11 Seriously Mind-Blowing Netflix Documentaries

We know you probably spend a considerable amount of your free time binge-ing on the latest and most popular shows on Netflix, especially since the streaming service has released so many great additions in the past month or so.

However, the next time you curl up in bed with your laptop to watch something new, direct your attention to the documentary section. There are a slew of insane mind boggling titles that will stimulate your senses far more than the latest episode of Stranger Things. No offense, Eleven.

1. Holy Hell (2016)

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This chilling documentary depicts the rise and fall of the Buddhafield, a Los Angeles spiritual group from the late 80’s early 90’s through the eyes of filmmaker Will Allen. In the beginning, the group seemed to overflow with nothing but enlightenment and love until their charismatic leader soon became drunk with power. It wasn’t until 22 years later that Allen realized he had been a member of an infamous cult.

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2. Amanda Knox (2016)

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Many of you may not remember the story of Meredith Kercher, the 21-year-old British exchange student who was found brutally murdered on a trip to Perugia, Italy in November of 2007. Kercher’s body was discovered by her roommate and fellow study abroad student Amanda Knox who had supposedly stayed over with her boyfriend on the night of the murder. However, there was a considerable amount of suspicion from the media and Italian law enforcement that Knox may have somehow been involved. This documentary follows the story of her trial and and the truth behind Kercher’s untimely demise.

P.S. Don’t watch this one alone

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3. 13th (2016)

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Join filmmaker Ava DuVernay in this eye-opening documentary that explores the brutal history of racial inequality throughout the United States. DuVernay focuses primarily on the nation’s mass incarceration of African Americans.  According to The Daily Beast, “The 13th touches on everything from Jim Crow to the Civil Rights and Black Lives Matter movements. It shows how the rise of ‘law and order’ presidents like Richard Nixon led to the failed (and largely detrimental) war on drugs, along with the Republican ‘Southern strategy,’ which appealed to the racism of Southern white voters.”

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4. Audrie & Daisy (2016)

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The story of Audrie & Daisy is one that some find hard to watch, but it’s the wakeup call that our society so desperately needs. Two girls on separate sides of the country are sexually assaulted and filmed by boys who they once considered friends. In the aftermath of their attacks, both girls endure harassment and are driven to attempt suicide. This moving film “takes a hard look at America’s teenagers who are coming of age in this new world of social media bullying, spun wildly out of control.”

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5. Who Took Johnny (2014)

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In 1982, the mysterious disappearance of a young paperboy from Iowa named Johnny Gosch shook the nation and inspired new laws regarding child safety. This documentary is an in-depth investigation into the infamous thirty-year-old cold case that still has not been solved. It “explores eyewitness accounts, compelling evidence, and emotional discoveries spanning three decades of the most spellbinding missing person’s case in U.S. history.”

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6. Bridegroom (2013)

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This heart-wrenching film is told from the perspective of Shane Bitney Crone who lost the love of his life, Tom, in a tragic accident. As if this event wasn’t devastating enough, Tom’s family forbids Shane from attending his funeral. Shane’s story is “poignant, enraging and opens a window onto the issue of marriage equality like no speech or lecture ever will.”

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7. Room 237 (2012)

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If you find yourself to be a fan of The Shining or intrigued by the twisted mind of Stephen King, this documentary should already be on your watch list. Though the film may be more than 30 years old, it continues to inspire speculation and mystery among fans. “Five very different points of view are illuminated through voice over, film clips, animation and dramatic reenactments. Together they’ll draw the audience into a new maze, one with endless detours and dead ends, many ways in, but no way out.”

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8. The Human Experiment (2013)

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Filmmakers Don Hardy Jr. and Dana Nachman give you an in-depth look at the constant battle to protect people’s health from untested chemicals in our consumer products. What they find is an extremely disturbing truth about the substances we are unknowingly putting into our bodies. This documentary “tells the personal stories of people who believe their lives have been affected by chemicals and takes viewers to the front lines as activists go head-to-head with the powerful and well-funded chemical industry.”

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9. #chicagoGirl (2013)

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#chicagoGirl is the story of one 19-year-old student named Ala’a Basatneh who uses social media to fight the Syrian revolution from her childhood bedroom in Chicago. This documentary follows the journey of her peaceful protest which quickly becomes encapsulated in a violent situation. “As the revolution rages on, everyone in the network must decide what is the most effective way to fight a dictator: social media or AK-47s.”

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10. The Witness (2015)

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In 1964, a New York woman named Kitty Genovese was viciously attacked while 38 witnesses allegedly did absolutely nothing to help her. The Witness tells the story of her brother, Bill Genovese, who is investigating the details of his sister’s brutal murder. “Along the way, they revisit the grim timeline of the murder, using animation and crime-scene photographs to piece together the half hour during which Kitty was attacked on two separate occasions by her killer, Winston Moseley.”

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11. The Mask You Live In (2015)

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This film opens the viewer’s eyes to the struggle of young men and boys whose identities become masked by America’s standards of masculinity. It’s a powerful insight into the societal pressures the male gender faces and what it means to “be a man” particularly in schools for coming-of-age boys. The documentary tackles issues such as bullying, loss of identity, and the ridiculous standards put on our nation’s youth.

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