documentary club

April 25, 2014

Last week, during our "annual springtime picnic" (which, unfortunately, went undocumented for the first time in history because sometimes you get to the age where you just don't care enough to take pictures of your picnic!) we somehow started talking about documentaries we've seen, and let's be honest, how some of those are actually the most interesting shows to watch on Netflix. At least I think so. I have a hard time really getting into television series, and most movies on there (besides Titanic, of course) I never want to watch anyway.

My best friend Sara, who graduated from BYU with a media arts degree (and just got accepted into Northwestern's documentary grad program!! So, so excited for her!) is the queen of knowledge when it comes to these kinds of things. So by the end of the night we decided on starting a documentary club where we get together once a month + in sweats + and watch/discuss whatever documentary we've chosen, Sara leading the way. For anyone who has Netflix and an open night, I just want to recommend the following:

Queen of Versailles
This film won't change your life, but it's definitely an entertaining two hours worth your time. It's about the Siegel family with millions and even billions of dollars, in the midst of building the largest home in America (90,000 sq. feet! that is literally over 100 times bigger than where I live!) ... and then the stock market crash of 2007 hits. The entire time all you keep thinking about is how unsatisfying all of that "stuff" is, or would be, I guess. Money does not buy happiness, but good relationships with family and friends do. I really, really liked it, and found the wife, as extravagant as she was, to be really likeable and endearing.

Ken Burns: The War
I hadn't heard of him before, but apparently Ken Burns is an amazing world-renowned filmmaker, and this 8 hour documentary is absolutely incredible. It took me a few weeks to get through, but Max, whose never been into this kind of stuff, watched all of it with me. If anything about WWII is fascinating to you, I'm sure you would love this. There is so much I learned, and some of the footage is simply unreal. I heard his other documentaries are just as good too!

You may have heard of Blackfish before, or maybe at least of the famous performing "killer whale" Tilikum at SeaWorld. Truthfully, I've never given much though to "animal rights" or activists until I saw this movie. It's really sad and at times even disturbing, but it is so well done with an argument so compelling you want to do something about it by the time you finish it.

Surprise, surprise. If you're not a Republican/conservative, you will probably only watch this and be grateful he never won, and maybe (maybe) at least walk away thinking that their family values and relationships are worth mirroring in your own home. If you are a Republican or a conservative, you will be genuinely depressed about the 2012 election all over again and secretly hope your sister marries one of his sons. And maybe hope that you can be as classy as Ann Romney one day too. I feel like this documentary shows a really honest and real side to politics, and yes, of course I'd recommend it.

That's it. My coworker tells me that anyone who signs up for Netflix should automatically be required to buy a gym pass too :) (she has a point)

Have a great weekend!

1 comment:

Amanda Fry said...

I've seen The Queen of Versailles, Blackfish, and part of Mitt. I found Queen of Versailles to be entertaining as well. I couldn't believe the wealth that that family was accustomed to for so long! And Blackfish was crazy sad. I made my sisters watch it too because it was just so shocking! I still need to finish Mitt, and I'm curious about the other one you recommended!

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