Sometimes as parents, it can be hard to adjust your child’s perspective on different lifestyles and cultures of others around the world. It is easy for children to adopt perceived notions about a certain place and its people when they see them often in the same exaggerated context produced by mainstream television. As such, documentaries are a good way to help children expand their global perspective without the rose-coloured glasses.
What they will see are real-life accounts of ordinary people in eye-opening situations that will give your child the opportunity to question what they’re seeing, while widening their global perspective on issues that are not a common occurrence in Singapore. Here are five documentaries to help you get started on this new learning journey with your child.
#1 A Place At The Table
Despite being a first-world country, the United States faces a constant hunger issue that many lower to no income families face. A Place At The Table introduces viewers to different ‘food desert’ communities in the United States where low-income families have limited or no access to affordable and nutritious food. They also share interviews with topic experts and families who are struggling to put food on the table due to their extremely limited incomes.
#2 I Am Eleven
As a tribute to this magical year of childhood, I Am Eleven is a poignant documentary that follows 12 children from all over the world as they openly share their thoughts, triumphs and challenges of being an 11-year-old. Although the children may come from different cultures and backgrounds, they are still able to offer up candid thoughts on prevalent societal issues like bullying and discrimination.
#3 Kindness Is Contagious
It doesn’t cost much to be kind to one another, and Kindness is Contagious helps to reiterate that it is possible for everyone to operate on an individual level of kindness – even if it is through a small gesture. Through a compilation of research about the effect of good deeds; this documentary shares personal recounts of an act of kindness and features various expert opinions on why being nice is a really good thing.
#4 Ladies First
Before Deepika Kumari became the top-rated female archer in the world, she was a young woman struggling to survive in India’s second-poorest state. Ladies First is an inspirational tale about Deepika and how she overcame the sexist culture in India and the disadvantages of extreme poverty to become a contending Olympic gold medallist. Though the road to success was paved with deterring obstacles, Deepika was still able to overcome gender stereotypes, pick herself back up and work towards achieving her goals.
#5 Living on One Dollar
About 1.3 billion people are living in poverty as of 2018 and it is not easy to understand how this affects a person’s life. Living on One Dollar follows four college friends who set off to rural Guatemala to try and understand what it is like to live in extreme poverty. As they each attempt to live off only one dollar a day in a dirt floor hut with little resources for two months; the group also befriend and interview local villagers where they learn how the choices we take for granted each day becomes a difficult one to make for these villagers.