The True Cost
The True Cost is a look into the fast fashion industry and the real price we pay when we choose to buy cheaply made clothes. It exposes several of the harmful practices performed by big fashion companies like H&M and Zara, including the exploitation of their workers.
If you are curious at all about sustainability or shopping ethically, this documentary is a must. Several popular sustainability influencers even cite this documentary as the spark that caused them to become passionate about sustainability. You can stream The True Cost on Amazon Prime Video.
Framing Britney Spears
The #FreeBritney movement gained tons of popularity in 2020. Fans looked into the facts behind Britney Spears’s conservatorship and discovered there were some dark secrets about her father and a lawyer who have total control over her finances and person.
They believe that Britney is being controlled by her father against her will, and this documentary, featuring interviews of several people who are close to Britney, reveals that this is possibly true. She is still under conservatorship as of 2021. You can stream Framing Britney Spears on Hulu.
This impressive documentary, released in 2016, was pieced together artfully from hours of footage Dr. Jane Goodall’s then-husband, a filmmaker, took during her research study of living in the jungle with chimpanzees that began in the 50s. It was the first up-close research of its kind and revealed most of what we now know about chimps.
Dr. Goodall revolutionized animal research, and she didn’t even have a scientific degree at the time, but it was always her lifelong dream to live among wild animals in Africa. You can stream this up-close journey of Jane on Disney+ and Hulu.
The Social Dilemma
Ever felt used by social media or that everything around you was going to extremes because of social media? You’re not alone. The Social Dilemma explores the world of social media, the manipulation of social media and advertising companies, and how it affects our political, mental, and even physical world.
Good luck watching it without wanting to delete social media forever! You can stream this 2020 release on Netflix.
Minimalism: A Documentary About the Important Things
Ever wondered what all of the hype around minimalism is about? This documentary is where you need to start. This documentary follows two guys, who are the self-proclaimed “The Minimalists,” as they share how this philosophy has changed their lives.
The director of the film is Matt D’Avella, who is a well-known minimalist himself and has a popular YouTube channel of over three million subscribers where he shares practical minimalism in his life. You can stream Minimalism: A Documentary About the Important Things on Netflix.
Poverty, Inc. is a powerful documentary exposing the harmful lens that many Americans have viewed poverty and “charity” for several years. From hollow benefit concerts to “save the children” telethons, what exactly is humanitarianism and what is the true “cure” of poverty?
This documentary will change the way you think about poverty, charities, and the people who are impacted by it. Let’s just say that your view of Toms shoes will not be the same after you watch it. You can stream Poverty, Inc. on Amazon Prime Video.
13th explores the complexities of the problems with the prison system and how the enslavement of Black people is able to be carried out through it. This is a must-see to better educate yourself on the realities of racism and slavery that continues in the United States to this day. You can stream 13th on Netflix, and the official Netflix YouTube channel also has it available to stream without a subscription on YouTube.
Don’t F**k With Cats: Hunting an Internet Killer
The title may sound strange, but it lays out the number one rule of the internet that is left relatively unspoken, “don’t f**k with cats.” The story this docuseries follows is of a boy who posts a video of himself online murdering two kittens, which obviously outraged thousands of people.
It is told largely by two people who dedicated themselves to the search for who this guy is and how they can get him to stop, but it only fuels his fire to continue and eventually he commits worse crimes. Don’t F**k With Cats: Hunting an Internet Killer is the unfolding of an international manhunt to stop the beginnings of a serial killer. If you love a good crime drama, you can stream Don’t F**k With Cats on Netflix.
The Bee Gees: How Can You Mend a Broken Heart
The Bee Gees: How Can You Mend a Broken Heart gives a personal look into the journey in and out of stardom that this band of brothers went through. It also features commentary from stars of today, like Nick Jonas and Justin Timberlake, about the influence that the band had on their careers.
This documentary gives a new perspective of one of the most popular bands in history, and for those that love documentaries about the personal lives of celebrities, this is a great one. You can stream The Bee Gees: How Can You Mend a Broken Heart on HBO Max.
American Factory is a documentary guided by the stories of the workers of a GM plant that shut down, causing them to lose their jobs, and then eventually being re-hired in the same plant when it was bought by a Chinese company that sent Chinese workers to work together with the Americans at the plant.
It is a story of cultural clash and connection, of corporations, and of rich and poor. It allows the personal stories of America’s working class to be seen how they want to be seen by everyone who watches this documentary. You can stream American Factory on Netflix.
Fyre: The Greatest Party That Never Happened
It only got worse when staff started passing out alcohol for some reason, and everything escalated from there. A case of bad marketing and wishful thinking without anything to back it up turned this party into an unintentional game of survivor. You can stream Fyre: The Greatest Party That Never Happened on Netflix to get all of the juicy details on one of the greatest advertising scandals in history.
Abducted in Plain Sight
He then eventually kidnapped the daughter twice, once when she was 12, and another when she was 14, and brainwashed her into thinking they were abducted by aliens and had to procreate, leading to years of sexual abuse. You can get the full story told by the affected family through streaming Abducted in Plain Sight on Netflix.
Rock climber Alex Honnold attempted a climb in 2017 that no climber has dared to do before. He climbed the 3,000 foot sheer cliff face called El Capitan without ropes. The documentary Free Solo captures this death-defying feat from start to finish.
This is not something to watch if you are afraid of heights or hate the feeling that you will drop your phone when you are too high up. Watch this documentary with clammy hands and a racing heart as you get drawn into the action on Disney+.
Boys State follows this week for boys in Texas, but it’s more than a film about a camp for teenagers. Through following the journey of a few of the boys throughout the week, we get a shocking insight into the complexities of American politics as well as its future. You can stream Boys State on AppleTV+.
My Octopus Teacher
If you enjoyed watching Jane, chances are you would also really enjoy My Octopus Teacher. In this documentary, a diver tells what he has learned about himself and humanity by simply diving each day to watch and interact with an octopus.
It sounds strange, but this documentary reveals some of life’s big truths that this man learned by simply interacting with a wild octopus. You can stream My Octopus Teacher on Netflix.
However, the film’s main discussion of the balance between humanity and nature comes into play when a nomadic family with cattle, noisy children, and vehicles disrupt this woman’s way of life, both in good and bad ways. Honeyland is surprisingly a very dramatic and interesting film, and you can stream it on Amazon Prime Video.
For Sama is a heartfelt personal account of the war in Syria filmed first-hand by a woman who becomes pregnant, gives birth, and raises her baby in the middle of it all. It is so unique and emotional because of this first-hand filming and gives a perspective of war that we don’t often see: that of a woman and mother.
This documentary is a must-see. You can watch For Sama on Amazon Prime Video, and PBS has also made it available for free on their official FRONTLINE PBS YouTube channel.
Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem, and Madness
You won’t be sorry that you did, and the whole time you will be wondering “how is this even real? Are you sure this is a documentary?” Yes. It is. You can stream the docuseries Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem, and Madness on Netflix.
I Am Greta
I Am Greta follows the rise to fame of a young girl passionate about changing the world. It’s safe to say that nearly everyone knows who Greta Thunberg is, and whether you agree with her or not, she is definitely a force to be reckoned with.
This documentary allows you to get to know her on a more personal level and understand why she is so passionate about reversing climate change, and why all of us should be too. You can stream I Am Greta on Hulu.