Get ready to add these to your “watch list”
It seems Netflix is on a roll this year with its steady releases of top-rated documentaries (just this week, The Confession Tapes and The Story of Diana were added to the roster). True enough there’s something for everyone: the thought provoking, the heartwarming, the disturbing, the enriching yet equally revealing. You can binge-watch all these to your heart’s content, but the question is: where do you begin?
Here, we start you off with six essential documentaries sure to stick with you and change your life. Chances are they won’t just get you thinking, but they’ll also get you moving. Get ready to add these to your “watch list” and keep scrolling for the seven life-changing documentaries you should stream this month!
The True Cost (2015)
The question: Who pays for the price of our clothing?
Director: Andrew Morgan
Running time: 1 hour and 32 minutes
“A distressing overview of the consequences of our addiction to fast fashion, The True Cost might suggest another exposé of corporate greed versus environmental well-being. That is certainly in evidence, but under the gentle, humane investigations of its director, Andrew Morgan, what emerges most strongly is a portrait of exploitation that ought to make us more nauseated than elated over those $20 jeans.”—Jeanette Catsoulis for The New York Times
Gaga: Five Foot Two (2017)
Running time: 1 hour and 40 minutes
The exposé: Who is the woman behind the performer, popstar image and the glamour?
Director: Chris Moukarbel
“The stunning film—which was shot between the 2015 recording of Lady Gaga’s album Joanne and her 2017 Super Bowl halftime show—transports its audience into the wild, whiplash existence of a six-time Grammy-winning singer-songwriter, actress, beloved avatar of self-expression and entrepreneur.”—Julie Miller for Vanity Fair
Gaga: Five Foot Two premieres on Netflix on September 22.
Minimalism: A Documentary About the Important Things (2016)
Running time: 1 hour and 18 minutes
The shift in perspective: How might your life be better with less?
Director: Matt D’Avella
“Most people who touch this space will speak to the same core issue: Compulsory consumerism has become a growing problem in our society, and many people have become absorbed in the act of consumption and ‘keeping up with the Joneses’. The stories shared by people who have sought to break that chain for themselves had different reasons (physical health, depression, extreme financial debt with nothing to show for it, etc.), but they all came to the same conclusion: I believe my life could be better with less.”—Kathy Vines, Certified Professional Organizer ® and Productivity Consultant
Click here to stream Minimalism: A Documentary About the Important Things on Netflix.
Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret (2014)
Running time: 1 hour and 30 minutes
The discussion: How factory farming is decimating the planet’s natural resources
Directors: Kip Andersen and Keegan Kuhn
“Kuhn and Anderson’s thrilling documentary is a rare gem in environmental film—it poses questions and actually answers them. I watched most of Cowspiracy muttering expletives under my breath. For a meat and dairy eater, whose girlfriend has been known to ask if I “want some toast with my butter,” it’s an eye opener but not in the way you might expect.”—Nick Figgis for The London Economic
Click here to watch Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret on Netflix.
Audrie & Daisy (2016)
Running time: 1 hour and 38 minutes
The harsh reality: The aftermath of sexual assault, what it’s like being a young woman in America and the power of social media
Directors: Bonni Cohen and Jon Shenk
“Infuriating, heartbreaking and vital, Audrie & Daisy is required viewing.”—Nigel M. Smith for The Guardian
Click here to stream Audrie & Daisy on Netflix.
The Wolfpack (2015)
Running time: 1 hour and 29 minutes
The story: Six siblings grow up in isolation and together, learn about the complexities of life through watching and recreating films beloved to them
Director: Crystal Moselle
“Movies can change your life, but can they save it? For most people that probably sounds foolish, but the six brothers featured in the astonishing documentary “The Wolfpack” aren’t most people. For much of their lives, these six ingenious young men used the movies to imaginatively if not physically break out of their Lower Manhattan apartment in a building run by the New York City Housing Authority. Even as their father all but imprisoned them (one year they never left the apartment), they made great metaphoric escapes by immersing themselves in the fictional realms created by directors like Francis Ford Coppola and Quentin Tarantino.”—Manohla Dargis for The New York Times
Cartel Land (2015)
Running time: 1 hour and 40 minutes
The focal point: The journey of two vigilante groups as they take on Mexican drug cartels
Director: Matthew Heineman
“Bleak and unsparing, Matthew Heineman's doc journeys across the Mexican border to offer a confronting looks at fast-blurring morality.”—Patrick Peters for Empire Movies
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