15 Devastating Documentaries That Mustn't Be Ignored

The most important, heart-breaking films you'll ever see.

One cannot under-estimate the impact of a good, motivated documentary: though some film-makers who choose the genre are unfairly met with scorn (largely thanks to the image of Michael Moore on a mission), the medium remains the purest way to engage an audience, and call them to arms through outrage. Simply, this is a list of documentary films that every human being, male or female/young or old, should dedicate some time to. As human beings, it is our duty to step outside of our world for a minute (or ninety), because, after all, we're all here to be affected and inspired in some way and many of us wait for that to happen with our eyes firmly closed and wonder, only too late, what we missed. The aim here is not to dampen your mood, but to inspire you. Some of the films listed, although labelled 'devastating', are heartbreaking for the most uplifting of reasons, leaving you feeling affected, yet life-affirmed, while others are darker, but wholly necessary and should leave you pensive and heavy-hearted. Naturally, the following entries will be detailed enough to inspire you to pick up a copy of each, but not enough to spoil the films themselves, in order that you may ride each one€™s ride, as tough or as exhilarating as they may be. Whichever category each film falls into, this one fact will remain unchanged: all of these films will insist that you pry open your hesitant eyes and watch the highs and lows of our existence (but from the safety and comfort of your living room.)

There isn't much to say, except that I have a fairly decent beard and most of my ideas fall out of it. I'm also 33 years old, was able to rear three small children into three slightly bigger children and have a relatively untested and unfounded passion for writing. You can find me at Twitter: @onefistintheair or Facebook: KJ Lewis