Last week I shared all my book recommendations from 2023. Today I will continue this flow with a new list: my series recommendations from 2023. I mean, 2024 has just begun, so that’s the perfect time for me to reflect and write about 2023. Prepare to see more of these kind of posts the coming weeks. Todays list is a little smaller than the book list from 2023. Personally, I like that! I hope it means that I read more than I watch series or television. But I mean, not all screen-time is bad. Certainly not if you watch the recommendations below!
1 Rolstoel Roadmovie (Dutch)
In Rolstoel Roadmovie a Dutch filmmaker called Mari Sanders travels through several countries in Europe to see how these country treat people who have a disability. This way, you see how the culture in these countries is towards people with a disability, but also how these countries are physically enabling or disabling for some. It’s a series that really makes you see the world through the eyes of the filmmaker Mari Sanders, who has a disability himself. It made me realize how shitty The Netherlands has arranged society for people with a disability.
2 Bodem in zicht (Dutch)
In the Dutch serie Bodem in zicht (Translation: ‘Soil in sight’) we learn more about raw materials. In six episodes we learn more about the supply chain of gold, coal, iron, mica, lithium and phosphate. These materials are used in a bunch of products that people in Dutch society use. Think of phones, rings and solar panels. But where do they come from? And at what cost are they mined? This series makes you aware of how important it is to use fair trade materials and have a circular economy.
3 Klassen (Dutch)
In Klassen, translated in English as ‘Classes’, Dutch filmmakers dive into the Dutch education system. And to be precise: group 8 of primary school. The year in which kids know at what level they can continue they education, based on what they’ve shown their teachers up until that point. Will they go to a practical school or a theoretic school? The filmmakers question: does every child in primary school have the same chances? Who goes to the theoretical school and who goes to a practical school? All these questions are asked while you take a look into the lives of a small group of children in group 8. It makes the show extremely personal.
4 Mari staat op (Dutch)
Mari staat op is from the same filmmaker as the first tip I gave: Mari Sanders. But this time the series is focussed on The Netherlands alone. Sanders makes us painfully aware of how Dutch society looks at people with any kind of disability. And that’s painful, because it’s filled with prejudice and stigma. When that fact is established, he then looks further into the question: what does it take for abled people to see disabled people as equal and normal? When do abled people stop to see disabled as needy? And when do abled people stop thinking that abled is better than disabled?
5 The school that tried to end racism
People who don’t know much about racism or white supremacy tend to say: ‘I don’t see color. People are all equal in my eyes’. They think that they’re not biased in any way. In The school that tried to end racism we see whether that statement is really true, among children. What biases do children grow up with? And what happens if we don’t educate children about racism or white supremacy? This series makes it painfully visible that these patterns are not broken if we do not speak about them. If we say that we are ‘color blind’. I think every parent should watch this. It shows us how we can break the cycle.
6 Breaking boundaries
I tend to love every series that is curated by David Attenborough. And this series is no different. Shots of nature, strikingly beautiful. But what makes this series a little different is that it is a collaboration with Johan Rockström. Rockström is one of the writers of the paper about the 9 planetary boundaries. The planetary boundaries give us humans an operating space, in which we can safely live on this planet without bringing damage we cannot reverse. Right now, we’re going beyond those boundaries. Breaking boundaries explains which boundaries there are and what we can do to stay within them.
7 Live to 100: secrets of the blue zones
In this series Dan Buettner travels through the Blue Zones. The Blue Zones are specific areas on our planet where people have extraordinary longevity. Not only do they get very old, but they tend to do so in vitality. It’s extremely inspiring. In Live to 100 we see why these people have extraordinary longevity. And therefore, the episodes give us guidance to experience longevity ourselves. Of course, not all disease can be prevented: some people are just extremely unlucky. But for most people in Dutch society there are many ways in which they can transform their life to become very old in a healthy way.