Top Dietary Documentaries (On Netflix)

If you have had a gander at my previous blog posts, you can make the safe assumption that I’m into my food. I’m no pro, but I primarily upload food posts because of my enjoyment of cooking, and sharing is caring.

I’m super guilty, as I enjoy my fast food, but I do aim for balance. This year I have also started to do more exercise (mostly cross-training, but also walking the dog, aha) and I have started to notice a difference.

Everybody hits that moment where you actually want to be healthier than you currently are, but there are different routes to this conclusion. For me, it was through various documentaries that I watched on Netflix, and some of them hit hard.

I want to share with you some of my favourite and most recommended documentaries about diet and nutrition that I found, because as a viewer I was shell-shocked with some of the harsh facts. However, despite the seemingly bleak content in these films, I believe it is important that everyone should hear what they have to say.

In no particular order…

Fed Up

Fed Up

For me, this was particularly disturbing to watch as it focuses on Obesity in American children. Fed Up exposes how major food companies neglect the health of their consumers through marketing and advertising by means of ignoring the harm their products are actually causing.

From nutritionists and doctors, to parents and the children themselves, Fed Up examines the reality of what we consume, and how this effects our health both physically and mentally. It was quite horrific to see the amount of sugar in some products – ones which I have consumed myself – as the film then shows how this effects your body.

I think this film has prompted a huge movement in the health sector.

Watch: Fed Up Trailer

Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead

fat sick and nearly dead

I love Joe, and I love this film – it’s personal, and proof of the possible. This doc follows Joe on his journey to lose weight by juicing. It’s an honest account of a man understanding and accepting that he needs to change his body and his mind – spoiler alert: he does!

It’s a really uplifting and inspiring film, and Joe responsibly then goes on to help others with their journeys – there’s a Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead 2 (which you should also watch). As a viewer, and someone who is maybe wanting to get in better shape, you can easily identify with Joe as he really does come out the other side by changing his diet, which effectively changes his life.

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I finally did get my juicer! You should follow Joe to get some of his great juice recipes, and more.

Watch: Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead Trailer

Watch: Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead 2 Trailer

 

Food, Inc

food inc.jpg

Food, Inc is a bit more of a stomach turner, and frankly, quite harrowing – very much proving that “the truth hurts”. However, this doc gives insight into the production of meat in factories vs independent farms, the effects of meat in consumers, and the conditions of the live stock and workers.

As a viewer, and consumer, we come to officially realise the control that large corporations within the meat industry have over us – unfortunately we are the ones that suffer. Moreover, we are equally condoning their actions by purchasing their products. We also see the ways in which our health is at risk as large corporations are exposed for taking cheaper and unethical routes to make their business thrive.

Watch: Food, Inc Trailer

Hungry For Change

hungry for change

Hungry for Changes takes an in-depth look at; nutrition; the physical and mental effects of certain ingredients/chemicals found in food; and the benefits overall of a healthy diet.

There are a lot of nutritionists, doctors, and authors of well-being books. Some have criticised this tactic of authority and said it manipulates the viewer too much, because who wouldn’t believe a doctor? I agree to an extent, however I am pushing for this manoeuvre as I still maintain that this doc should be seen. We have hit that point where we have to listen to these facts, whether we like it or not.

Watch: Hungry For Change Trailer

You should really watch them!

I know these films don’t scream “entertaining”, but I assure you they are. More importantly they are films to support and educate you about things we should be aware of, but have in fact been hidden from us.

Learning the truth typically isn’t easy – it’s quite inconvenient. But, as these films demonstrate, there is so much wrong that needs to be made right.

For me, I notice when I’m happier, healthier and more productive, and I’m sure you do too. These films shed light on ways in which I can improve my health and well-being, so I am glad that I watched them.

When we’re eating food that’s good for our bodies, and exercising, our happiness goes through the roof – and although some times challenging, for me, it’s totally worth it.

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Sunday [Film] Sessions

Sunday Funday. There’s a few things that make my Sundays perfect; Sunday Wine Club (an old after-work tradition); Sunday lunch (when I’m in the mood for a cliché, I’m a big advocate of a walk in the park as well); and a film night.

I love easy-watching on Sundays – allow my brain to rest before the week coming inevitably begins. While there’s still time, honestly, all I want to do is chill on the sofa (before the point of no return occurs at the pub). So, below I have listed (in no particular order) some of my classic, and essential, Sunday-watching materials.

