93 Documentaries to Expand Your Consciousness
93 Documentaries to Expand Your Consciousness
By Films For Action / filmsforaction.org

There are over 800 documentaries now cataloged in our library of social change films. That's probably way too many for any mortal to ever watch in a lifetime, let alone a few years. Surely some will attempt it, but for the rest of us, we thought it'd be great to highlight 93 of the best of them.

The films cover a wide array of topics, from media to war to politics and sustainability. This is the crash-course in 'what the hell is going on here' that we surely all wish we got from our education growing up but probably never did. 

Enjoy the knowledge swim!

HUMAN (2015)
382 min · What is it that makes us human? Is it that we love, that we fight? That we laugh? Cry? Our curiosity? The quest for discovery? Driven by these questions, filmmaker and artist...
Schooling the World (2010)
66 min · If you wanted to change an ancient culture in a generation, how would you do it? You would change the way it educates its children. The U.S. Government knew this in the 19th...
The Economics of Happiness (2011)
65 min · Economic globalization has led to a massive expansion in the scale and power of big business and banking. It has also worsened nearly every problem we face: fundamentalism and...
The Corporation (2003)
145 min · The Corporation is today's dominant institution, creating great wealth but also great harm. This 26 award-winning documentary examines the nature, evolution, impacts and future...
The Evolution of Ecological Consciousness (2013)
109 min · Permaculture designer Andrew Faust gives us an inspiring and heady narrative about the evolution of all life and human consciousness on Mother Earth. For more info about...
A New Story for Humanity (2016)
102 min · Inspired by the New Story Summit at the Findhorn Foundation: a sold-out multicultural, multigenerational inquiry into a new story for humanity, attended by change makers and...
United Natures: a United Nations of all Species (2013)
103 min · United Natures explores the Rights of Mother Earth, Environmental Philosophy, Wisdom, Spirituality and the potential for a Neo-indigenous future for humanity. Directed and...
The Global Brain: Peter Russell (1983)
35 min · Peter Russell’s award-winning video, based on a live audio-visual presentation in 1983. He explores the idea that the Earth is an integrated, self-regulating living organism...
Oliver Stone: The Untold History Of The United States (2012)
570 min · There is a classified America we were never meant to see. From Academy Award®-winning writer/director Oliver Stone, this ten-part documentary series looks back at human events...
Money & Life (2013)
86 min · Money & Life is a passionate and inspirational essay-style documentary that asks a provocative question: can we see the economic crisis not as a disaster, but as a tremendous...
Mark Corske's Engines of Domination (2014)
60 min · Political power -- armed central authority, with states and war -- is it part of human nature? Is it necessary for human communities? Or is it a tool that ruling elites use to...
Crossroads: Labor Pains of a New Worldview (2013)
65 min · Crossroads: Labor Pains of a New Worldview is a documentary exploring the depths of the current human condition and the emergence of a worldview that is recreating our world...
The Century of the Self (2002)
230 min · The Century of the Self tells the untold and sometimes controversial story of the growth of the mass-consumer society. How was the all-consuming self created, by whom, and in...
BBC:  The Power of Nightmares (2004)
180 min · The Power of Nightmares is a BBC documentary 3-part film series. The films compare the rise of the Neo-Conservative movement in the United States and the radical Islamist...
The Crisis of Civilization (2011)
87 min · A dark comedy remix mash-up bonanza about the end of industrial civilization. featuring clowns, car crashes, explosions, super heroes, and xylophones and much, much more ...
What Would Jesus Buy? (2007)
91 min · Religion aside for a moment, there’s a terrible addiction that has swept across this country, and it’s one of the nation’s best kept secrets. Mostly everyone will tell you that...
The War You Don't See (2010)
98 min · A powerful and timely investigation into the media’s role in war, tracing the history of embedded and independent reporting from the carnage of World War One to the destruction...
The Superior Human? (2012)
73 min · A documentary that systematically challenges the common human belief that humans are superior to other life forms. The documentary reveals the absurdity of this belief while...
