By: Hannah Heitz
Miss Representation: A thought-provoking documentary that investigates how the media portrays women and how this portrayal leads to low self-esteem, mental illness, and body image distress. It includes interviews with a wide range of players in the media industry and promotes dialogue surrounding gender equality, body image, and wellness.
Food, Inc.: A deep look into our food industry that exposes the practices of the American food system. This is a great overview of the many problems that exist within our nation—from food security to food production. This documentary is a great catalyst for discussion of individual changes and population-level changes that could promote improvement to our health and our environment.
Rich Hill: This film takes a glimpse into the lives of young teenagers in a poverty-stricken, rural town by the name of Rich Hill. Although it is hard to watch at times, it shows the resiliency of youth and families in the face of systemic poverty and lack of access to health care. Although it is a heavy film, it leaves hope and prompts conversation on the role policy change can improve the lives of individuals.
The House I Live In: This prize-winning Sundance documentary showcases the effects of current drug policy in America. The film takes a very raw look at the individual experience of substance abuse, selling drugs, and prison experience. The film analyzes a prejudiced system that perpetuates a cycle of sending African American men to prison and exposes the inherent discrimination across numerous levels of legal implementation.
Ted Talks: If you only want to watch a few minutes of a show, then Ted Talks are the perfect option! Ranging from about ten to twenty-five minutes, there are hundreds of interesting options from Mark Bittman’s opinion on America’s food habits to Kelly McGonigal’s discussion of “How to Make Stress Your Friend.”