From rewatching Rick and Morty to learning how you can use a bell pepper as a bong to smoke some of your stash, there are many entertaining ways to spend your time while high, especially in this age of on-demand entertainment. But one of the best ways is watching documentaries that not only entertain but also teach you more about the world around you.
1. Cave of Forgotten Dreams (2010)
If there was one thing that director Werner Herzog was born to do, it was to make films, which is proven – once again – by this documentary about his exploration of the Chauvet-Pont-d’Arc Cave.
The cave, which was discovered in Southern France, is filled with paintings that date back to between 28,000 and 35,000 years. But it wasn’t just the paintings that were preserved, as the bones of extinct animals also survived, all due to having had no exposure to the elements or light.
Given the delicate nature of the cave, the production could only use a crew of three, as well as battery-powered lights that would not damage the paintings, which only adds to the majesty of the documentary that was written, directed and narrated by the German auteur.
2. Bettie Page Reveals All (2012)
Who was Bettie Page? That is revealed by Bettie herself in this documentary that introduces her to a new audience, and also those who thought they knew everything about her, all told in her own words.
From humble beginnings in the South to becoming high school salutatorian and going on to be the most influential pin-up models in the Fifties, Bettie Page lived a life that made her one of the world’s most recognized sex symbols, which is why her story is so fascinating.
3. Five Came Back (2017)
Drawing on hundreds of hours or archival footage, Five Came Back explores the experiences of five iconic film directors – Frank Capra, John Ford, John Huston, George Stevens and William Wyer – and their work “in the trenches” during World War II.
The documentary is not only narrated by Meryl Streep, but it also has the input of five modern day directors that were inspired by the wartime directors, the former being Steven Spielberg, Francis Ford Coppola, Guillermo del Toro and Lawrence Kasdan.
4. Man on Wire (2008)
While there is a feature film that is based on the exploits of Philippe Petit’s high-wire walk between the Twin Towers of New York’s World Trade Center, (directed by Back to the Future alumnus Robert Zemeckis and starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt), the real story is expertly told in James Marsh’s 2008 documentary.
It takes its name from the police report, which ultimately led to the arrest of Petit, and takes viewers on a 94-minute ride that plays like a heist film. Even if you’re not scared of heights, Man on Wire will have you gasping.
5. Blackfish (2013)
When it comes to modern documentaries, you can’t look past Blackfish, which has been called an “aggressive, impassioned documentary that will change the way you look at performance killer whales.” And you can be sure it will tug at the heartstrings, too, given its subject matter.
The documentary concerns the captivity of an orca, Tilikum, which was involved in the deaths of three individuals at SeaWorld, as well as the controversy and consequences of keeping orcas in captivity. Make sure you have some extra weed on hand, as you might need to unwind when the credits roll, too.