Documentaries

Human

What is it that makes us human? With this simple but powerful question we enter fully into the discovery and reflection of our own essence as a species. Love, freedom, fear, hope or sadness. Paradoxically, those themes that are deepest and most identifiable with the human being are the ones that we find most difficult to express in our lives. No one is exempt from them and yet, instead of sharing and embracing them, we silence them because of our own insecurity and discomfort in facing them. Yann Arthus-Bertrand has collected stories from thousands of people from dozens of different countries; some heartbreaking, others worthy of being part of science fiction books and others capable of reaching the most walled-in heart. Each and every story is worthy of being shared and heard. In them are collected pieces of wisdom, which after being gathered with a little awareness and observation, we…

City of Joy

In spite of facing unimaginable experiences full of pain and suffering, Congolese women show us their illusion and desire to live in the City of Joy. Decades of exploitation, abuse and human rights violations in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) have made women clear targets of war. Dr. Denis Mukwege, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize in 2016, puts his life at risk every day as he fights to restore the dignity, courage and respect that was taken from them along the way. Even behind these horrific events there is light, strength, hope and love. It is a truly beautiful and moving scene to watch these women singing, dancing, jumping and laughing together. Enjoying life itself, despite all the traumas they have experienced. That they continue to discover reasons to continue dreaming is little less than inspiring. I think that the description of this documentary, directed by Madeleine Gavin,…

Tomorrow

Humanity is based on enormous pillars: agriculture, energy, economy, politics and education. A transition to more sustainable, inclusive and respectful models is key to its future. By returning to the local, the community, the participatory, the respect and inclusion of each of us and the connection with nature, we allow ourselves to build the world in which we really want to live. Melanie Laurent and Cyril Dion in Mañana have allowed us to discover people with dreams, proposals and projects that are heading in this direction. Fortunately, the world is full of wonderful people acting according to this beautiful common future. The documentary is a beautiful demonstration that small ideas and voices can be heard loud and far if the purpose is always done from the heart. We must never underestimate the value of small actions done from the illusion. If we take all these actions apart, we realize that…

My little big farm

They made possible what seemed impossible. In this documentary an American couple living in California shows us their dream of running a sustainable farm come true. Their secret? A lot of faith and love for nature. Experience can be a desirable companion but not a determining factor in reaching your goal, whatever it may be. John and Molly Chester are a living example of this by working their way through intimidating obstacles with admirable determination and drive, being mere apprentices of the agricultural world and its wonderful mysteries. Always open to moving forward by internalizing those lessons hidden among their mistakes, they began to be aware step by step of the incredible role that every form of life has in the natural environment. They created and forged new relationships, until those even labeled as enemies were discovered to be on their side. In this beautiful dance of life, we see…

Minimalism: a documentary about the important things

Consumption. Let’s face it, virtually all areas of our lives revolve around consumption, for better or for worse. If it is not carried out in a conscious and balanced way, consumerism can drag us into a maelstrom from which it is difficult to get out, just like most of society. Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus show in this documentary another way of dealing with the acquisition of goods and most importantly, another way of relating to them: minimalism, healthy both personally and for the planet. Without a doubt, applying minimalism according to one’s individual needs is a great way to make this world a better place.

Ram Dass, coming home

Small but intimate compilation of the life, learning and teachings of Ram Dass, psychoanalyst and spiritual master. The life of Ram Dass deserves without doubt to be collected in a documentary. Being a professor of psychology and researcher at Harvard with a more than accentuated interest in the search for a higher consciousness, he ended up in India and learning from his guru, Neem Karoli Baba. At an early age, he suffered a stroke. Maharaj-ji, as Neem Karoli Baba was called, told him that his stroke would be a blessing. His sudden and pronounced dependence enabled Ram Dass to gain access to other perspectives on life and to deepen his inner work. As he himself maintains: “I don’t wish anyone to have a stroke, but I wish everyone to take the lessons that a stroke has given me.” In this good film work directed by Derek Peck, one can see…

Seed: the untold story

Humans and plants have coexisted for thousands of years, giving birth to a huge variety of crops all over the world in a “domesticated evolution”. Today, that valuable biological knowledge achieved through the efforts of much of humanity is disappearing by leaps and bounds. I remember that in an ecology class while I was in college, a teacher asked us to hold a seed. She then asked us what we had in our hands. After several answers that she considered insufficiently valid to her expectations, she told us in a clear and emphatic voice: “Life! What you are holding is life! Instead of preserving this fascinating diversity, we have been selecting those species most in line with the eyes of the tireless and endlessly unsatisfied market, with the consequent loss of those ancestral wonders that are and were so valuable: “Seeds: The Untold Story”, directed by Jon Betz and Taggart…

The case of chocolate

Chocolate lovers, I have some bad news for you: quite surely the vast majority of you, by consuming chocolate, are financing, and therefore favouring, the exploitation of children in African cocoa plantations. Powerful and perfectly legally armoured multinationals, people in extreme humility in need of employment and resources, lax and manipulable governments together with a star product highly consumed by the West, make chocolate a perfect Molotov cocktail for the violation of human rights. “The Case of Chocolate” is a documentary directed by several Dutch journalists who embark on the adventure of uncovering everything that lies behind every appealing and seemingly innocent bar of chocolate, always with an eye towards child exploitation. Their goal? To try to make this world a better place.

Dispossessed

Population growth has meant that food needs have increased over time, acquiring new methodology or compounds, such as agrochemicals or intensive agriculture. In “The Dispossessed” directed by Mathieu Roy, we can see the struggle of millions of farmers around the world who are forced to migrate to the cities because their work on the land does not allow them to live. Those who remain on agricultural land are driven by necessity to take on poorly paid jobs. In other cases they even continue to go to them in spite of not having been paid for long periods of time in the hope of one day being paid, since they do not have a better option within their reach. The reality again is that the economic interests of business overlap with the rights of all these agricultural workers in much of the world. By taking an interest in and informing ourselves…

The racing extinction

Real evolutionary titans are becoming extinct every day. All living beings that share the Earth with us are the champions of champions, they have existed for millions of years on our planet and are the result of no more and no less than five previous mass extinctions. Experts say that we are now in the middle of the sixth, and the origin does not seem to have much room for doubt: the human being. Over-exploitation, habitat destruction, the introduction of invasive species and pollution, among others, are putting enormous numbers of species between a rock and a hard place. The wonder of life itself must be respected and its value recognized at an intrinsic level. All living things hide fascinating secrets from which we still have a lot to learn, and certainly to imitate. After all, nature is an enormous source of knowledge. Louie Psihoyos together with artists, scientists and…

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