As Independence Day draws closer we’re pausing to reflect on every freedom we enjoy as Americans. Among the treasured liberties we’re celebrating this July 4th is the freedom of speech, which helps us spark dialogue about how to make our great nation even greater.
For example, documentaries are becoming more and more prevalent in today’s cinemas and film festivals. Perhaps that’s because Americans are more interested in exercising free speech. Regardless of their subject matter, documentaries ignite conversation among viewers. And even as opinions differ about the content in the documentaries we’ve listed below, we can all agree on one thing. Exercising our right to raise questions and offer solutions is an important cultural and political exchange. And on this Fourth of July week we’re especially grateful for that freedom.
Here’s our list of five recent documentaries that put Americans’ freedom of speech to work.
Food, Inc. has changed the mindset of many now converted vegetarians and over-trusting grocery shoppers. By exposing the environmental effects, health consequences and maltreatment of animals, Food, Inc. has opened the eyes of many Americans about what they eat.
This 2004 American documentary followed the day-to-day activities of Morgan Spurlock as he adopted a McDonald’s-only diet. The independent documentary helped expose the epidemic of obesity spurring from increased consumption of fast food in America.
An Inconvenient Truth
Accredited for starting an international discussion about the importance of being good environmental stewards, An Inconvenient Truth lays bare Al Gore’s theories on climate change. Despite spawning controversy in many education boards, science teachers across the country played the video for their students.
Investigative journalist Michael Moore created the documentary Fahrenheit 911 after he suspected deceit on Capitol Hill after the September 11th tragedy. Moore sought hidden governmental agendas concerning the start of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room
The 2005 documentary, Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room, highlights one of the United State’s biggest business scandals. The award-winning crime story was well received by many business leaders. It emphasizes the importance of business ethics to countless business students in classrooms across the United States.
We can’t all agree on the value or verity of each of these documentaries. That why they’re important examples of our freedom of speech. Differing opinions and ideals at odds help our nation create solutions to its most pressing problems. We hope that on Independence Day you’ll include the freedom to speak your mind in your list of American rights you’re thankful for—and use it.