First Earth: Uncompromising Ecological Architecture (2010)
90 min · FIRST EARTH is a documentary about the movement towards a massive paradigm shift for shelter -- building healthy houses in the old ways, out of the very earth itself, and...
The Power of Community: How Cuba Survived Peak Oil (2006)
52 min · When the Soviet Union collapsed in 1990, Cuba's economy went into a tailspin. With imports of oil cut by more than half – and food by 80 percent – people were desperate. This...
Race: The Power of An Illusion (2003)
57 min · The division of the world's peoples into distinct groups - "red," "black," "white" or "yellow" peoples - has became so deeply embedded in our psyches, so widely accepted, many...
Counter-Intelligence: Shining a Light on Black Operations (2013)
360 min · An extraordinary work by a gifted filmmaker, "Counter-Intelligence" shines sunlight into the darkest crevices of empire run amok. The film vividly exposes a monstrous and...
The Myth of the Liberal Media: The Propaganda Model of News (1997)
59 min · Edward Herman and Noam Chomsky demolish one of the central tenets of our political culture, the idea of the "liberal media." Instead, utilizing a systematic model based on...
Real Estate 4 Ransom: Why Does Land Cost the Earth? (2012)
39 min · REAL ESTATE 4 RAN$OM outlines a genuine alternative to the global property speculation that forced so many into debt. Doubling the pressure, the tax game has become just that...
Shadows Of Liberty: The Truth Behind The News Media (2012)
89 min · Shadows of Liberty presents the phenomenal true story of today's disintegrating freedoms within the U.S. media, and government, that they don't want you to see. The film takes...
Manufacturing Consent: Noam Chomsky and the Media (1992)
167 min · Funny, provocative and surprisingly accessible, the film explores the political life and ideas of Noam Chomsky, world-renowned linguist, intellectual and political activist. A...
The Power Principle: Corporate Empire and the Rise of the National Security State (2012)
95 min · "A gripping, deeply informative account of the plunder, hypocrisy, and mass violence of plutocracy and empire; insightful, historically grounded and highly relevant to the...
Class Dismissed: How TV Frames the Working Class (2005)
64 min · Based on the book by Pepi Leistyna, Class Dismissed navigates the steady stream of narrow working class representations from American television's beginnings to today's...
Killing Us Softly 4: Advertising's Image Of Women (2010)
45 min · In this update of her pioneering Killing Us Softly series, Jean Kilbourne takes a fresh look at how advertising traffics in distorted and destructive ideals of femininity...
In Transition 2.0: A Story of Resilience & Hope in Extraordinary Times (2012)
66 min · This film is an inspirational immersion in the Transition movement, gathering stories from around the world of ordinary people doing extraordinary things. There are stories of...
Fall and Winter (2013)
102 min · This stunning film takes you on a hypnotic journey, reaching to the past to understand the origins of the catastrophic environmental transitions we now face. Over two years...
Tough Guise: Violence, Media and the Crisis in Masculinity (1999)
53 min · Jackson Katz argues that widespread violence in American society, including the tragic school shootings in Littleton, Colorado, Jonesboro, Arkansas, and elsewhere, needs to be...
Rich Media, Poor Democracy (2003)
30 min · If a key indicator of the health of a democracy is the state of its journalism, the United States is in deep trouble. In Rich Media, Poor Democracy, Robert McChesney lays the...
Occupy Love (2013)
85 min · Join acclaimed director Velcrow Ripper on a journey deep inside the global revolution of the heart that is erupting around the planet. Humanity is waking up to the fact that...
Can We Do It Ourselves? (2015)
59 min · Within modern life exists a paradox: we celebrate democracy as a political system, but not as an economic system, even though our workplaces have a far greater impact on our...
Class Dismissed (2004)
27 min · Class Dismissed provides a critical look at how U.S. history is taught in high school, at the myths that reduce the complexity of history into simple soundbites, and the...
What A Way To Go: Life at the End of Empire (2007)
123 min · A middle class white guy comes to grips with Peak Oil, Climate Change, Mass Extinction, Population Overshoot and the demise of the American Lifestyle. Featuring interviews...
