13 Documentaries That Will Change The Way You See The World

Films have the ability to draw our attention and turn our lives upsidedown in a very short period of time. Some show an alternative world that sparkes our creativity and makes us dream. Others point out deplorable state of affairs,, which prompt us to change our lives.

For Lisa and me, documentaries have had a great influence on our thinking and actions. We want to share this with you. Therefore, we have listed 13 documentaries which could change the way you see the world.


Our educational system is designed to prepare young people for a performance oriented and competitive society. This however restricts the creativity to solve the challenges of the future. Alphabet screens these structures.

98% of all children are born gifted. After school there are only 2%. — Alphabet

This is one of the films I would’ve stood up after the credits and clapped loudly if the film crew were present. The film encourages one, to be truly creative, to think outside the box and remindes what life is really about. Life itself.

Run Time: 109 minutes

Schooling the World

Education = School? The film Schooling the World cirically questions this statement. Around the world, children are sent to schools. There, they learn to function as a specialized cog in a system in which some benefit from a higher standard of living while many get nothing from it. The belief that the Western education system is superior to domestic systems elsewhere pushes this approach forward, while destroying cultural heritage, and the ability to live a self-sufficient life in community.

If you wanted to change a culture in a single generation, how would you do it? You would change the way it educates its children. — Schooling the World

This film showed me a totally different perspective, on what it means to be educated, and taught me to respect and honor local knowledge in the various spheres of life. It is always amazing to see what from prejudices one can learn from other cultures and ancient wisdom. Schooling the World makes us aware of this.

Run Time: 65 minutes

Food Inc.

Food Inc. examines the industrial food production and points to its side effects. The film not only shows what is going wrong, but gives concrete tipps and urges consumers to act.

You’ll never look at dinner the same way. — Food Inc.

This film has decisively impacted our decision to exclusively buy organic foods and to take a look at food labels before purchasing. Food Inc. made me aware of how I as a consumer can actively affect the offer in supermarkets through growing the demand for good food with my purchase.

Run Time: 94 minutes

Meat the truth

Meat the Truth shows how a large proportion of global greenhouse gases are due to the livestock industry. This magnifies the impact a single person can have for the environment by passing on animal products for a day.
This documentary, had a great influence on our decision, to live on a plant-based diet.

Run Time: 73 minutes

We Feed the World

What has the global hunger to do with us? We Feed the World draws attention to the ecosystem of global food production. 12 billion people could live by the food that is already globally produced now. But people still starve in countries where there is enough to eat. This film shows us why hunger is not yet defeated.

A child that starves to death today is murdered. — Jean Ziegler

We feed the world taught us to appreciate the value of our food even more.

Run Time: 96 minutes

Taste the Waste

What happens to all the carrots that don’t have the perfect length and the perfect color? Taste the Waste similarly to We Feed the World draws attention to the abundance of food production. The focus is on what ends up in our dumpsters.

The food we throw away in Europe, would be enough to feed all the world’s hungry twice. — Taste the Waste

Taste the Waste hat unser Bewusstsein für all die Lebensmittel, welche auch bei uns Zuhause manchmal in den Müll wanderten, geweckt. In Folge dessen versucht insbesondere Lisa Resten und vermeintliche Abfälle zu köstlichen Rezepten zu verwerten, was ihr meiner Meinung nach sehr gut gelingt. Durch den gezielten Einkauf von ungenormtem Gemüse und Obst können wir zudem unseren Teil zur Verminderung dieser Abfälle leisten.

Run Time: 90 minutes

The Living Matrix

The Living Matrix shows how our thoughts affect our health on the basis of interviews with 16 different researchers and visionaries.

If you think you have an incurable disease you are right. If you think your problem is curable, then you are also right. — Dr. H. Koning MD

I was always convinced that the body and the mind are inseparable. This film screens the back story of that and shows us that we are not helpless when faced with diseases.

Run Time: 83 minutes


What does being human mean? The film human leads us through the jungle of human existence with stories from everyday life and with the most incredible experiences. It includes stories of people from all over the world. Poor people, billionaires (like Bill Gates), ex-Presidents, murderers, and many more.

This film confronts us with our core and brings us closer to the diversity of the human experience.

Run Time extended version: 262 minutes

The Act of Killing

This is the story of Anwar Congo and his friends, which have killed hundreds of people with their own hand, are celebrated as heroes and were never taken into account. The Act of Killing shows us a glimpse of their world, by letting the protagonists reenact their murders as perpetrators and as victims.

Anwar Congo and his friends were big fans of American Gangster films and have modeled their murders after them. The film shows what impact films can have. In addition it portrays what it means to be in a moral conflict between the self-image as a hero and the one as a criminal.

Run Time: 122 minutes

The True Cost

The True Cost leads us to the backgrounds of the textile industry and the trend of fast-fashion. It shows us the true price of cheap clothes. We get to hear from people in the production line and about alternative ways of dealing with fashion, as for example from producers such as People Tree.

I don’t want anyone wearing anything which is produced by our blood. — Shima Akhter

Two years ago over 1100 people have lost their lives in the Rhana Plaza textile factory. After I read the headlines in the news, I didn’t mind that much, but the eye-opening film The True Cost has shown me the urgency to buy clothes, which are fairly and sustainably produced.

Run Time: 92 minutes


In 132 minutes a couple summarizes, what is happening in the world and why by inspecting 12 different aspects of society and following the flow of money. At the same time, the film presents forward-looking solutions and gives practical recommendations to create a thriving future.

I’m confident humankind will look back on this period and be proud that when we saw we acted. — Foster Gamble

I’ve seen many films that show us what’s wrong in the world and how irretrievable everything is. Thrive is different. This documentary gives courage to look ahead, and to make ones contribution to a better world.

Run Time: 132 minutes

The American Dream

An animated short film which in a simple way explains how our monetary system works. The protagonist is an American citizen, living the “American dream” before he suffers from the consequences of the 2008 financial crisis..

The film shows that money is only an illusion which exists only as long as the majority of people believe in it. This challenged me to invest in things such as human relationships, knowledge and community, which are not subject of speculation and economic downturns.

Run Time: 29 minutes

The War on Democracy

The war on democracy shows how the wars in the world are designed to exploit whole Nations to the advantage of a very few people, as shown in the examples of the relationships between the United States and many South American countries.

This film showed me from the example of President Hugo Chávez’s Venezuela, how powerful we as individuals are if we work together and stand up for our rights. The War on Democracy encouraged me in the belief that I have the power to change the world with my lifestyle. I’m sure you have this power too.

Run Time: 96 minutes

I hope you find a film that inspires you and raises new questions.

Do you know a film that would fit on this list? Then leave us a comment with your recommendation.


P.S. Feel free to share the article on social media in case you like it.

This article was originally published on the 13th of October 2015.

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