The 10 Netflix Documentaries You NEED To Watch
There is nothing better than filling a Sunday afternoon with countless documentaries and Netflix seems to have just about everything under the sun. From series on 'wrongly' prosecuted crimes to tell alls by those involved in the Manson Family murders to Cowspiracy, there's honestly something for everyone.... But here are my top ten in no particular order. (Sidenote: If you don't have Netflix, I'm 99% certain that all of these are available 'somewhere' on the internet...)
1. Amanda Knox. This is one of the newest documentaries on the Netflix block and it is an original. It's gritty and real and a very interesting insight into how Amanda Knox felt during the time of the case. Sure, we've probably all read countless articles on the case but this is one of the few opportunities for a really detailed insight into her mind. Whether you believe she's responsible for the murder or not, it's truly fascinating to watch.
2. 13th. Another Netflix original but this time it focuses on slavery as a result of the 13th Amendment in America particularly following the Civil War and pays particular attention to wrongful imprisonment of Black Americans to force them into manual labour. Absolutely fascinating if not very harrowing. There are quite brutal images and video clips so if things like that get to you, I wouldn't recommend it but otherwise, watch it now. Honestly. (Also very interesting to see how many parallels there are between current America and back then.......)
3. Cowspiracy. I've talked about this briefly before when I discussed the topic of veganism but I think this is a great documentary to watch whether you eat meat or not. When assessing an argument, I believe you need to look at both sides of the argument and this is beyond interesting. Also nice to note that it was an independent film so isn't propaganda from a charity or corporation. Amazing film - if you want to know more about environmentalism, this is definitely worth a watch.
4. Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead. On with the topic of food documentaries, this is brilliant. It was a low budget independent film that follows the journey of a man who was clinically obese and also suffered with an immune disorder so went on a 1-month juice diet and saw staggering effects. Whilst I don't advocate the diet, I think it's really interesting to look at the impact of a diet sans processed foods & alcohol. Worth a watch.
5. Jonestown: Paradise Lost. Now I don't know why I didn't watch this earlier but this looks at the whole Jonestown cult and the impact of Jim Jones. It features the reenactment of the whole thing based upon retellings by his son and other individuals who had key connections with Jonestown. Brutal so again not the best idea if death and brutality makes you squeamish but really interesting. Very much a Nat Geo "this is what happened" type story but the interwoven interviews with his son and others really brings it home.
6. Anything Louis Theroux. There is no one I love more than Louis Theroux and Netflix has a good number of his documentaries. My favourites include his look at America where he has episodes on NeoNazis, Extreme Christians, The Westborough Baptist Church, the Porn industry and more. There's something about the way they're filmed that has you transfixed and I must have watched them all multiple times. They're very candid and raw but educated at the same time. I would pretty much recommend anything he's done as they're all brilliant. (Sidenote but I'm so excited for his documentary on Scientology. SO excited.)
7. Catfish. This was the movie behind the MTV series where Nev meets a girl online who looks to be an amazing artist. (Nothing creepy, honestly) He then starts to discover odd things and it all goes from there. It's in a similar style to the MTV series but slightly rawer due to the fact that again, it was an independent film. Worth a watch. Fascinating to see the impact of Catfishes a good few years ago.
8. Hot Girls Wanted. This is a Rashida Jones documentary which looks at the sex industry in America through the use of Craigslist - which was something I had no idea was a thing! It talks to several girls who were lured in by the prospect of becoming a model and how things changed once they left home. The interesting bit is when they also look at their home lives and speak to their parents. Many of the girls are small town girls with dreams to move to the big city so the whole documentary is really raw in that way and emotionally heartbreaking to a degree.
9. Miss Representation. It wouldn't be a Netflix docs post without a feminist film in there. I find the portrayal of women in media fascinating and this documentary really delves into the social constructs behind media and why we have stock female characters that we see time and time again. Whether you believe in Feminism or not, it's certainly worth a watch as it really breaks down how the media works in regards to women. Worth. A. Watch.
10. Girl Model. I must have watched this first four or five years ago when it came out and it's still just as good. It focuses on the modelling industry in Russia and ex Soviet countries where girls are often shipped off to live and work in Japan for little to no pay. It breaks down the glamorous image of modelling and shows the reality of those who haven't yet made it. I know since the film there have been numerous new rules come into the industry particularly with regards to weight and size but it's still shocking to see the reality of it all.
Have you seen any of these? Any recommendations?