Four Documentaries on iFlix Southeast Asian Entrepreneurs Should Watch

For those rare moments when you actually have free time

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BY Lian Kyla Dyogi - 30 Mar 2017

PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images

It’s a Saturday evening and you’re not quite sure what to do with your time. The work has been completed; you’ve already made dinner, and maybe some popcorn. You’re itching to learn something new (maybe that’s too ambitious). You want to see the world from a different perspective (even more so). Whether it’s inspiration you’re looking for, or you really just want a break, documentaries are a good option to achieve any of the previously mentioned.

Here are our top four picks for Southeast Asian entrepreneurs:


1. The Rise and Rise of Bitcoin

Whether it’s familiar or not, bitcoin has got to be one of the most interesting innovations since the Internet. At least that’s how Daniel M. Ross positions the cryptocurrency in this documentary. “Bitcoin changes the way money works,” he narrates.

Dennis Harvey in his review of the film in Variety says it’s a “decidedly optimistic view of the digital currency some call ‘the money of the future,’ while others—little heard from here—dismiss it as an overblown hype doomed to failure”.

While discussed in a Western context, those new to bitcoin will find the film an easy-to-digest introduction, and for the veterans, a good refresher. In any case, it might spark discussions on disruptive technologies: how they change our understanding of present realities and what they mean for the future.


2. Little Azkals

Love football? Well these 22 young boys from the Philippines do, too.

Little Azkals, a film by Baby Ruth Villarama released in 2014, tells the story of the 22 young men chosen and sent to train in England under the football team known as Azkals, for the Philippines’ bid to win the 2019 World Cup.

For a country more interested in boxing and basketball, football has been gaining some traction because of the Azkals. These boys are recruited in the hopes of becoming future members of the team. While packaged as an underdog story, Little Azkals is also a microcosmic look at how organizations and institutions—in this case, of the sport of football—are nurtured from the ground up. Young, scrappy, and hungry, to borrow from Lin Manuel Miranda, these boys might just remind some entrepreneurs of themselves.


3. Farther Than the Eye Can See

Released in 2003 and directed by Michael Brown, Farther Than the Eye Can See chronicles Erik Weihenmayer’s climb of Mount Everest. Aside from being a notoriously difficult climb that takes years of preparation, what makes this particular ascent impressive is the fact that Weihenmayer is blind. He lost his vision when he was 13.

According to a report by CNBC in 2016, Weihenmayer also became the first blind person to climb the Seven Summits. In the film, Everest is the quintessential metaphor for overcoming challenges. The one question you might face after watching the film: What’s my excuse?


4. Enemies of the People

Winner of the World Jury Special Prize at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival,

Enemies of the People is a gritty, hard-to-swallow film written and directed by Rob Lemkin and Thet Sambath. It follows the 10-year quest of Sambath, an investigative journalist, to understand the “why” behind the genocide during the Khmer Rogue, a Cambodian regime in the late 70s.

Sambath’s family died in the Killing Fields. In the film, he talks to some of the people who killed during the regime, all the way up to Brother Number Two—one of the two main leaders of the Khmer Rogue. While the testimonies seem to be the highlight of the film, Sambath himself is also fascinating. How could a man, whose own family was a victim of the regime, stomach talking to these people?

Maybe Simon Sinek is right—in almost every endeavor, whether you’re a journalist or an entrepreneur, you will persevere if you know your ’Why’.