One of my goals with this project is to restrict my media diet. I need to either love it or learn from it. This works out well for me because I love documentaries and this gives me an opportunity to watch many of them over the course of the next year. I watched three really great documentaries this past week that have me stuck in a rabbit hole of wanting to learn more.

Three Days in September: I caught this documentary on ShowTime. The documentary details “Russia’s 9/11” with the siege of a school in a small town in Russia. It was particularly interesting watching this documentary after Russia has been in the news so much over the course of the past nine months. As heartbreaking as this film is, it is necessary, I believe, to understand the context of the world outside of our own and how other countries have been impacted by terrorism, extremism, and war. This is an area that I admittedly do not know much about and this film inspired an influx of books on the region to be added to my Amazon wishlist! It also led to watching other documentaries and news reports going back to the early 90’s.  If you have any recommendations, please let me know!

Tickled: I caught Tickled on HBO. I went into this documentary completely blind. I think that is the best way to go into the film. It would not have had the same impact for me had I not. That is why I am not saying much about this film. Just go watch it. Then watch the follow-up to it called The Tickle King.

Rock and a Hard Place: Another HBO documentary! Rock and a Hard Place is produced by Dwayne “Rock” Johnson and follows the Miami-Dade prison boot camp. I generally do not like watching shows or documentaries dealing with prison, a side-effect from working on campaigns for Americans imprisoned abroad, but I had heard that this documentary was different. It was different, but still pretty difficult for me to digest. I think this is an important documentary, though. As a society, I feel that we dehumanize those that find themselves behind bars. Once they are locked up, we forget about them. I think this documentary demonstrates what real rehabilitation looks like, something, unfortunately, becoming less and less important as prisons across the country cut employment and education programs. There is one officer in the documentary that particularly caught my attention — Officer Lopez. This man is doing exactly what he should be doing. I think if more took his approach with people, a lot of lives could not only be touched but changed.