Maximilian Kolbe once said, “No one can change the Truth. What we can do is to seek truth and serve it when we have found it…”
Of course that’s not always easy to do. First, it’s sometimes difficult to recognize what’s true, and what isn’t. Then, there’s figuring out what to do, or what is within our power to do, once we’ve come face to face with a truth worth acting upon. It doesn’t always have to be monumental, or even life changing. But sometimes it can be.
In the spirit of this theme I’d like to present 5 documentaries that, in my view, every American owes it to themselves to watch. I can assure you, even if you don’t typically watch documentaries, you will not be bored by the content or presentation of these films. They are each one at the top of their class. Of course you’ll have to decide for yourself what bias each filmmaker brings to the table, and whether they unduly influence the message or the facts presented. Remember, open-mindedness isn’t as much about being unbiased, as it is being honest with ourselves and others what biases we bring to the conversation. And that is exactly what each of these films represent, a conversation that every conscientious American should, at the very least, be aware of.
In a few cases, I’ve linked to an introduction of sorts from previous posts. Some of these are available for instant viewing, while others can be rented. While they are listed here in chronological order I consider each one, it its own way, of equal importance. Click on the title to follow the link.
The Future of Food (2004) – Trailer and homepage
Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Price (2005) – SnagFilms
An Inconvenient Truth (2006) – On Documentary Lovers
A Crude Awakening: The Oil Crash (2006) – Currently available on Documentary Lovers
I.O.U.S.A. (2008) – Available at Documentary Storm
EDIT (12/29/10): Make that six. I’ve added “Why We Fight,” which, despite appearances, is more about the role of the Military Industrial Complex and its influence over U.S. Foreign Policy, rather than just the Iraq conflict (which happens to be the primary modern-day example given).