10 Documentaries That Will Make You a Better Person

Films For Action describes themselves as “a community-powered alternative news center and learning library for people who want to change the world.” Their recent list of 100 documentaries that inspire a shift to a sustainable paradigm caught our attention. “We need to be able to imagine new, exciting ways that people could live, better than anything that the old paradigm could ever dream of providing,” the website declares. “This knowledge is vitally necessary.” We couldn’t agree more, which is why we chose to focus on ten films from the list that make powerful, life-changing statements about social, environmental, and economic issues. Although most of these movies paint troubling and unflattering portraits of our society, the positive messages of awareness and change are loud and clear. Be sure to check out the full list on Films for Action, and feel free to mention any you see missing in the comments section.

Food, Inc.

The message: You are what you eat.

Enjoy your bucket of buttery popcorn before watching Food, Inc. and losing your appetite entirely. Emmy-winning filmmaker Robert Kenner doesn’t hold back in his 2008 documentary about the agribusiness and its devastating economic and environmental effects. Food contamination, the mistreatment of workers and animals, and government-induced food monopolies are a few things explored. “All we want is transparency and a good conversation about these things,” Kenner said of the film. “We have nothing but the utmost respect for farmers, but the whole system is made possible by government subsidies to a few huge crops like corn. It’s a form of socialism that’s making us sick.” Food, Inc. makes it clear how our nutritional choices affect far more than our waistlines.