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Documentaries on Netflix You Need To Watch

When you’ve re-watched all of Orange Is the New Black already and you feel slightly empty inside, you need a good documentary. A heartbreaking, awareness-raising, make-you-cry-’cause-of-misogyny, I’m-a-politics-nerd type of documentary. 

Let me set up my argument.

I justify watching documentaries as a constructive waste of time the same way I justify watching Project Runway, or Naked and Afraid. Yes, it’s television but I’m also learning something. I now feel very prepared to live in the wild with a naked stranger, as well as to sow a swim suit made of car parts in a day. Documentaries allow you to watch a movie but also make you think, ask questions, and Wikipedia the sh*t out of current events. 

Since Netflix is a golden child, here is a list of great documentaries that are available to stream. Honestly, most all of the documentaries on Netflix are fantastic but this selection is a good way to begin your love affair. 


Hot Girls Wanted

A personal look at the amateur porn industry and the women it takes advantage of. Produced by Rashida Jones who is awesome. 



Jiro Dreams of Sushi

There’s something peaceful about watching a tiny old man make sushi for two hours. Recommended: watch after taking a test that kicked your butt.


The Invisible War

This is about how sexual assault in the military is ignored and swept under the rug. There are a few specific people whose stories are followed but ultimately the film tells the stories of too many victims. 



Hurricane of Fun: the Making of Wet Hot

Baby faced Amy Poehler, Bradley Cooper, and Paul Rudd? Together? Enjoy.



Dear Zachary

Select this when you want to cry A LOT. 



Food, Inc. 

I definitely watched this in my high school Health class. Still a classic. Watch after a couple documentaries that are easier to digest. (Did you get my pun, did you get it.) 



The Act of Killing 

Jarring. I don’t even know how to describe it. On Netflix it is described as, “Indonesian death squad leaders reenact their real-life mass killings in the style of American movies they love.” This documentary takes some brain and will power to watch. 



Miss Representation 

Every girl needs to see this. Also every boy, gender fluid person, politician, teacher, presidential candidate, and parent. 


Avalon is a sophomore at SU, originally from the Bay Area. Likes include X-Files, breakfast, writing, and art pens. 
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