I’ve recently been plowing through the documentary section on Netflix and it’s like delicious mind food. Sometimes I get a bit jack of passive viewing and I just want to watch something that makes my brain tingle. This inspired me to write a list of my top 10 documentaries everyone should watch. I’ve seen all of the films listed below and I will highly recommend each one. So make sure you bookmark this page and refer to it next time you want to make use of a quiet Friday night at home.
10 Documentaries Everyone Should Watch
This film follows the tragic death of experienced SeaWorld trainer Dawn Brancheau who was attacked by a killer whale during a routine performance in 2010. Black Fish outlines the tragic life of Tilikum, a show whale that has been shipped around to several sea animal facilities during his time as an animal performer. There’s chilling footage of another experienced whale trainer being attacked by Tilikum and it’s one of the most amazing escapes I’ve ever seen. It’s really good stuff and will make you rethink ever visiting an animal performance park again.
If you remember the knee capping attack on American figure skater Nancy Kerrigan right before the 1994 Olympics and how Tonya Harding was believed to be involved in the attack, then you simply must watch The Price of Gold. It’s about the struggles that Tonya had growing up and the brutal world of figure skating coupled with her resistance to conform. If you’ve ever been even remotely fascinated by figure skating then you’ll really enjoy this.
If you’ve ever played Super Meat Boy or watched someone play Super Meat Boy, you need to watch this film. It’s adorable. Even if you’re not overly into computer games it’s still a lovely and really interesting doco about the gaming industry and what goes into the making of some of the most popular independent games on the market.
This film follows the arguably insane Phillipe Petit as he illegally tight rope walks, without any back up safety measures, between New York’s Twin Towers in 1974. It’s absolutely breathtaking. There’s something extraordinarily satisfying about watching a person achieve their singular life goal. A beautiful film.
This film is quite simply a joy. It follows the lives of eight American teenagers as they prepare to compete in the National Spelling Bee. It’s worth watching for these kid’s facial expressions alone. It’s an easy watch and it’s really cute too… although some of the parents are a bit much. Creepily like pageant parents.
A beautiful film about a beautiful man. Bill Cunningham is a world famous photographer who doesn’t give a crap about money or fame. He just wants to take beautiful pictures of interesting people. This gorgeous doco outlines his extraordinary life and shows that he is one of the pioneer street photographers of our time.
This is not a very nice film but it’s a very important one that’s worth watching. It follows the life of Father Oliver O’Grady, a Catholic priest who was relocated to several different parishes throughout the US to cover up the fact that he had horrendously raped dozens of children that were under his pastoral care. Definitely not a feel good film but it’s a must watch.
This is a very cute doco about people who are obsessed with the moon. Interestingly enough this film also interviews the guy who owns the moon. Yep. There’s one guy called Dennis Hope in the US who actually, legally owns the moon. You can even buy land from him on the moon for $19.99.
This film has since been turned into a television show that I honestly don’t love but the original documentary is definitely worth a look. It follows the journey of photographer Yaniv Shulman as he strikes up a friendship with a young girl called Abby who paints pictures of his photos. The way this film unfolds is fascinating and I can’t say anything more…
This is one of my most favourite documentaries of all time. This film follows the journey of Steve Wiebe and Billy Mitchell as they fight to hold the record of the highest Donkey Kong score in the world. This film is worth watching for Billy King alone. Watching a real life knob operate like a total douche bag completely unwittingly in front a documentary film crew is one of life’s greatest pleasures.