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Surge: Our Must-See Documentaries from 2020

February 8, 2021

Source Surge

From glimpses into the world of farm investigations to a prediction of the state of the world in 30 years’ time, we round-up our pick of short films and documentaries that came out in 2020.

INVISIBLE: A Rare Glimpse into the Life of an Undercover Investigator

Starting with a short film to ease you into things, INVISIBLE follows undercover investigators ‘Emily’ and ‘Sarah’ – not their real names, obviously – as they enter a pig farm somewhere in Europe.

It’s a rare insight into a world few people truly understand, but one that a lot of people make a great many assumptions about. The videography is cinematic and poignant, not just for the sake of a beautiful shot, but to emphasise how painstaking, slow and deliberate every move an investigator makes can be.

Emily and Sarah talk honestly about the trust they share in each other, having to keep things from their friends and family, and of course the emotional challenges of seeing the conditions in which many non-human animals are kept.

INVISIBLE is a We Animals Media production as part of the Unbound Project. Directed by Chris Shoebridge, a lovely chap who does incredible work.

Vegan 2020

The Plant Based News annual round-up of everything significant in the world of veganism has become something of an institution. The 2020 edition starts off with, of course, the Covid-19 pandemic and its zoonotic origin, linking animal rights concerns with something that has drastically changed the lives of almost every human on the planet in some way.

With such an important angle, PBN has raised the bar in regards to production, knowing full well that the audience for such discussions has never been broader. We hope Vegan 2020 is seen by a mainstream audience beyond the sphere of veganism.


Endgame 2050: Humanity’s Last Chance Is Now

Filmmaker and practising physician Sofia Pineda Ochoa has used the docufiction genre to present a vision of what the world could be like in 2050, should we continue down our current path of environmental destruction.

Fishless oceans, water rationing and all manner of natural disasters brought on by what we are doing to the planet right now. The dramatisations make the issues more accessible for a broader audience and provide colour to the science that the experts explain between scenes.

The film includes a host of high-profile campaigners and respected academics, including Moby, Paul Ehrlich and Claire Kremen.

Hogwood: a modern horror story

Not for the fainthearted, Viva’s harrowing documentary about its campaign against Hogwood Farm has been picking up nominations and awards at prestigious film festivals and celebrity endorsements from Lewis Hamilton among others.

Hogwood follows investigators as they enter the farm, but also Viva founder and director Juliet Gellatley as she confronts the people responsible for the terrible conditions.

Narrated by Jermome Flynn, Hogwood: a modern horror story is available to stream from Amazon Prime.

Akashinga: The Brave Ones (National Geographic)

Executive produced by James Cameron and directed by Maria Wilhelm, AKASHINGA: THE BRAVE ONES tells the story of Akashinga, the all-female anti-poaching unit in Zimbabwe that is revolutionising the way animals are protected and communities are empowered.

If that isn’t enough to convince you to watch this short 13-minute documentary (free to view online), the trailer above should do the trick. We also recommend you check out the website, which in typical National Geographic style is visually rich – the photo gallery is a treat.


TAKEOUT is very reminiscent of Cowspiracy in that it tackles the link between animal agriculture and environmental degradation. However, unlike Cowspiracy, TAKEOUT centres the narrative on Amazon forest fires and their connection to the global animal food production systems as well as our personal food choices.

The film also exposes the corruption in Brazil’s government and shows how industry shapes the politics related to agribusiness both in South America and in the US.

The Animal People

It took 15 years to tell the story of six American animal rights activists targeted by the FBI and a government under the influence of corporations threatened by the impact they were having.

The Animal People is important viewing as an insight into pressure campaigning and direct action and the more recent history of the movement. The repercussions are still being felt not only within the animal rights sphere but in other movements such as Occupy and Black Lives Matter.

Available to watch on Netflix now.

Andrew Gough is Media and Investigations Manager for Surge.

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we are seen
we are heard
in unison we shout
for those who cannot
speak a word!!!

Karen Lyons Kalmenson

4 Comments leave one →
  1. February 8, 2021 1:30 pm

    we are seen
    we are heard
    in unison we shout
    for those who cannot
    speak a word!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • February 8, 2021 6:06 pm

      Thank you so much, hon, I love it. ❤ I wish animals could speak languages human understand, as it is, humans ignore the animal languages. 😦



  1. Must See Documentaries of 2020 – Supplied By Stacey at ‘Our Compass’. – World Animals Voice
  2. Must See Documentaries of 2020 – From Stacey at ‘Our Compass’. | Serbian Animals Voice (SAV)

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