Five Short Documentaries You Should Be Watching This Instant

Do you love documentaries, but don’t have time to be sad for two hourse of Frontline? The New York Times has a solution for you: Op-docs. Short documentaries designed to explore a subject in under ten minutes. Here are five that you should be watching right now.

1. Border Patrol Body Slam

Nacho Libre? Lucha Libre? Wrestling is always a morality play, but in this documentary, the villains are different. The heroes are buffed, hard-working, Spanish speaking laborers of California’s Central Valley, and the villains are the most dangerous men in the valley: ICE Agents. Check out what happens when the hunter becomes the hunted.

2. Gospel of Intolerance

Remember the proposed Ugandan ‘Kill The Gays’ law that caused such an uproar in 2012? It would have made “aggravated homosexuality,” which defined as repeated homosexual acts or having two mimosas with brunch, punishable by death. Now, meet the American Christians who worked to make that law happen by funding anti-gay bigotry throughout the Continent. For many Evangelical Christians the culture wars in the West have been lost. Instead, they have turned their focus to Africa, with chilling results.

3. Police Checkpoints: Safety or Profit?

It’s Friday, you’re out, so pick a DD because there are sobriety checkpoints all over Sunset. But consider: what if those checkpoints weren’t just there to catch drunk drivers. What if they were there to make a profit? Police departments throughout the country make hundreds of thousands of dollars by seizing and auctioning the vehicles of unlicensed drivers that come through their dragnets. Ride along through one here.

4. Subway Ballet A.K.A Part-Time Strippers

Who doesn’t love a pole dance? Especially a Subway pole dance. It’s hot. You’re on a crowded subway car. Then suddenly, a young man dressed in a sweatsuit enters and starts doing ballet for tips. Meet these “Part-time strippers,” as they call themselves, and give them a few bucks — they’re only doing it to pay for college.

5. Bronx Obama

Meet Louis Ortiz: Father, Verizon phone guy, Casual voter, Presidential impersonator. Check out his story of what it’s like to be the man that looks like The Man.

Fore more about Louis, check out his This American Life piece, or the documentary about him by Ryan Murdock.

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