Top 100 Must-See Documentaries for People Who Want to Change the World

Brianna Acuesta | True Activist

From sustainability to the education system to protests against the Vietnam War, there’s a documentary here to interest everyone.

The Power of Community: How Cuba Survived Peak Oil

This film tells of the hardships and struggles as well as the community and creativity of the Cuban people following the collapse of the Soviet Union, which led to a cut in oil imports and food.

Fall and Winter ($5)

This stunning film takes you on a hypnotic journey, reaching to the past to understand the origins of the catastrophic environmental transitions we now face.

Zeitgeist: Moving Forward 

Credit: Films for Action

A feature length documentary by Peter Joseph that presents the case for a needed transition out of the current socioeconomic monetary paradigm which governs the entire world society.

The Crisis of Civilization

Credit: Films for Action

A dark comedy remix mash-up bonanza about the end of industrial civilization. featuring clowns, car crashes, explosions, super heroes, and xylophones and much, much more.

The Evolution of Ecological Consciousness 

Credit: Films for Action

Permaculture designer Andrew Faust gives us an inspiring and heady narrative about the evolution of all life and human consciousness on Mother Earth.

Plutocracy: Political Repression In The U.S.A. 

Credit: Films for Action

Plutocracy is the first documentary to comprehensively examine early American history through the lens of class.

The War You Don’t See

Credit: Films for Action

A powerful and timely investigation into the media’s role in war, tracing the history of embedded and independent reporting from the carnage of World War One to the destruction of Hiroshima, and from the invasion of Vietnam to the current war in Afghanistan and disaster in Iraq.

Edible City: Grow the Revolution

Credit: Films for Action

Edible City tells the stories of the pioneers who are digging their hands into the dirt, working to transform their communities and do something truly revolutionary: grow local food systems that are socially just, environmentally sound, economically viable and resilient to climate change and market collapse.

Lifting the Veil: Obama and the Failure of Capitalist Democracy 

Credit: Films for Action

This film explores the historical role of the Democratic Party as the “graveyard of social movements”, the massive influence of corporate finance in elections, the absurd disparities of wealth in the United States, the continuity and escalation of neocon policies under Obama, the insufficiency of mere voting as a path to reform, and differing conceptions of democracy itself.

Peace, Propaganda And The Promised Land 

Credit: Films for Action

Provides a striking comparison of U.S. and international media coverage of the crisis in the Middle East, zeroing in on how structural distortions in U.S. coverage have reinforced false perceptions of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

The Canary Effect: Kill the Indian, Save the Man

Credit: Films for Action

Delving deeply into the often misunderstood and frequently over looked historic realities of the American Indian, The Canary Effect follows the terrifying and horrific abuses instilled upon the Indigenous people of North America, and details the genocidal practices of the US government and its continuing affects on present day Indian country.


Credit: Films for Action

The film enlarges the issue beyond climate impacts and makes a compelling call for bold action that is strong enough to tip the balance to build a clean energy future.

Inequality For All ($4)

Credit: Films for Action

A passionate argument on behalf of the middle class, INEQUALITY FOR ALL features Robert Reich—professor, best-selling author, and Clinton cabinet member—as he demonstrates how the widening income gap has a devastating impact on the American economy.

2012: Time For Change

Credit: Films for Action

Presents an optimistic alternative to apocalyptic doom and gloom.

First Earth: Uncompromising Ecological Architecture 

Credit: Films for Action

FIRST EARTH is a documentary about the movement towards a massive paradigm shift for shelter — building healthy houses in the old ways, out of the very earth itself, and living together like in the old days, by recreating villages.

For The Next 7 Generations

Credit: Films for Action

In 2004, thirteen Indigenous Grandmothers from all four corners, moved by their concern for our planet, came together at a historic gathering, where they decided to form an alliance: The International Council of Thirteen Indigenous Grandmothers. This is their story.

Class Dismissed: How TV Frames the Working Class 

Credit: Films for Action

Based on the book by Pepi Leistyna, Class Dismissed navigates the steady stream of narrow working class representations from American television’s beginnings to today’s sitcoms, reality shows, police dramas, and daytime talk shows.

Can We Do It Ourselves? 

Credit: Films for Action

“Can We Do It Ourselves?” asks if it is time to start pushing for a democratic, cooperative way of doing business, showing case studies of businesses who are surviving as democracies within our capitalist system.

A Simpler Way: Crisis as Opportunity 

Credit: Films for Action

A feature-length documentary that follows a community in Australia who came together to explore and demonstrate a simpler way to live in response to global crises.

Prout: Economic Democracy in Practice 

Credit: Films for Action

Economics of Prout covers the basic economic principles of Prout, which offers a viable alternative to the materialistic, anti human philosophies of Capitalism and Communism.


Credit: Films for Action

A groundbreaking film that diagnoses a serious social disease – caused by consumerism, commercialism and rampant materialism – that is having a devastating impact on our families, communities, and the environment.

The Myth of the Liberal Media: The Propaganda Model of News 

Credit: Films for Action

Utilizing a systematic model based on massive empirical research, Edward Herman and Noam Chomsky reveal the manner in which the news media are so subordinated to corporate and conservative interests that their function can only be described as that of “elite propaganda.”

Breaking The Taboo

Credit: Films for Action

Narrated by Oscar winning actor Morgan Freeman, the film follows The Global Commission on Drug Policy on a mission to break the political taboo over the United States led War on Drugs and expose what it calls the biggest failure of global policy in the last 40 years.

The Nature of Cities

Credit: Films for Action

Follows the journey of Professor Timothy Beatley as he explores urban projects around the world, representing the new green movement that hopes to move our urban environments beyond sustainability to a regenerative way of living.

The Take: Occupy, Resist, Produce

Credit: Films for Action

Takes a look at the dramatic economic collapse that occurred in Argentina and writes a radical economic manifesto for the 21st century.

Anima Mundi: Permaculture, Peak Oil, Climate Change and the Soul of the World 

Credit: Films for Action

It provides a realistic alternative for our future sustainability, a gentler way that treads lightly on our Mother Earth.

Legalize Democracy

Credit: Films for Action

A documentary film by Dennis Trainor, Jr. about a movement to amend the U.S. Constitution so that Corporations are not considered people, and money is not considered speech.

The Secret of Oz

Credit: Films for Action

Explores an economic solution to the debt crisis facing the U.S. by taking a look at the book, “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.”

The Yes Men Fix The World

Credit: Films for Action

A screwball true story about two gonzo political activists who, posing as top executives of giant corporations, lie their way into big business conferences and pull off the world’s most outrageous pranks.


Credit: Films for Action

When filmmaker Josh Fox is asked to lease his land for drilling, he embarks on a cross-country odyssey uncovering a trail of secrets, lies and contamination.


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