Documentaries have always been one of the most unusual genres in cinema. They exist more to inform than to entertain, and their topics can range from crime to faith to anything in between. Oddly enough, this straightforward approach has proven to be beneficial for faith-based viewers. With documentaries, what you see is what you get, and it allows Christians to tackle new topics with both eyes open. Recently author and journalist Warren Cole Smith published a list of powerful documentaries he thought Christians should watch on Netflix. Below, you can find some of Smith’s best picks, along with several more worthy of consideration.
Here are 5 Netflix Documentaries Christians Should Consider Watching!
At a time when commercial consumerism is at an all time high, Minimalism offers a different approach. “Minimalism” is the cultural belief that life is happier when humans do not seek material wealth. In fact, the movement encourages viewers to donate goods they don’t need and only subsist on what is needed. While this idea has been debated at length in Christian circles, most agree that the film itself is very refreshing. Ultimately, Minimalism helps viewers contemplate what is really important in their lives, while reflecting on Christ’s message in Matthew 6:19.
Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady (the creators of “Jesus Camp,” below) brought us this 2012 dystopian story of a hollowed out Detroit. It won many awards and exemplifies Detroit’s weakness at one point very well. given, especially in the aftermath of the 2008-2009 financial crisis. What I find frustrating about this film is that it only tells half the story in order to make ideological points. Detropia “doesn’t tell you, is that even while the filmmakers were there, religious leaders and social entrepreneurs were working to bring Detroit back. It’s not quite back today, but what’s happening? has passed in the five years since the release of “Detropia” is the true story of this city. “
The ivory game
Poaching may seem like a small problem compared to all the other problems in the world today, but The ivory game dares to draw a line between extinction and international crime. This Netflix film chronicles a group of activists, journalists and law enforcement officials as they tackle the rising tide of elephant hunting in Africa. Elephants are highly regarded for their ivory tusks and as a result the creatures have been hunted almost to extinction. The ivory game hopes to show viewers how the illegal sale of ivory continues to fund criminal activity around the world. Part shocking, part heartbreaking, this film may be the last hope for one of Earth’s greatest living wonders.
“If you’re a Christian, especially if you’ve been to a religious camp before, you’ll find this documentary in turn deeply frustrating, deeply disturbing, and – you might as well admit – vaguely familiar. The Jesus camp in this documentary is NOT, repeat NOT, representative of most of the major Christian camps I know, but what you will see here is not unique either. Christians should see this documentary, if only to find out what the “other side” thinks of us. “
Director Ava DuVernay, who is currently directing the upcoming A wrinkle in time film, first made waves with this gripping documentary on America’s prison systems. Known for her vocal approach to the topics of race and equality, DuVernay speaks forcefully to her viewers, comparing modern incarceration to early slavery. Viewers are challenged to think critically about questions of truth and justice, while receiving an overview of the legislation that governs American prisons. Described as devastating and profound, 13e is not for the faint of heart, but it is a story that must be told nonetheless.
* Published on 03/22/2017