One of the things that I love most about Netflix is its documentary films and series. While I never feel like I have the time to see these at the cinema, I love dipping in and out of these informative pieces of entertainment when I am at home.
Now that I have exhausted all the documentaries that I want to watch on Netflix (at least for now, more come every month), I am turning to Prime. Here are ten of the best documentary films currently available to watch on Prime.
Coming To My Senses (2017)
IMBD Score 7.2/10
This is the story of Aaron Baker, a man who broke his neck in a motorcycle accident in 1999. Following his diagnosis, Baker embarked on a hunger strike rather than accept his fate. This documentary tells the story of his struggle to reclaim control of his body, and his journey to eventually open a gym specifically for people with mobility issues. But it is only then that he puts himself to the biggest test.
Finding Oscar (2016)
IMDB Score 7.2/10
In 1982, Guatemala’s Kabil Unit of the special military massacred 300 residents of the village of Dos Erres, and have never been held to account. This documentary explains the events of the massacre, and follows the quest of the victims for justice. The film is named after a boy who was abducted and raised by the soldiers that killed his family.
Life Off The Grid (2016)
IMDB Score 6.6/10
This film looks a what it is to live “off the grid” in modern-day Canada, which means that they create their own electricity rather than relying on the country’s supply. The film looks at both how they generate their power, and why these people have chosen this way of life. None of the interviewees are presented as fanatics, and off the grid seems like a more than reasonable lifestyle choice.
The Milky Way (2014)
IMDB Score 7.3/10
Beyond just the practice of breastfeeding, this documentary looks at various aspects of what it is to be a mother including the changes that the body goes through and the way they are treated by society. Fascinating, but also with a clear agenda. America is only one of four governments in the world that does not offer government-mandated maternity leave. What does that mean for mothers in the United States?
Out Of Sight, Out Of Mind (2014)
IMDB Score 7.2/10
The makers of this documentary spent 18 months in Brockville Mental Health Centre, a psychiatric hospital for violent offenders. While they interviewed scores of staff and patients, the film focusses on four inmates and what reintegrating into the world would mean to them, and what they are most afraid of. It is a stark look of what it is to be at the fringes of society, and the obstacles that stand in the way of the rehabilitated.
Revolution: Food (2015)
IMDB Score 8.6/10
A bit of an antidote to all those documentaries that tell us just how bad pretty much everything we put into our bodies is, this film focusses on where good is being done and where the food industry is being revolutionized for the better. This one isn’t just raging against the system, it also suggests some answers.
That Sugar Film (2014)
IMDB Score 7.5/10
Another documentary about how bad sugar is. Yes. But that does not make this a bad documentary, and in fact, it is Australia’s highest-grossing documentary film ever. The director and star Damon Gameau decided to consume high sugar foods usually considered healthy for 30 days and see what impact it had on his health. He is not trying to prove that soft drinks are bad. We already know that. The film tries to lift the lid on healthy foods full of the white stuff.
IMDB Score 7.5/10
A deep dive into the issue of eating disorders, the documentary’s director Lauren Greenfield spends six months at the Renfrew Center in Coconut Creek Florida, which treats people with eating disorders. The documentary looks at both the road to recovery, and how this kind of condition is exacerbated by the focus that society places on women’s bodies.
IMDB Score 6.9/10
In 2009 the bodies of eleven were found in Cleveland, all the victims of serial sex offender Anthony Sowell. Rather than adding to the fame of the perpetrator, this film tells the story of the victims and the people that lived in the community. The real story, how did he remain free for so long when there were people aware of his crimes.
The Witness (2015)
IMDB Score 7/10
In 1964, Kitty Genovese was murdered in Kew Gardens, Queens, and 38 people witnessed her death and did nothing to help. Her younger brother, who was 16 at the time of her death, takes on the case. He not only wants to tell her story, but understand what happens in the minds of people that they are unable to help someone in the moment of greatest needs.