As the days get shorter, temperatures plummet and we all feel the urge to hibernate under the covers, stave off a winter sleep with some fantastically eye-opening documentaries, which all happen to be free to watch on YouTube. So kick back and be entertained, educated and absorbed in these fascinating stories, and before you know it, it’ll be warm and sunny and you can head outside again.
Big Game, Big Money: Illegal Wildlife Trade Documentary
Shot on location in South African and Vietnam, this hard-hitting film lifts the lid on the multi-billion dollar illegal trade of rare animal parts and examines the latest efforts to stop the criminal networks endangering the protected species. Coming in at just under 23 minutes, the documentary focuses on rhino and pangolin poaching, and features interviews with park rangers on the frontlines, conservationists and campaigners.
Life In A Day
This ambitious crowd sourcing project aimed to document a day in the life of the world, specifically July 24th 2010. Helmed by Touching the Void and Last King of Scotland director Kevin McDonald, and executive producers Ridley and Tony Scott, this 90-minute film pulls together over 80,000 submissions to give a snapshot of human existence, with everything from people making coffee and getting out of bed, to sky diving and climbing a human tower at a circus.
This 55 minute entry, narrated by Danny Glover is a serious chronicle covering devastating story of the the thousands of children forced to join the Lord’s Resistance Army in Uganda. This covers the topic which was widely publicised in the film Kony 2012, but goes into much greater depth.
Nuclear reactors don’t always have to be a plotline in 24 or Godzilla, they can be fascinating on their own. This Danish doc deals with the long term effects of this form of energy generation – where does the radioactive waste go afterwards? Well, Into Enternity tells you where as it details the building of Onkalo in Finland – the first permanent site for nuclear waste in the world, which needs to last for some 100,000 years.
It Felt Like A Kiss
This found footage puzzler weaves a narrative featuring Doris Day, Rock Hudson, Saddam Hussein and Lee Harvey Oswald, complete with a pop music soundtrack with entries from the Velvet Underground, The Kills, Roy Orbison and The Beach Boys. Oh, and not forgetting the Crystals’ 1962 song which gives it the documentary its name. If you’re familar with Curtis’s other works, this won’t be too much of a surprise, but is a particularly interesting entry as it was originally part of a collaboration with immersive theatre company Punchdrunk, performed back in 2009.