In another addition to my ‘To Watch on Netflix‘ series, here’s a list of the best documentaries on their database today:
I’d say 80% of TV programmes and films I watch are documentaries. Being able to learn about something new (whether it’s a niche lifestyle or a historic event) in a digestible hour and a half chunk is perfect for the inquisitive mind.
[Tweet “”Life must be lived and curiosity kept alive.” – Eleanor Roosevelt”]
I actually have a bit of a fear of whales, and a genuine fear of deep water, so while it was difficult for me to watch this documentary, N recommended I should to get another point of view on the mammals that regularly give me nightmares.
I’ve never been to SeaWorld or anywhere like that (you can probably guess why), but after watching this film I can say for certain that I never will. I even signed a petition recently to stop large airlines promoting visits the the park.
This documentary really opened my eyes to something that I didn’t even know was happening. It’s shocking and emotional, but highly recommended.
As a Marketer and manager of social media accounts for businesses, I was already aware of most of the privacy issues this documentary brings up. There is also a point I’d like to make here that many of these documentaries are made in America, so a lot of the facts and politics don’t apply here in the UK, but it’s still very interesting.
If you’re interested in internet privacy and security issues with governments and media, this is a must-watch.
We watched and analysed this documentary over and over in Film Studies at college, but I never got sick of it. Michael Moore is a great presenter, and (although I realise this film has a very specific agenda) it made for a very interesting watch about guns and violece; a topic rarely exposed to us here in Britain.
What’s most interesting about BfC, is the journey of emotion you’ll go on throughout the film. One second you’re laughing at Moore’s brash humour, and the next your eyes will be watering as you listen to real-life recordings from the Columbine massacre. It’s not an easy watch.
Again, this is mainly focussed on food industry in the US, but it does make me very suspicious of what goes on over here as well. You will seriously question your eating habits throughout watching Food Inc. I couldn’t live without my bacon, sausages, chicken or beef, and even I considered becoming a vegetarian half way through the film.
And yes, I think it is sad that even after seeing this documentary, I only considered cutting out meat for a brief moment, and then went back to my daily, omnivorous life. I have buckets of respect for vegetarians and vegans, and I seriously wish I could do it too, but I do not have the personal will-power to give those things up just yet.
N is a huge fan of Sesame Street, and Elmo in particular, so there was no way we couldn’t watch this. It turned out to be a fun, beautiful insight into the life of a puppeteer and the creation of a character loved by millions.
It honestly had never even crossed my mind that being a puppeteer was an actual career aspiration that people have, but I now have to say I am incredibly jealous of anyone who is!
Netflix has loads of Louis Theroux’s old documentaries on tap, which is great because I personally think he’s a brilliant narrator. He basically travels across America meeting and spending time with controversial groups of people, maintaining a completely straight face and sarcastic sense of humour the whole way through.
I could definitely not do his job. He always asks deliberately provocative and difficult questions, making some of the interactions are so awkward that I just cringe watching it.
The ‘Louis Theroux’s Weird Weekends’ series is great, and his most interesting other documentaries include ‘The Most Hated Family in America’ (about the Westboro Baptist Church), ‘America’s Medicated Kids’ and ‘A Place for Paedophiles’.
This documentary series follow the lives of several people and families living in the wilderness of Alaska. It’s fascinating hearing about the dangers they face every single day, from bear attacks to drowning under icy rivers.
With the tagline ‘Live Cold or Die Trying’, you just know that these people are going to be absolute legends, and most of them actually chose this lifestyle over the cushy life in the city (or at least in civilisation). Be prepared for pure and unwavering badassery.
8. Happy (2011)
A great watch if you like learning about self improvement, or if you’re struggling to find purpose in your life. This documentary travels the world to seek out the secrets to being truly ‘happy’, and we get to meet some fascinating people who somehow live without the angst and worry of day to day life.
I recommend that you watch this straight after watching ‘Terms and Conditions May Apply’, as they are undeniably related. Up until watching this film I’d never heard of Anonymous, but I remembered a lot of events and internet-based jokes/memes from this film that shows I probably did come across them at some point in my teen-hood. Also, since watching this film, I keep hearing about various plans and events involving Anonymous, and I’m grateful I watched this documentary so that I know what it’s all about.
Many of the real scenes from this film look like something out of a dystopian fiction, but it really is fascinating.
Although we don’t have Craigslist in the UK, we do have Gumtree, which is fairly similar but not nearly as widely used or awesome! This documentary will restore your faith in America (and the human race) after you’ve watched all of the weird films mentioned above, and will inspire you see what you can get for free online too.
In fact, watching this film encouraged me to log on to Gumtree for the first time in years, and I immediately found the exact chair I’d been wanting for the past few months at a fraction of the price. Is it fate? I think so.
*Weirdly, I just found out this was produced by Zach Galifianakis. Who knew?
Please let me know if you’ve seen any other awesome documentaries on Netflix recently!