Expand Your Mind With These Top 10 Documentary Recommendations
It’s true what they say: you’re never done learning.
These days, there’s tremendous value in doing your own exploring, instead of taking everything at face value. Documentaries are a great way to deepen your understanding of the things you consume + learn how to live in harmony with yourself and the earth.
At Primally Pure, we like to challenge ourselves to expand our minds with a holistic view of all things health and life. Things are not always what they seem, and there’s always more to learn.
We’re excited to share this list of eye-opening films with you.
Documentary #1: Toxic Beauty
It’s no secret – the beauty industry is booming. Products of every size, color, and shape fill the shelves of stores – and everywhere online. But many beauty products have a dark side.
This documentary addresses an important topic: the ingredients hidden within many beauty products sold in the United States. It sheds light on a severe lack of regulation, greenwashing, and misleading marketing tactics.
Yep, corporations are knowingly using (or ignoring) harmful chemicals with links to:
As you might guess, the effects of toxins in products you use daily can devastate your health. This shocking documentary is well worth your time. (Especially if you’re big on skincare, like us.) ;)
Documentary #2: Kiss the Ground
Did you know there’s an epidemic with our soil in the United States? Soil is losing nutrients and microbes – which is increasing carbon – and damaging our environment. But there’s a simple solution to heal the planet and store more carbon. And it starts with returning to our farming roots.
This documentary shows how current agricultural methods are damaging the soil, which is one of the biggest carbon sequesters. In this film, the narrator walks you through regenerative agriculture + how it helps heal the soil.
You’ll see real-life examples of farms thriving with regenerative practices. Even despite environmental factors wiping out other crop fields of neighboring farms!
This is a different kind of climate change documentary. It brings fresh hope in a brilliantly simple solution. Regenerative agriculture is a sustainable, full-circle concept.
“Healthy soil → healthy plants → healthy humans → healthy planet.”
Documentary #3: Heal
Chronic stress consumes our culture – and shows up as chronic inflammation in the body.
So, how do we reverse it?
This documentary approaches interesting discussions on the mind-body connection + your self-healing body. Yep, you heard that right. ;)
The body can heal itself from chronic inflammation with a simple change in mindset. It lies in how you perceive the things around you.
They argue that genetics aren’t the end-all-be-all. They want you to realize your mind is more powerful than you know. Even powerful enough to overcome serious illnesses.
Heal follows three individuals with odds stacked against them health-wise. And what they discover about the power of their mind is truly incredible. This documentary combines feel-good empowerment with practical advice to change your life + health.
Documentary #4: The Business of Being Born
Today's system for mothers-to-be is run by profit, convenience, and shortcuts. Even to the detrimental health of mother and baby. This documentary uncovers truths about modern-day birthing as a billion-dollar industry.
It takes a hard look at the underlying motivations behind hospital births. As quoted in the film, “They need beds filled and emptied.” Most make medical decisions for legal and monetary reasons. So it’s fair to ask:
Is technology improving or hurting the experience (and safety) of giving birth?
The film argues that hospitals have taken away women’s innate belief that their bodies know how to give birth. Birth is a profound experience that shouldn’t be numbed. This documentary will change the way you look at giving birth.
Documentary #5: The Social Dilemma
Most of us are on social media today. We consume memes and interact with friends and strangers. We seek advice from self-proclaimed gurus. But at what cost?
This documentary explores how social media was built to run your life – and not in a good way.
While social media can build meaningful communities (we love ours!), there’s also a flipside. Too much time spent on social media isn’t helpful.
The next generation is more anxious and depressed than ever before because of:
- Fake news
Social media is a system that rewards you + hooks you – without your permission.
This film takes a deep dive into how social media triggers constant dopamine hits. It’s an important and thought-provoking documentary about being present in your life + how you spend your time online. Like most things in life, you’ll find it’s about balance.
Documentary #6: True Cost
Most of us know the term “fast fashion,” but what does it mean for people behind the scenes? This touching documentary will leave you with plenty to consider regarding your next clothing purchase and the “true cost.”
