An estimated 1.7 billion people are currently under lockdown around the world as governments take action to curb the spread of COVID-19. If you are one of them and looking for ways to pass the time, here are some of our most powerful and thought-provoking documentaries.
1) Heroin’s Children
The United States is going through the worst drug crisis in its history, with heroin overdoses and other opioid abuse taking lives across the country.
In 2017, as US President Donald Trump declared the opioid crisis a “national emergency”, we looked at the “invisible victims” of the epidemic – a generation of children who were being neglected, abandoned or orphaned by parents addicted to heroin.
The resulting film, Heroin’s Children, was nominated for three Emmy awards.
2) Bahrain: Shouting in the Dark
In 2011, the world’s eyes were trained on revolutions in Tunisia and Egypt when an uprising took place in Bahrain, an island kingdom where the Shia Muslim majority is ruled by a family from the Sunni minority.
As Bahrainis fought for their democratic rights, Al Jazeera was their witness – the only TV journalists who remained to follow their journey of hope to the carnage that followed.
The film, Bahrain: Shouting in the Dark, won seven major journalism and filmmaking awards, including the George Polk Award and the Robert F Kennedy Journalism Awards.
3) Boko Haram Huntress
Among the thousands of hunters enlisted by the Nigerian army to track and capture Boko Haram fighters, one stands out from the crowd.
Aisha Bakari Gombi is one of the few women to have joined the fight against one of the deadliest armed groups in Africa.
In Boko Haram Huntress, Aisha takes us into her world – as a commander, a hunter and a wife.
4) India’s Offside Girls
Laxmipur, a remote village in India’s eastern state of Bihar, is home to one of the country’s few girls’ football teams.
They train at the Laxmibai Sports Club and are preparing for a match with the local boys’ football team.
We meet the girls defying community expectations in this short film, India’s Offside Girls.
5) Brides and Brothels: The Rohingya Trade
Hundreds of thousands of Rohingya girls and women fled Myanmar to escape a military crackdown.
In Bangladesh’s refugee camps, they thought they would be safe. But inside the tents that house almost a million Rohingya refugees, women and girls are being bought, sold and given away.
We look at the dangers still facing Rohingya women and meet the people seeking to exploit them.
The investigation, Brides and Brothels: The Rohingya Trade, won two major journalism awards and was nominated for a Peabody.