprints and to reduce our impact. But what if our footprints were...
Garbage Warrior (2007)
87 min · What do beer cans, car tires and water bottles have in common? Not much unless you're renegade architect Michael Reynolds, in which case they are tools of choice for producing...
Miss Representation (2011)
90 min · Miss Representation explores how the media’s misrepresentations of women have led to the underrepresentation of women in positions of power and...
The Secret of Oz (2009)
110 min · Thirteen years ago, in a documentary called "The Money Masters", we asked the question why is America going broke. It wasn't clear then that we were, but it is today. Now the...
The Myth of the Liberal Media: The Propaganda Model of News (1997)
59 min · Edward Herman and Noam Chomsky demolish one of the central tenets of our political culture, the idea of the "liberal media." Instead, utilizing a systematic model based on...
Breaking The Taboo (2011)
58 min · Narrated by Oscar winning actor Morgan Freeman, the film follows The Global Commission on Drug Policy on a mission to break the political taboo over the United States led War...
Class Dismissed: How TV Frames the Working Class (2005)
64 min · Based on the book by Pepi Leistyna, Class Dismissed navigates the steady stream of narrow working class representations from American television's beginnings to today's...
Can We Do It Ourselves? (2015)
59 min · Within modern life exists a paradox: we celebrate democracy as a political system, but not as an economic system, even though our workplaces have a far greater impact on our...
Affluenza (1997)
56 min · AFFLUENZA is a groundbreaking film that diagnoses a serious social disease - caused by consumerism, commercialism and rampant materialism - that is having a devastating impact...
The Take: Occupy, Resist, Produce (2004)
87 min · In the wake of Argentina's dramatic economic collapse in 2001, Latin America's most prosperous middle class finds itself in a ghost town of abandoned factories and mass...
Anima Mundi: Permaculture, Peak Oil, Climate Change and the Soul of the World (2011)
77 min · Many people do not realize that permaculture is much more than about growing fruit and vegetables, it is a whole view incorporating the environment, energy, resources...
Legalize Democracy (2014)
30 min · Legalize Democracy is a documentary film by Dennis Trainor, Jr. about a movement to amend the U.S. Constitution so that Corporations are not considered people, and money is not...
The Yes Men Fix The World (2009)
95 min · The Yes Men Fix the World is a screwball true story about two gonzo political activists who, posing as top executives of giant corporations, lie their way into big business...
Gasland (2010)
102 min · The Halliburton-developed drilling technology of “fracking” or hydraulic fracturing has unlocked a “Saudia Arabia of natural gas” just beneath us. But is fracking safe? When...
Golden Rule: The Investment Theory of Politics (2009)
87 min · The definitive documentary explaining the influence of money on politics by Jonathan Shockley. If you like it, consider buying the high quality DVD or donating a few $ at...
Prout: Economic Democracy in Practice (2004)
30 min · Economics of Prout covers the basic economic principles of Prout, which offers a viable alternative to the materialistic, anti human philosophies of Capitalism and Communism.
DIVE! Living Off America's Waste (2009)
53 min · Inspired by a curiosity about our country's careless habit of sending food straight to landfills, the multi award-winning documentary DIVE! follows filmmaker Jeremy Seifert and...
The Nature of Cities (2010)
39 min · "The Nature Of Cities" follows the journey of Professor Timothy Beatley as he explores urban projects around the world, representing the new green movement that hopes to move...
Not Business As Usual (2014)
61 min · Not Business As Usual is a provocative look at capitalism and its unintended price of success. The film tracks the changing landscape of business with the rising tide of...
Unwasted: The Future Of Business On Earth (2011)
54 min · Unwasted presents the alluring ideal of zero waste as a key element of the sustainable business model. While some may shake their heads thinking this an impossible task, it’s...
Enough Is Enough (2014)
18 min · Enough Is Enough lays out a visionary but realistic alternative to the perpetual pursuit of economic growth-an economy where the goal is enough, not more. “Based on the...
Class Dismissed (2004)
27 min · Class Dismissed provides a critical look at how U.S. history is taught in high school, at the myths that reduce the complexity of history into simple soundbites, and the...
