Documentaries are an essential part of the art and film industry. The authentic feel from the sources used in these stories such as historical footage, expert opinions and witness accounts make them an all-time favorite. Apart from accurately documenting past historical events, documentary films also educate people on the different cultures and systems in the world. These films can be used to expose dark truths, challenge the status quo in social structures and inspire people through the highlighting of extraordinary acts carried out by ordinary people in challenging circumstances. An enormous deal amount of work, research and resources goes into the production of quality documentary films.
Documentary films vary in topics, ranging from political stories, crime life stories to food production and climate change. The following are some of the best documentaries on Netflix right now.
Ava Duvernay’s documentary, 13th, explores the issues of race and justice in the United States’ criminal justice system. The film is both awakening and provocative, diving straight into the statistics and facts of racialized incarceration in the United States. This movie is also available on the official website of ShowBox New Version, Ava purports that confinement is a form of modern slavery, a system deeply rooted in racial bias. The film was released at a time when racism, especially in the prison system, had become a controversial debate. Based on the 13th amendment of the constitution, the film uses several sources as evidence that racism was not abolished, it simply evolved into the structure of mass incarceration.
After the deadliest shooting of schoolchildren in the history of the United States, a resilient community comes together to mourn and try to heal. Newtown is a documentary film that documents the events that took place at Sandy Hook Elementary School, leading to the brutal massacre of 20 children and 6 staff members on that fateful day. The film covers the heavy and controversial matter of gun violence, delving into the trauma and horror that shook the entire Newtown Community after that.
What happened, Miss Simone?
Miss Nina Simone’s exquisite talent and activism are explored in this film that begins in the year 1976. Miss Simone’s colorful and turbulent life is brought alive using archive footage and past live performances, right from her days as a child practicing piano to her successful live performances, her troubled adulthood to her exile to West Africa and later on, her glorious resurgence. The film offers illuminating insights into the talent powerhouse that was Nina Simone, her activist role in the 1960s civil rights movement and her battle with depression and bipolar disorder.
The Ivory game
Ivory trade is one of the oldest illegal cross-border trades in the world. This documentary exposes the illicit trade which is almost wiping out the elephant species. With China as the main market for the ivory, poacher gangs have devised ways of killing the elephants and getting their precious merchandise to be shipped to the Asian Market through the Vietnamese route. The film goes ahead to show how the high demand for luxury goods in China has driven up the price of ivories, increasing the rate at which elephants are being killed, and how different agencies are working overtime to try and curb this vice.
Making a murderer
A 10-part documentary series filmed and produced over a 10-year period, Making a murderer looks into the story of Steven Avery, a Wisconsin man who spent 18 years in prison due to a wrongful conviction of sexual assault and later convicted again for a murder charge. After his release, Steven is set on seeking justice by suing for wrongful imprisonment, only to be re-arrested and imprisoned. His nephew, Brendan Danessy, is also found guilty of the same charges, raping and murdering Teresa Halbach, a photographer. The film brings to light issues such as police corruption, intimidation, and coercion, as well as the miscarriages that take place in the justice system.