It’s Friday! So you know what that means? Netflix and Chill time! Ehhem… we mean the real Netflix and Chill. So if you and bae, or just you (no shame, join the club) are in the mood for some documentaries, we’re you’re go to girls. Here are our pics for the week.
Ariel’s Pick- The True Cost:
We’ve all bought a top at H&M for $9.95, leggings at Forever21 for #3.99, but do we ever keep in mind how these stores are able to keep fast fashion at a low price? Whenever I want something for a night out, birthday party, or just the latest trends, I know I can walk into any store and get what I want for a reasonable price, and possibly never wear that item again. The Documentary The True Cost makes the ramifications of fast fashion very clear and very concrete.
In order for brands and stores to keep costs as low as possible and maximize profits, they open factories in countries like Bangladesh and India to compete against each other on pricing. The manufacturers want the business so badly, they play ball, agreeing to lower and lower rates for their work. It shouldn’t come as any surprise that the people who lose out most are the factory workers; 85 percent whom are women.
Director Andrew Morgan traveled everywhere from India to Texas, speaking with cotton farmers, factory workers, company execs, fair trade brands, economists and environmental activists. The documentary’s biggest strength comes from the second issue brought up in the film, and that is how dangerous this way of consumerism is for the environment. A cotton farmer in Texas named LaRhea Pepper became an advocate for organic practices after her husband died from a type of brain tumor common among conventional cotton farmers. In the Punjab region of India, the use of pesticides in cotton farming has lead to a spike in cancer rates and birth defects in the children of farmers.
The film is incredibly overwhelming and really makes you not only question the clothes on our back, but the people who make them. The True Cost does highlight some brands who are in The Fair Trade Business as well as buying clothing that is made to last longer. Unfortunately, in order for there to be some real change, it has to come from the consumer.
Rebecca’s Pick- The Black Power Mixtape 1967-1975:
I love watching documentaries about black history, and I mean the real, uncut history that we’re not use to hearing or reading about. The film The Black Power Mixtape 1967- 1975 gives you that raw behind the scenes look at the Black Panther Party and the Black Power Movement in America from 1967 to 1975. It features never before seen footage of famous black activists like Martin Luther King Jr., Stokely Carmichael, Huey P. Newton, and many others, shot by a group of Swedish journalists that was discovered 30 years after it was filmed. It also includes some of the most insightful commentaries and interviews from current black activists, scholars, and musicians like Harry Belafonte, Angela Davis, and Erykah Badu to name a few.
This summary doesn’t compare to how dope this documentary actually is. I mean the music, the footage, and the knowledge will have you hooked. Don’t get this confused for one of those documentaries that you watched in school because it’s far from it.
Ariel & Rebecca