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A wise person once told me that you should never watch a movie that has an IMDB rating of less than 7, it’s not the deepest of life lessons, yet it’s one that I live by. With this in mind I present to you six top-ranking documentaries with a conscience to watch on Netflix.
IMDB rating 8.3/10
This list is pretty animal heavy, it's funny how we can easily watch violence between people, yet when animals or the environment are threatened our sense of justice feels violated. Virunga was nominated for the Academy Award of Best Documentary Feature last year. It follows the story of conservation workers in the Virunga National Park who are fighting to preserve the life of its endangered mountain gorillas whose habitat is under threat from oiling companies. There's a classic good vs. evil storyline, picturesque shots, and Gorillas hugging people, what more are you waiting for?
Cane Toads: The Conquest (2010)
IMDB rating 7/10
Part documentary, part horror film, and as Australian as an Iced VoVo. Cane Toads: The Conquest is a look at the devastating effect the 102 cane toads introduced to Australia in 1935 have had on our environment. Not one of our finer environmental solutions.
IMDB rating 8.5/10
Heralded by Rolling Stone magazine as, "a cross between Flipper and The Bourne Identity". The Cove is a look at the demand for dolphin meat in Japan and the mass slaughters that are carried out to meet it. It's a spy vs. spy tale of espionage and injustice.
IMDB rating 8.1/10
Blackfish goes straight for the heartstrings and will taint any childhood memories you had of family holidays at SeaWorld. It's an important film and draws you in so tremendously that orcas will probably be your topic du jour for the foreseeable future. If you're a sucker for punishment then sit down and watch The Cove and Blackfish back to back to ensure that your next position of employment is with Greenpeace.
The Greatest Movie Ever Sold (2011)
IMDB rating 6.6/10
From the man that brought you Super Size Me, this one falls just short of the seven or above standard. However, it's a fun insight into the way in which brands and products are seamlessly (or sometimes not) inserted into the media we ingest. We posted about conscious consuming recently, if you're not on board yet then this might help get you over the line.
Graham Hill: Why I'm a Weekday Vegetarian (2010)
While not technically a long form documentary this one snuck in because sometimes less is more. You can also access it directly from TED if you don't have a Netflix subscription, so there's that.
CEO and Founder of Treehugger and LifeEdited, Graham Hill delivers three minutes and fifty-seven seconds worth of insight into sustainable diet. Hill is what he calls a "weekday vegetarian". I like this one because it seems like more than a token "I'll be a vegetarian on Monday's" kind of approach.