Some Documentaries to Say Goodbye to 2017

December 23, 2017 | TRL ARTS

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Here are some documentaries you didn’t know you needed to watch before the end of 2017. Some are funny, some are serious. This is not a most popular or best of list. It is just a list. Not all are from 2017, but they are worth a watch.

An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power      2017

A decade after "An Inconvenient Truth" brought climate change into the heart of popular culture, comes the follow-up that shows just how close we are to a real energy revolution.
                                        Inconvenient truth

Lo and Behold: Reveries of the Connected World       2016

Documentarian Werner Herzog chronicles the virtual world from its origins to its outermost reaches, exploring the digital landscape with the same curiosity and imagination he previously trained on earthly destinations. Herzog leads viewers on a journey through a series of provocative conversations that reveal the ways in which the online world has transformed how virtually everything in the real world works – from business to education, space travel to healthcare, and the very heart of how we conduct our personal relationships.

Lo and behold

Just Eat It: A Food Waste Story   2015

To help combat the problem of the waste of edible food, filmmakers Grant Baldwin and Jenny Rustemeyer endeavor to forego grocery shopping and eat only what is discarded during the various steps that food travels from farm to table.

This book might not make you want to become a ‘freegan’, but it will certainly make you reassess how you shop for and consume or don’t consume your consumables.

Just eat it

Dawson City Frozen Time    2016

A thrilling adventure through American history, it pieces together the bizarre true story of a collection of some 500 silent films. Dating from the 1910s and '20s, they were lost for over 50 years, until being discovered, buried in a subarctic swimming pool deep in the Yukon Territory in 1978. Director Bill Morrison uses this extraordinary footage as a conduit to explore the complicated past of Dawson City, a Canadian gold rush town and First Nation hunting camp that was transformed.

Dawson city

Chicken People     2016

If you liked Best in Show (2000), this film is for you. A little lighter than some of the environmental titles.

This film takes a behind-the-scenes look at the colorful and competitive world of champion show chicken breeders, following the struggles and triumphs of both humans and their chickens on the road to compete at the largest poultry competition in the United States, the Ohio National Poultry Show.

Also available on Hoopla.

Chicken people

Fire at Sea    2016

“‘Fire at Sea’ Is Not the Documentary You’d Expect About the Migrant Crisis. It’s Better.” – NYTimes critics pick

Samuele is 12 years old and lives on an island in the middle of the sea. He goes to school, and loves shooting his slingshot and going hunting. He likes land games, even though everything around him speaks of the sea and the men, women and children who try to cross it to get to his island. But his is not an island like the others, its name is Lampedusa and it is the most symbolic border of Europe, crossed by thousands of migrants in the last 20 years in search of freedom.

  Fire at sea

(Dis)honesty: The Truth about Lies        2017

A good film to watch in the era of post truth/fake news/alternative facts and ethical lapses, this film is an exploration of the complex impact dishonesty has on our lives and everyday society.


Fittest on Earth: A Decade of Fitness    2017

Looking for some motivation to jump start your New Year's resolution to exercise more?

The 2016 Reebok CrossFit Games were a grueling five-day, 15-event test to find the fittest man and woman on Earth. This film follows the dramatic story of the top athletes who qualified and competed and offers an inside look at what it takes to be among the world's elite athletes, both in training and on the competition floor. The CrossFit Games challenge competitors to perform intense physical tasks, but the hardest part is sometimes mental.

Fittest on earth

Zero Days      2016

From the director of "Steve Jobs: The Man in the Machine" and "We Steal Secrets: The Story of Wikileaks", comes "Zero Days", which seems like part sci-fi but it is not because it is real life.

A black ops cyber attack launched by the US and Israel on an Iranian nuclear facility unleashed malware with unforeseen consequences. The Stuxnet virus infiltrated its pre-determined target only to spread its infection outward, ultimately exposing systemic vulnerabilities that threaten the very safety of the planet. Delve deep into the bourgeoning world of digital warfare in this documentary thriller from Academy Award winning filmmaker Alex Gibney.

Zero days

For a list of what Toronto read, watched and listened to in 2017 click here.

You can check out last year's list of docs to watch here.

Good-bye 2017.