DOCS TO WATCH: Explore The World From Your Living Room
We’ve curated a list of globally compelling documentaries that will transform you into another world. Whether you want an anthropological portrait of other cultures, or an epic view of Earth’s greatest landscapes, there are plenty of docs to transport you to foreign lands.
From the High Himyalas of Nepal to the Utah Desert we hope this selection of recommended docs to watch online will satisfy your wanderlust cravings, as well as keep you utterly hooked and entertained!
CHILDREN OF THE SNOW LAND / 2017) / Marcus Stephenson & Zara Balfour / 97mins
This moving documentary tells the extraordinary story of children born in a remote Nepalese village. At 4 years old, they’re sent to a school in the city, hoping education means a better life. With no ability to return home when they want, the children are away for a decade.
At 16, upon graduating, some of the children take the arduous and lengthy journey back home, with the filmmakers training them how to record their journey. Children Of The Snow Land is a touching, coming-of-age tale that will immerse you in the beautiful landscape of the High Himalayas of Nepal.
You can watch Children Of The Snow Land here.
MICHAEL PALIN AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 DAYS / 1989 / TV Series / BBC
This 7-part BBC television travel series first broadcast on BBC1 in 1989. Presented by actor and comedian Michael Palin the show was inspired by Jules Verne’s classic novel Around the World in Eighty Days. Palin was given the same deadline, and not allowed to use an aircraft. He followed the route as closely as possible.
Palin encountered several setbacks during his voyage, partly because he travelled with a five-person film crew. Watch as Palin takes up the challenge to emulate the adventures of Phileas Fogg and circumnavigate the globe, travelling by land and sea.
You can watch Michael Palin Around The World In 80 Days here.
PINK SARIS / 2010 / Kim Longinotto / 100mins
Pink saris are worn by the Gulabi Gang, a group of women vigilantes in Northern India. Pink Saris is a portrait of these women and their charismatic leader Sampat Pal Devi who helps the girls who’ve been abused by patriarchal traditions and the caste system.
This is acclaimed director Kim Longinotto’s (Divorce Iranian Style & Sisters In Law) latest foray into the lives of remarkable women. Longinotto delivers an unflinching and often amusing look at these unlikely political activists and their leader.
“A girl’s life is cruel... a woman’s life is very cruel” declares Sampat Pal, the complex, unforgettable protagonist at the centre of Pink Saris, a documentary on female activism in rural India that won the Special Jury Award at Sheffield Doc Fest.
You can watch Pink Saris here.
See our recorded editing masterclass with Kim Longinotto here.
THREE WIVES, ONE HUSBAND / 2018 / TV Series
This enthralling and eye-opening documentary series explores a polygamous community of Fundamentalist Mormons living in the Rockland Ranch (“The Rock”) deep in the Utah desert. The families’ lives are sometimes difficult, partly because in the state of Utah polygamy is a third-degree felony, and because it carries the risk of excommunication in the mainstream Mormon church.
Three Wives, One Husband examines the personal politics of courtship, how to behave correctly in front of sister wives and the complicated sleeping arrangements. Filmed over a year, life at the Ranch plays out with narratives as rich as any drama. Radio Times highlights that ‘Three Wives, One Husband’ diverts from the stereotype that fundamentalist Mormons are a cult’.
You can watch Three Wives, One Husband here.
THE LEADER, THE DRIVER AND THE DRIVER’S WIFE / 1991 / Nick Broomfield / 85mins
Told through a portrait of South Africa’s white supremacist leader Eugene Terre’Blanche, his driver JP and JP’s wife Anita, the documentary chronicles the collapse of the white supremacist AWB party in apartheid South Africa. As the title suggests, this film is about followers as well as leaders, with JP portrayed as a victim of blind loyalty.
As the film shows, director Nick Broomfield spent weeks attempting to secure an interview with the AWB leader and when finally getting one, Broomfield deliberately arrives late, fumbling excuses about making tea. His presentation as an amateur gains him unique access to the members of AWB, unafraid to air their shocking views - a strategy that has been imitated by various documentarians since.
You can watch The Leader, The Driver and The Driver’s Wife here.
Then head to our Online Hub to watch our Nick Broomfield Retrospective Q&A, watch here.
SEVEN WORLDS ONE PLANET / 2019 / BBC / TV Series
Seven extraordinary continents, seven remarkable stories - join Sir David Attenborough on a wondrous journey across our planet’s vastly different continents. This BBC documentary series may be about the biodiversity across the seven continents - Asia, Africa, Australia, Europe, North America, South America and Antarctica.
Focusing on a different continent each, Seven Worlds One Planet bears the hallmarks of a suitably dazzling BBC/Attenborough operation. There are sweeping aerial shots, impressively clear close-ups and plenty of amazing underwater scenes.
You can watch Seven Worlds One Planet here.