Are you looking for a new documentary to watch?
Often people avoid watching documentaries believing they’re boring, and will only put them to sleep. However, this is far from the truth.
Plenty of documentaries will teach you about the world around you and keep you glued to the show. You just need to know which documentaries can do this. In this article, you’ll discover the 20 best documentaries to sit back and watch.
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Afrofuturism is a cultural movement that explores science and technology tied to African heritage. Many artists and media creators share their vision of the future through the lens of African experiences. It is often associated with the Si-Fi gene but includes other genes such as alternative history and fantasy.
The thought of Afrofuturism also explores the history of African culture and how it has shaped the world around us. In this docuseries, follow along with two well-known scholars and artists, Kenvin Strait and Ytasha Womack, who discuss how African American values and culture have shaped America today and the impact it will continue to have.
2. A Story Called Gomorrah – The Files
For centuries, the Italian mafia has been causing chaos around the world. Due to their well-known illegal activities, several movies and shows have been made on the organization.
One of the most popular TV shows from the Italian mafia genre is Gomorrah. Throughout the series, Ciro climbs the ranks of the Italian mafia to become the boss.
This docu series provides a view of the process of writing and filming the TV show. You’ll discover the full making that goes into bringing the show to life and why it’s a popular crime show.
3. Americas Hidden Stories CIA Museum Declassified
As many know, the CIA has hundreds of hidden secrets; it’s shocking to see they’re willing to share any of them with the public. However, in this docuseries, the CIA opens its vaults to share some of its secrets.
You’ll learn the secrets of the stories of different spies, presidents, and murders. You may even discover new information relating to the Salem witch trials.
4. 1968: The Year That Changed America
The 1960s was a wild decade that changed the American way of life. However, one year sticks out more than the other nine years of that decade.
In the year 1968, America took a shift in political views, laws, and global relations. It was also a year when leaders took charge of social rights and movements. In this four-part docuseries, you’ll discover why 1968 was a special year and how it changed America.
5. 7 Toughest Days
The British explorer Dwayne Fields grew up surrounded by gangs and criminals in the inner cities. Due to his upbringing, he develops the strength to become the first black British explorer to suffer through the harsh conditions of the North pole.
Fields explore the most extreme weather conditions in this docuseries for seven days. Watch how his unique spirit and strong personality help him fight through situations humans are not meant to be in. He strives to keep himself and his film crew alive while mother nature fights back to prevent it from happening.
6. Aerial Argentina
After the success of Aerial American and following the sky views of the United States, other explorers wanted to share the beauty of their lands. Follow along as drones and helicopters with high-quality cameras explore the land of Britain in Aerial Argentina.
The series follows England’s Northern and Southern regions, Wales, and Scotland. Some landmarks in the docuseries include Scafell Pike, the island that held Mary Queen of Scots and where the musical legends Queen and Led Zeppelin practice their art.
7. Ancient Aliens
This docuseries has been around for a while, and many people believe some of their ideas are way out there. However, this unique docuseries is still a must-watch, especially if you are interested in alien life.
In Ancient Aliens, several experts share their thoughts and knowledge on how aliens have impacted Earth’s way of life. In addition, they explore other urban legends, such as crocodile people, demons, and more.
8. Black Liberators WWII
Regarding World War II, most people only discuss Hitler and his crimes. Yes, it’s an integral part of history and must never be forgotten. However, some interesting aspects of WWII often go unnoticed.
For example, black soldiers had suffered through many trials and triumphs fighting in the war. In this docuseries, you’ll learn about the hardships faced by black soldiers fighting for Canada during WWII.
9. A Year In Film: 1971
If you enjoy learning about movies & theater, especially from the past, then you’ll enjoy this review of the most influential films in 1971. The docuseries covers some famous movies: Grease, Shaft, and Clockwork Orange. In addition, the series explores the most popular films of that year and their impact on pop culture.
Related: Best Silver Screen Classics to Watch in 2023
10. 48 Hours
The 48 Hours docuseries is one of the longest-running crime series on television. In the series, investigators examine some infamous cases that made Americans wonder.
Throughout its run, the show has reopened cases to help those wrongly accused of crimes. In addition, the show has done wonders in helping to solve many cold cases.
Each episode takes an in-depth look at the cases and what would drive a person to commit the crime. Often, the crime happens due to greed and in the heat of the moment of arguments.
However, there are some cases where there is no reason why a person would murder besides having a cold heart. Follow this documentary to find out why people commit the worst crimes.
