Mar 07 2012
If all the elements add up just right (just wrong?), a documentary can end up being far more disturbing than any horror film, because it’s steeped in truth. It can result in what can only be called a perfect storm of trauma for the viewer. A true story, paired up with (oftentimes) gruesome, real life imagery, can burrow under your skin into your subconscious and sit there, staying with you long after you see it. The following are seven examples, a tiny splash in a sea of documentary movies that are soul-ruining. Approach this article with caution, for a lot of this material is not only NSFW, but NSFL. (Not safe for life.)
Body Shock: The Man Who Ate His Lover
If a movie can punch you in the soul, this one does, many times over. The true story that is the basis for this film is easily one of the most staggering news stories ever, and one watches this tale unfold with an almost surreal separation, not even being able to grasp the sickness it would take to be able to commit such acts. Sorry, I am getting ahead of myself. It is called PTSD, and I have it as a result of this movie.
So this documentary is the story of Armin Meiwes, or as he so affectionately dubbed: The Rotenburg Cannibal, and his quest to find a man to eat. Also, how his quest ended successfully. Yeah, honestly, that really is the best summary you could read for this film. It came out in 2004, and myself, along with a slew of other people who have seen it, have not slept since.
This is EXACTLY what I thought a cannibal would look like!
So what is it that makes it so unbearable? Ok, I will be frank with you: His victim’s penis. Armin Meiwes removes and attempts to eat this man’s penis. They can’t though, because it is, in both their words, “too rubbery.” Yes, I just said THEY can’t, and BOTH their words. Before the man died and Armin hung him up on meat hooks and began tearing flesh from him to eat, the man tried to eat his own (removed) penis. Hold on, this all too much, I need to go bleach my soul.
This is his willing victim, who may just be sicker in the head than Armin.
Wow, soul bleaching is surprisingly painful. Anyway, there really are no words to express how you feel as a viewer as they go into the details of this case.
I could sit here and ruin it with all the facts, but all you need to know is on a website called “Cannibal Café” a man named Armin Meiwes posted a request that said, word for word: Looking for a well-built man to be slaughtered and then consumed. And he found someone. This is the fact that I cannot get past. I can’t decide who is sicker in this scenario, Armin or his willing “victim”. Someone who willingly went to this man’s house, ate dinner with him, and then sat in his tub as the other man cut off his junk and tried to eat it.
Oh, and Meiwes videotaped the whole thing.
Ofcourse he had a cage in which he kept his human prey. As if my nightmares weren’t bad enough.
Relax though, NO ONE outside of the authorities have (thankfully) seen any of the footage, and there is no actual footage of the crime here. Just a lot of descriptions. Terribly vivid descriptions. I simply TOLD my girlfriend about this movie, and she hasnt’ looked at me the same since.
Humans can be vile, vile creatures. Hearing how to cook penis in depth only furthered my belief of this. For those who truly want to slice away at their soul slowly, there is a whole series of documentaries called Body Shock that all deal with similar instances. I think you only need one, though. Actually, in this case, even ONE was one too many.
Maybe that last movie made you sick, but this one will make you angry. Really angry. Most people walk away from this film shocked, moved, and desperate to somehow change the world. Any film that can evoke a feeling of responsibility and desire to change the world is worth seeing, even if parts of it will ruin you.
Good luck washing the mental Rolodex clean of this image.
The Cove is about dolphin hunting in Japan, plain and simple, but it shows you the end result of some of these massive hunts, and honestly, it is devastating. The seas literally run red, and the scope of bloodshed and loss is staggering. I have a thing about animals, I think they are amazing, and I think some people find them to be easy victims and this fills me with an indescribably rage and sadness. I sort of ran my life on the unofficial motto that I will probably be more at ease in my own soul if I never see a dolphin get killed, and I should have stuck with that, but this movie forced me to change that motto. Truthfully, I don’t have a new one yet, I am still all screwed up from the dead dolphins.
Now I feel the need to say that I am by no means a vegetarian pushing some pro-animal agenda. I think the PETA people are cult-like in their extremes (Olivian Munn just looks for reasons to get naked at this point), and I am from the Ron Swanson school of meat, meaning anytime I can have bacon added to ANYTHING, I do. But that doesn’t mean I want to see animals getting killed, because honestly, I REALLY don’t.
I deliberately picked this image to offset the prior one. You’re welcome.
But this movie doesn’t use the slaughter of these animals as the selling point, nor does it exploit that. It is simply teaching more people about the atrocity that is happening right under our noses, and traumatizing or not, it needs to be viewed for that reason.
This is where things are going to get tricky, because I actually LIKE this film. Yup, I said it. But that doesn’t mean its ideologies and theories don’t beat you down, because they do. I have watched people on multiple occasions have to leave the room within the FIRST TEN MINUTES because the images and thoughts you get barraged with are so intense in nature. And it is all very inflammatory. Want to start a riot? Put this movie on “by mistake” in a Christian youth group, and just watch.
Painting of God calling out Peter Joseph, creator of Zeitgeist, for a fight.
So what is Zeitgeist? Well, it is a film that addresses MANY popular, modern day conspiracy theories, and counter acts them with their own theories. Such things addressed are the Sept 11 attacks and the idea that Christianity is just stolen and assembled from a multitude of religions that came before it. While often condemned for being considered factually inaccurate at certain points, it is a truly engrossing film, but be prepared.
It is too intense and too “we need to talk about this right now” heavy a film to be watched alone, and the reason I say it is traumatizing is it WILL polarize the group of people you watch it with. I am not saying it MIGHT, I am saying, unless you watch it with a bunch of conspiracy theory nuts, it WILL polarize the viewing group.
To be trapped in a room with a bunch of people that are suddenly very pissed off that this film is trying to disprove their “God” can be too volatile a situation for some people, and I can understand that. Oh, and if you have a friend who is a “stoner”, put this on and be prepared to watch THEM, because they BUG OUT! It made one of my friends think so hard he got a bloody nose.
If you showed this kid Zeitgeist, his mind would be so blown, his dreds would melt.
Also, one final note, please refrain from commenting on how I should have put “Loose Change” on the list. Zeitgeist addressed everything that Loose Change does, and at least listing Zeitgeist here won’t get me put on any FBI watch lists, which I would like to avoid. Loose Change is interesting, but forces its opinion on the viewer in way one could almost call propaganda. People could call Zeitgeist propaganda, too, but Zeitgeist switches subjects enough that is avoids similar trappings and confuses the viewer in the same way that continuous slaps to face confuse someone.
Also, there are two sequels to this film since the first one dropped, but none as powerful or trance-inducing as the original. Want to ruin next Christmas? Give every one you love a copy of this movie and just wait for the phone call where they either thank you or call you insane. It is quite a fun little experiment and will at least give you a broader idea of what side of the fence different family members are on, so you know how to approach them most effectively. I just sounded like a super criminal or a mentalist. Or a mentalist who doubles as a super criminal, who MAY OR MAY NOT double as an internet writer for Unreality. That is badass.
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