Netflix Documentaries: From darling to daring

20 Feet From Stardom
There was never a dull moment in this documentary about these amazing back up vocalists, and for that reason I really enjoyed this film. With soulful, beautiful music around every corner, the backup singers really made me feel the music in such a positive way. The music really made everything come together in one big hodge-podge of harmony. Artists ranging from Bruce Springsteen to Michael Jackson were not only mentioned but also shown praising their talented backup vocalists. Others aren’t so lucky. One backup vocalist in particular went into the studio to record her song only to find out that her voice was being lip synched to by another group. On another note, you get to see who people are really singing with. From “doo-waps” to a simple “yeah,” you’d be surprised at how much more you’re singing the hook rather than the lyrics.

Jiro Dreams of Sushi
This is definitely a film for people who need a little push in life. The film is about food, but it’s also about working hard and pushing yourself to do your very best. Throughout the documentary, a camera crew goes behind the scenes to find out how, some say, the best sushi in the world is made. The film follows the life of Jiro, an 80-year-old sushi chef, his sons and apprentices. The phrase “practice makes perfect” goes a long way for this truly inspirational tale. I don’t even like sushi, but this film had me captivated and begging for a piece of fresh tuna.

Man on Wire
I can confidently say that this film is nothing how I imagined it would be, and I’m glad it wasn’t. Not only was this film funny and cheeky, but it really shows the lengths some people will go through just to follow their dreams. I thought it was going to be a camera crew following a daredevil, Philippe Petit, accomplish his dream of tightrope walking across the World Trade Center, only it wasn’t. I was pleasantly surprised, though. It actually shows him planning step by step to how he actually got to that moment and him practically perfecting his craft; let me just say it is a wild ride from beginning to end. It was like watching a spy movie because of how the movie was shot. Keep in mind that this event takes place during the 70s, so the towers aren’t even completely finished yet. Of course what he’s doing is illegal and gets him arrested, but it’s still really entertaining to watch.

National Geographic: Inside North Korea
This documentary is not for the faint of heart and is a very emotional and heartbreaking film. Throughout the entire film I was surprised at how sheltered and mistreated the North Koreans really were. The camera crew in the film was shown first hand just how serious the Koreans take their leader. It was a very good opportunity to dive into the North Korean experience but is not for the weak hearted. I managed to stomach the entire thing and take in as much information as I could, that is, until I got to about the last 15 minutes. The way the people praise Kim Jong-Un even though he does absolutely nothing for them leaves me with a heavy heart and a new view about the world.

By Irene Ornelas, Staff writer

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