GENERAL INTEREST

21 Documentaries to Watch on Netflix This Weekend

If you have ever met me IRL or at the very least have read this website's about page then you would know that I am a big fan of documentaries. I may not have seen any of the Star Wars movies (or, episodes, idk whatever), but I have seen a great documentary about a nanny who lived a secret life as a photographer. To me, fact is stranger than fiction and the things that happen to people in real life can be even more fantastical than any scenarios dreamt up by a team of writers. 

I am often asked by friends and colleagues to share my recommendations for good documentaries to watch, so I figured I'd kill two birds with one stone and turn the list in my head into a resource for all of you. It's not that I don't like you asking, but hey, in this wild world of blogging, everything is fair game for new content. 

The following is a list of documentaries that I've actually watched and that I actually enjoyed. I've divided the documentaries by the following categories because I'm nice like that: sports, food, animals, art, culture, and politics.

Hit me up on social to tell me what you think about the documentaries. Oh, and as always, you can thank me later.


This film examines the racial and other tensions that fueled a scandal in 2006 when a stripper accused three Duke University lacrosse players of rape.

This film examines the racial and other tensions that fueled a scandal in 2006 when a stripper accused three Duke University lacrosse players of rape.

The polarizing persona of a basketball star with looks, intelligence and major game is examined through unseen footage and differing perspectives.

The polarizing persona of a basketball star with looks, intelligence and major game is examined through unseen footage and differing perspectives.

This gripping documentary tells the story of Ben Wilson, a teenage basketball phenom from Chicago's South Side whose life was cut short by violence.

This gripping documentary tells the story of Ben Wilson, a teenage basketball phenom from Chicago's South Side whose life was cut short by violence.

This unfiltered documentary follows the rocky life and stratospheric career of Allen Iverson, an NBA icon who left an indelible mark on the sport.

This unfiltered documentary follows the rocky life and stratospheric career of Allen Iverson, an NBA icon who left an indelible mark on the sport.

Take a look back at the Orlando Magic of the mid-1990s, an NBA dream team that never quite materialized despite major talents like Shaquille O'Neal.

Take a look back at the Orlando Magic of the mid-1990s, an NBA dream team that never quite materialized despite major talents like Shaquille O'Neal.

As he tries his hand at baking, brewing and braising, acclaimed food writer Michael Pollan explores how cooking transforms food and shapes our world.

As he tries his hand at baking, brewing and braising, acclaimed food writer Michael Pollan explores how cooking transforms food and shapes our world.

This documentary profiles sushi chef Jiro Ono, an 85-year-old master whose 10-seat, $300-a-plate restaurant is legendary among Tokyo foodies.

This documentary profiles sushi chef Jiro Ono, an 85-year-old master whose 10-seat, $300-a-plate restaurant is legendary among Tokyo foodies.

This clever, wide-ranging documentary examines the 19th-century Chinese military man General Tso and the origins of the chicken dish named for him.

This clever, wide-ranging documentary examines the 19th-century Chinese military man General Tso and the origins of the chicken dish named for him.

This documentary recounts a 1994 incident in Honolulu in which a circus elephant attacked and killed its trainer, then ran loose on the city streets.

This documentary recounts a 1994 incident in Honolulu in which a circus elephant attacked and killed its trainer, then ran loose on the city streets.

This fascinating documentary examines the life of performing killer whale Tilikum, who has caused the deaths of several people while in captivity.

This fascinating documentary examines the life of performing killer whale Tilikum, who has caused the deaths of several people while in captivity.

art
By all accounts, Vivian Maier was an unassuming nanny. But the photos she took that were found only after her death reveal her artistic genius.

By all accounts, Vivian Maier was an unassuming nanny. But the photos she took that were found only after her death reveal her artistic genius.

Using never-before-heard recordings, rare archival footage and her best-known songs, this is the story of legendary singer and activist Nina Simone.

Using never-before-heard recordings, rare archival footage and her best-known songs, this is the story of legendary singer and activist Nina Simone.

This superb documentary reveals the film industry's effect on North American native people, who've been depicted in movies in wildly inaccurate ways.

This superb documentary reveals the film industry's effect on North American native people, who've been depicted in movies in wildly inaccurate ways.

This documentary profile traces the groundbreaking comedian and film star's rise to fame during a turbulent era in American history.

This documentary profile traces the groundbreaking comedian and film star's rise to fame during a turbulent era in American history.

With his 30th birthday just around the corner, an Indian-American man enlists his family to help him find the perfect wife.

With his 30th birthday just around the corner, an Indian-American man enlists his family to help him find the perfect wife.

This exposé tackles the disturbing epidemic of sexual assault on college campuses and school officials' efforts to cover up the crimes.

This exposé tackles the disturbing epidemic of sexual assault on college campuses and school officials' efforts to cover up the crimes.

Tony Robbins' clients swear by his unorthodox life coaching methods. A revealing film goes behind the curtain at his annual mega-event.

Tony Robbins' clients swear by his unorthodox life coaching methods. A revealing film goes behind the curtain at his annual mega-event.

The links between consumer pressure for low-cost high fashion and the meager existences of the sweatshop workers who produce those goods are explored.

The links between consumer pressure for low-cost high fashion and the meager existences of the sweatshop workers who produce those goods are explored.

This probing documentary takes an uncompromising look at the processes and the problems involved with the global charity industry.

This probing documentary takes an uncompromising look at the processes and the problems involved with the global charity industry.

A young, business-minded Colorado couple attempts to create an empire with a visionary plan unlike any other to legally franchise marijuana.

A young, business-minded Colorado couple attempts to create an empire with a visionary plan unlike any other to legally franchise marijuana.

Following his bid to win the U.S. presidency, most Americans believed they knew Mitt Romney. With unprecedented access, this documentary tracks Romney from 2006 and his first effort to win the Republican nomination, through the 2012 elections, revealing the man behind the sound bites in an authentic view the public rarely glimpsed during the media frenzy of a national campaign.

Following his bid to win the U.S. presidency, most Americans believed they knew Mitt Romney. With unprecedented access, this documentary tracks Romney from 2006 and his first effort to win the Republican nomination, through the 2012 elections, revealing the man behind the sound bites in an authentic view the public rarely glimpsed during the media frenzy of a national campaign.