Let's be real, Netflix and self isolation go hand in hand and there's no doubt everyone has been watching a little too much of the streaming service, binge-watching every show ever recommended! Why not add education to the mix by opting for the documentary genre instead of another cheesy Adam Sandler comedy or teen high school drama? We've rounded up the best Netflix documentaries that will change your life, seriously blow your mind and open your eyes!
The Trial of Gabriel Fernandez
Heartbreaking, angering, powerful, and at times hard to watch, The Trial of Gabriel Fernandez investigates the horrific abuse that lead up to the murder of eight-year-old Gabriel Fernandez in California. This true-crime docu-series is truly eye opening to the failure of the system and the expense this has on children everyday. While this documentary is shocking it is also equally gut wrenching but is a must-watch for all, shedding light on a vital story and calling for better protection of vulnerable children.
I Am a Killer
Featuring never before seen footage inside some of Americas prisons, this crime documentary gives insight to the stories of death row prisoners and the story behind their convictions. Each episode profiles a different criminal and dives deep into their upbringing, home life and events leading up to their crimes. This series is certainly a must watch humanising some of the most horrific crimes and leaving viewers deciding whether criminals really are monsters or are victims themselves. I Am a Killer takes away the straightforward portrayal of crime and perpetrators and shows viewers the real story behind the act.
Ever wondered how cults lure people in and exert control ? Or how cryptocurrency like Bitcoin has made people billionaires? How about what goes on in an animals mind? Well docuseries, Explained, has all these answers and more! Aiming to dig deeper into topics, questions and ideas that aren't part of the usual news, Explained is a great choice if you want to learn about all things weird and wonderful. With episodes ranging between 15 to 25 minutes this doc gets straight to the point. This one's ideal for documentary newbies or those who lose focus quickly.
Uncovering the reality of the food industry, Netflix’s Rotten takes you behind the scenes of the problems in the process of the food supply chain, revealing unsavoury truths and little known facts that may have you questioning the dinner on your plate. From the truth behind honey, to the ‘Avocado War’, this series will inform you on the reality of your favourite porridge topper and your café staple avocado toast.
Give me a C, Give me a H, Give me a E! Okay you get the idea. Gone are the days where cheerleading was all about the most popular girls in school, strutting around in mini skirts with a pair of pom poms and dating a footballer (shout-out to the movies for emphasising this for us). Netflix’s Cheer takes you inside the world of competitive college cheerleading following the nationally ranked team from Navarro College in Corsicana, Texas in their lead up to the 2019 national championships in Daytona. This series will have you wishing you were a cheerleader more than when you first watched Bring It On. Cheer is a series which showcases a combination of impressive talent, touching stories and an unmatched team spirit.
A documentary about the important things, this watch may have you changing the way you live life. Minimalism follows people passionately living to reject the worlds idea that materialistic items produce happiness, showing the benefits of a ‘less is more’ lifestyle. The documentary follows ‘minimalists’ from all walks of life bringing diversity to a picture which can seem super niche and stereotyped. This film will have you asking the question ‘How might my life be better with less’ and may push you to try and strive for a meaningful life with less ‘stuff’.
What the Health
We’ve all heard the phrase ‘You are what you eat’ and in What the Health, filmmaker Kip Andersen examines the link between diet and disease and dishes up tips on preventing and even reversing chronic diseases. Controversially proclaiming the benefits of a plant based diet, this documentary is a good one to watch to hear another side to the ever changing perfect diet spiel. Executively produced by Hollywood mogul, Joaquin Phoenix, this film is super interesting and an eye opening stance to the world of diet and health.
Pandemic: How to Prevent an Outbreak
Aside from being eerily timely amongst the current Coronavirus outbreak, Pandemic: How to Prevent an Outbreak is a six part series which investigates what it takes to beat a viral outbreak. This multi angled docuseries follows healthcare workers worldwide in their battle to stop a pandemic. This one's a great watch while in self isolation and a great education tool to better understand the universally affecting crisis of a uncontrolled virus.
Surviving R. Kelly
Surviving R.Kelly uncovers the horrors of sexual abuse allegations against the Grammy-award winning artist, R Kelly (‘it's the remix to ignition’- thats him). Whilst incredibly appalling, disturbing and emotional, this documentary uncovers the horrors of Hollywood and a terrible abuse of power, but also tells a story of strong women uniting together to make a change.