So it’s bank holiday weekend here in the UK. Traditionally a time for BBQs in the rain and DIY and fights about DIY. However, always one to avoid the trends (and crowds), I have so far spent most of my bank holiday watching harrowing documentaries on Netflix.
Deliver us from evil-“this unsettling Oscar nominated documentary examines the life of pedophile Father Oliver O’Grady and exposes corruption inside the catholic church”. The nature of the subject matter is always going to make this difficult documentary to get right. And to watch. I’m finding it hard to know what to say. As a warning, a lot of film time was given to Father Oliver O’Grady and he didn’t, on the whole, come across as really understanding how wrong his actions were.
Louis Theroux-there are lots and lots of louis theroux documentaries on Netflix covering wider range of subjects. If you’ve never seen any of his documentaries to check them out.
Addicted to sexting-I’m not really sure what I expected from this. I think there is expecting a documentary aimed at teenagers probably about the dangers of sexting or at least some of the consequences and whilst it touched on that that wasn’t the intention of this documentary. Definitely an interesting look into how people use technology and as with all technology it can be used healthily and unhealthily. Which some couples using it as a means of flirtation and other the people becoming addicted. Worth watching if only for the scene towards the end where people are asked to decode emoji messages…
Welcome to Leith-a more serious documentary, this looks at a small town in America with a tiny population which has the misfortune of becoming a target for white supremacists. Their intent is to move into the town, take up most of the votes and essentially turn it into their own white supremacist community. Not an easy watch, you probably find yourself getting angry but I found it quite illuminating. Not knowing any white supremacists, it can be good to remind yourself from time to time that such hateful opinions exist.
Bridegroom-this is a harrowing look at the limitations put on same sex couples in America, specifically around rights during ill health and death. I’m not one prone for tears but I cried a lot. There’s not much more to say, the strength of this documentary is in the way it portrays the couple at the centre.
1971-one for conspiracy theorists! A group of activists stole a number of documents from the FBI and this documentary looks back on the motives and repercussions of this.
The case against eight-another documentary with strong characters and one which will probably bring some tears to your eyes. For those of you who don’t know, proposition eight, was a piece of legislation in California that took away the right for same sex couples to marry. A team consisting of conservative and democratic lawyers, two lesbians and two gay men challenged proposition eight. Their four year journey is charted in this documentary resulting in a groundbreaking decision that will hopefully affect the lives of many gay and bisexual people in America.
A girl like her-firstly I just want to say this is a mock documentary. I wasn’t sure until I got to the end whether it was real or not and I really do think I needed to know that first. This film looks at the impact of high school bullying from both the point of view of the victim and the perpetrator. I believe the idea is that schools in America will be able to show this to their pupils and I believe that some material which goes with it to help form lesson plans. Just as a warning, this film does look at suicide.
The hunting ground-and one of my final documentaries in this cheery bank holiday list, is about sexual assault and rape at university campuses in America and how the establishments themselves are complicit in the cover-up. Primarily this film follows two activists, both survivors, to start to realise the size of the problem and the lack of support from the universities themselves. The statistics and the stories really bring home the size of the problem and I guarantee that you will be shocked by the treatment that victims receive.
I really wouldn’t suggest that you watch all of these at once. You will probably end up feeling very bleak. However, that being said, I really would encourage anybody with a Netflix account to take advantage of the opportunity and watch some of the extensive range of documentaries.