Prosocial Progress: A Blueprint For Social Sustainability (2013)
55 min · Prosocial Progress aims to demonstrate how behavioural science can be utilised on a large scale in areas of child development, education and the culture itself in order to...
The Evilness of Power (2008)
92 min · THE EVILNESS OF POWER examines the ways in which power and hierarchy affect individuals, society, and the world at large. It's possibly the best film on the subject ever...
Waste = Food (2007)
49 min · Man is the only creature that produces landfills. Natural resources are being depleted on a rapid scale while production and consumption are rising in na­tions like China and...
Wal-Mart: the High Cost of Low Price (2005)
98 min · The film dives into the deeply personal stories and everyday lives of families and communities struggling to fight a goliath. A working mother is forced to turn to public...
Toxic Sludge Is Good For You: The Public Relations Industry Unspun (2002)
45 min · While advertising is the visible component of the corporate system, perhaps even more important and pervasive is its invisible partner, the public relations industry. This...
Words From The Edge (2013)
50 min · Words From The Edge is a film about the unprecedented transition that we are undergoing from a culture of industrial growth and inequality to what must inevitably be more...
Law Enforcement Opposed to the War on Drugs (2006)
54 min · Cops and former cops who have put in decades fighting the war on drugs speak out against prohibition.
Growing Change: A Journey Inside Venezuela's Food Revolution (2011)
60 min · Growing Change follows the filmmaker's journey to understand why current food systems leave hundreds of millions of people in hunger.  It's a journey to understand how the...
Breaking The Silence - Truth And Lies In The War On Terror (2003)
51 min · "BREAKING THE SILENCE is a film with enormous emotional power, bringing us the human consequences of our military attacks on Middle East countries. It also provides us with...
Capitalism Is The Crisis (2011)
100 min · This documentary explains the nature of capitalist crisis, visits the protests against austerity measures, and recommends revolutionary paths for the future.
The Age of Stupid (2009)
88 min · Oscar-nominated Pete Postlethwaite plays an old man living in the devastated world of 2055 in this documentary-drama-animation hybrid from Director Franny Armstrong and...
Sir! No Sir! - The GI Movement to End the Vietnam War (2005)
49 min · This feature-length documentary focuses on the efforts by troops in the U.S. military during the Vietnam War to oppose the war effort by peaceful demonstration and subversion...
Manufacturing Consent: Noam Chomsky and the Media (1992)
167 min · Funny, provocative and surprisingly accessible, the film explores the political life and ideas of Noam Chomsky, world-renowned linguist, intellectual and political activist. A...
The Soil Solution To Climate Change (2013)
30 min · What If A Solution To Climate Change Was Beneath Your Feet?  Soil is a living universe beneath our feet. As important to our lives as clean air and water, soil also holds a...
Singapore: Biophilic City (2012)
44 min · A whirlwind week in Singapore exploring the amazing story of how Singapore came to be one of the most 'biophilic' cities of the world, on the cutting edge of ecocity design and...
Education For a Sustainable Future (2012)
53 min · Education For a Sustainable Future presents information on how today's practices in schools are socially unsustainable. The documentary film critically analyses what is...
The Bloom Episode 3: New Ways of the Sacred
70 min · Part III of The Bloom “New Ways of The Sacred” looks at how Transformational Festivals are venues for an active engagement with ancient, universal themes of MYTHOS, RITUAL and...
The Superior Human? (2012)
73 min · A documentary that systematically challenges the common human belief that humans are superior to other life forms. The documentary reveals the absurdity of this belief while...
Cultural Creatives 1.0: The (R)evolution
81 min · Featuring many key figures from Europe and the U.S., this is the first documentary film to look with scientific thoroughness at the world of Cultural Creatives. It shows that a...
Zeitgeist: Addendum (2008)
123 min · Zeitgeist: Addendum, a 2008 documentary film produced by Peter Joseph, is a continuation of the film Zeitgeist, the Movie. The film includes facts regarding the Federal Reserve...
