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Films, and in particular, documentaries have been around for nearly 100 years. The first official documentary is usually considered to be the work by Robert Flaherty. Made in 1922, Nanook of the North unveiled the difficult life of Canadian Inuits.1 These kinds of films have come a long way, and they are now available on nearly any subject one can imagine.
Humans have likely told stories since the dawn of language, and documentaries are a way to capture reality and retell it. Most are considered to be non-fiction narratives created by someone to tell a point of view or truth. They range on nearly any subject, from jovial to dark or even disturbing. Watching one is like seeing the world through someone else’s eyes.
Documentaries offer a voice about a new subject. If you’ve ever wanted to plant a garden, there’s a documentary (or a dozen!) out there. If you want to become a stronger person, a better leader, a nicer friend, a kinder partner...there is something for you! Watch a wide variety of documentaries to expand your knowledge, increasing your creativity and innovation.
As we age, cognitive decline often looms up as an unwelcome shadow, threatening our quality of life and independence. Neuroscience has increased our understanding of how the brain ages. Your brain, like so many other parts of the body, functions as a “use it or lose it” organ. To give your brain the work out it needs, you should expose yourself to new knowledge, ideas, and information. Ageing is inevitable, but with physical exercise, social relationships, and cognitive activities we can keep our brains healthy for as long as possible.2
Indulging in your curiosity allows you to discover things that you may not even realise exist. Part of the art of collaboration is being able to speak with others, and if you are able to access a wide variety of knowledge, your conversation will be more interesting and inspiring.
Documentaries take you to a new place, or they showcase a different lifestyle. There are nearly 8 billion people on this Earth, and each person has something to offer. They are becoming even more mainstream, as well. In 2011, documentary films earned £11 million in British theatres.3
Doing a documentary is about discovering, being open, learning, and following curiosity.
If you’re in a whimsical mood, or you want to watch something “light” without lots of drama, consider these documentaries.
Some documentaries give you a joyous sensation of hope and optimism for the future. Consider these (some handle controversial subject matter) if you want to have a renewed sense of human positivity.
Some stories have the potential to make you think about life and the world around you in a different way. If you are looking for a film that might challenge your reality and views, consider these options.
Leaders today are bombarded by information. While we must read, view and process information at work, indulge your curiosity by taking some time for yourself and watching something you find interesting. All knowledge is important, even if you learn about sushi or how to plant some potatoes.
1. Filmsite. Documentary Films Part 1. AMC Network Entertainment, LLC. 2018. Available at: http://www.filmsite.org/docfilms.html
2. Williams K, Kemper S. Exploring Interventions to Reduce Cognitive Decline in Aging. Journal of psychosocial nursing and mental health services. 2010;48(5):42-51. doi:10.3928/02793695-20100331-03.
3. Prospero, FS. The Rise of Documentary Film--The shocking truth. The Economist. 2013. Available at: https://www.economist.com/prospero/2013/08/27/the-shocking-truth
Founder & CEO
About my Brain Institute
Scientist, educator, author, speaker, coach, award-winning leadership specialist, filmmaker and creator of the i4 Neuroleader Model & Methodology.
Silvia's scientific background and curiosity about the human brain led her to a decade long journey of research into optimal brain functioning and the application of neuroscience in leadership and daily life. Her past and current roles have uniquely prepared her for the current undertaking, that of leadership activist & change agent.
Silvia Damiano founded The About my Brain Institute in 2009, with the purpose of democratising leadership & neuroscience. She has a passionately held belief, that leaders in our 21st century global economy and their organisations must radically change long-held ideas of what constitutes effective leadership
In her ground-breaking books ‘Leadership is Upside Down’, ‘Brain-Friendly Leadership’ and the 2018 documentary ‘Make Me A Leader’, Silvia provides both compelling evidence and explores the importance of leadership in our personal and professional lives and what it takes to develop the human behind the leader.
Silvia has worked in different countries, across many industries, helping teams and organisations improve business performance. Silvia’s clients have described her as a passionate, dynamic, a highly experienced speaker and master facilitator on the topics of Emotional Intelligence, Cultural Change, Neuroleadership & Engagement.
Silvia is passionate about leaving a legacy of well-rounded leaders who can act and decide in a way that better serves humanity. Her clients include Microsoft, Australian Stock Exchange, NSW Government, VISA, Fuji Xerox and Manpower amongst many other global companies.