Documentaries you should watch this holiday

I love watching documentaries. Here are my top picks for you this holiday season.


Untethered - 30 minutes

Shot in my province of British Columbia, Canada, this is filmmaker Levi Allen's first documentary. The whole thing is breathtaking and inspiring. It follows the story of slackliner Spencer Seabrooke as he attempts to break the world record for longest highline walked without a harness.

The Battered Bastards of Baseball - 80 minutes

My friend Chase Reeves recommended this to me. I'm not a baseball fan, and I loved this movie. See how these Portland underdogs overcome huge obstacles to become one of the most beloved (and competitive) teams of the 1970s.

If You Build It - 85 minutes

If you're a designer, a maker, or an educator and you want to be inspired, this is the film for you. Watch as a designer and architect motivate a high school class in rural North Carolina to understand, and apply, design to their lives.


Apple Campus - CBS 60 Minutes Interview

Inside Apple - 40 minutes

This rarely happens: Charlie Rose (of 60 Minutes) was invited on Apple's campus to film and interview both Tim Cook and Jony Ive. You get to see inside Jony's design studio, Apple's corporate boardroom, plus their new "spaceship" office building.

Capital C - 86 minutes

If you make stuff, you'll find the documentary about crowdfunding motivating. It follows the story of Freaker USA, illustrator Jackson Robinson, and retro PC game Wasteland as they try to raise funds (and deliver on their promises).


Lemmy - 116 minutes

As a part of my impending mid-life crisis, I've started to enjoy heavy metal in my 30s. Lemmy is the founder and frontman of  Motorhead, and the only constant member of the band since 1975. A fascinating man. Lots of great cameos from Dave Grohl, Slash, Ozzy Osbourne, James Hetfield, Lars Ulrich, and Kirk Hammett.

Metal Evolution - Series

Continuing with the heavy metal genre, if want to see the history behind the music, this series is a must see. Going from pre-metal bands like Rainbow all the way to Extreme metal, filmmaker Sam Dunn creates an anthropological study of all the genres.


Let's Go Get Small - Dave Treadway

Let's Go Get Small - 34 minutes

My friend Dave Treadway released this ski video 2 years ago, and it still gives me chills when I see it. An incredible (and gutsy) adventure film.

Motivation 2: The Chris Cole Story - 75 minutes

Growing up, Zero Skateboards was the deck everyone wanted to ride. And Chris Cole was one of those gnarly riders you just wanted to watch. His story, from humble beginnings, to being one of the most well known pros on the planet, is fascinating.

What's in my queue?

Here's some documentaries that have been recommended to me:

  • Cocaine Cowboys (via Kyle Fox)
  • Touching the Void (via Greg S. and Mason M)
Published on December 23rd, 2015
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