8 Documentaries to get you Fired Up for 2020

//
9 mins read
Graphic by Bill Plympton, from the poster for The Brainwashing of My Dad.

Do you have some extra free time this week and next? Want to inspire yourself and your friends and family to work hard for democracy in 2020? Here are our eight picks for documentaries that will get you fired up and ready to go.


Suppressed: The Fight to Vote

by Brave New Films and director Robert Greenwald, 2019

About:

Suppressed: The Fight to Vote, the new documentary byRobert Greenwald (Director of Outfoxed, Walmart: The High Cost of Low Price, and Making A Killing: Guns, Greed, & the NRA) weaves together personal stories from voters across the state of Georgia to paint an undeniable picture of voter suppression in the 2018 midterm election where Stacey Abrams fought to become the first Black female governor in the U.S. The issues Georgians faced included polling place closures, voter purges, missing absentee ballots, extreme wait times and a host of voter ID issues – all of which disproportionately prevented many students and people of color from casting their ballots. Suppressed: The Fight to Vote features experts, poll watchers and everyday Georgians speaking to the reality of voter suppression and the threat it poses in 2020. In a race that was ultimately decided by 54,723 votes, the film exposes that the basic constitutional right to vote continues to be under siege in America.

Trailer:

Watch:


Dark Money

by Kimberly Reed, 2018

About:

DARK MONEY, a political thriller, examines one of the greatest present threats to American democracy: the influence of untraceable corporate money on our elections and elected officials. The film takes viewers to Montana—a frontline in the fight to preserve fair elections nationwide—to follow an intrepid local journalist working to expose the real-life impacts of the US Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision. Through this gripping story, DARK MONEY uncovers the shocking and vital truth of how American elections are bought and sold. This Sundance award-winning documentary is directed/produced by Kimberly Reed (PRODIGAL SONS) and produced by Katy Chevigny (E-TEAM).

Trailer:

Watch:


Paris to Pittsburgh

by Radical Media, 2018

About:

From coastal cities to America’s heartland, Paris to Pittsburgh celebrates how Americans are demanding and developing real solutions in the face of climate change. 

And as the weather grows more deadly and destructive, they aren’t waiting on Washington to act.

Trailer:

Watch:


Living Undocumented

by Selena Gomez, 2019

About:

The fates of undocumented families are like a roller-coaster as the United States’ immigration policies are transformed.

Trailer:

Watch:


Active Measures

by Jack Bryan, 2018

About:

ACTIVE MEASURES chronicles the most successful espionage operation in Russian history, the American presidential election of 2016. Filmmaker Jack Bryan exposes a 30-year history of covert political warfare devised by Vladmir Putin to disrupt, and ultimately control world events. In the process, the filmmakers follow a trail of money, real estate, mob connections, and on the record confessions to expose an insidious plot that leads directly back to The White House. With democracy hanging in the balance, ACTIVE MEASURES is essential viewing. Unraveling the true depth and scope of “the Russia story” as we have come to know it, this film a jarring reminder that some conspiracies hide in plain sight.

Trailer:

Watch:


The Brainwashing of My Dad

by Jen Senko, 2015

About:

Ms Senko’s groundbreaking film examines the rise of right-wing media through the lens of her father, whose immersion in its daily propaganda had radicalized him. His new fanaticism rocked the very foundation of their family. She discovered that this phenomenon was occurring with alarming frequency in living rooms across America. The film reveals the consequences that this radicalized media is having on people, families, America, and the world.

By watching and sharing this film as widely as you can, you will be helping to educate others about the dangers of these weaponized media platforms being  operated by Fox News, Alex Jones, Rush Limbaugh and many other bad actors who seek a more bellicose and “dumbed down” public that is constantly being told to be angry at everything – rarely understanding that the real objective is to steer them toward voting for far right issues and candidates.

Trailer:

Watch:


College Behind Bars

by Lynn Novick, 2019

About:

College Behind Bars, a four-part documentary film series directed by award-winning filmmaker Lynn Novick, produced by Sarah Botstein, and executive produced by Ken Burns, tells the story of a small group of incarcerated men and women struggling to earn college degrees and turn their lives around in one of the most rigorous and effective prison education programs in the United States – the Bard Prison Initiative.

Shot over four years in maximum and medium security prisons in New York State, the four-hour film takes viewers on a stark and intimate journey into one of the most pressing issues of our time – our failure to provide meaningful rehabilitation for the over two million Americans living behind bars. Through the personal stories of the students and their families, the film reveals the transformative power of higher education and puts a human face on America’s criminal justice crisis. It raises questions we urgently need to address: What is prison for? Who has access to educational opportunity? Who among us is capable of academic excellence? How can we have justice without redemption?

Trailer:

Watch:


Who Killed the Electric Car?

By Chris Paine, 2006
[Editor’s note: Who Killed the Electric Car? is quite a bit older than the other documentaries here, but I included it because I have been thinking about it since I watched it 13 years ago, and it does a terrific job showing the power of large corporations in shaping policy in favor of corporate interests and away from individual interests.]

About:

Writer/Director Chris Paine’s documentary feature film Who Killed the Electric Car? premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2006 before its release by Sony Pictures to critical acclaim in 100 U.S. markets. The film was the third highest-grossing theatrical documentary of 2006 and screened with An Inconvenient Truth in many markets.

Currently in wide DVD release, Paine’s film investigates the events leading to the quiet destruction of thousands of new, radically efficient electric vehicles. Through interviews and narrative, the film paints a picture of an industrial culture whose aversion to change and reliance on oil may be deeper then its ability to embrace ready solutions.

Trailer:

Watch:


*Starred options may involve a fee to rent or purchase streaming.

Have other suggestions? Leave them in the comments!


DemCast is an advocacy-based 501(c)4 nonprofit. We have made the decision to build a media site free of outside influence. There are no ads. We do not get paid for clicks. If you appreciate our content, please consider a small monthly donation.


Born on the 4th of July, Kelly has always been a firecracker, leading a revolution of girls sitting at the boys’ lunch table in 2nd grade and founding Young Independents in high school. Since earning her Masters, Kelly has spent the past 15 years as a university administrator. In the fall of 2017, Kelly co-created the Two Broads Talking Politics Podcast with her friend Sophy. As producer and co-host, Kelly quickly built the podcast into a nationally recognized interview show, featuring Democratic candidates, activists, and authors around the country. She lives in Chicago with her husband & two sons.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Previous Story

Meet the Candidate: Michael Schroeder (Pennsylvania)

Next Story

The 2019 Bolivian Coup (Along the Line Podcast)

Latest from Call To Action

INDIVISIBLE VENTURA

Hi everyone! Quick notes for today on our post: (tinyurl.com/Antiracist-events-Ventura). Some sad

Georgia Still On Your Mind?

LAST CHANCE TO FLIP U.S. SENATE BLUE  https://indivisiblehawaii.org/action/donate-call-write-georgia-us-senate-runoff-races Fresh Off the Press:

%d bloggers like this: