Top 10 Industry Exposing Documentaries
There are some things you can’t unsee. This list of ten of the best exposé documentaries is packed full of OMG moments that might just change your outlook on life forever.
Get ready to discover what it’s like being in a cult, what happens if you buy $1m worth of lottery tickets, how to stop a drug cartel from killing you and why most American chickens never see daylight…
#10 – Citizenfour
What’s it about? It’s a fascinating interview with Edward Snowden, the whistleblower who exposed the NSA spying scandal. Without Snowden breaking his silence we never would have known that the US government was listening in on millions of Americans’ private phone calls.
Worth watching for: Discovering how governments around the world have used the ongoing threat of terrorism as an excuse to monitor everything the public does, from their social media to their grocery shopping.
#9 – Out Of Luck
What’s it about? This documentary declares that state-run lotteries are the American nation’s biggest casino. It examines how the poorest and least educated people in the country are the ones who feel the negative effects of the lottery the most and reveals how 80% of lottery profits come from 15% of the players.
Worth watching for: The story of the convenience store owner who spent over $1m buying lottery tickets from his store and ended up bankrupt.
#8 – Cartel Land
What’s it about? An up close and personal look at the vigilante groups who are fighting against the Mexican drug cartels on both sides of the border between America and Mexico. The director said, ‘I wanted to know what happens when government institutions fail and citizens feel like they have to take the law into their own hands.’
Worth watching for: Footage of drug dealers cooking up meth in the desert and the leader of the Mexican defense group telling all men, women, and children of the village to arm themselves against the cartel.
#7 – Inside Job
What’s it about? This Oscar winning documentary explains how the world’s biggest financial crisis happened in a detailed but easy to understand way. You’ll discover how deregulation, greed, and lack of accountability led to the global banking crash in the early 2000s.
Worth watching for: An insight into how the financial sector really operates on a daily basis and the interviews with people who have firsthand experience of working with the men that crashed the global economy.
#6 – Jesus Camp
What’s it about? A behind-the-scenes look at an evangelical summer camp for Christian children where they are taught that they are part of the ‘Army of God’. The kids are regularly seen crying whilst being told to confess their sins and the film sparked outrage by showing the camp’s brainwashing tactics. The camp has since been closed down.
Worth watching for: Nutty Moms who say things like ‘I want to see young people who are committed…I want to see them radically laying down their lives for the gospel, as they are over in Pakistan, Israel and Palestine.’
#5 – The 13th
What’s it about? An exploration of the mass incarceration of black people in America’s prison system. Black men now have a 1 in 3 chance of being imprisoned, whilst for white guys, it’s only 1 in 17. The film also controversially points out that in 2016, there are more African American citizens who’ve had their freedom taken away from them in prison than there were enslaved people before slavery was outlawed.
Worth watching for: Insane facts, including the rise in the number of people being locked up, which has jumped from 196,400 in 1970 to almost 2.3 million in 2016.
#4 – Food Inc
What’s it about? A glimpse into what the US eats, how it’s made and who’s responsible for the rise in obesity and diabetes over the last couple of decades. Stuffed full of mind-blowing facts and jaw-dropping hidden-camera footage, this isn’t one to watch whilst you’re eating your dinner.
Worth watching for: Information about how the largest slaughterhouse in the world kills 32,000 pigs a day and often doesn’t have enough time to clean the manure off the dead animals. The excrement then goes into the food we eat and causes over 73,000 cases of E.coli food poisoning a year.
#3 – Going Clear: Scientology And The Prison Of Belief
What’s it about? The most in-depth examination of the Church of Scientology that’s ever been released. Ex-Scientologists talk about the culture of violence within the church, how much it costs to rise up the ranks and how they got sucked into the ‘cult’ in the first place.
Worth watching for: The crazy revelation that the church groomed a young woman called Nazanin Boniadi to be Tom Cruise’s new girlfriend after he’d divorced Nicole Kidman. They forced her to break up with her current boyfriend, flew her to LA and dyed her hair to the exact shade that Tom Cruise prefers.
#2 – Prescription Thugs
What’s it about? A look into the massive problem of prescription drug addiction in the USA. America makes up only 5% of the global population but it takes 75% of all the prescription drugs in the world. This film shows how the companies who make these drugs deliberately exploit the health care system in order to make a profit.
Worth watching for: Halfway through, the guy making the movie reveals he is actually addicted to Xanax himself.
#1 – Louis Theroux: Gambling In Las Vegas
What’s it about? British investigative journalist Louis Theroux heads to Sin City to meet the people who gamble there, the casino employees who keep everyone happy and the high rollers who are always on the hunt for the next big win.
Worth watching for: Retired 81-year-old Dr, Martha Ogman, who’s lost more than $4 million on slots in the last seven years. Her son Seth isn’t very happy about her spending his inheritance.