YouTube theater presents: documentaries

Watching a whole movie on YouTube is my guilty pleasure. I started off searching for the latest blockbusters and ended up cursing myself for seeing so many low-light, hand-shaken, Russian-spoken version of the newest sequels/prequels/spinoffs.

Then I found the real treasure: documentaries. There are so many quality documentary films that can both entertain and educate us. They started as side materials to topics discussed in my favorite blog (in Japanese, sorry) and now I am officially addicted to this form of “online education.” Here are ones I recommend: watch them while they are available. You will not regret.

The Queen and I

A beautiful conversation between two women who were on completely opposite sides during the Iranian revolution—inside and outside the palace.

Inside Job

No other documentaries caught the essence of how the financial crisis was orchestrated by bankers and ex-banker politicians. It makes you vomit and scared, but it is also highly entertaining.

How Buildings Learn

Steward Brand’s BBC series that takes a serious look at why we should build houses that “grow” together with human beings. This series is giving me a profound inspiration on my future dream house.


Welcome to the world of fracking, an “innovation” that sucks natural gas out of the soil and in return ruin the whole eco-system. The part where they find out that tap water became combustible is precious.

King Corn

A funny yet scary take on how our food industry has turned into a mass-production system made entirely out of genetically modified mutant corn.

The Trials of Henry Kissinger

A frightening piece of work that allows us to peek into the “back stage” of politics. My previous conception on the Viet Nam war + Khmer Rouge + Chilean dictatorship have been overturned.


It is about, as you may guessed, what it takes to be happy. More or less on general aspects (and yes, Japan is one hard-working country…) and maybe they need to dig a bit deeper into the subject, but I still think there are some interesting points.

Ai WeiWei Never Sorry

The (in)famous Chinese artist is now on the other side of the camera. We can see an artist who just aspires to be a free human in the contemporary China. (Sorry, the subtitles are in Spanish…)

Deep Water

A documentary about the around-the-world sailing race that took place in the 70s. A brutal yet eye-opening contrast between a man who tried to cheat the race (and ultimately cheated on his life) and a man (Bernard Moitessier) who refused to cheat on his ideal.