7 Must-Watch Inspiring Documentaries If you’re anything like us, you love a great documentary film. These 7 must-watch masterpieces showcase incredibly fascinating and inspiring people that will leave you with a strong desire to reach for the stars and follow your own passions, purpose and dreams. Dancer “What I am is for me to find out, not to be dictated to me.” Sergei Polunin The Dancer tells the story of Ukrain’s bad boy ballet dancer, Sergei Polunin, and his rise to greatness from a young age. At 21, Sergei became the Royal Ballet’s youngest principal star in the company’s history, only to abruptly quit two years later after succumbing to self-destructive impulses. Be sure to check out his brilliant routine for “Take Me to Church” by Hozier. The Salt of the Earth “A photo is someone drawing with light – writing and rewriting the world with light and shadows.” Sebastião Salgado The Salt of the Earth shows the life and work of social photographer and photojournalist, Sebastião Salgado, who has spent forty years photographing deprived societies in hidden corners of the world. His years-long projects beautifully capture the human side of a global story that all too often involves death, destruction or decay. Iris “I don’t have any rules because I would only be breaking them.” Iris Apfel Iris is a film about the iconic rare bird of fashion, Iris Apfel, from legendary filmmaker Albert Maysles. The quick-witted, flamboyantly dressed 93-year-old style maven has had an outsized presence on the New York fashion scene for decades. More than a fashion film, this documentary is a real-life story about true creativity and individuality. He Named Me Malala “There’s a moment when you have to choose whether to be silent or stand up. Our voices are our most valuable weapons.” Malala Yousafzai He Named Me Malala is a look at the events leading up to the Taliban’s attack on Pakistani schoolgirl, Malala Yousafzai, for speaking out about girls’ education. It follows her miraculous survival and emergence as a leading advocate for children’s rights and the youngest-ever Nobel Peace Prize Laureate. Jiro Dreams of Sushi “You have to fall in love with your work. Never complain about your job. You must dedicate your life to mastering your skill. That’s the secret of success.” Jiro Ono Jiro Dreams of Sushi documents 85-year-old sushi master Jiro Ono’s quest to perfect the art of sushi. He is the proprietor of Sukiyabashi Jiro, a 10-seat, sushi restaurant located in a Tokyo subway station. Despite its humble appearances, it is the first restaurant of its kind to be awarded a prestigious three-star Michelin Guide rating. Sushi lovers from around the globe make repeated pilgrimage, calling months in advance and shelling out top dollar for a coveted seat at Jiro’s sushi bar. Maidentrip “Of course there are people who say you’re crazy, but its a dream, a great, great dream.” Laura Dekker 14-year-old Laura Dekker set out on a two-year voyage in pursuit of her dream to become the youngest person ever to sail around the world alone. Jillian Schlesinger’s debut feature amplifies Laura’s brave, defiant voice through a mix of her own video and voice recordings at sea and intimate footage from locations including the Galapagos Islands, French Polynesia, and South Africa. The Last Man on the Moon “You’ll never know how good you are unless you try. Dream the impossible and go out and make it happen.” Gene Cernan When Apollo astronaut Gene Cernan stepped off the moon in December 1972, he left his footprints and his daughter’s initials in the lunar dust. The Last Man on the Moon shares his epic but deeply personal story of fulfillment, love, and loss. Ashleigh Hansberger Ashleigh Hansberger is Co-founder & Director of Brand Strategy at Motto. Inc. 30 under 30 alum. Born and raised in Chicago. Shows up to do work that shakes the world. Connect with her on Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.