My Documentary Recommendations For Netflix Australia

Little Hope Was Arson: This is definitely one to watch; it’s beautifully shot, really suspenseful and super interesting. The ending of the film shocked me so much that I almost couldn’t breathe for a minute – it’s really an amazing documentary. It’s at times challenging to some of the Churches, families, some of the attitudes, and the justice system, whilst also beautifully presenting the Gospel at times – well worth a watch by everyone.

The Cove: I was late in watching this film, but finally got there. It’s full-on but well worth seeing. It’s really insightful, even if you’ve seen similar documentaries. It’s engaging – giving backstory and context whilst taking you on a journey with the activists.

Blackfish: This is a really sad and interesting film, I felt a little like it was pushing it’s agenda too hard instead of letting the content speak for itself, but it’s still enthralling, important and well worth a watch.

Jonestown: Paradise Lost: Warning – This documentary features a lot of really bad re-enactments which contain a couple of terrible wigs and one set of fake eyebrows. However, it is a very interesting and sad subject, one that is good to be aware of. It focuses mainly on the final days of Jonestown rather than the years leading up or the biography of Jones. In narrowing it’s focus the film is able to be really specific and pretty insightful – it’s also made up of interviews with some of the key survivors.

The Imposter: I love this because it’s so unique – a great example of how documentary can be artistic and in doing so can enhance the audiences understanding of the content rather than muddy it. If you like a thriller movie, if you don’t even like documentary – watch this! It’s super sad and pretty disturbing but definitley a film to see.

The Internet’s Own Boy: The Story of Aaron Schwartz: Another sad one – sorry! This film unfolds like a tragedy play – from the beginning you are forewarned of what’s to come and then you slowly watch it all unfold, with ups and downs, knowing that it’s going to end very sad. However, the film also got me quite excited about the people’s power in protest and the amazing good that the internet and freedom of information can bring.

Girl Rising: Sad again, but definitely the kind of sad where you know that you have a responsibility to watch this, to be aware of what’s going on, and then to do something about it! The storytelling here is also really lovely and effective.

Food Inc: This film is an important one for anyone who eats food. I think it’s so key to be educated about what you’re putting in your mouth and fuelling your body with multiple times a day – and in turn to be educated around the industries that you’re contributing to and the future that you’re creating. This documentary makes it easy for you by presenting a bunch of very engaging and digestible (pun intended) facts, figures and stories.

Cave of Forgotten Dreams: This is a Werner Hertzog film, if you know who he is then I suspect you’ve either seen this or you just put it on your watch list. If you don’t know him: Google. This is not the world’s greatest documentary in itself, but it is about the world’s oldest cave paintings, and it’s Werner, so it’s good.

The Queen of Versailles: This is a different kind of sad, a documentary impeccably well timed as they started filming months before the GFC and then continued well after. These are very real people, at times they are lovely and fragile and you feel their pain, but then their complete lack of perspective and the fact their home is filled with nannies who are poverty and grief stricken (having not been able to see their own children for decades) and pets that are literally dying from neglect – is really quite sickening. This documentary is very insightful and looks at marriage and wealth in an interesting way. I also like that it doesn’t feel manipulative or mean, as far as you can be unbiased – I’d say this is.

Other ones to watch: Kids for Cash, The Central Park Five, Life Itself, Super Size Me, Man On Wire, Bowling For Columbine, Kurt & Courtney, Prohibition, Finders Keepers.

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