In the current medical and political climate, there’s never been a better time to binge on Netflix shows while you’re sheltered in your home. Check out these captivating documentaries on Netflix that will be sure to leave your mouth hanging on the floor.
“The Trials of Gabriel Hernandez”
Premiered February 26, 2020
This six-part limited series is not for the faint of heart. “The Trials of Gabriel Hernandez” is a staggering look into the brutal death of an 8-year-old boy who suffered terrible abuse from his mother and her boyfriend. Within this investigation into Hernandez’s homicide is an eye-opening look at certain nationwide systems, such as the Department of Children and Family Services, that were tasked with protecting Hernandez but ultimately ended up failing him.
This series is one that will not only anger and tug at the heartstrings of any viewer, but also serve as a wakeup call to society that these systems must be redesigned in order to protect children in need.
“Killer Inside: The Mind of Aaron Hernandez”
Premiered January 15, 2020
He was once an NFL superstar playing under the bright lights of Gillette Stadium, but he became a convicted criminal on the cold floors of Souza-Baranowski Correctional Center. This docuseries dives into the life and crimes of former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez.
Featuring footage of Hernandez during pivotal moments of his life along with interviews with several of those closest to him, the series attempts to take a step into Hernandez’s mind. While this limited series will give you answers about Aaron Hernandez’s life, and the startling damage to his brain, it may end up leaving you with even more questions about his crimes. But even so, this is a series that both sports fans and neutral bystanders won’t want to miss out on.
“Don’t F*ck with Cats: Hunting an Internet Killer”
Premiered December 18, 2019
If you’re one of those people who can easily predict the storyline in a movie, you may have your work cut out for you when it comes to “Don’t F*ck with Cats.”
This docuseries reveals the impact a group of people can make together, even from thousands of miles apart. “Don’t F*ck with Cats” follows a community of online sleuths who try to track down a man who filmed himself killing kittens. The series takes you on a journey through numerous countries and several suspects as this digital community bands together to fight for justice. By the time you’re finished, your mind will be racing with unanswered questions for days to come.
“Pandemic: How to Prevent an Outbreak”
Science & Technology
Premiered January 22, 2020
This docuseries hits close to home. “Pandemic” features doctors and medical professionals fighting the war against influenza while trying to curb the next inevitable pandemic.
A feature of this limited series that makes it so intriguing is its relevance to the current coronavirus outbreak. As predicted in this docuseries, a new pandemic influenza would likely come from an animal, just as the coronavirus has. A few of the other predictions have been evidenced by recent news as well, such as the likelihood of people hoarding certain necessities, including food, water and even medical supplies.
If you’re interested in health care or you are concerned about the current pandemic, you surely won’t want to miss this series that was undoubtedly ahead of its time.
Nature & Ecology
Premiered April 5, 2019
After watching “Our Planet,” there is no doubt that you’ll appreciate the beauty of the world we live in even more.
This docuseries highlights all of the different diverse habitats across the world, from the frigid Arctic wilderness to the deep, mysterious abyss of the ocean. Each episode features Earth’s natural wonders that many of us may not get to see during our lifetimes. So if you have even a sliver of wanderlust in you, check out “Our Planet” and be prepared to become captivated by planet Earth.
“Taylor Swift: Miss Americana”
Music & Concert
Premiered January 23, 2020
No one said fame is always easy, and Taylor Swift can certainly attest to that. This series explores Swift’s journey as a singer/songwriter and the difficulties she experiences from the media and the general public.
Whether you’re a “Swifty” or not, this documentary underscores the phrase, “The grass is not always greener on the other side,” while also showing that, with resilience and determination, you can make your own garden bloom like Swift.
Social & Cultural
Premiered August 21, 2019
A documentary focusing on the migration of Chinese workers to an auto-glass factory in Dayton, Ohio, this film highlights the social and economic issues that converge when immigrants are faced with both American citizens and American capitalism.
This film will give viewers an inside look at the relation between employees and employer, with the added challenge of working at and running a business in a country on the other side of the planet. Explore international and work-life tensions in our country with “American Factory.”
“Knock Down the House”
Premiered May 1, 2019
This documentary combines both feminine empowerment and political drive. “Knock Down the House” follows four working-class Democratic candidates who ran for Congress in 2018, taking viewers on their journey, filled with adversity and setbacks, as these women vie for their seat in office.
The film is a story about political power and the challenges these women faced in order to achieve their goals, both personally and professionally. “Knock Down the House” will show viewers how hard work and persistence can move anyone closer to their goal, no matter how many obstacles stand to impede them.
Premiered January 21, 2018
In 1992, high-schooler Sandi Tan, along with her friends Sophie and Jasmine and an American mentor, Georges Cardona, pursued her creative talents with the production of Singapore’s first indie-a-road movie, titled “Shirkers.” But the film was never seen.
After shooting wrapped decades ago, Cardona mysteriously vanished, along with all of the group’s footage. This documentary follows Sandi as she investigates Cardon’s disappearance, taking her through two expansive continents, each with their own clues. As it dives into this complex mystery, “Shirkers” will surely give viewers their crime junkie fix.
Premiered September 10, 2016
Since the 2007 murder of Meredith Kercher, intensified by the 2016 release of this documentary, 33-year-old Amanda Knox has become infamous.
In 2007, Knox became the top suspect after her roommate was murdered during a foreign exchange trip to Italy. Knox sat on trial for the following eight years, nearly half of which were spent in an Italian prison, for a murder she claims she did not commit.
“Amanda Knox” dives into this horrific crime and features interviews with both Amanda Knox and various other interviewees who believe in her guilt, or are unsure of where they stand. But with all of the evidence pointing to both Knox’s innocence and guilt, this documentary is, again, one that may leave you with more questions than you began with.