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Arts Culture 5 Documentaries To Watch This Month If You're Not Into Holiday Films

5 Documentaries To Watch This Month If You're Not Into Holiday Films

5 Documentaries To Watch This Month If You're Not Into Holiday Films
By Mika Apichatsakol
By Mika Apichatsakol
December 20, 2019
The thirst for knowledge transcends the seasons

If you're not into watching cheesy Christmas rom-coms this time of the year, you're not alone. Some of us just can't help having good taste 365 days of the year. If you're looking for riveting films to consume over the holiday, here are five current documentaries that'll keep you on the edge of your sofa and might even change your outlook on life. 

The Game Changers (2018)


I wanted to know how this whole 'meat gives you energy thing' got started. 

This documentary narrated by martial artist James Wilks gets to the bottom of one of the biggest misconceptions in athletics: that animal protein is essential to physical power. The quiet reality is that some of the world's strongest human beings—Olympians, record-breakers, American football players—are fueled by plants. Wilks and director Louie Psihoyos travel the world in search of these plant-based athletes and of field experts, for clarity about which diet is better for strength and stamina. Oh and also, Arnold Schwarzenegger has a thing or two to say. 

Available on Netflix

Man Made (2018)


I'm doing what I need to do to be my authentic self.

Man Made explores the experience of transgender male bodybuilders and what it's like to be born in a body you cannot innately relate to. The documentary specifically follows the 2016 Trans FitCon Bodybuilding Competition in Atlanta, which is the only all-transgender bodybuilding competition in the world. Despite honing in on such a niche trans community, Man Made ultimately makes a statement about diversity within the trans community at large, united by the universal desire to be comfortable with who you are.

Bikram: Yogi, Guru, Predator (2019)


It was really hard... because I wouldn't be the person I am today without him. 

Meet the Harvey Weinstein of the yoga world. In the early 70s, yogi Bikram Choudhury emigrated from India to the United States, opening a studio in LA and introducing hot yoga to Americans. Using his charisma, confidence and a specific formula he claims to have invented himself, in the 80s and 90s, Bikram elevated himself to godlike status amongst his students, many of whom were aspiring yogi women looking for validation from their great instructor. Unlike typical yoga tutorials today, Bikram's yoga classes were massive with him instructing from a pedestal with lots of showmanship and sexuality. While he seemed to be offering his disciples the invaluable gift of wellness and self-esteem, behind the scenes, Bikram was using his influence to sexually assault a number of them. 

Available on Netflix 


Lorena (2019)


What did he do to make her do something like that?

Not to be confused with Netflix's Lorena, Light-Footed Woman—which, to be honest, also sounds like a documentary worth watching—Lorena is an Amazon Prime docuseries about Lorena Bobbitt, a woman who made headlines around the world in 1993 for cutting off her husband's penis while he was asleep. Morbid humour aside, the story beneath the headline is no laughing matter. The incident uncovered a secret of ongoing abuse and marital rape. A story with two sides, Lorena features interviews with both Lorena and her ex-husband John Bobbitt. 

See also: 7 Horror Films With Anti-Patriarchy Undertones To Watch This Halloween Season

Don't F**k With Cats: Hunting An Internet Killer (2019)


This person wants to play a game of cat and mouse. 

Seven minutes in and you'll be invested, but the story is just at the tip of the iceberg. Easily one of the most chilling true crime documentaries of the year, Don't F**k With Cats, told in three one-hour episodes, will infuriate, shock and make your blood run cold. It begins with a disturbing video posted anonymously on the internet in 2010. A group of "internet nerds" set out to find and identify the subject, becoming aware of a terrifying reality: that he is an extreme sociopath who is feeding on all the attention and that they're now looking for a dangerous serial killer.

See also: 7 Horror Films With Anti-Patriarchy Undertones To Watch This Halloween Season


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