Here’s a fact. Research has found that people spend more time browsing Netflix looking for something to watch, than actually watching.
Your Facebook profile picture of you doing parkour at the local playground tells me your time is valuable, so heed this advice and watch these documentaries, all found on Vimeo (or YouTube). We’ve got a losing Japanese race horse, a loopy inventor who likes to make smoothies with a soccer ball, local men stealing back their women from ISIS and a famous boxer turned taxi driver. And, although not a documentary, there’s an honourable mention for a short film with a Bruce Springsteen inspired eulogy. The internet is a big place kids, don’t get lost.
The Reinvention of Normal
Life can be boring as shit sometimes, which is why we need people like Dominic. If the most inventive thing you’ve ever thought of is strapping a goon bag to a clothesline and spinning it around, watch here for some inspiration. Normal guy, with completely useless and completely brilliant ideas, and if his inventions don’t make you smile then please return to pushing young kids over at the skate park you monster.
Iraqi born Estaifan was a champion boxer, professional soccer player, ‘neighbourhood tough guy,’ and now American cab driver. This man defines unsung hero, and makes you think it’s about time you stopped complaining about not being able to watch TV and eat crunchy food at the same time because you can’t hear.
Namibia- Cuba’s Female Boxing Revolution
Here’s a short one. Well made, good soundtrack, fast-paced and well worth the two minutes out of your day. Namibia is the only female boxer in Cuba, and she’s an absolute weapon. She trains hard in the hope that women will one day be able to compete in the Olympics (the sport is banned for females in Cuba). We eat shit food at the pub in the hope that one day we will not eat shit food at the pub. If you like it, see another short by Maceo Frost right here.
The Shining Star of Losers Everywhere
Is there a better people anywhere in the world than the Japanese? In 2003, Japan was experiencing a pretty heavy economic low, and the whole country needed some hope. They weirdly found it in a racehorse who had never won a race in her career, and wore a pink Hello Kitty face mask. Watch this to feel better about being a disappointment to your Mum.
Escape from ISIS
This film isn’t centred on the extremists within ISIS, but the brave people who are trying to free their families from capture. Four million women now live within the Islamic state, and this is the story of local men who are going undercover to steal back the wives, daughters and mothers who have been taken from them, one by one. Watch the full length version here.
Speaking is Difficult
No key characters, no expert production, none of the key components that usually make up what is considered to be a good documentary. Consisting only of 911 calls made during mass shootings, this is a short that not just Americans should watch. It’s chilling and a strong statement on the gun control crisis in America.
A film so nice, we’ve featured it twice. Director Jovan Todorovic lived inside the Balkans’ largest juvenile correctional facility for this short. An entire year obtaining permits to shoot inside the facility resulted in a raw look at teenage life as a young offender behind bars, with incredibly slick cinematography. Find out more about Serbia’s next generation of criminals here.
An Ode to Jon Comer
Oscar Loreto Jr. skates better than you, despite being born without hands and missing a leg from the knee down. Inspired by Jon Comer, a skater from the 90s with a prosthetic leg, he has found a place in the skate community. This film is a tribute to Comer, who has inspired generations of adaptive skateboarders.
Fine, whatever, it’s not a documentary but this one deserves an honourable mention. You’ve got two kinds of people: Myself, who was once an extra in an ad holding a sausage on a plate (I had one job and I sucked outrageously), then there’s people like Jim Cummings who do it all with ease. He wrote, directed and starred in this short and it’s so simply fantastic it deserves a gold star. He rehearsed his monologue in the car to and from work for a month, then would post it online for critique from friends. And the whole film was taken in one, continuous shot. Watch, watch, watch.