The Global Brain: Peter Russell (1983)
35 min · Peter Russell’s award-winning video, based on a live audio-visual presentation in 1983. He explores the idea that the Earth is an integrated, self-regulating living organism...
Human Resources: Social Engineering in the 20th Century (2010)
119 min · Human Resources explores the rise of mechanistic philosophy and the exploitation of human beings under modern hierarchical systems. Topics covered include behaviorism...
Park Avenue: Money, Power And The American Dream (2012)
59 min · Academy Award-winning filmmaker Alex Gibney (Taxi to the Dark Side, Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room) presents his take on the gap between rich and poor Americans in Park...
Origins (2014)
101 min · This is a movie about how we have left the natural connection to the planet. The movie investigates how this has happened, the incredible amounts of pollutants that we are...
Cointelpro 101 (2010)
56 min · COINTELPRO may not be a well-understood acronym but its meaning and continuing impact are absolutely central to understanding the government’s wars and repression against...
Starsuckers (2009)
72 min · Starsuckers is a documentary about our celebrity obsessed media. It uncovers the real reasons behind our addiction to fame and blows the lid off the corporations and...
The Power Principle: Corporate Empire and the Rise of the National Security State (2012)
95 min · "A gripping, deeply informative account of the plunder, hypocrisy, and mass violence of plutocracy and empire; insightful, historically grounded and highly relevant to the...
The New Rulers of the World (2001)
52 min · 'The New Rulers Of The World analyzes the new global economy and reveals that the divisions between the rich and poor have never been greater - two thirds of the world's...
War By Other Means (1992)
52 min · John Pilger travels to many third world countries to investigate the devastating results of loans from the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF). This film shows...
Occupied Cascadia (2012)
116 min · Occupied Cascadia is a documentary film both journalistic and expressionistic. Exploring the emerging understanding of bioregionalism within the lands and waters of the...
Orwell Rolls In His Grave (2003)
105 min · "Orwell Rolls Over In His Grave" expresses ideas that will never be heard in mainstream media. It is the consummate critical examination of the Fourth Estate, once the bastion...
PsyWar: The Real Battlefield is the Mind (2010)
99 min · This film explores the evolution of propaganda and public relations in the United States, with an emphasis on the "elitist theory of democracy" and the relationship between...
Transitions For Society: Job Guarantee and Basic Income (2014)
20 min · This film presents a huge social problem called technological unemployment. Whilst doing so, the film also presents two potential solutions to this major social issue. The...
Own The Change: Building Economic Democracy One Worker Co-op at a Time (2015)
20 min · Own the Change: Building Economic Democracy One Worker Co-op at a Time is a short documentary meant to give an overview of what a worker co-op is, how it can transform lives...
The Lottery of Birth (2013)
76 min · Do you shape the world or does it shape you? Drawing on leading thinkers from around the world, and with a torrent of mind-expanding ideas and information, THE LOTTERY OF BIRTH...
Permaculture: A Quiet Revolution (2008)
26 min · As corporate media fails to provide accurate news of the world's dire environmental predicament, the Earth sends a clear message in the form of record-breaking natural...
What I've Learned About U.S. Foreign Policy (2000)
118 min · This is a powerful 10-part compilation that (in important ways) pulls aside the veil of Official myths and Lies about "freedom", "democracy", Human Rights, etc., being the...
Connected: A Film for Change (2013)
42 min · 'Connected' is a film made by Paul and Kate Maple, a UK based couple who have made it their lives for the last 4 years. Worried about the future and the seemingly...
Sprawling from Grace: Driven to Madness (2008)
81 min · For as long as most Americans can remember the car has been the embodiment of the American dream. But with more than 250 million cars and trucks on the road, Americans have...
A Crude Awakening (2007)
82 min · Produced and directed by award-winning European journalists and filmmakers Basil Gelpke and Ray McCormack, A Crude Awakening tells the story of how our civilization’s addiction...
No Logo: Brands. Globalization. Resistance. (2003)
40 min · In the age of the brand, logos are everywhere. But why do some of the world’s best-known brands find themselves on the wrong end of the spray paint can — the targets of...