10 documentaries that will make you feel better about life

2018-03-17 08:00

Cape Town - Ever wondered about what kind of creatures live at the bottom of the ocean? Or how music has the power to bring people together from all walks of life for a common cause? No matter what deep thoughts you have, we can all use a bit more inspiration in our days, and these 10 documentaries will do the trick.

1. Enchanted Kingdom (Showmax

This beautifully shot nature documentary explores the incredible hidden locations of our planet. Places that have not been spoilt by humans. From mystical forests to deep seas and massive mountains, this documentary will have you wanting to escape the city for a while. 

2. Soundtrack For A Revolution (Showmax)

The music that defined the US civil rights movement in the 1950s and 60s played an important role in bringing protesters together from different background and ethnicities. The music reflects the time, and this soulful documentary will have you reliving the amazing moments that entrenched civil rights in the US.

3. Mtv Base Meets Michelle Obama (Showmax)

The Obamas are allegedly in talks with Netflix to produce their own show. We don’t have all the details yet, but if you’re looking to get to know the former First Lady of America then look no further. Hear from Michelle as she gives personal advice to teenagers across South Africa based on her personal experiences.

4. David Attenborough’s Natural Curiosities (Showmax)

Sir David Attenborough has devoted his life to the natural world. This personal documentary will show you the connection that Attenborough has to the strange and wonderful creatures that science can’t really explain. 

Each episode introduces two creatures who have no obvious similarities, other than a curious feature – such as the chameleon and the giraffe, who both have a body part of unusual length; and narwhals and snails, with their twisty horns and shells. But how do these strange features help the animals survive? Let the soothing voice of Attenborough tell you how. 

David Attenborough's Natural Curiosities trailer from Redwood on Vimeo.

5. The Beatles: Eight Days A Week (Showmax)

The Beatles are arguably one of the most iconic and influential bands of all time. Between 1963 and 1966 they performed an astounding 250 concerts. How they kept on going we don’t know, but this documentary uses newly found footage and interviews to take you behind the scenes with the Fab Four.

6. I Am Ali (Showmax

Just hearing Muhammad Ali talk will get you revved up and ready to rumble. He’s been called the greatest boxer of all time, especially by himself. He was robbed of his best years in the ring after refusing to fight in the Vietnam War, losing his title and license to box as a result. Yet he fought the odds to become the champion once more. This documentary gives you unprecedented access to Ali’s audio journals from the 1970s as well as interviews with those in his inner circle, giving you unique insight into the life of the legend.

7. The Class of 92 (Showmax)

This touching documentary brings together some of the greatest footballing legends ever from Manchester United. Players like David Beckham, Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes, Nicky Butt, Phil and Gary Neville. Watch as they reminisce about the good old days and how these players, and other legends, shaped the beautiful game as we know it today. 

8. Fresh Dressed (Netflix

Fashion has always played a major role in the hip hop world, but in the 1970s it was something you’d only see in American neighbourhoods that embraced the music culture. Now, hip hop - and the streetwear that goes with it - has taken over the world.

This documentary goes into detail with hip-hop legends like Kanye West and Pharrell Williams on how fashion and music collide. It also profiles the fascinating origins of hip hop fashion from the gangs of the 1970s to Harlem legend Dapper Dan. 

9. GLOW: The Story of the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling (Netflix

Wrestling has long been a male dominated spectacle. But in the 1980s something new and groundbreaking happened. A group of beautiful ladies got together and started grappling and pulling off other high-risk maneuvers. This touching and engaging documentary will take you back to the 80s when “The Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling” were born, and show you how they were propelled to stardom. 

10. Blue Planet II (DStv Now)

This documentary comes 16 years after the first Blue Planet, the groundbreaking documentary that took us to unseen parts of our ocean. Now the sequel is out. Blue Planet II took four years to make and included more than 125 expeditions to 39 countries including South Africa, Seychelles, Norway and Mexico. Listen up for music from Radiohead and Hans Zimmer.

This is another big BBC documentary presented by Sir David Attenborough, and the team spent over 6 000 hours diving and filming underwater to bring you closer to the mysterious world that lives below the surface. 

Did you know? DStv Premium subscribers get Showmax at no extra cost. Here’s how. DStv Compact subscribers get Showmax for R49. Not a DStv Premium subscriber? Sign up to Showmax now and you’ll get a 14-day free trial »

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