Our Netflix documentary picks

Anna Kilcooley -
Our Netflix documentary picks

We’ve all been there. You’re ready to get settled in to a night in front of the screen, and before you know it you’ve spent an hour looking for something to watch. We’re here to save you from scrolling purgatory. Here’s a selection of our favourite documentaries on Netflix.

Gritty realness

Flint Town – Rob, BTP Plymouth

I have recently (binge) watched this on Netflix and it was a captivating experience. Set in Flint, Michigan, one of America’s most dangerous cities. It follows the stories and accounts of the struggling police force. Set during the 2016 Presidential Election, the Flint Water Crisis AND the incidents that ignited the “Black Lives Matter” movement, it is gritty series from a perspective we are not too familiar with. With so much distrust for the police force it was interesting to see what it is like from the other side. With hard to stomach moments and some hard truths about our own humanity, it was an excellent watch.
Flint Town

13th – Andy, Accounts Assistant

An in-depth look at the prison system in the United States and how it reveals the nation’s history of racial inequality. Some of the stats they use to back up their argument seem almost unbelievable that this could be happening in the modern era making it really hard to take your eyes off the screen and gives plenty of scope for the post-watch discussion that you’ll definitely need to have.

Bobby Sands: 66 Days – Anna, Marketing Assistant

I first watched this film on April 16th in a cinema on the Falls Road in Belfast. If these names and dates mean nothing to you now, they will after you’ve watched this. It tells the story of Bobby Sands and the hunger strikers in the context of the Irish troubles, something which is too often skimmed over for those of us in Great Britain. The film uses extracts from Sands’ diary, testimony and archive footage, as well as emotional interviews with his family and friends. It pulls no punches on the gritty reality of life in 80’s Northern Ireland, and gives a taste of life during the 25 year conflict. It’s one to make you question how far you’d go to take a stand for what you believe in.

Bobby Sands 66 Days poster
Bobby Sands: 66 Days

Food, Glorious Food

Chef’s Table – Anita, Brand Director and Lucy, Accounts Assistant

First of all, this is going to make you hungry. As do most food based shows. There are plenty on Netflix (Anita is currently watch Somebody Feed Phil, and Ugly Delicious), however Chefs Table was the first one, and is all about the world’s most exclusive restaurants and the genius obsessive chefs behind them. You’ll see every single chef cooking meat on a fire. We don’t know why, but it’s a thing throughout the series. Really pretty food and a super pretty documentary to watch. We want to visit every single restaurant.

Chef’s Table

What the Health and Cowspiracy – Lucy, Accounts Assistant

I’m just going to go straight in with these two. Most people have heard/watched Cowspiracy. What the Health is made by the same guy and basically the same documentary. I am a long term vegan but I only watched these a few months ago. This guy is super biased and although I agree with his points, I think he could have approached the documentary with a different tone to avoid any omnis switching it off immediately. Very informative and a good watch if you’re all about animal rights, the environment and your health.

Life Stories

Jim and Andy: The Great Beyond – Anita, Brand Director and Lucy, Accounts Assistant

Behind the scenes footage from the set of “Man on the Moon,” filmmaker Chris Smith documents Jim Carrey’s transformation into performance artist and comedian Andy Kaufman, and the impact it has on his mental health. There’s a discrepancy within the team – Lucy loves Jim Carrey, Anita, not so much, but both agree that it’s more worth watching than the actual film.

The Barkley Marathons: The Race That Eats Its Young – Andy – Accounts Assistant

Possiby the most mental long distance race in the world, through the forests of Tennessee. The race itself is inspired by a failed escape from a nearby prison. Runners have to go the 100-mile distance in less than 60 hours over which time they would have climbed and descended double the height of Everest all with there being no marked out route. Watching, you are left so impressed by the endurance and resilience of the people who choose to go through it all.

The Barkley Marathons

Austin to Boston – Anita, Brand Director

A bunch of musicians in old VW camper vans travelling across America playing gigs. This program is where I fell in love with musician Nathaniel Rateliff. It’s full of glorious music, and makes you want to quit your job, grab your mates and a van and learn to play the guitar. Lovely…

Part of your world

Stephen Fry in America – Lucy, Accounts Assistant

Want to see the most English gentleman around explore America? I love Stephen Fry and seeing him communicate with locals around the states (some verrry local) is the best. He explores the history of the areas and on top of that you get some beautiful shots of the very varied US landscape.

Chasing Coral – Andy, Accounts Assistant

A follow up to Chasing Ice, a documentary about the disappearance of glaciers, this is a massive wake-up call for everyone watching to the perils that the world’s coral reefs are in. There are some incredible and haunting images they have managed to capture, as good as, if not more powerful than Blue Planet. You can plainly see the genuine pain from the people involved seeing the changes in the corals that have seen every day.

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Chasing Coral

Blackfish – Lucy, Accounts Assistant

I love Orcas. Who doesn’t? Watching this made me so angry and upset that these amazing creatures are being held in captivity, in tanks so tiny when they should be exploring the vast oceans. This doco follows the story of Tilikum, the famous SeaWorld Orca which sparked such controversy after he killed a trainer, and lead to the ban on SeaWorld’s Orca breeding programme.

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