Is all that Netflix binging making your brain go numb? Feel like everything you’re watching is pure trash? (We're looking at you, Love Island). Well, we've got the fix And it doesn’t involve going outside (it’s much too cold). It involves switching your reality show garbage for some sweet documentaries.
Here's all the docos you should be checking out this month.
Were you super into the series that examined the most notorious drug cartels and kingpins around the world? Because we were. Each episode of Drug Lords s1 followed the life of a different drug lord (hence the title) including Pablo Escobar and the Cali Cartel, plus the people who caught them. It was exciting, nail-biting stuff. And s2 is coming out this July. And we're excited. Which means you should be excited about it too. Just kidding…but seriously, check this one out.
What The Health
*Insert food guilt here* We're becoming increasingly aware of our health and the food that we put into our bodies (we say...after stuffing our face with doughnuts this week). Well, this doco is designed to make us feel even worse. Did you know that eating a sausage is apparently just as bad as eating a cigarette? (f**k). In What The Health, Filmmaker Kip Anderson discovers the ways in which fast foods and meat products may be the cause of chronic diseases, as well as the involvement of America’s leading health organisations in the fast food industry. Prepare to watch with your jaw on the ground.
The Bleeding Edge
Get ready to think twice about undergoing a medical procedure. Eeeek. In The Bleeding Edge, filmmakers Kirby Dick and Amy Ziering showcase the failings of the $400 billion medical device industry and the lives that have been affected by faulty medical technology. Time to rethink that robotic cyborg arm...Keep an eye out for this one. It's hitting Singapore (and then Netflix) towards the end of July.
An oldy but a goody. This doco demonstrates just how extreme animal cruelty really is in our world. Seriously. Narrated by Joaquin Phoenix and directed by Shaun Monson, the 2005 multi-awarding winning documentary Earthlings should be at the top of everyone’s ‘to watch’ list. Split into several sections: pets, food, clothes, scientific research and entertainment, this one's all about the five main ways in which animals serve mankind. Bizarre, horrifying and weirdly poignant. It'll make your cry for sure.
Okay, we’ve gone down a morbid path, sorry. Here’s something a little more light-hearted. The Undateables is an uplifting series that follows several extraordinary singles with disabilities as they enter the dating realm in their quest for love. From a stand-up comic with Tourette’s to a skateboarder with a facial disfigurement, you’ll be ‘aww-ing’ the whole way through. A real mood-booster. P.S. There's three whole series on Netflix that you can binge. Nice.
In 2012, Ella Havelka became the first Indigenous dancer to be invited into the Australian Ballet. It was an announcement that made headlines around Australia. This doco invites you into Ella’s world and lets you follow her inspirational journey from dancing barefoot in her hometown of Dubbo, to dancing en pointe in the largest Ballet company in the southern hemisphere. Centre Stage eat your heart out.
Babies Behind Bars
This one’s a real headscratcher. Could you imagine bringing a little bubba into a world behind bars? Do you think mums in prison should be able to keep their babies in there with them? This doco will help make up your mind. In Babies Behind Bars, Soledad O’Brien takes us inside a women’s prison where inmates are allowed to live with their babies for up to two years. A super interesting watch.
O.J. | Made in America
All right guys. Here's your opportunity to get to know the real O.J Simpson story. You know, the one that doesn’t include the Kardashian’s. Directed by Ezra Edelman, the 2017 Oscar winner for Best Documentary has five episodes that expose the life of O.J. and includes everything from the highs and lows of his football career, to his murder trial that ripped America apart in the 90s (Yep, the court case that Robert Kardashian was involved in).
Becoming Jamie: Shock & Joy
Follow 64-year-old Jamie Peebles as he transitions into female physicality. Becoming Jamie captures the struggles and the joys of being transgender with the help of personal and revelatory video diaries by Jamie herself. This is cut commentary from director, Roger Sherman, to capture the transition in its purest form. Get your tissues ready, people. A totally beautiful story. No trailer for this one yet, soz guys.
It starts with a bank heist gone horribly horribly wrong (seriously, prep your eyeballs for this footage...) and it ends who knows where. This is one of the strangest true crime docos doing the round at the moment, but damn it's compelling television. The world's most diabolical bank heist? Or just a great big shambles? You decide. Check out Evil Genius on Netflix.
Image credit: SBS