This roundup of Netflix documentaries features four inspirational stories that will encourage you to do more and be more.
Inspiration can come from anywhere. Regarding documentaries, there is no shortage of selections on Netflix. There are several elevating films that will encourage you to face your demons, believe in yourself, and follow your bliss. (Once you get past all the ones about unsolved murders.) Given that, here are four inspirational documentaries that can help fuel your fire:
Minimalism | A Documentary About the Important Things
Recently, we ran a Twitter poll asking aspiring artists what was preventing them from pursuing music full-time. Over 65% of the 200+ responses said “money.” Well, this documentary is for y’all. Minimalism follows Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus, who wrote a book on their minimalist journey. As they tour the country promoting their book, the film examines the possibilities that arise when one avoids compulsive consumption. Moreover, this documentary will help remind you that every possession should serve a purpose and that while you aren’t always in control of making more, you can always find ways to spend less.
Jim & Andy | The Great Beyond
This documentary offers a behind-the-scenes glimpse at how Jim Carrey adopted the persona of idiosyncratic comedian Andy Kaufman on the set of Miloš Forman’s 1999 biopic “Man on the Moon.” Throughout the film, Carrey describes the almost spiritual experience of playing Andy Kaufman, while also giving viewers a closer look at what he’s learned from his own prolific career in entertainment. Although, Jim & Andy is more Jim than Andy. It presents an honest look at what happened once Jim “made it,” and, more interestingly, what happened after that.
Miss Representation / The Mask You Live In
The issue of gender representation in music – and many other industries – is complex and multifaceted. Miss Representation and its male-centric follow up, “The Mask You Live In,” gives viewers a deeper understanding of how the constant barrage of mainstream images, videos, and messages affect our view of the world. This film also sheds a brighter light on gendered representation in mass media. Furthermore, it features insight from industry heavyweights and activists such as Katie Couric, Gloria Steinem, Geena Davis, and Margaret Cho. Additionally, as artists, there is a certain inherent responsibility shouldered, especially when your work flows into the mainstream. Identifying and understanding the imbalance, and its ripple effect on society is the first step to remedy ourselves and the cultural landscape.
Happy People | A Year in the Taiga
We are a society addicted to technology, for better or worse. Happy People, a film by Werner Herzog (Grizzly Man, Rescue Dawn), follows a 300-person community living in the heart of the Siberian Taiga. Comparatively, there is no telephone, running water, or medical aid – let alone Twitter and SnapChat. Furthermore, the only way in or out is by helicopter or boat. Intrinsically inspiring, Herzog takes us alongside Siberian trappers, through four seasons of living off the land. Hands: They’re not just for texting!