Whimsy Scribble

3 Documentaries to Watch this Week (Part 2)

Scribbler's SuggestionsMichela Mastellone-SchottmanComment

I'm just going to jump right into a few more suggested documentaries to watch. If you haven't already, be sure to check out my first list of suggestions.


I LOVE this documentary. I stumbled upon it accidentally and I'm so happy I did. It is very accurately described on the movie website: 'Propelled by Elizabeth Streb's edict that "anything too safe is not action," the STREB Extreme Action company challenges the assumptions of art, aging, injury, gender, and human possibility.'  I might describe it more as dance troupe meets cirque du soleil meets gymnastics. I have always loved acrobatic performances. This group reminds me a bit of a Canadian dance company, The 7 Fingers. Or, for people who have maybe been watching this season's America's Got Talent, The Russian Bar Trio (which I saw perform many years ago in Boston and they are fantastic). The Streb company does all sorts of incredible extreme pieces that remind me a little of zip lines. It frequently plays with the line of  "Is it dance, is it not dance", but I really like that. I also loved seeing bits of Elizabeth Streb's process - her organized chaos and use of notebooks reminds me of my own scattered combination of list making/sketching in notebooks. I would say even if you doubt your interest in a documentary about a dance company - this is certainly still worth giving a try.


You may have noticed that Netflix and other streaming services have been flooded with documentaries about the food industry and the obesity epidemic and all seem to have mostly identical information, even often utilizing clips from identical footage. A Place At the Table definitely fits in with this genre, but I think it's one of the better ones on the topic of hunger experienced by Americans. It keeps many of the key issues at the forefront - fruits and vegetables are more expensive than junk food because they are largely produced by smaller places that don't get government subsidies. Additionally, in rural areas, mom and pop shops often don't carry fruits and vegetables because it is not worth it for truckers to bring produce out there. Often people in those locations don't have transportation to large grocery stores, so they have no access to produce. 

The documentary does a nice job touching briefly on how widespread the hunger issue is and how intertwined it is with factors such as salaries below living wage, obesity and health issues, and government policy (especially in the influence of the USDA). It profiles a few individuals heavily and what sorts of assistance programs are out there on a local level. It also identifies ways in which those programs are lacking and are not widespread and not sustainable (such as food banks). There are LOTS of documentaries in this genre, but this is definitely one worth watching.


This is a great documentary for any animal lover. I was a little hesitant to watch this documentary at first, as I've spent many years in the animal care field and have very strong personal feelings against declawing cats, and wanted to avoid becoming angry if there were conflicting views portrayed in the movie. However, I'm really glad I watched it! I was expecting it to be focused on domestic pet cats and the practice of declawing, which certainly they touched on, but the focus was much more on the practice of declawing captive wild cats and the medical issues surrounding that. Yes, it's a little bit heartbreaking, but has a lot of great new information I had never heard before and plus, you get to see lots of cute kitties!