So there’s something I’ve been noticing. Every year, I find myself gathering more movies to catch up on, shows to watch, and documentaries to view in order to stay informed. Nowadays, you have network shows, network movies, Hulu, Netflix, Amazon Prime, PureFlix, and the list goes on.
Often, my husband and I spend/waste an hour or two just trying to decide what to watch. And to be honest, we often end up, more than once, finding what we thought was a “good” film, only to turn it off minutes later because our selection was either too low-budget, too spiritually dark, or too graphic. And unfortunately, there are a lot more dark and explicit movies and shows being released.
So with Valentines Day around the corner, the potential for more snow days forthcoming, and people sticking to some much-needed budgets, here is a list of relatively new movies/documentaries that I highly recommend watching from home.
The Hate You Give (2018)
I completely opposed watching this movie at first. I think it’s because, now being a mother, I thought it’d conjure up too many emotions that I didn’t want to grapple with. And it did. However, unlike other movies I’ve viewed, this movie offered hope without watering down the trauma, injustice, and stark reality of modern-day racism. I loved Fruitvale Station, but it’s not a movie that I’m rushing to watch again--mainly due to its unexpected rawness. But this is a movie I’d enjoy again and again. Not because the content was necessarily pleasurable (far from it). But because it was a movie that I surprisingly saw myself on screen. The main character had a way of beautifully flowing (code-switching) between two worlds seamlessly until both collided, in which the main character had to make some hard choices. This movie expressed my very thoughts and emotions in a way that I didn’t know a movie could. And because of that, it was strangely cathartic. I know I know. Just trust me. It’s worth renting.
Have you ever wondered why parents wash newborn outfits before placing them on their precious bundles of joy? Or why new furniture can give off a certain smell for a few days? Or why a bottle of Johnson Johnson baby oil simply says “fragrum” as one of the ingredients, while conveniently leaving out the hundreds of ingredients that make up that fragrance? This documentary was eye-opening to the several different chemicals we willingly place on, in, and around our bodies. Very insightful doc.
Christ in You (2017)
If you read the book of Acts, you will see divine interruptions and interactions in every single chapter except one. You see angels majestically showing up, people getting healed left and right, and dreams and visions coming true. Why don’t we see that too often now? Or rather, why don’t we readily discuss such events, if experienced? Westernized Christian culture often boxes the magnitude of God’s power by fitting it into certain frameworks that can make the book of Acts appear foreign. But this documentary reveals that God is the same God yesterday, today, and tomorrow. Give it a chance, because this documentary gets better and better beginning halfway through.(P.S. if you happen to enjoy this documentary, you might also like the Father of Lights and Furious Love.)
A Suitable Girl (2018)
So I really enjoy seeing the plights and thoughts of women from different cultures. It’s amazing to see how I can relate to a woman halfway across the world and share similar feeling. This documentary follows 3 women in India who are navigating marriage. It details the pressures to find a partner, the woes of leaving one’s own family, and it challenges the view that marriage is ultimately meant to make one happy.
Mr. Church (2016)
My husband and I watched this movie after my brother-in-love suggested it! I was shocked by how much I enjoyed it. I don’t want to give away the movie by talking about it too much--so don’t watch the trailer and just watch the first 15 minutes to see if you like it. Like, really don’t watch the trailer because it gives away the entire movie. I appreciated the writing, the acting, and how relatively clean of a movie it was.
The Bleeding Edge (2018)
Knee replacement. Metal coil birth control. These both have a lot more in common than you think. As we increase in the usage of medical devices, so do the risks. This documentary details some things to consider before having a device or object inserted into your body for life. I stumbled across this documentary one night and literally couldn’t stop watching. It received a score of 100% on Rotten Tomatoes if that doesn’t say enough.
Creepy Line (2018)
The notion that someone is always spying on us and watching us through our coveted technology is not a far-fetched idea. This documentary details the complex thinking behind the newest and latest gadgets that we often flock to. The documentary is clearly one-sided. But best believe, I have changed my settings in my phone and will continue to cover my laptop cameras.
Living Proof (2018)
I’m really into learning more about incurable diseases and nonconventional approaches to treat them. Well, this documentary takes on a different approach to treating those living with multiple sclerosis (MS)- a debilitating and progressive disease that causes one’s body to basically attack its own central nervous system. The corruption seen in conventional treatments for this disease is scary. Regardless of your stance, you ’ll admire the evident passion and conviction that Matt Embry exudes, despite the costs he had to endure to make this documentary.
This is a fantastic family-friendly film to watch with anyone. The main character, Auggie, is a young boy who has facial differences due to a genetic disorder. Auggie enters into the 5th grade after being home-schooled all of his life. He faces the challenges that you’d expect from having this disorder and from entering middle school for the first time. But what I enjoyed most about this film is that it allows you to view the main character beyond a “victim” portrayal. Auggie is much more than his condition. You see his wit, his humor, his emotions. But more than that, you see how this one condition affects his entire family--some good some bad. Very well-written and directed film. (And it wasn’t cheesy!)