From Romanian witch cults to racial politics, Culture Editor Luca Demetriou suggests that VICE has it all
Bizarre and often ground-breaking stories, VICE explores the way in which we think about culture, protest, parties, art and the internet, to name a few. VICE produces documentaries ranging from ten minutes long to multiple part series that tackle topics from witches in Romania casting spells to protest corrupt governments (one of my personal favourites), to investigating drug culture in certain parts of the world and its effects globally and interpersonally.
VICE is successful because the journalists for each series differ and they use people who fit into the group that is being explored and investigated. This allows for richness and authenticity, often leading the documentaries to be profound and touching. It allows the journalists to gain access to subcultures and groups that typically aren’t foregrounded.
There seems to be a high level of ethics considered during the making of these documentaries, which makes it all the more appealing. Often the journalists delve into complicated situations that can sometimes be dangerous and leave you feeling anxious. One documentary released recently sees VICE News’s Isobel Yeung pose as a tourist in China’s western region, Xinjiang to expose China’s Orwellian surveillance regimes and the disappearing Muslims of China’s Uighur minority who live in a dystopian nightmare. It’s unsettling and well worth the watch.
VICE being on YouTube means that their documentaries are so easily accessible that it’s wide-reaching and culturally significant. The documentary about China’s vanishing Muslim population I previously mentioned, also became an HBO feature, expanding VICE’s scope further and blurring the realms between TV and web series.
If you wish to discover corners of the world you didn’t know existed, explore current cultural tensions, and immerse yourself in peculiar stories, then VICE is the web series for you.