10 Must Watch VICE Documentaries

So you think that you know everything about this world? And that smuggling and murder is the height of illegitimacy? Well, think again. Or rather watch VICE. Shot from Canon DSLRs using variety of lenses, VICE documentaries will either make you jump with joy or squeeze your eyes with terror, mostly latter and at times cringe with pain. It has received plethora of awards including the very prestigious Emmy Award For Outstanding Information Series. Let’s have a look at 10 best episodes of this series.

10. King of Cannabis

“We can’t talk bad of the poor because we come from there and we can’t bad of the rich because we are going there.” This documentary is a snippet of life of the King of Cannabis- Arjan Roskam. He along with his team goes to Columbia, the land where drugs are the glittering gold, in search of exotic species of Marijuana. It is one of the many peregrinations, where they in quest of three legendary landraces- Limon Verde, Punta Roja, and Colombian Gold, measure the roads to illegal plantations of Cannabis. This documentary will teach you the science behind finding the perfect marijuana saplings and what it takes to be the king of Cannabis; not just money and hard work but also a lot of courage and a few enemies.

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9. World’s Scariest Drugs

Known by multiple names like Zombie Drug, Devils Breath or Burundanga, this drug is a criminal’s tool in Columbia. Why did a girl as young as 15 years old took to prostitution? How a mistake made at a night club can haunt you for life? How can you lose all your belongings in a matter of few minutes? This documentary will answer all these conundrums with just one answer- Scopolamine. This drug is capable of destroying lives, in fact, not just lives but a lot more. “We use it to rob them and they use it to rape us”, says once a scopolamine victim turned into a stoner. “My life is useless now”, says another scopolamine prey. This documentary will teach you how there can be venom at safest of the places.

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8. Garbage Island: An Ocean full of Plastic
As you start approaching it you will have a rendezvous with coffee cups, plastic bags, thermocole balls and what not. If you are thinking that you are nearing a garbage bin, you will be hit by a blow to realise that there is a garbage Island a few metres away. Yes! There’s a whole chunk of plastic floating in the North Pacific Gyre. What will shock you even more is the size of the island. Those who have been to this sea of scrap claim that it’s the size of Texas. VICE takes a three week voyage to find out if any of this is true. The only reason to hate this documentary is the unlimited swearing by some crew members while there are many reasons to love it. It will make you conscious of your irredeemable actions that are engulfing the bottommost resource that we have.

Youtube: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3
7. Mexican Mormon War

The same US that rushes to help any beliguered nation in the world is also responsible for 90% of ammunitions smuggled around the world. Wanna know how? Watch this documentary. Shane Smith leaves for Ciudad Juárez, near the US border to uncover clandestine facticities of the Mexican drug cartels. There are ballistic labs, the police is corrupt, drugs are stored in big rooms, so basically there’s nothing good about this place; there are Mormons, there are guns and there is god. So what is so special about Mormons? They preach polygamy and promote blood atonement and Mitt Romney was a Mormon. On one side are these Mormons and on the other side is a drug cartel and in between these two sides is the most predictable thing, a war. You will fathom the height of fearlessness when you realise that that this cartel went to the extent of kidnapping Mitt Romney’s relative. This documentary is fun, flabbergasting and a feast to watch.

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6. VICE Guide To North Korea

North Korea is surreal and silly, at least that’s what this documentary tells you. They would not let you enter the country if you don’t act exited, you are not allowed to take your cell phone in the country, you can’t film the country etc. etc. Kim Jong il, though dead in 1994 is still their supreme leader and in hindsight their god. The people there think that the whole world looks up to him without actually realising how mad was everyone at him. Their infrastructure is probably the only good thing talk about. Their subways are monumental and palatial, public libraries are amazing but one thing common to all these structures is that each on these serve the purpose of marketing the leaders to the common public. In every school, in every classroom, in every library and even at metro stations, there are huge images of their leaders with a message of love for people. When you watch it, you will realise how a country can be democratic and yet dictatorship may prevail.

