We all love bingeing on Netflix and Hulu and know that have we have spent way too much time on these streaming sites. With stress from prelims and papers there’s no better way to distract yourself than a good tv show or movie. But as the generation that claims to be WOKE 24/7 and with easy access to daily news, we need to be aware of the world around us. From the food you eat, to the clothes you wear, and to the US government, there is always more to learn. So instead of studying for your upcoming prelim, take a few hours to watch some documentaries and be productive by learning more about the world. Here is a list of a couple of documentaries to help you stay woke and learn about what’s going on in the world:

 

The Patent Scam

amazon.com

This movie delves into the world of patents and can be extremely relevant to anyone trying to start their own business. You can learn about companies created solely to sue small business owners because they cannot afford to pay lawyers to fight off the injustice. An example of an overly simplified patent is “searching for something using an online platform” and these patent trolls target entrepreneurs who upload their apps to platforms such as Google Stores with cases that cost over $100,000. If this sparks your interest or you want to learn more about the US patent system and its corruption, this movie is a must-watch.

 

13th

amazon.com

This popular film by award-winning Ava Duvernay goes into the the US Prison system and deines it as new aged slavery. The US has the highest incarceration rate in the world and the inmates are predominantly low income people of color. This film talks about for-profit prisons and how large companies make billions by overfilling prisons. This documentary will open your eyes to the injustice built into the industrial prison complex and will leave you utterly shocked.

 

What The Health

gstatic.com

Once again meet our country’s best friend: corruption. This film talks about how big businesses are lobbying and paying the government to keep us sick and stuff their pockets with our money. Our medical system is focusing on helping people live with diseases like diabetes rather than putting more efforts into preventive measures. This documentary will have you questioning your meat and dairy consumption, and at the very least will open your eyes to how investors play a huge role in what we eat.

 

True Cost

amazon.com

We are in an era of fast fashion and going to the mall to get new clothes multiple times a year. But have you ever wondered where your clothes go when they’re donated, what landfills they end up in when you throw them away, or what people who are constantly mass producing these items? This film will get you interested in the capitalist dream that is fashion. With labor outsourced to third world countries and thousands of workers given unimaginable conditions for wages that barely cover the cost of a meal, you’ll be second-guessing your next trip to big brands like H&M and thinking twice before throwing out the sweater you only wore 3 times by the end of this documentary.

 

Agents Of Change

localist.com

Did you know that students once occupied Willard Straight to make demands for more diversity and inclusion? Whether you did or did not, this film will give you firsthand knowledge from people who lived through it. Hear about movements across the country focused on creating a more culturally inclusive environment and the power of banding together to make a change. This film will connect past movements to the outcries and protests for justice that continue today.

 

Saving Capitalism

carpediem.com

We’ve all heard of the American dream, but if we’re being real it is a lot less attainable than we think. This film follows people from all walks of life and talks about how the new economy is shrinking the middle-class. With the most wealth and class inequality the US has ever seen, we need to reevaluate how we live in this free market that is supposed to focus on mobility and benefit the majority. Learn about monopolies, wealth distribution, and how the “pull yourself up by your bootstraps mentality” is not a thing.

 

She’s Beautiful When She’s Angry

squarespace.com

There is a new wave of feminism and the movement is definitely here for the long haul. This film explores the US portion of the feminist movement in the 1960’s to help fight for equality and get women’s voices heard. From fighting for legal abortions, to voting rights, to finding comfortable spaces to just talk, this film covers it all. You’ll learn about early feminism and all that it has contributed to today’s movement.

Before you decide to rewatch The Office or Game of Thrones for the fourth time consider investing an hour or so into a beneficial documentary. As students we should always be exploring and seeking out new information. These films will have you feeling disgrace, anger and might teach you more than one of your lectures.