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Pop Culture Fix: Netflix Documentaries

Long gone are the days of those boring, monotonous educational movies you’d watch in classrooms. Now, documentaries can be made by anyone, and are vibrant, interesting, and cover every topic under the sun. Here are some top picks available on Netflix right now: 

 

Dark Tourist 

New Zealand journalist David Farrier explores the phenomenon of dark tourism in an eight-episode series. This kind of tourism focuses around people’s fascination with tragic or deadly places, and in the series, Farrier visits sites like Tomioka, a town evacuated during the Fukushima nuclear disaster, meets real-life vampires in New Orleans, and gets a bit too close to a voodoo ceremony in Benin. If you’re thinking of watching the series please bear in mind, there are some scenes and language viewers might find distressing. 

 

 

 

Explained 

This series by Vox covers a whole range of topics in short, manageable 20 minute episodes. Boasting two seasons, this show has a finger on the pulse of pop-culture. It touches on K-pop, cryptocurrency and coding to name a few. For the more curious mind, this show features a range of voices and sources, and is really well-written. Vox also recently released a series called “The Mind Explained”, focusing on matters like anxiety and mindfulness; one of the episodes even convinced me to take up meditation.

 

 

Enter the Anime 

This 58 minute documentary is perfect for anyone curious about the origins of the anime culture. Tania Nolan spends the documentary interviewing some very new and high-profile creators of anime, getting to know their creative processes, their inspiration and why they think anime became so popular.  

Adi Shankar, the eccentric mind behind Netflix’s Castlevania; and Yeti, the character designer of the loveable Aggretsuko, are both featured in the documentary. Although it never really answers the question it sets out to, it is an interesting watch for people with a taste for fast-paced documentaries. 

 

 

 

Conversations with a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes 

Coinciding with the release of Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile, this Ted Bundy documentary probably didn’t get the recognition it deserved. A slightly more serious addition to our list, but still well worth a weekend binge as long as you watch something happier after. Going through the old tapes of Bundy’s prison interviews is a chilling and difficult watch but for true crime fans, the series is handled well and is done as tastefully as is possible with a serial killer.  

 

 

Hello, Privilege. It’s me, Chelsea 

Chelsea Handler is a comedian who made some questionable decisions in the past, calling her book ‘Uganda be Kidding Me’ being just one example. In this Netflix documentary, Chelsea tries to atone for her past by learning about white privilege and the impact it has on people of all races. I can’t say how it was received by other communities, but as a white person I think she meant well and we could all use a privilege reality check. 

 

 

Catwalk: Tales from the Cat Show Circuit 

This show is just wild. Taking an inside look at the world of competitive cat shows, Crufts has nothing on these guys. Following the stories of a few award-winning felines and their obsessive owners, this documentary is a crazy ride from start to finish, and way more intense than you’d expect it to be. 

 

 

That brings us to the end of our list, all shows are available on Netflix in Ireland so make sure to check them out! 

Student at DCU with a passion for music and coffee
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