Netflix loves a documentary. In fact, it's become one of the most prolific producers of new documentaries around. Following up from Part 2, this is Part 3 of the next 10 of the best documentaries on Netflix right now.
The Great Hack
How well do you really know the Cambridge Analytica scandal? This two-hour documentary digs into the origins of the shady political and data science consultancy whose dodgy use of data kicked off a congressional hearing, a parliamentary inquiry and left Facebook with a $5 billion (£4.1b) fine and a shattered reputation. Told through the eyes of the journalist and whistleblower who broke the story, and people close to Cambridge Analytica, The Great Hack is a defining look at the standout scandal of the data monopoly era. Watch it here.
Sport can be brutal – particularly if results don't go your way. Losers focuses on the individuals and teams that make the headlines for the wrong reasons. The eight-episode collection, each is just 30 minutes long, focuses on a different story each time around. They go from the ultrarunner lost in the desert and presumed dead, to the Torquay United football team that owes much of its survival from financial oblivion to a police dog. Watch it here.
There's no way to get a better reminder of the impact humans have had on the planet than a dose of David Attenborough. As well as his first Netflix-only environmental show, Our Planet, the streaming service also has both of his deep dives into our oceans. From the world's deepest points to the waters that surround and sit in our city landscapes, Blue Planet and Blue Planet II highlight the devastation we've had on Earth and act as an ongoing reminder of the climate crisis.
Fyre Festival was an unmitigated disaster – and the whole thing was captured on social media and video. The "luxury" music festival took place in the summer of 2017 but its reputation has lived on following its catastrophically bad organisation and execution. Created by Billy McFarland, CEO of Fyre Media Inc and rapper Ja Rule, the event was billed as the don't miss festival of the year: influencers, celebrities and musicians were all due to appear. The reality? Not enough tents, payments missing, and general chaos. The documentary tells the inside story of the failure of Fyre. Watch it here.
Struggle: The Life and Lost Art of Szukalski
This is a documentary about a Polish sculptor but everything about Stanislav Szukalski from his Polishness to his sculpture is as complicated as it gets. His fans have included Hollywood screenwriter Ben Hecht, the 60s underground LA comic scene, Adolf Hitler and Leonardo Dicaprio's dad. Directed by Ireneusz Dobrowolski and using interviews by art collector Glenn Bray, this is a peculiar but powerful look at iconography and nationalism in 20th century Europe, with this 'punk' sculptor and alt historian shifting between stardom, notoriety and obscurity. Watch it here.
Slow TV: Train Ride Bergen to Oslo
It takes seven hours and 14 minutes to get from Bergen to Oslo by train. It’s a slow, meandering route through beautiful, snow-covered mountains and pristine, lake-adorned valleys. And you can experience the whole journey from the comfort of your living room. Slow TV: Train Ride Bergen to Oslo does exactly what you’d expect. The whole epic is filmed from a single camera position fixed to the front of the train – in some respects it’s more of a lullaby than a documentary, but it somehow makes for oddly compelling viewing. Gaze in wonder as droplets of rain run down the window. and gasp as you emerge from a long, dark tunnel to look upon another stunning mountain vista. It’s a wild ride.
Narrated by David Attenborough and produced by the same team behind the BBC’s Planet Earth, Our Planet is a nature documentary on a scale not seen before. Everything here is bigger, more beautiful and more ambitious. The whole series is available in 4K, so if you’ve got a compatible TV set then this will likely be one of the most visually stunning documentaries you’ve ever watched. Yet, unlike most big-budget nature documentaries that have come before it, Our Planet is a clarion call for action on climate change. Its episodes are filled with stories of a planet in crisis, of animals pushed to the brink of humanity’s wanton destruction of the planet we must all share. It’s utterly essential viewing. Watch it here.
The Dawn Wall
Climbing film Free Solo may have won an Oscar, but this ascent is equally as gripping. The Dawn Wall follows the journey of two athletes, Tommy Caldwell and Kevin Jorgeson, as they attempt to scale the 3,000 feet of rock that make-up one side of Yosemite National Park's El Capitan. The 2015 climb saw both Caldwell and Jorgeson live on the rock for two weeks as they slowly made vertical progress on the first attempted climb of the rock face. As well as charting their death-defying progress, the film also looks back at the years of preparation that went into the effort. Watch it here.
The documentary that began a 28-year-old Arnie's ascent into superstardom. It's about bodybuilders training for the 1975 Mr Universe and Olymipia competitions, (Schwarzenegger is trying to make it six times straight for the latter). Bodybuilding aficionados will recognise some legends here, like Lou Ferrigno, and for those who are completely new to the sport the doc is fascinating. But its most interesting subject is Schwarzenegger himself. He's charismatic and eminently quotable; you can see how he became a movie star.
Catwalk: Tales from the Cat Show Circuit
Canada's competitive cat show circuit might not sound like good fodder for a documentary, but Catwalk: Tales from the Cat Show Circuit will prove you wrong. Following two cats and their loving, competitive owners, Catwalk takes you through the trials and tribulations of being a participant in the catwalk show circuit. It's surprisingly sweet and easy to watch, with many moments that are ripe for meme-ing, but the cats aren't the only memorable part. For example, a couple that judges competitive cat shows professionally (which is how they met) may stick in your mind long after you've said goodbye to Oh La La (the glamorous red Persian that dominates the circuit). Don't be surprised if you find yourself watching it on repeat. Watch it here
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 4 or catch up on the documentaries from Part 1 and Part 2 if you have not done so.
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