These days, fashion is based on materialism instead of personal expression. True Cost takes an honest look at the sourcing of clothes. Aka: working conditions that are incredibly unsafe, with lives being risked daily.
→ All for a $10 shirt?
Fast fashion prioritizes profit. And everything else suffers – human rights, the environment, and even your health.
True Cost explores how sourcing textiles from poverty-stricken countries started as a way to provide jobs. Yet, it quickly spiraled into an unsustainable business model.
The sharp contrast of runway clothing to rundown factories is an important distinction. It’ll leave you nodding in agreement that no one should ever have to risk their life for a piece of clothing.
Documentary #7: Rotten
This documentary series follows a variety of food production chains. You'll discover the lack of transparency and ethics – and why consumer power matters.
Rotten reveals many sketchy practices in the food industry as an essential human rights issue. Today, food is viewed as a money maker instead of a vital life force for health. With that notion comes a long list of additives and toxic chemicals and far too many loopholes to allow nasty ingredients. Workers hardly make a living wage, and animals are mistreated left and right.
With confusing labels and “claims” galore, it’s not easy to eat clean – or ethically.
Though it’s only a small piece of the food puzzle, Rotten is a powerful way to discover some of the core problems in today’s food production. It’s a great opportunity to learn how to make better choices for your health.
Documentary #8: Stink!
Toxic chemicals have taken over the consumer product industry. This documentary is a powerful display of a protective father who works to uncover the widespread hypocrisy of the trillion-dollar chemical industry.
It starts with a strong chemical odor coming from the pajamas he purchased for his daughters. But what he uncovers is a lot more than he expected.
He dives into many political + proprietary loopholes, like the terminology “fragrance/parfum.” He soon discovers there’s hardly any regulation for these “fragrances.” Instead, he finds loopholes for petrochemicals and thousands of other unregulated toxic chemicals. In almost every product. He realizes no one wants to admit – or sacrifice profit – to solve the issue.
An inconvenient truth, Stink! shows how companies use cheaper ingredients to make more money – at the cost of your health. It’s an enlightening story that shows just how common toxic chemicals are in the production of consumer products.
Documentary #9: Down to Earth with Zac Efron
Who doesn’t love a positive, educational, and entertaining docuseries with a favorite Hollywood actor?
This documentary is divided into a series of exploratory conversations and experiences centered around sustainable solutions. Zac talks with people from different backgrounds and countries, all working to be more sustainable + kind to the earth. It’s filmed with humor, factual information, and respect for indigenous cultures and traditions.
You’ll learn about sustainable solutions in all kinds of industries. It covers health, culture, climate change, and some downright simple solutions. It centers on the concept that small changes can make a big difference.
This documentary collection makes sustainable living feel fun, engaging, and approachable. Curiosity leads the way. No doomsday tales here. Down to Earth with Zac Efron makes you reconsider your lifestyle choices, habits, and consumerism. It empowers you to do better with the one life you have to live.
Documentary #10: Not So Pretty
This documentary dives into the trillion-dollar cosmetics, beauty, and personal care industry. And what they find is… not so pretty.
The irony of products meant to make us “pretty” have made us “not so pretty.” You'll discover an overlooked epidemic of serious health issues caused by toxins and petrochemicals in personal care products. They explore cases of:
- Hair falling out
- Delayed speech
- Reproductive issues
- Birth defects
- Ovarian cancer
And more. They challenge why there are so many regulations with food, yet toxins in personal care products we use every single day are permitted. This documentary sheds light on something that’s not fun to discover. But it’s an important conversation.
Not So Pretty investigates specific and widespread issues with the personal care industry and how it’s misleading us. This is one documentary you don’t want to overlook.
Hard Truths Make Us Stronger
Uncovering the truth takes intention. Even when it’s easier not to look deeper, it’s always worth your time. It sets you free to live in your highest purpose and most vibrant health.
We may not agree with every aspect of each documentary. But these films highlight the need for transparency, thoughtfulness, and accountability. One thing's for sure: These documentary recommendations will stretch + expand your views.
Have you seen any of these documentaries? Bookmark this tab and come back to it when you’ve got a free night to curl up on the couch and watch. And let us know what you think,
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