PsyWar: The Real Battlefield Is The Mind (2010)
99 min · This film explores the evolution of propaganda and public relations in the United States, with an emphasis on the "elitist theory of democracy" and the relationship between...
Beyond Elections: Redefining Democracy in the Americas (2008)
95 min · From Venezuela's Communal Councils, to Brazil's Participatory Budgeting; from Constitutional Assemblies to grassroots movements, recuperated factories to cooperatives across...
Breaking The Silence - Truth And Lies In The War On Terror (2003)
51 min · "BREAKING THE SILENCE is a film with enormous emotional power, bringing us the human consequences of our military attacks on Middle East countries. It also provides us with...
Park Avenue: Money, Power And The American Dream (2012)
59 min · Academy Award-winning filmmaker Alex Gibney (Taxi to the Dark Side, Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room) presents his take on the gap between rich and poor Americans in Park...
Waste = Food (2007)
49 min · Man is the only creature that produces landfills. Natural resources are being depleted on a rapid scale while production and consumption are rising in na­tions like China and...
What I've Learned About U.S. Foreign Policy (2000)
118 min · This is a powerful 10-part compilation that (in important ways) pulls aside the veil of Official myths and Lies about "freedom", "democracy", Human Rights, etc., being the...
Affluenza (1997)
56 min · AFFLUENZA is a groundbreaking film that diagnoses a serious social disease - caused by consumerism, commercialism and rampant materialism - that is having a devastating impact...
The Nature of Cities (2010)
39 min · "The Nature Of Cities" follows the journey of Professor Timothy Beatley as he explores urban projects around the world, representing the new green movement that hopes to move...
Disruption (2014)
56 min · This is the story of our unique moment in history. We are living through an age of tipping points and rapid social and planetary change. We’re the first generation to feel the...
Orwell Rolls In His Grave (2003)
105 min · "Orwell Rolls Over In His Grave" expresses ideas that will never be heard in mainstream media. It is the consummate critical examination of the Fourth Estate, once the bastion...
HEIST: Who Stole the American Dream? (2012)
76 min · HEIST: Who Stole the American Dream? is stunning audiences across the globe, as it exposes the real truth behind the worldwide economic collapse, tracing its origins to a 1971...
American Holocaust: When It’s All Over I’ll Still Be Indian (2000)
30 min · The powerful and hard-hitting documentary, American Holocaust, is quite possibly the only film that reveals the link between the Nazi holocaust, which claimed at least 6...
Gimme Green (2007)
27 min · Gimme Green is a humorous look at the American obsession with the residential lawn and the effects it has on our environment, our wallets and our outlook on life. From the...
The F.B.I's War on Black America (1990)
53 min · Through a secret program called the Counter Intelligence Program (COINTELPRO), there was a concerted effort to subvert the will of the people to avoid the rise "of a black...
DIVE! Living Off America's Waste (2009)
53 min · Inspired by a curiosity about our country's careless habit of sending food straight to landfills, the multi award-winning documentary DIVE! follows filmmaker Jeremy Seifert and...
Outfoxed: Rupert Murdoch's War on Journalism (2004)
78 min · Outfoxed shows how the Fox News channel is used to promote and advocate right-wing views. SUBSCRIBE Follow Robert Greenwald Celebrate 10 years of Brave New Films with our...
Singapore: Biophilic City (2012)
44 min · A whirlwind week in Singapore exploring the amazing story of how Singapore came to be one of the most 'biophilic' cities of the world, on the cutting edge of ecocity design and...
Not Business As Usual (2014)
61 min · Not Business As Usual is a provocative look at capitalism and its unintended price of success. The film tracks the changing landscape of business with the rising tide of...
Taken for a Ride (1996)
56 min · Before freeways, traffic congestion and air pollution, public transportation was a vital part of the American landscape. Jim Klein and Martha Olson weave investigative...
Law Enforcement Opposed to the War on Drugs (2006)
54 min · Cops and former cops who have put in decades fighting the war on drugs speak out against prohibition.
