It is the best time for documentary lovers. The war of streaming has opened its floodgates ushering in a new era of documentaries and docu-series. It does not matter if you are looking for your own immersion in the mystery of an unsolved case, the exploration of a different culture, the dissection of a sectarian cult or you just want to know a little more about He-Man, The Ninja Turtles and the Power Rangers, there are options for all audiences.
Netflix currently offers hundreds of documentaries, but we we have made a sieve in that extensive catalog reducing it to little more than two dozen. Here you will find the main proposals of the platform, from real crimes to military propaganda, scandals and portraits of pop culture. We begin.
The Toys that Made Us
We start with a product that is as honest as it is well resolved. The Toys that Made Us it is a documentary series about the genesis of toys that marked the childhood of several generations. He begins his journey with He-Man, and from there it goes through childhood myths of the 80s and 90s like Las Tortugas Ninja, los Power Rangers, Barbie, J. Joe, My Little Pony, Transformers o Lego. A great pace, a lot of humor and a decent review of the creative and commercialization process of each of these toys, a window into the society of the time through children’s marketing.
My Octopus Teacher
Recently nominated for an Oscar, My Octopus Teacher, documents the experience of filmmaker Craig Foster, who for a year forges a very particular relationship with a wild octopus. We talk about a friendship out of the ordinary, with unique emotional ties, that will leave you surprised. Raw and full of good humor.
The Social Dilemma
What good is a warning if you are late, when we have already passed the point of no return? The Social Dilemma it’s a documental harsh, but necessary, on the effects of social media in mental health and how its final design is to feed an addiction, manipulate people, governments, and influence misinformation.
Murder Among the Mormons
This three-part documentary series, produced by Joe Berlinger (Paradise Lost), tells the story of Mark Hofmann, one of the most notable forgers in history. He falsified documents related to the Latter-day Saint movement (Mormonism) and was the author of bomb attacks that caused two deaths. Murder Among the Mormons, codirigida por Jared Hess (Napoleon Dynamite, Nacho Libre), is a look into the mind of a true sociopath.
13th, from Oscar-nominated director Ava DuVerna, documenta the forms that racism and inequality take at the systemic level, as a direct inheritance of slavery, exploring the intersection of race, justice, and mass incarceration in the United States. From lynchings to Jim Crow and the war on drugs. 13th explores painful history and exposes the massive failures of society.
Like a videogame history in six parts, High Score reviews creators, designers and players throughout the last 40 years to give a sweet and light look to this narrative medium. From arcades to console wars to the invention of fighting games, High Score is a nostalgic blanket for Gen Xers and millennials who, despite leaving many things on the way, it serves as an introduction.
Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness
A real hit for Netflix (next after Stranger Things), Tiger King triumph to the point of generating some biographical series about its protagonist. This seven-part series (plus an “after show” hosted by Joel McHale) introduced us to the wild world of zoologist and convicted felon Joe Exotic and the big cat conservationist Carole Baskin, and in a years-long dispute that led to Exotic hiring a hit man to get rid of Baskin. A fair show that shows how reality can sometimes surpass fiction.
Crip Camp, an executive produced by Barack and Michelle Obama, as part of its development agreement with Netflix, It’s a look at Camp Jened. A summer camp for disabled people that became a springboard for the movement by the rights of the disabled in the United States. Crip Camp es a film that highlights little-known facts in the history of civil rights in the United Statesas the campers and monitors from Camp Jened eventually became activists.
The Great Hack
The Great Hack (The Big Hack) is a shocking and puzzling tech-based reveal, featuring an alarming insight into how data is weaponized for political gain. Part of how Facebook was, and still is, used for voter surveillance, and focuses on the Facebook-Cambridge Analytica data scandal. Timely and terrifying.
Taylor Swift: Miss Americana
The following documentary follows Taylor Swift over the course of several years, chronicling his life and career. Miss Americana is an immersion in the balance that the singer-songwriter must perform between art, commerce, influence and personality. Miss Americana is a must have for the most die-hard fans, but also a fun exploration for non-Swift fans, as it is a look at all cultural phenomena. Intimate without falling into sensationalism.
High-tech China collides with America’s working class in American Factory, A tense examination of a Chinese billionaire’s glass factory in rural Ohio, and the worrying dynamics between workers and employers in today’s globalized economy. Factory presents both sides of this division, providing a revealing approach to labor exploitation.
