Netflix loves a documentary. In fact, it's become one of the most prolific producers of new documentaries around, so there's a huge amount of choice.
Continuing from Part 1 of the top 52 documentaries on Netflix, we will continue to introduce you the next 10 best documentaries on Netflix.
The American big cat community is wild. Very wild. This true crime fly-on-the-wall documentary centres on the trials and tribulations of an Oklahoma zoo owner called Joe Exotic and his nemesis, an animal rights activist called Carol Baskin. Sure, it’s a show about lions and tigers trapped in cages. But it’s also a show about some of the most dislikable and downright fascinating people you’re ever likely to come across. It’s dirty, grizzly car crash TV at its very best.
Killer Inside: The Mind of Aaron Hernandez
How does a millionaire American football player for the sport's most successful team come to murder a man in cold blood? That's the question posed by Killer Inside: The Mind of Aaron Hernandez, a glossy and controversial Netflix Original documentary. It's a fascinating story and the three episodes will grip fans and non-fans alike. It falls a little short in some respects, especially in examining the potential role of CTE (a degenerative brain disease) and a sometimes salacious interest in his sexuality, but it's still a compelling watch and those who enjoy it would do well to listen to the Boston Globe's podcast series Gladiator, which goes into greater depth on the Aaron Hernandez story.
Netflix's six-part docuseries on the preparations underway to prevent a future pandemic was eerily timed. Three weeks before the series dropped, the first cases of a previously unknown coronavirus were reported in China – the start of an outbreak that would lead to thousands of infections. Pandemic looks at the risks of future global pandemics, and follows the researchers and medical professionals who will be on the front line when the inevitable happens.
From the makers critically acclaimed American football documentary Last Chance U comes Cheer, a six-part dive into the jaw-dropping world of competitive cheerleading. The series follows the cheerleading squad at Navarro College in Texas as they prepare for their end of year routine – think insane flips and human pyramids rather than 'Give me an A!' for an accurate assessment of the work this entails. Watching coach Monica Aldama mould a group of high-schoolers from diverse, and often difficult backgrounds into a seamless unit is fascinating.
Bikram: Yogi, Guru, Predator
Bikram yoga first emerged in the 1970s and since then it's taken over the world, with a huge number of celebrity endorsements. The yoga itself is a proprietary system 26 moves that's conducted in a hot room. But aside from the exercise, it's grown in popularity due to its enigmatic founder Bikram Choudhury. This documentary exposes deep problems behind the Choudhury's empire. In recent years Choudhury has been accused of rape, settled civil suits against him and fled the United States after refusing to pay $6.8 million in legal damages. The film tells the story from the perspective of the victims and is a harrowing watch.
Before food arrives on your plate, it can take a tumultuous journey. The imported food we eat can often have a hidden back story – Rotten seeks to expose this. The surge in popularity of the avocado has seen its lucrative industry become a target for cartels that are out to make money; while the world of chicken production can end in growers sabotaging each other's stocks. Each episode within Rotten's two series takes on the obscure, and often dangerous, world of a food's production.
After barrelling into the fashion limelight in 1992 with a graduation ceremony collection that established his reputation as a controversial and darkly brilliant designer, Alexander McQueen was soon elevated to the highest echelons of haute couture. The straight-talking son of a taxi driver and a schoolteacher who became Givenchy's chief designer aged just 27, McQueen was both vaunted and isolated within the world of high fashion. The documentary charts the path of McQueen's explosive talent who, while ripping up the fashion rulebook repeatedly, grappled with ill health and the pressures of his fame.
Inside Bill’s Brain: Decoding Bill Gates
After An Inconvenient Truth and He Named Me Malala, award-winning director Davis Guggenheim explores the journey of renowned tech visionary and philanthropist Bill Gates. The three-part documentary takes viewers through Gates’ upbringing, marriage and the creation of Microsoft. The real subject, though, seems to be the work of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, a charity that is on a mission to solve some of the world’s most persistent problems – from battling infectious diseases and child mortality in developing countries to educating vulnerable communities in the US.
Knock Down the House
After Donald Trump's election in 2016, a group of activists got together to try and change US politics. The result was an influx of new candidates for Congress and the Senate in the 2018 mid-term elections – including loads more women and ethnic minorities. Knock Down the House follows four of them in the months leading up to the Democratic primaries: a mother from Nevada, a nurse from Missouri, a miner's daughter from West Virginia and a 28-year-old bartender from the Bronx called Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. It's an uplifting, optimistic glimpse of a different kind of politics.
Barack and Michelle Obama are making their Hollywood debut with a film tackling Trump’s promises to resurrect the country’s industrial heartland. The documentary – the first release by the Obamas’ Higher Ground Productions as part of their partnership with Netflix – looks at what happens when a Chinese billionaire takes over an abandoned General Motors plant in Ohio and hires 2,000 blue-collar American workers for a new automotive glass factory.
That's the 10 documentaries that we've picked out from our favourite Netflix documentaries. And if this isn't enough for you, stay tune for Part 3 or catch up on the documentaries from Part 1 if you have not done so.
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