I love watching documentaries and reading memoirs, because both provide a look inside someone else’s life and I love hearing people’s stories. Here are a few good ones I’ve watched, and all came be streamed on Netflix.
Claressa Fields (nickname: T-Rex) is the first female boxer to win an Olympic gold medal in women’s boxing. It was 2012, and she was only 17. It also happened to be the very first year that women’s boxing became an Olympic sport. After going home with gold from London, Claressa anticipated support and sponsorships that Olympians usually garner, but things didn’t quite turn out as expected. If you were watching this year’s games, you’ll also know that Claressa went home a winner once again, nabbing the gold medal in women’s boxing for the USA. This documentary takes us to her hometown of Flint, Michigan, and shows what it’s really like to be a woman of color in the Olympic games.
I love this film so much that I’ve watched it more than once. Filmmaker Nina Davenport bravely opens up her life as she becomes a single mother at 41. So inspiring, heartbreaking and full of love. She gets all kinds of reactions, from her father telling her to get an abortion after she conceived through IVF to the support of a new boyfriend helping her through this time. A really empowering documentary for single women who want children.
Oksana Shachko is a woman, an activist and an artist from Ukraine. Inspired from studying classical religious iconography, she once had a desire to become a nun but instead used her talent and passion to become an advocate for women’s rights in Ukraine and around the world. Most famous for their topless protests, Oksana and other dedicated Femen activists use the combination of art and the female body as a weapon against violence, discrimination and hate.
After you watch this intimate documentary of comedian Tig Notaro I highly suggest picking up her memoir. This documentary (and her book) covers the year in which Tig was diagnosed with a life-threatening disease, lost her mother in an accident, and was diagnosed with cancer. Since Tig is a comedian, this documentary handles these heavy topics with a touch of humor, striking just the right balance.
No one heard of Vivian Maier until her photographs were discovered a local thrift auction house in Chicago’s Northwest Side by a man named John Maloof. She lived as unassuming nanny but is known posthumously as one of the most prolific and profound street photographers of the 20th century.