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Five Awe-Inspiring Documentaries You Must Watch

Five Awe-Inspiring Documentaries You Must Watch

It can be argued effectively that documentaries have become one of the leading genres in the film industry. The sheer quality of these films highlights this, with the category getting an increasingly prominent role at the Academy Awards. It’s now big business, and the dramatic impact a documentary can deliver rivals even the most bombastic Hollywood blockbuster.

Here are five documentaries you simply have to watch—each is a mix of extreme emotional and life-affirming grit; poignant, explosive, ridiculous, brilliant, and downright life changing. Add them to your DVD collection today!

Stranded: I’ve come from a plane that crashed on the mountains

    In October 1972 an amateur rugby team’s plane crash landed into a remote region of the Andes cordillera. Hopelessly trapped in the freezing conditions, the survivors began a brutal, two month fight for survival. Resorting to eating the bodies of their dead friends (preserved in the freezing temperatures), it was ultimately three brave young men who decided to attempt the arduous trek out of the mountains. Their first obstacle? An 18,000 ft mountain.

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    Nominated for the 2008 Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival, Stranded is the tale of the 1972 Andes Plane Crash as told by the 16 survivors. It’s as emotional and mesmerising as a film can be.

    Read More on IMDB: Stranded: I’ve come from a plane that crashed on the mountains

    Jason Becker: Not Dead Yet

      20 year old Jason Becker was, by the early ‘90s, rapidly becoming a rock star. His natural gift for the guitar was wowing America and superstardom beckoned. He had placed all other elements of his life on hold in dedication to music; a commitment which made the diagnosis of the debilitating Lou Gehrig’s disease even more tragic. Doctors informed him he had only a few years to live.

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      22 years later, Becker is confined to a wheelchair; he can’t speak, or move, and is cared for by his family 24/7. He communicates through his eyes thanks to an ingenious letter board system created by his father, and despite these terrible limitations his sense of humour, and lust for life, remains undiminished. He is very much alive, and he’s still composing music!

      Read More on IMDB: Jason Becker: Not Dead Yet

      Man on Wire

        In 1974, diminutive Frenchman Philippe Petit defied death by performing a high-wire walk between the World Trade Centre buildings in New York. This exhilarating Oscar-winning documentary follows Petit’s mission: from the plan’s inception to its lofty completion, how he pulled it off is laid bare. You are left to marvel at Petit’s otherwordly skills, whilst questioning his nerve to even consider such an undertaking.

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        Understandably poignant throughout, Petit’s enthusiastic dialogue, and the remarkable accompanying pictures show you what it’s like to be on top of the world!

        Read More on IMDB: Man on Wire

        Grizzly Man
        grizzly_man

          In a remote Alaskan peninsula, Timothy Treadwell found small fame in America as the man who dared to live with wild grizzly bears for 13 consecutive summers. Believing himself to have an affinity with the animals—a state of mind which saw him self-impose a public image of an eco warrior—he took to filming the bears in their natural habitat. The result is an intimate portrayal of nature in action, but throughout the beautiful scenes there lurks the knowledge of Treadwell’s fate. In October 2003 his daring came to a horrifying end.

          Werner Herzog’s award-winning film displays the harsh reality of nature colliding with human endeavour.

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          Read More on IMDB: Grizzly Man

          Senna

            Ayrton Senna’s genius as a racing driver is undisputed; in Formula One he amassed three World Drivers Championships, 41 victories, 65 pole positions, and the respect of the world. Adored in his native Brazil, the handsome, intelligent Senna was a superstar in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s, but his difficulties with the political nature of the sport, and his morally dubious dealings with his competitors (chiefly arch-rival Alain Prost), made him a controversial figure.

            Senna is candid, poignant, and thrilling, but what this documentary truly displays is how one person can make a huge difference.

            Read More on IMDB: Senna

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            Last Updated on March 13, 2019

            How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

            How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

            Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

            You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

            Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

            1. Work on the small tasks.

            When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

            Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

            2. Take a break from your work desk.

            Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

            Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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            3. Upgrade yourself

            Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

            The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

            4. Talk to a friend.

            Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

            Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

            5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

            If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

            Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

            Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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            6. Paint a vision to work towards.

            If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

            Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

            Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

            7. Read a book (or blog).

            The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

            Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

            Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

            8. Have a quick nap.

            If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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            9. Remember why you are doing this.

            Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

            What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

            10. Find some competition.

            Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

            Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

            11. Go exercise.

            Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

            Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

            As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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            Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

            12. Take a good break.

            Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

            Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

            Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

            Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

            More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

            Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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