Streaming services have gained extraordinary popularity in the last couple of years. With an immaculate quality of feature content in all genres, these platforms are thriving to narrate various stories through all forms of motion pictures. While movies and television shows hold a certain fame, the ever-evolving form of documentary films has rapidly gained momentum and appreciation.
Bringing feature-length movies, this form of cinema documents life, human or otherwise, in an effort to educate and entertain the masses. Accounting struggles of individuals or groups through their walks of life, documentaries are an absolute delight to watch. Here are the five best documentaries to watch on various streaming platforms.
Free Solo – Disney+ Hotstar
“Free Solo” is a 2018 documentary film that features rock climber Alex Honnold on his journey to perform a free solo climb of El Capitan in June 2017. Directed by Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi and Jimmy Chin, the documentary profiles 3,200 feet climb with no rope and talks about facing your fears until they exist no more. The climb is still considered as one of the greatest athletic feats ever performed by anyone, and is incredibly inspiring. Moreover, it won the Oscar for Best Documentary in 2018.
Fyre Fraud – Hulu
Expected to be the biggest luxury music event, the Fyre festival turned out to be a complete disaster. Billy McFarland advertised this festival in Bahamas as legendary – only it was, for entirely wrong reasons. The festival attracted a lot of attention but fell apart during its inaugural weekend; thousands of people were stranded in the Bahamas and locals were not provided payments for their services. “Fyre Fraud” includes interview with McFarland (now a convicted con-man) and many others directly involved with the festival’s planning and disastrous execution.
Period. End of Sentence – Netflix
A hard-hitting documentary about rural Indian women fighting the stigma surrounding menstruation even in the modern-age Indian society, “Period. End of Sentence” is an Academy award winning documentary. The 2018 documentary short film encircles a quiet sexual revolution that follows a group of women who learn to manufacture low cost sanitary napkins. Breaking free from the vicious cycle of health problems due to lack of sanitary pads; they built their own brand called ‘FLY,’ while supporting and empowering the women to shed the mensuration taboo in India.
One Child Nation – Amazon Prime
A 2019 American documentary film, “One Child Nation” talks about the fallout of China’s one-child policy that lasted 36 years, from 1979 to 2015. Directed by Chinese-born filmmakers Nanfu Wang and Jialing Zhang, this 2019 Sundance US Grand Jury Prize winning documentary exposes the devastating consequences of China’s one-child policy. It documents the distressing account of people who emotionally talk about the jarring experiences their families went through as the country forced the policy on all its citizens.
4 Little Girls – HBO Max
1997’s “4 Little Girls” is a moving documentary that investigates the 1963 bombing of a Birmingham church in Alabama, which took lives of four young girls. The documentary film is a searing portrait of a landmark moment for the civil right movement to end racial discrimination in local stores and facilities. Director Spike Lee uses interviews with friends, family, government officials, and civil rights activists, as well as home movies and archival footage to tell the story of four girls’ lives and to provide a greater historical and political context of the times.