Five Came Back
Based on the book Five Came Back: A Story of Hollywood and the Second World War, de Mark HarrisThis three-part film focuses on five directors – John Ford, William Wyler, John Huston, Frank Capra, and George Stevens – whose war-related works are analyzed by modern directors Steven Spielberg, Francis Ford Coppola, Guillermo del Toro, Paul Greengrass and Lawrence Kasdan. It is a spectacular and special look at propaganda, myth, art and how WWII affected cinema and culture for decades.
Much Much Love: The Legend of Walter Mercado
A loving and magical look at the life and career of Walter Mercado, one of the most influential and important astrologers in Latin America. Much Much Love features interviews with Mercado himself, prior to his death in 2019, and offers an open-hearted profile of a unique person who meant everything to multiple generations.
The Keepers, inquire in the murder of the nun Catherine Cesnik in 1969 in Baltimore, and in the old belief that there was a cover-up by the authorities after Cesnik suspected a priest was guilty of sexually abusing students.
Wild Wild Country
We could not leave out of this list the fanatical and crazy sects. The Serie Wild Wild Country tells the story of controversial Indian guru Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh and his religious cult in Oregon. A personality responsible for 1984 bioterrorism / food poisoning attacks, as well as a botched assassination plot that targeted then-Oregon District Attorney Charles Turner. Produced by Mark and Jay Duplass, Wild Wild Country is an impressive and provocative investigative work.
Topical due to the movie Stillwater, Amanda Knox is known to have been acquitted (after being convicted twice by corrupt and / or inept Italian authorities) of the 2007 murder of Meredith Kercher, Knox’s roommate abroad. Victim of a pressured police department, and guilty in the public eye thanks to tabloid journalism, Knox spent four years in prison before being released. A documentary invites us to question why we abandon empathy in favor of sensationalism.
David Attenborough: a life on our planet
The English broadcaster, nature historian and iconic documentary narrator, David Attenborough, shares first-hand his concern about the current state of the planet due to the impact of human activity. Unlike most of Attenborough’s earlier work, “a life on our planet” is a condemnation of being human and an inspiring call to tackle climate change.
Based on Hrishikesh Hirway’s music podcast, Song Exploder features Hirway sitting down with musical icons like Michael Stipe, Trent Reznor, Alicia Keys, Lin-Manuel Miranda and others for deconstruct your most famous songs and delve into the songwriting process. From inspiration to production to the details of music theory, Song Exploder is a necessary delight for music lovers.
One of Netflix’s pioneering, and best, crime series, an acquisition of the 2004 French original documenting the trial of Michael Peterson, convicted of murdering his wife, Kathleen Peterson. Netflix aired the original series, the follow-up episodes, and then added three more update episodes to the catalog, bringing the number of episodes to 13. The Staircase en a poignant puzzle that presents the shortcomings of the American legal system.
The Last Dance
From Netflix y ESPN Films, The Last Dance is a ten-part series that revolves around the career of Michael Jordan, focusing on his final season with the Chicago Bulls. Aimed at sports fans and non-sports fans alike, The Last Dance’s storytelling is top-notch. It documents the life of an entire legend, who culminated an unrepeatable career, combining archive images with interviews.
HOMECOMING: A film by Beyoncé
Homecoming, a concert film that Walks backstage at Beyoncé before her lauded performance at Coachella in 2018, when she became the first black woman to headline. Written, produced and directed by Beyoncé herself, offers an honest look into his world, his work ethic and his art.
Jim & Andy: The Great Beyond
Directed by Chris Smith, Jim & Andy utiliza asked the portrait of an obsessed Jim Carrey who resorted to method to play the mythical comedian Andy Kaufman during the production of Man on the Moon (1999). Insightful, agonizing, and utterly revealing, it shows Carrey transform into Kaufman through this peculiar methodology of interpretation.
Making a Murderer
The “grandfather of Netflix” when it comes to crime documentary series. Making a Murderer has captivated half the world by telling the story of Steven Avery, a man who was wrongfully convicted and served 18 years in prison for sexual assault and attempted murder. With this production Netflix found the vein of real crimes, making them an important dish on its menu.
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The 23 best Netflix documentaries available in 2021