 

The First Wives Club (1996)

Directed by: Hugh Wilson

first wives club

This film springs to mind, because I actually did watch this last Sunday – I  prematurely apologise to the male viewer as you may feel a little disregarded. However, as a source of empowerment, it is a wonderfully balanced combination of humor and easy-watching. Plus, it’s Hawn, Milder and Keaton absolutely smashing it as a empowering and comical  female trio.

There’s something about a Sunday that needs some 90’s indulgence, but also something lighthearted. It’s a typical equilibrium-driven narrative that provides that ultimate feel-good ending. I also love the hilarious over-dramatised hysteria; the jealously of the younger women; insecurity, quick-wit repartee; and that window scene. I don’t think it matters how old you are, I think there is something to relate to in each of these women, particularly for the female spectator, but I’m not that narrow minded (men need their wins too). And lets not forget, no rom-coms can compare to that of the 90’s!

Watch: The First Wives Club Trailer

The Royal Tenenbaums (2001)

Directed by: Wes Anderson

the royal tenenbaums

 I know I am not alone when I say that: one of the things I love about watching any Anderson film is that it feels as though someone is reading me a bed time story. With regards to The Royal Tenenbaums, and it’s seemingly depressive and sombre swagger, is that there’s something ultimately soothing about the execution – a kind of “Once upon a time, in New York, there lived a family…”.

The film kindly adheres to my Sunday night vibes, what with Anderson’s unique portrayal of a whimsical family tale, along with his notorious set and camera composition that makes me feel like I’ve attended the theater without leaving my lounge.

Secrets; drama; achievements; failure; depression; estranged relatives – it has to be one of my favourite family films!

Watch: The Royal Tenenbaums Trailer

Love Me If You Dare / Jeux d’enfants (2003)

Directed by: Yann Samuell

love me if you dare

I think even the most uneducated person could denote that this film is of the romantic-variety, but I would hate for you to assume too much. Personally I am not the biggest fan of chick-flicks – at least try to make loneliness look moderately interesting! This film however, really packs a punch to make you feel something at the end of the week.

Love Me If You Dare completely won me over, and I guess the fact still remains: no one does romance like the French. More so, the promise of thrill is in the title. The film explores the game of love, escalating from harmless childish dares into life-altering adolescent consequences.

The spectator is very much along for the ride, knowing as little as the leading roles what will happen next. It’s unpredictable; dangerous; brutal; and sexy – the perfect combination for disaster. It’s also honest; heart-wrenching; and wildly entertaining! I like to think of it as a surrealist fairy tale for adults. Oh, I love it when Hollywood gets it’s ass kicked!

Watch: Love Me If You Dare (English) Trailer

Down By Law (1986)

Directed by: Jim Jarmusch

 Down_by_Law_(1986_film)_poster

As if a fly-on-the-wall, Down By Law could be the the closest contender to an aesthetically indulgent pseudo-documentary where life by circumstance simply unfolds.

Essentially three men, by different means, wind up in a Louisiana jail cell together. We contemplate the American dream, the men’s patience (as well as indifference), and wonder where the film is actually going (if going anywhere at all). I personally love the fixation on character as opposed to an obviously narrative-driven blockbuster.

This film is perfect for those who crave a realness from fiction. Jarmusch depicts an effortlessly cool, yet seemingly, mundane existence of life in the back end of New Orleans, and then takes it to the swamps. But there’s also a surrealness that is equally consistent – you begin to feel as lost and confused as our unlikely trio.

As well as reminding us how much we miss a good film noir, the gloriously relaxed “acting” accompanied by Robby Müller’s (just beautiful) cinematography, makes Down By Law one of the sharpest and more casual must-sees. What more do you want from a Sunday session?

Watch: Down By Law Trailer

Clouds Of Sils Maria (2014)

Directed by: Olivier Assayas

clouds of sils maria

Despite the “rest” aspect of a Sunday, I profoundly enjoy a film that encourages me to think. As an ex-film student I have now gone past the point of no return – I am either switched on, or I do not watch a film.

Now, with regards to the latter, you can humor me by understanding my intrigue into this film’s particular look into an actress’ career. Clouds Of Sils Maria, at least to me, explores the film industry in terms of career, celebrity culture and shifts in modernism.

If you want drama, this film has plenty, but it is primarily depicted through subtly and intellect. It goes beyond characterisation, and I personally believe it is strategically casted to allegorically examine the motifs embodied through the narrative. Clouds Of Sils Maria explores film; theater; the working environment; and personal relationships. It’s a film about age, and carefully invites the spectator to philosophically examine the position of film as an industry, as well as an inherently meta discourse.

Watch: Clouds Of Sils Maria Trailer