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Must Watch Finance Documentaries

Fictional movies are fantastic, they have a captivating story, likable characters, and gorgeous visuals. Contrary to them, there are the documentaries. They don’t have a fictional story, and they reflect the real world. They don’t have imagined characters, but real-life people that you may know or hear outside the narrative of the movie itself. And their visuals, though stunning, can be shocking. Functional movies give you a cathartic experience; they are made for entertaining you, and for earning millions of dollars for the filmmakers and producers. Documentaries, on the other hand, are made to educate the world. They challenge you and your world view, and good documentaries can often change your life for the better. Finance documentaries are no different. They can teach you the corruption that lives in many multi-billion dollar companies. They hold a mirror to the financial sector. The takeaway from them is usually how to manage your finances, how to lead your life with smarter finances, and how to not give your money to unethical companies. Thus, here are some of the top finance documentaries that you must watch right now. Below is the 7 must watch finance documentaries.

7 Must Watch Finance Documentaries

1. Inside Job

The quintessential finance documentary, Inside Job, is directed by Charles Ferguson and voiced by Matt Damon. Since its release in 2010, it has gained a distinguished reputation with Rotten Tomatoes ratings at 98%, which is a testament to its quality.

This documentary is about the events that lead to the global recession of 2008. The financial crisis of that year caused millions of job and home losses. The movie goes into how the major companies of Wall Street got too greedy and caused the housing bubble to burst.

The movie is an excellent way of understanding the general financial situation of the decade, and how the stock market, credit system, and house loans work. In a way, it reflects the current world where banks give out credit cards like candies!

2. Maxed Out

Speaking of credit cards, Maxed Out is another movie that deals with the credit card industry. It is a 2006 documentary directed by James D. Scurlock and has been rated at 88% on Rotten Tomatoes.

Even this movie discusses the outrageous practices of the banks and credit agencies that give out loans and credit cards to the most vulnerable people, and reap massive profits in return while bleeding their customers dry. It shows how credit cards are abused by the banks.

By watching this movie, you will realize the shocking reality of mismanagement of credit cards on both the bank and the credit card user. The film will teach you how not to use your credit cards to avoid falling into a cycle of endless debt.

3. The True Cost

This 2016 documentary directed by Andrew Morgan is yet another shocking documentary mirroring the consumerist society of this decade.

In this movie, Morgan takes you to the sweatshops of Cambodia and Bangladesh and exposes the cruelty of the fast fashion industry to the cotton fields of India. The inhuman conditions where the sweatshop workers have to work, and how much they get paid for doing that. Spoiler alert, it is only about S$3.

You must watch this movie to know the actual cost of fast fashion. Sure, a fast-fashion t-shirt may only cost a S$20 in Singapore, but in reality, its cost is much higher. The costs on the economy, human lives, and the environment are tremendous.

4. Minimalism

The previous documentary is a rude awakening about the consumerist culture. Solution? Minimalism, a 2015 documentary directed by Matt D’avella. The movie explores the idea of Minimalism, i.e., living with less. No, not the kind where you have to give up everything and live like a monk. Instead, the movie urges you to challenge your consumeristic desires.

Minimalism is a movement that urges you to only use things that you need. You don’t have to have the fastest car or the loudest guitar, just because the world wants you to. Instead, you have to ask yourself if something brings value to you, only then should you get it. The idea is to live your life without worrying about the paycheck, the latest trends, and what society wants you to do.

5. Jiro Dreams of Sushi

On the other end of the spectrum, we have Jiro Dreams of Sushi, which is unlike Minimalism. This 2013 movie, directed by David Gelb, is about Giro Ono, a revered sushi chef and his strive for perfection. The film shows what it took for him to become the owner of the world’s best sushi restaurant, and if it was worth it.

This movie challenges the notion of living with less. Instead, it asks, if striving for perfection is the aim of life. It looks at what it means to sacrifice your time and essential parts of your life to reach the grander goal. And lastly, what it means to be successful.

6. Explained

Explained is a Netflix-VOX partnered documentary series that has multiple episodes related to finance. They are absolutely a must-watch for anyone who’s getting into finances. Here are the 3 best finance-related episodes from this series:

6.1 Episode 5, Cryptocurrency

This mini-documentary is about the latest, and potentially world-changing trend in the financial sector, cryptocurrency. It is essentially a decentralized, digital currency that is limited in number. Right now, it is considered one of the most robust forms of investments for the coming decade, and it has the potential to change the idea of money as we know it. 

6.2 Episode 7, The Stock Market

The Stock Market episode of this series is all about the stock market. It is rather basic, but it is excellent if you are just starting out with investments. It gives a clear, concise presentation of the current stock market of the world and how it can benefit you in the long run.

6.3 Episode 18, Why Women Are Paid Less

Women are paid less than men in many industries. This documentary explores that statistic and goes deeper into understanding what causes it, its consequences, and how it can be dealt with.

These documentaries are important. They can change your perspective or introduce you to a new way of thinking. They can also teach you a lot about finances, especially how to manage your own money. So, go ahead and tune into your favorite streaming app and enjoy them!

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