I really love documentaries, and Netflix has recently made some great ones. After finishing The Keepers this week, I decided to look back and list all of the best documentaries I’ve watched on Netflix. Here are of 15 of the best documentary series and films available on Netflix now. These are all films that I have seen, organized in no particular order.
Source: CNN Money
Amanda Knox: In 2007, Amanda Knox was convicted for the murder of her roommate, Meredith Kercher, while the two were studying abroad in Perugia, Italy. After four years in Italian jail, she was acquitted due to reevaluation of DNA evidence. This documentary interviews Amanda, her friends, and Italian detectives, lawyers, and journalists involved with the case. It is really well done and you will most likely change your mind about what really happened that night multiple times through the course of the film.
Cropsey: A very spooky documentary about the man behind multiple disappearances of children in Staten Island. Local legend spoke of a mysterious figure who lived under an abandoned mental hospital and who would come out at night to kidnap children and bring them to the underground lair. The truth behind the disappearances is not too dissimilar.
Hot Girls Wanted: A documentary produced by Rashida Jones that follows four women who work in amateur porn films in Miami. The girls explain what drove them to become porn stars, and describe what they must go through on a regular basis to keep their jobs. This gives you an in-depth look at the real women behind pornography, and the mental and physical harm they are subject to. What I love most about this documentary is how utterly genuine the girls are, and the sad and intimate moments the filmmakers catch them in.
The Keepers: A new documentary series on Netflix about the murder of Sister Cathy Sesnick, and the abuse connected to her death. Soon after Sister Cathy promised a student that she would “put an end to” sexual abuse caused by a priest at their Catholic high school, she went missing and was found murdered in the woods. Her murder remains unsolved to this day, though the documentary follows two of her former students that are dedicated to uncovering the truth. This documentary also reveals the heartbreaking abuse that 20+ students experienced, and the disgusting methods that the Catholic church used to cover it up to this day. The Keepers made me cry for the pain of the survivors, and seethe with anger towards the lawyers and officials that denied its existence.
Casting JonBenet: A true-crime documentary made in a very interesting and creative format. This documentary looks at people’s opinions on who murdered 6-year-old beauty queen JonBenet Ramsey by filming “auditions” for the role of JonBenet, John, Patsy, and Burke Ramsey. Subtly creepy and different from any other true crime documentary.
13th: A must-watch documentary made by Ava DuVernay on the racist motives behind mass incarceration in the US. She traces the history of the disproportionate incarceration rates of black Americans, from slavery, to Jim Crow, to today. The documentary includes education and eye-opening interviews with politicians, academics, and activists.
Blackfish: This documentary changed the way we view SeaWorld. It’s a heartbreaking look at the way whales are treated in captivity, and argues that making whales perform in small pools is inhumane and unnatural.
Man on Wire: An interesting and mind-blowing documentary about Philippe Petit, the man who tightrope walked across the two twin towers in 1974. The film looks at Petit’s life and training, and explains how he snuck up to the roof of the tower. Petit is such a strange and interesting man, and his talent is insane.
The Hunting Ground: This documentary is about a very important topic: date rape on college campuses, and how it is overlooked and covered up. It follows survivors who are looking to change laws and campuses. The Hunting Ground made me cry for the way the survivors had been neglected by their colleges.
Jiro Dreams of Sushi: A documentary about the life and work of Jiro, a famous sushi chef. You will get to see the incredible amount of dedication that he puts into every piece of the sushi that he makes. This documentary made me consider flying to Japan simply to try some of his $300 sushi.
Food, INC: This documentary shows you how your food is really made. It is disheartening and eye-opening view of how workers, animals, and the environment are mistreated by large farming corporations.
Miss Representation: One of the most famous documentaries about the way women are treated. This looks at how the inaccurate portrayal of women in the media hurts girls’ self-esteem and opportunities. Any girl can sadly relate to the messages of this film.
Who Took Johnny: A sad and scary documentary about the unsolved disappearance of Johnny Gosch. Johnny disappeared in 1982 while on his paper route, and since then has not definitively been seen. However, Johnny’s mother claims that her son came home once years later, yet couldn’t stay for fear of being hurt or killed. Johnny’s case brought to light alleged child prostitution rings, and changed laws about how police investigate child disappearances. His case remains a mystery.
Twinsters: A really adorable and heartwarming documentary about twins who were separated at birth. Anais discovers an actress on Youtube who looks identical to herself. Through social media and an eventual DNA test, Anais discovers that the girl, Samantha, is her twin. The two sisters had been adopted by families in different countries. The documentary follows the two as they meet and grow closer, and try to find their unwilling birth mother. Anais and Sam are both super cute and funny, making this movie a joy to watch.
That’s all! Let me know what your favorite documentaries are!