New Year, New You
As we enter 2022, it’s an opportunity to reflect and take stock of life and its possibilities. New Year’s resolutions of getting organized or losing weight are a thing of the past; now it’s all about being your best possible self, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. Here are Topic’s top picks for movies and shows to inspire some new resolutions for the new year.
The Accidental Wolf, Season 2: Find your voice
Make 2022 the year of you, the year you discover exactly who you are and let the world know. Feel free to use Katie Bonner as your unexpected muse. In The Accidental Wolf, Katie’s life as a bored, rich New York housewife is turned upside down when she receives a mysterious phone call during which she overhears a man’s murder. Unwillingly thrown into a military cover up as she searches for the man’s pregnant wife, Season 1 Katie often seems like a victim, tentative and afraid. But Season 2 Katie experiences an awakening, and it’s fun to watch as she starts to find herself. Pro tip: don’t tell her to smile more.
Iskander: Go outside your comfort zone
Feeling a little daunted about trying something new in 2022? Take inspiration from Parisian rookie cop Chloé Bresson. Not only is it her first major investigation, but it’s her first time in French Guiana, where she’s paired with Joseph Dialo, a local cop with a difficult personality. Despite the cultural French vs. Guianese tensions and her contentious partnership with Dialo, Chloé dives in head first in her investigation of a couple’s murder, their missing son, and their connections to a voodoo cult known as Iskander.
Persona: Get ahead at work
Career advancement can be tricky, especially when you’re not in the most supportive work environment. If you need some motivation in your own work life, follow the lead of homicide detective Nevra Elmas. She’s the only woman on the very misogynistic Homicide Squad and her sexist coworkers make no secret that they don’t want her there. But she doesn’t let any of that slow her down when she starts to investigate a series of murders that seem mysteriously and very personally linked to her.
Softie: Make a difference in politics
Politics are a great way to impact the world around us, but getting involved can be so intimidating. Get the spark you need from Softie. In this moving, challenging documentary, political activist Boniface "Softie" Mwangi surprises his wife by announcing - on camera - that he’s running for office in a regional Kenyan election. As one of the most notorious activists in one of the most corrupt countries in the world, idealistic Softie endures many challenges, including police brutality and death threats against him and his family, as he attempts to run a clean campaign against his very unscrupulous opponents.
Swarm Season: Educate yourself on climate issues
The climate might be the most pressing issue we face today and becoming more informed about it is always a noble undertaking. Watching Swarm Season is a stunning, mesmerizing way to get started. Moody, otherworldly and artful, this documentary isn’t just about bees and their importance to our ecosystem, but also an exploration of science, nature and “Indigenous cosmology”. As 10-year-old Manu and her mother collect wild, endangered bees in the gorgeous wilderness of Hawaii with the goal of creating disease-resistant colonies, Manu’s father protests the building of a giant telescope on the sacred mountain Mauna Kea and astronauts explore life on Mars. These three seemingly unrelated stories are intertwined ethereally in this thought-provoking doc that uses honey bees as a metaphor for humanity.
Eli: A Dog in Prison: Share your humanity
The world would certainly be a better place if we all made a resolution to support each other more. Unlock your latent talent of opening your heart to those who need it most in Eli: A Dog in Prison. While it’s easy to show compassion for an adorable little puppy with a wrinkle in his brow, it’s less so for three hardened criminals doing time for crimes like second-degree murder, one with “PURE HATRED” tattooed on his calves. But this moving documentary sheds a light on our broken prison system, highlighting three human beings who have never been shown compassion or support and how that can alter a person’s outlook and behavior. Through training cute but unruly yellow lab puppy Eli together, the men form an unexpected friendship, learning about hope, love and tenderness.