Some Documentaries to Usher Out 2016

December 29, 2016 | TRL ARTS

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It’s that time of the year again. A time that has us thinking about a new year, a new us and some new resolutions. Or maybe a new way of being in the world? Here are a few documentaries you can to cozy up with as you say good-bye to 2016 and ring in 2017. Some are inspirational, some educational and some are a little shocking. A few are simply entertaining. Hopefully you'll find all of them thought-provoking. Happy 2017!

Fed Up (2014)
This documentary blows the lid off everything we thought we knew about food and weight loss, revealing a 30-year campaign by the food industry, aided by the US government, to mislead and confuse the American public, resulting in one of the largest health epidemics in history. Narrated by Katie Couric, the documentary follows the controversial topic of childhood obesity.

Fed up
Bite Size (2014)
"America's battle against childhood obesity is an issue too big for many to fully comprehend. With one in three children overweight, the epidemic is sweeping our nation at an unforgiving rate. But in spite of these odds, Bite Size showcases the stories of four inspiring kids from diverse backgrounds who are fighting for their health one day at a time. Proving that it's not just about the number on a scale, what really matters is learning what keeps you active and makes you happy." -- Distributor description.

Bite size

Tiny: A Story About Small Living (2014)
In recent years, many people are redefining their American dream to focus on flexibility, financial freedom and quality of life over quantity of space. These self-proclaimed "Tiny Housers" live in homes smaller than the average parking space, often built on wheels to bypass building codes and zoning laws. Tiny takes viewers inside six of these homes stripped to their essentials, exploring the owners' stories and the design innovations that make them work.


Barkley Marathons (2015)   eAccess only via Hoopla
Every year, 40 international runners descend upon a small town in Tennessee to test their mental and physical limits against the Barkley Marathons. Devised as a mockery of James Earl Ray's historic prison escape gone awry, the race has seen only 10 finishers in its first 25 years. The race's co-founder, Lazarus Lake, is as weird, unpredictable and irresistible a character as is the idiosyncratic event he has created. With a secret application process, unknown start time and treacherous terrain, the Barkley has gained cult-like status with ultra-runners and amateurs alike. This award-winning, oddly inspiring and wildly funny documentary invites you to the sports world's most guarded secret; where pain has value, failure is spectacular and it only costs $1.60.

Barkley marathons

Weiner (2016)
An examination of disgraced New York Congressman Anthony Weiner's disastrous 2013 mayoral campaign.


The Messenger (2015)
For thousands of years, songbirds were regarded by humans as messengers from the gods. Today, these creatures, woven inextricably into the fabric of our environment, are vanishing at an alarming rate. Under threat from climate change, pesticides and more, populations of hundreds of species have dipped dramatically. As scientists, activists and bird enthusiasts investigate this phenomenon, amazing secrets of the bird world come to light for the first time.

The messenger

Particle Fever (2015)
Follow six scientists during the launch of the Large Hadron Collider, marking the start-up of the biggest and most expensive experiment in the history of the planet. As they seek to unravel the mysteries of the universe, 10,000 scientists join forces in pursuit of a single goal: to recreate conditions that existed just moments after the Big Bang and find the Higgs boson, potentially explaining the origin of all matter.

Particle fever

Alive Inside (2014)
A joyous cinematic exploration of music's capacity to reawaken our souls and uncover the deepest parts of our humanity. Filmmaker Michael Rossato-Bennett chronicles the astonishing experiences of individuals around the country who have been revitalized through the simple experience of listening to music.

Alive inside

The Arts Department on the 5th floor of the Toronto Reference Library has over 8,000 DVDs that you can sign out and take home.