Going to the movie theater is a special occasion for me. Aside from seeing a kid’s showing with my mentee, I typically reserve the time for a particular caliber of film. (Can I get away with saying that without coming off as super pretentious? No?). Nonetheless, I prefer a good movie-going experience that includes a smart, insightful, and ultimately uplifting premise. These documentaries fit that mold and left me happier and more inspired afterward…
RGB. At the age of 85, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has developed a breathtaking legal legacy while becoming an unexpected pop culture icon. But without a definitive Ginsburg biography, the unique personal journey of this diminutive, quiet warrior’s rise to the nation’s highest court has been largely unknown, even to some of her biggest fans – until now. RBG is a revelatory documentary exploring Ginsburg ‘s exceptional life and career.
My friend Laurie and I saw this one last month and came out- having learned SO much about this phenomenal woman- feeling victorious and empowered. Side note: I was particularly fond of her marriage dynamic. Beautiful.
Jane. Drawing from over 100 hours of never-before-seen footage that has been tucked away in the National Geographic archives for over 50 years, award-winning director Brett Morgen tells the story of JANE, a woman whose chimpanzee research challenged the male-dominated scientific consensus of her time and revolutionized our understanding of the natural world. Set to a rich orchestral score from legendary composer Philip Glass, the film offers an unprecedented, intimate portrait of Jane Goodall — a trailblazer who defied the odds to become one of the world’s most admired conservationists.
See this. Jane Goodall’s inherent calm and clarity is compelling. And the the work she’s come to teach and expand for the world to better understand is, in its essence, rooted in childhood dreams and curiosity. Add to that a willingness to learn brand new skills and a tremendous amount of patience, and there we have one heck of an amazing influence in the conversation of the natural world.
Won’t You Be My Neighbor? Though he may be best known today as a soft-spoken, cardigan-wearing children’s television host, in reality, Fred Rogers’ career represents a sustained attempt to present a coherent, beneficent view about how we should best speak to children about important matters and how television could be used as a positive force in our society. In Won’t You Be My Neighbor?, Academy Award-winning filmmaker Morgan Neville (Twenty Feet from Stardom) looks back on the legacy of Fred Rogers, focusing on his radically kind ideas. While the nation changed around him, Fred Rogers stood firm in his beliefs about the importance of protecting childhood.
Mr Rogers was a defining force of good in my childhood. The dude was just so chill and kind and I found that so comforting. I haven’t seen this documentary yet, but I will before too long, because I’m craving any evidence of compassion in the world. Helpful.
What would you add to this list? I’d love to hear!