Saturday, April 4, 2020

D for documentaries - My favourite things to counter COVID-19 stress

(This post is part of the A to Z Challenge. I am writing this month on activities that keep me refreshed during these depressing days. It's Day 4 today.)

Documentaries are like audio-visual counterparts of feature articles in newspapers and magazines. 

I like them for a variety of reasons. I am basically a non-fiction person. I choose fiction only as a get-away from the monotony of non-fiction. People, places, events, issues, society, lifestyle, culture, traditions, etc all interest me.

Documentaries bring a number of facets of human life together, putting many current-affairs topics in historical perspective with archival footage, giving us a big picture.

There are umpteen documentaries on a variety of subjects on platforms like Netflix, Youtube, Amazon Prime etc.

On YouTube, I like the documentaries made by DW (Deutsche Welle, the German international broadcaster).

BBC has plenty of them, on its iPlayer. Unfortunately, I can't watch them in India because of geographical rights restrictions. So I listen to The Documentary programme on BBC World Service radio, and I catch up with the missed episodes on my podcast app.

The one that prompts me to watch on Netflix is Pandemic. No, I don't watch that now; it defeats the whole purpose of this month's resolution.

I don't want to give you a long list of recommendations. But still, I'll mention three:

American Factory
 (story of Chinese tech 'invasion' into industrial America),

 (on 'frugality' vs 'unbridled consumerism') and

Period. End of Sentence (Story of Indian women fighting ancient misconceptions about impurity associated with menstruation and how they manufacture low-cost, biodegradable sanitary pads).

And, there is one British TV series, which I am reluctant to mention, but nevertheless, I shall:

Trump: An American Dream
(Life of Trump through 50 years). After watching that, I am no longer surprised by what the American president says or does!


  1. Hari OM
    Hehe, funny thing is I noticed that Trump doco on the iPlayer last night when trying to find something different to entertain father. We both looked at each other and shook our heads!!!

    Do you use a VPN, Pradeep? Taking one on should enable you to then choose a net server in the UK and thus be able to access BBC. Or any other country that you wish. Just mentioning... YAM xx

    1. Ya, I know using a VPN it should be possible. But I haven't done that yet.

  2. I love to watch documentaries on PBS.

  3. I'm a fan of well made documentaries and thanks to Netflix there's always something worthwhile to watch.
    I was going to mention "Period. End of sentence." as one to watch but you've covered it.
    Adding Trump to my list.

  4. I bow down to your stamina to get through anything with the orange idiot. I can't stand his voice.

    There are such great docs out there. Glad you've been able to find some good ones.

  5. I used to watch Documentaries on BBC but off late havent been watching them. I did watch Wild Wild Country on Netflix some months ago. Its about Osho and his cult!

    1. Hi Shilpa - I haven't watched that. Shall check that out. Tks

  6. Our President Donald Trump is a character, for sure. And to be honest, my husband and I are glad he's at the helm in these difficult times despite the fact so many other US citizens dislike him. Meanwhile, I'm including a link for the Magellan subscription documentary service recommended by The History Guy.

    In fact, here is a link to his short videos available on Youtube, as well.

    I hope you stay safe, sane, sheltered, and supplied!

    1. Hi Darla - I get what you mean! Thank you for those links. Let me check them out.