What to Watch this Fall (2019)

Autumnal viewing for the discerning #HealthEd teacher. Here’s an update on a very popular series of #slowchathealth blog posts, which provide you with a list of 9 documentaries/shows, available to stream, that have a #HealthEd slant to them.

Some I’ve seen, the rest are on my ‘watch list’. I’m not suggesting that you show these in your classroom, although some definitely have content that you might want to view and discuss with your students, depending on their age. I’ve included links to the documentary website (many include great associated resources) if one exists, plus the most pertinent Twitter link related to the title. Feel free to share your suggestions with me and on Twitter using the hashtag #slowchathealth.

Whose Streets? (Hulu)

Award-winning Whose Streets? is a 2017 documentary that takes an unflinching look at how the police killing of 18-year-old Mike Brown inspired a community to fight back and sparked a global movement.  The documentary film focuses on seven main characters, particularly Hands Up United‘s cofounder Tory Russell, Brittany Ferrell, a nurse and young mother, and David Whitt, a recruiter for civilian organization Cop Watch.

Official Site


Looking for Alaska (Hulu)

John Green’s first novel is now available to stream, AND, as a result of the teen themes, has a partnership with the wonderful people at Sex, Etc – see the resources link below.

Miles Halter is fascinated by famous last words–and tired of his safe life at home. He leaves for boarding school to seek what the dying poet Francois Rabelais called the “Great Perhaps.” Much awaits Miles at Culver Creek, including Alaska Young. Clever, funny, screwed-up, and dead sexy, Alaska will pull Miles into her labyrinth and catapult him into the Great Perhaps. Green was awarded the 2006 Michael L. Printz Award for Looking for Alaska.

Buy the book

Looking for Alaska resources


The Keepers (Netflix)

A seven-part docu-series about the unsolved murder of a nun Sister Cathy Cesnik and the horrific secrets and pain that linger nearly five decades after her death. The Keepers examines  her former students’ belief that there was a cover-up by authorities after Cesnik suspected that a priest at the school, A. Joseph Maskell, was guilty of sexual abuse of students.

Rotten (Netflix)

There are two seasons of Rotten, which focuses on problems in the process of supplying food. Each show deals with one food product and show interviews with manufacturers, distributors, and others involved in the process. It also highlights several criminal cases brought against these people.

Watch these episodes with an open mind, as the portrayal of these food stories is very emotive. Reviews have been mostly positive, but like most food related movies, the makers have already decided how you are supposed to feel afterwards.

“The overarching takeaway from the series is that the business of food is sprawling, labyrinthine, and woefully corrupt, and that the consequences affect far more than what ends up on people’s plates.” –Sophie Gilbert, The Atlantic

“The show’s most important point: quite simply, the way we get our food is inherently f*&%&*” –Wil Fulton, Thrillist 

“It’s not as much an assault on our diets as much as an eye-opening examination into the business of food production and the corporate and criminal malfeasance that is a part of the multibillion-dollar food industry” –Tom Roston, Salon

Living Undocumented (Netflix)

This 2019 docu-series documents eight undocumented immigrant families living in the United States. Written in response to footage which portrayed the shame, uncertainty, and fear with which families struggle, Undocumented seeks to capture the hope, optimism, and patriotism so many undocumented immigrants “still hold in their hearts despite the hell they go through”.

Eight families participated in the project, and the tearing apart of some of them — including situations where young children are involved — can be difficult to watch. The situations range from DACA , who make clear they have no ties or allegiance to the countries in which they were born, having spent their entire lives in the US.

TIME interview with Selena Gomez

Anna Chai – Director of Living Undocumented

In Whose Honor? (Kanopy)

Consider the Cleveland Indians. Washington Redskins. Atlanta Braves – what are your thoughts. Award-winning In Whose Honor was the first of its kind to address that subject. The documentary takes a critical look at the long-running practice of “honoring” American Indians as mascots and nicknames in sports. It follows the story of Native American mother Charlene Teters, as she struggles to protect her cultural symbols and identity. Issues such as racism, stereotypes, minority representation and the powerful effects of mass-media imagery are considered, and the extent to which one university will go to defend and justify its mascot.

Official site

Sex(Ed): How Did You Learn About Sex? (Kanopy)

NOT to be confused with the movie with Haley Joel Osment (should that have made my list?). Recommended by a past student of mine – Sex(Ed) The Movie offers a revealing, hilarious, and occasionally awkward look at how Americans have learned about sex from the early 1900s to the present. Using clips from an astounding array of sex ed films, this entertaining documentary captures what it was like for the kids – confusion, shock, embarrassment – and as well for those doing the educating (often with moral agendas front and center). I apologize for the horrors of Health Education in my recent TEDx talk and perhaps should have watched this first for more material!

“Fantastic…a compendium of sorts really of how sex ed has evolved… an eyeopening look at sex education in this country.” – Caroline Modarressy Tehrani, HuffPost Live

“SEX(ED) is funny, sure, but it’s also an interesting and enlightening peek at the history of sex education… an entertaining timeline that should have viewers thinking back on their own memories of sex-ed.” – Dina Gachman, USC Women of Cinematic Arts

Living on One Dollar (Amazon Prime)

Award-winning film Living on One Dollar follows the journey of four friends as they set out to live on just $1 a day for two months in rural Guatemala. They battle hunger, parasites, and extreme financial stress as they attempt to survive life on the edge. An unimaginable reality for most young Americans, the challenges they face are real and plague over 1.1 billion people around the world.

Official site

Common Sense Media review

Unseen (Amazon Prime)

In 2009, Cleveland police discovered the bodies of eleven women decomposing in the house and yard of known sex offender Anthony Sowell. With unprecedented access to the surviving victims, Unseen tells a chilling story about the invisibility of women on the margins of society and raises troubling questions as to why this killing spree went unnoticed for so long.

Documentary review

Other popular #slowchathealth blog posts that you might like are:

9 Netflix Documentaries to Watch This Spring (2019)

9 Netflix Documentaries to Watch This Summer (2018)

9 Netflix Documentaries to Watch This Summer (2017)

#summerreads a list of books that I lined up to read over the summer of 2018, many of which had been recommended by my PLN. Includes some great links to book suggestions that will inspire you.

One thought on “What to Watch this Fall (2019)

  1. Pingback: What to Watch This Spring (2020) – #slowchathealth

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