11. An Unexpected Killer
Continuing with the criminal documents, An unexpected killer is a must-watch if you want to follow an unpredictable journey. Often at the end of the investigation, the killer is someone you least expected.
Each episode involves different murders where police try to follow clues to find the true killer. However, often the police waste hours on someone who has nothing to do with the crime.
Of course, this causes them to lose the lead on the real suspect, but somehow they find them. If you’re ready for an intense crime documentary with shocking results, add this show to your must-watch lists.
12. Hope for Wildlife
Hope for Wildlife is a must-see if you have a soft spot for animals, especially wildlife. The documentary follows Hope Swimmer, a wildlife rehabilitation center owner who takes in and cares for different animal species.
She firmly believes that every life deserves a second chance, and with her 100 volunteers, they tackle daily struggles to keep wildlife alive. There’s no telling what type of animal will stop at the center. You’ll see everything from reptiles to hedgehogs; watch how Hope and her team strive to improve these animals’ lives.
13. Engineering Catastrophes
Humans have been building for centuries, and this task has become easier thanks to modern technology. However, humans still often make architectural mistakes, which can become costly.
Engineering catastrophes explore the risks people are often willing to take to achieve innovative results. Unfortunately, due to people willing to take risks, this can cause deadly problems. In the series, you’ll see how engineers are trying to find solutions to the most off-the-wall architectural mistakes.
14. Carmine Street Guitars
Do you love music, particularly rock n roll? If so, you’ll enjoy watching Rick Kelly run his daily store Carmine Street Guitars.
The store stands in the heart of Greenwich Village of New York City and has been there for years. Kelly builds custom-made guitars out of reclaimed woods coming from old bars and other businesses. The document series shows five days in Kelly’s life and how he continues to celebrate his unique craft.
15. Black Travel Across America
Martinique Lewis is a traveling consultant who travels to the historical Green Book locations in New Orleans and New York City. Green Book was a movie about an Italian bouncer who served as bodyguard and driver for a famous African American pianist.
True events of the deep south inspired the movie during the Jim Crow era. It shows the struggle of an African American musician during this period in America.
Lewis explores the history of this area and other black destinations. She shares the stories of this time and events inspired by the movie Green Book.
16. Blind Spot: Hitler’s Secretary
Hitler was one of the most infamous war criminals in the 20th century. Due to his crimes, millions of people still feel the effects today. There are hundreds of documentaries on Hitler’s life, but most don’t share stories from those closest to him.
This documentary shares the secrets that one of Hitler’s top secretaries hold during their time in the bunker. Traudl Jungle dives deep into the secretary’s documents to expose what really happened before the death of Hitler.
17. Skin: A History of Nudity in the Movies
The film industry has tried its best to avoid showing nudity in movies for years. However, most people don’t know that nudity has been shown in theaters since the silent movie era.
Due to political and religious views, the film industry stops showing nudity in feature movies. But social changes made this more accepting, and the documentary explores why this change was embraced.
The documentary also explores why there is such gender inequality in nudity within feature films. Also, it shares how the METOO movement changed the type of nudity allowed in movies today.
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18. Johnny Cash: American Rebel
Johnny Cash was one of the most influential country singers in America. This documentary explores the famous singer’s life while paying tribute to his achievements.
Musician, social activist, and legendary artist Johnny Cash was a true American rebel who pushed boundaries while winning the hearts of millions. In this documentary, you’ll learn everything you ever wanted to know about Johnny Cash and the meaning behind his songs.
19. Titanic: 25 Years Later with James Cameron
Titanic was an ironic movie and ship that will be remembered for centuries. The unbreakable skip sank in 1912 due to hitting an iceberg. Of course, no one saw this coming due to its nickname, and millions suffered from the incident.
After 70 years of the sinking, a movie was created to keep the incident alive. Of course, most people remember the love story between Rose and Jack in the film.
The documentary explores the ionic movie’s making and the myths accompanying the shipwreck. Lastly, you may discover if Jack could fit on the broken floating door with Rose.
20. True Story
Many know that the Indigenous people of Canada suffer many losses from the settlers entering their land. This is why September 30th is a special day for indigenous and non-indigenous people in the country.
It’s the day for everyone to reflect on the dark history of this time. In the True Story documentary, indigenous people share their views of this period. Their stories are sad and heartfelt while sharing the truth about what happened.
Which of These Best Documentaries Are You Going To Watch on This List?
Documentaries are ideal for watching when you need an entertaining and educational show. So the next time you’re looking for a documentary, choose one from the list above. You will learn something new while watching these best documentaries.