Prout: Economic Democracy in Practice (2004)
30 min · Economics of Prout covers the basic economic principles of Prout, which offers a viable alternative to the materialistic, anti human philosophies of Capitalism and Communism.
John Pilger: Real Journalism
28 min · What is real journalism? John Pilger reviews his 50 year career John Pilger says journalism is meant to be about truth. In this video he reviews his career over more than 50...
Monumental Myths (2009)
47 min · Monumental Myths unveils the perpetuated myths told at several American monuments and historic sites. Carved in rock or cast in bronze, America’s monuments are intended—by...
The Bloom Episode 2: Practicing The New World
51 min · Part II of The Bloom explores how Transformational Festivals have become incubators and spaces for “Practicing The New World”, where the festivals are produced using a model of...
Words From The Edge (2013)
50 min · Words From The Edge is a film about the unprecedented transition that we are undergoing from a culture of industrial growth and inequality to what must inevitably be more...
Scarred Lands and Wounded Lives: The Environmental Footprint of War (2008)
58 min · Using on-site and archival footage to illustrate specialist and eyewitness accounts from around the world, "Scarred Lands & Wounded Lives" shows how war and preparations for...
Cointelpro 101 (2010)
56 min · COINTELPRO may not be a well-understood acronym but its meaning and continuing impact are absolutely central to understanding the government’s wars and repression against...
Legalize Democracy (2014)
30 min · Legalize Democracy is a documentary film by Dennis Trainor, Jr. about a movement to amend the U.S. Constitution so that Corporations are not considered people, and money is not...
Ola - Health Is Everything (2013)
69 min · A timely and emotional debut documentary that celebrates Hawaii's most cherished social values, Ola challenges us to rethink what it means to be healthy. Ola (Hawaiian for...
Inside Job (2010)
108 min · 2010 Oscar Winner for Best Documentary, 'Inside Job' provides a comprehensive analysis of the global financial crisis of 2008, which at a cost over $20 trillion, caused...
Reel Bad Arabs: How Hollywood Vilifies a People (2007)
50 min · This groundbreaking documentary dissects a slanderous aspect of cinematic history that has run virtually unchallenged from the earliest days of silent film to today's biggest...
Subconscious War (2011)
29 min · Subconscious War is a short documentary on media, reality, and the culture of violence, It covers the prophecies of Aldous Huxley and Neil Postman's grim assessment of our...
Own The Change: Building Economic Democracy One Worker Co-op at a Time (2015)
20 min · Own the Change: Building Economic Democracy One Worker Co-op at a Time is a short documentary meant to give an overview of what a worker co-op is, how it can transform lives...
Walmart: The High Cost of Low Prices (2005)
98 min · Watch the full film FREE! Brave New Films exposes Wal-Mart's unscrupulous business practices through interviews with former employees, small business owners, and footage of...
Re-Learning the Land: a Story of Red Crow College (2015)
68 min · RE-LEARNING THE LAND is the story of a Blackfoot community in southern Alberta, Canada, and how they have re-taken control of their education system within Red Crow Community...
Inner Peace to World Peace (2015)
58 min · Can we really create peace in the world? Made for World Peace Day, join UPLIFT on a journey into peace in this inspiring new film.
Anima Mundi: Permaculture, Peak Oil, Climate Change and the Soul of the World (2011)
77 min · Many people do not realize that permaculture is much more than about growing fruit and vegetables, it is a whole view incorporating the environment, energy, resources, housing...
RESIST: The Unist'ot'en's Call To The Land (2013)
30 min · RESIST: The Unist'ot'en's Call To The Land is a short documentary that was filmed in the summer of 2013 on unceded Wet'suwet'en territory, 1000 km north of Vancouver in...
Toxic Sludge Is Good For You: The Public Relations Industry Unspun (2002)
45 min · While advertising is the visible component of the corporate system, perhaps even more important and pervasive is its invisible partner, the public relations industry. This...
What a Strange Way of Life (2015)
109 min · This documentary closely follows the eco-village Cabrum, a recent community in northern Portugal; Cooperativa Integral Catalana, in Barcelona, which practices self-management...

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93 Documentaries to Expand Your Consciousness