The world of cinema has not only given us entertainment and fun but also has taught us valuable life lessons as well. They are one of the most relatable pieces of information available. However, an over-exaggeration and distortion of the authentic portrayal might dilute their positive impact on society. This is where documentaries come in.
Undiluted and not colored with the maker’s personal biases, Documentaries are an engaging way to portray an issue or even a concept. They can take a political, social, cultural, and personal stance as well. Educational documentaries fall in this category. They are specially made to appeal to a larger audience in order to promote and spread their ideas and awareness. They range from issues on society, culture to interpersonal relationships, and social media. They bring into light a bigger picture that is inherently connected to our existence and thus, affected by our actions and doings.
There has been a major paradigm shift in the central ideas of these documentaries. They have taken into account the important ideas of the times and have focused extensively on understanding them and spreading awareness. For example, in contemporary times, “social media”, “internet”, “artificial intelligence” have emerged as the major themes of such documentaries.
However, they are timeless classics and hold some kind of relevance in each era. Beyond Era is one such documentary. The fact that education has become a bubble that needs to be filled rather than the process of unleashing one’s potential, is the major focus of this piece of art. It focuses on the reductionist approach of the current education system, i.e., high priority given to grades/marks, everyone expected to excel academically, etc.
What would happen if we give a learning environment to students and let them figure out their interests and what they would like to become in the future. This documentary is a great way to understand the theme of transforming our education system. Schools are not just institutions for imparting education and knowledge but are also seen as places where students grow personally as well.
However, issues of bullying, mental health, and comparison hamper the basic doctrine of our education system. Another documentary titled
Project Happiness focuses on this exclusively.
It throws light on the prevalent mental health issues that our students are facing at school like depression, anxiety, bullying, etc. It poses to its viewers a very important question: Is the current education system in line with the happiness indices of students?
This visual piece follows three groups of students from different continents for a year to understand their quest for happiness. This documentary has served as the source of inspiration for millions of individuals around the world. Other educational documentaries include He Named Me Malala which focuses on the political and social initiative one has to take to gain rights for equality in education at schools; The Bad Kids which talks about the changes a good teacher can bring to the lives of their students; NOVA: School of the Future where the focus was the gap that our education system is facing today and ways to fill in the gap with new technologies.
In India, documentaries such as The Story of India, Placebo, The World Before Her, Kareena are particularly inspiring and great pieces to learn about our culture and nation. Most of these documentaries can be streamed on different platforms such as Netflix and Amazon Prime, while some of them can be found for free on Youtube.
Stream now and Stay Inspired!