Here are 7 of the best documentaries currently streaming on Netflix and Foxtel.
From the Oscar-winning Best Short Documentary about menstruation to an in-depth look at the greatest party that never happened, and everything in between, we’ve got you covered.
Conversations with a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes
What is it about: No it’s not the Zac Efron movie, that’s, later on, this year. Totes soz kiddies. This is the real deal. A 4 part documentary series of, you guessed it, taped conversations with American serial killer, Ted Bundy.
Pieced together from over 100 hours of interviews, director Joe Berlinger (who is also directing the Efron movie Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil, and Vile) provides us with an insight into the mind of one of the most notorious serial killers in the world
Why should I watch it: Not only was he convicted, and ultimately executed, for the deaths of over 30 women, Bundy was also a clever and charming character. Chameleon-like good looks coupled with extreme arrogance and narcissism makes for some very intriguing viewing. Bundy confesses his crimes in the 3rd person so, in his mind, it isn’t really a confession, more an observation of a serial killer.
Enjoy serial killer stuff? Check out the Netflix series Mindhunter which I reviewed here last year
FYRE: The Greatest Party That Never Happened
What is it about: Back in 2016, a brash and ballsy entrepreneur named Billy McFarland had an idea about putting together a music festival. He envisioned it would be the greatest and most exclusive music festival EVAH!
So he got together some of the hottest models in the world, flew them to the Bahamas for some photos and a party, had them post about it on Instagram and BOOM! Within 48 hours, it sold out – The only problem was, it was all bullshit!
Why should I watch it: There are many reasons to watch this documentary. It’s a warning that all that glitters, or shimmies, on Instagram isn’t gold. A commentary on how being a sheeple in the modern world can sting not only your pride but your hip pocket as well. It’s a cautionary tale about rampant, millennial narcissism gone mad.
It also has interviews with all the freelancers, subcontractors, small business owners and various other people who got screwed over and lost great deals of money while its idiot promoter let his ego run riot and refused to listen to sound advice.
And it’s just good old fashioned great TV. You will be amazed, bemused and perplexed in equal measure…. with some major eye rolling thrown in. Just for fun.
The Clinton Affair
What is it about: As the world waits for the impeachment of current American President Donald Trump, this 6 part docu-series examines the affair that led to the impeachment proceedings of another American President, Bill Clinton
Way back in the
Why should I watch it: For the politicos among us, it is fascinating and compelling television. This all happened in the very early days of the internet, a very different world
There is also the horrible, vile way this young girl was treated. Stitched up by a friend, fed to the wolves of the media and
Abducted in Plain Sight
What is it about: In 1974,
Berchtold had managed to groom and manipulate this family so completely, they were powerless against him. Why? I will let you watch to find that out
And then he kidnapped the child again. No that isn’t a typo. He got her twice
By this stage, you will want to hurl things at your TV to make the madness stop. You may even doubt the story is true.
Oh but it is.
Why should I watch it: This is a disturbing documentary and will not be for everyone. But if you do watch, you will find an absolutely compelling tale of deceit, manipulation and fear. That this man had access to the child in the manner in which he did will leave you feeling sick.
This child’s parents, outwardly upstanding, Christian people, were so consumed by what people would think, and by their own secret desires, they failed utterly and completely to protect their daughter.
And the worst thing of all? None of this needed to happen.
Period. End of Sentence
What is it about: In rural India, as in many parts of the world, getting your period can still debilitating. Menstruation is clouded in mystery, shame and secrecy and it can become so difficult to deal with, many young girls stop going to school, remaining uneducated. And by now, we should all understand that educating women is the greatest thing we can do to empower them. Most of these girls and women do not have access to pads, some have never even heard of one.
When a man arrives in Hapur, a small village about 60kms out of New Delhi, with a simple pad making
Why should I watch it: Far from being a bleak tale of the downtrodden women of the world, it showcases just how much one simple thing, like a pad, can make a huge difference to a woman’s life. She can now not only continue her education,
This documentary, quite rightly, snagged an Oscar a few weeks ago and makes for inspiring viewing. By the end, you will be smiling and feeling full of hope that the cycle of shame and misinformation may be ending.
Surviving R. Kelly
What is it about: R. Kelly has always been a controversial artist. From his
And yet, the music industry protected him. Other artists collaborated with him. His minders and ‘people’ enabled him. His lawyers throwing money at his victims to make everything just go away
Now, some of the women he allegedly (and it pains me to have to type that word in this context) hurt and abused are stepping forward and bravely telling their stories.
This 6 part documentary series is an
Why should I watch it: Because these women deserve to be heard and this vile man
This documentary highlights the sad truth that a man with money and power, who is making other men with money and power more money, can do anything he wants and get away with it. All the people who turned a blind eye, who went out looking for these girls for him, who knew they were allegedly being held captive in his home, they should all be charged as well.
You should watch this to understand that even a gifted artist, and he is undeniably gifted, can also be a predatory monster with a dark, sinister heart who means only harm to those he seeks out.
During my research, I found this fantastic piece by Lindsay Zoladz that asks has the music industry only stopped protecting him because he is now musically irrelevant. Well worth the read.
Behind the Curve
What is it about: On the fringes of society, there are people who genuinely believe the world is flat. I will give you a moment to let that sink in… You back? Okay good. These people believe the world is flat and we live under a gigantic dome. If you’re thinking ‘wait… that sounds like that movie, the Truman Show’ you would be correct. That is exactly what they think. They also reference the Monty Python classic The Life of Brian. I can’t quite recall the context because I was on
This documentary is built around the self-proclaimed Flat Earth King, Mark Sargent and his merry band of followers. But not all of them blindly follow Mark because, even within the flat earth ranks, there is nasty infighting.
Why should I watch it: Because it is just hilarious watching these people make mockeries of themselves. And they do it with such earnest that for a brief moment, you actually start to think
Admittedly, I am a bit of a conspiracy theorist myself and have a nice selection of tin foil hats at home, but even I acknowledge that the earth is round. I mean, if it’s flat, show me the edge. Take me to the edge where the dome starts. Very easy
The documentary is made with complete respect for the flat earthers. It, unlike my review, is not mocking or disbelieving. It does have scientists and NASA types offering different views, just to balance out the opinions, but the subject matter is treated with respect. And I liked that
Even nutjob whackos deserve their moment in the sun.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
I am Sue-Ellen (never Sue please, but feel free to ditch the hyphen)