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5. The Islamic State

“I would like to join ISIS and kill with them because they kill infidels and apostates”, says an 11 eleven years old child. “Praise be on God, we open fire on them”, says an ISIS veteran. This documentary reveals the mindset and perceptions of the jihadis. It will take you Raqqa, capital of the world’s newest declined states. They hang the heads of infidels on fences, crucify the disloyal, it’s like Game Of Thrones violence come true. They live for war and only war, their families are the least important. They confess that they don’t even want happy lives, this documentary will spill the beans about the new beliefs, those that you have never known about. They claim that they are the best people on planet. They have very strict rules, while some are surreal others sound good. You won’t find alcohol in a single house, smoking is prohibited. Talking to prisoners, you will realise that they are actually happy that they are being made on the path to religion. Watch this documentary to know what all can be done in the name of God.

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4. Interview with a Cannibal

There is only one word to describe this documentary and that’s disgusting. There is a warning prior to its show which says that it has disturbing content yet it has been ranked one of the best VICE Documentaries. It is story of a Issei Sagawa, born in Japan, graduated from France and dreamt of a career in Germany. You must be intrigued to know why did his dream not turn into reality. That’s because he was a cannibal. Yes, he was fantasised by humans, especially women, so fantasised that he would want to eat them. This documentary is an interview with this flesh eater where he packs his sojourn as a cannibal in a 50 minutes capsule. During his graduation years he murdered one of his classmates, Renne. “Maybe if we’d had dinner once more, I wouldn’t have eaten her”, he says. It wasn’t his first time, he had done it before and he did it again. His desire to eat women soon turned into an obligation. This documentary will make your heart skip a beat.

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3. Bride Kidnapping in Kyrgyzstan

Bride kidnapping is the traditional way of getting married in this Chinese neighborhood. A guy grab the girl from streets, take her to a truck where his parents would convince her as to why marrying their son is the right decision. “Leave me alone. I wouldn’t stay”, the girl would shout but in vain. Yes, it is very illegal but then it’s their tradition, it’s in their blood they say! The documentary shows Krygz condemning west for criticising this culture and promoting lesbian and gay marriages. Krygz girls are committing suicide because of this awful tradition. If the girl stays one night with the groom, which she is made to, she has to spend her life with him. In other words, she is trapped. In Kyrgyzstan traditions stand even above religion and this one is really weird.

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2. The Real Walter White

“My name is Walter White and I’m a meth cook,” the documentary starts with this dialogue. You must have heard of Cocaine but have you heard of Methamphetamine or Meth? This documentary gives you glimses of how this drug can have results as catastrophic as cocaine. It is based in Albama where the Walter White lives. If you are Breaking Bad fan then this documentary is a must for you. You will see him reminiscing his past and how he was just one of us. What brought him to this business was the humongous money that it offered and the rest is history. As they say that success isn’t a one day process, so is turning into a criminal. There are ups and downs, fears and anxieties and a lot more that goes into churning out stacks of dollars in a single day. This documentary will show you what all it takes to do that.

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1.Sewers of Bogota

People live in bungalows, houses, buildings, flats, huts, sewers. “Sewers?”, did you ask that? Yes, at least in Bogota they do. Sewers are a safe haven for many in this Columbian city. You will gradually realise this, all you need to do is watch this documentary. But why do they go to sewers? Why not anywhere else? May be because it is the only option that they have. Inhabitants of these sewers are people of lower rung who initially sought respite here to save themselves from the so called “social cleansing” by the rich. These cleansing drives are often called Death Squads. They open manholes and open firing. They put the sewers on fire. And they do all this, knowing that there are people in these sewers. While Dr. Jamie Jaramillo, the only person who helped them, has got some of these out, many continue to grace these filthy canals with their presence. Why haven’t they moved out? What fears haunt them? Are death squads legal? This documentary will answer it all.

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Tanya Nagpal

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