This blog entry will be very short, but hopefully, one that will prove to help educate you. My theory is that in order to be a good citizen, you have to be informed. In order to be informed, you have to seek out information, and to think critically.
Documentaries can be an extremely useful tool in gaining information, in comparing view points, and in helping to shape a wealth of information that can help inform you, and help you make more informed choices.
Three of my favourite documentaries are: Manufacturing Consent, The Corporation, and Why We Fight. (In later blogs, I'll probably expand my list.)
Documentaries are entertaining as well as informative. Needless to say, though, they must be viewed with a critical eye. Documentaries, if for no other reason than the editing choices that are made when post-production occurs, are always biased. They present information within a framed context. This does not make them inaccurate, or untruthful - daily news uses the same process. It does mean, however, that you need to think beyond the borders of the interpretation of the events presented by the film makers.
The more documentaries you watch, the more capable you will be of comparing interpretations of facts, and of rooting out unstated biases. These skills will serve you well as you watch news broadcasts, read news papers, and chat at cocktail parties.
Here's a great website to help you with your documentary viewing: http://topdocumentaryfilms.com/
I challenge you to watch three documentaries over the next month.