Watchlist This: Top 15 Netflix Documentaries About Social Change!

Entertainment Mony Shah Movies 18 May 2024 7 Mins Read
Watchlist This: Top 15 Netflix Documentaries About Social Change!

Movies, shows, dramas- they all bridge the gap between our imagination and reality. Through these visuals, we time-travel to a world we actually want. 

That’s exactly why Netflix has been earning millions for years now. Viewers don’t subscribe to shows; they pay for surreal experiences. 

Netflix, for a long time, has been streaming multiple-genre content, and one of them is focusing on social changes. Social change, a challenge for society, looks upon documentaries to offer a life-altering message to viewers. 

So, if you have been spending all your time finding good documentaries on Netflix, this might be a halt to your quest. Here are our favorite picks:

15 Netflix Documentaries Focusing On Social Change

15 Netflix Documentaries Focusing On Social Change

Hankering for stories that can change your perception of life is rewarding. Check out some juicy stories that are full of entertainment and trigger your social thinking, too. Give them a look here: 

1. 13th By Ava DuVernay

Let’s begin the list with DuVernay’s critically acclaimed 13th, which gained massive attention globally. The 13th Amendment in the American Constitution annihilated slavery or involuntary services. But what we witness in this documentary is a different reality!

The searing series begins with Black Americans and their oppression of them, which came to an end in 1865. There’s a clear line of understanding of how minorities were targeted every single time a social war took place. 

In its praise, The New York Times has commented that the series “shakes you up.” Save this to your watchlist right now to get some altered perception. 

2. Dick Johnson Is Dead 

Kirsten Johnson, a remarkable name in the world of cinematography, links death and life in an inexorable fashion in this documentary. 

The documentary focuses on her father’s suffering from dementia and how he trips down the stairs or accidentally dies. It actually works well on her part with the camera. 

Apart from the impeccable acting, there exists a bittersweet meditation revolving around the life-death stigma. This is one of those good documentaries on Netflix that celebrate death rather than sobbing over it. 

The unlikeliness of having humorous conversations about death makes this a must-watch!

3. American Factory

American Factory is the initial documentary produced by Michelle and Barack Obama. The documentary was released in 2019, and Julia Reichart directed it. 

The series won an Oscar for being the best Documentary and revolves around the tribulations and trials of a Chinese windshield factory. Most of the scenes are based in Dayton, Ohio, where domestic workers are decked up with tedious tasks for lower wages. 

Chinese employees find it very difficult to adjust to American life since they have an altogether cultural experience. 

If you are craving a touch of globalization mixed with localized context, this is what you need to watch. 

4. Crip Camp By Nicole Newnham

Crip Camp revolves around the story of Camp Jened, who sponsors an inclusive summer camp for disabled youth in the 1950s and 1960s. Premiered at Sundance, these are some good documentaries on Netflix. 

Everybody who attended these camps had a life-changing experience. It features footage of James Le Brecht, who is also the co-director. It shows how campers fought back with the stigma of disability rights movement. 

Crip Camp is a perfect balance of warmth and a social motive, thus giving a 3D view of a marginalized community. It takes strength to turn good storytelling into a personal agenda.

5. Uppity: The Story Of Willy T.Ribbs

Willy T.Ribbs was the first Black man who raced in the Indy 500. This documentary is based on his story, which was co-directed by Adam Carolla and Nate Adams. 

Uppity goes beyond the natural storytelling and focuses on the intricacies of professional racing. It features interviews with Willy, his manager, pit crew members, and other racers. 

Ribbs has always been a subject of racism, but that did not take a toll on his determination to become number 1. Uppity is a celebration of his commitment!

6. Bad Vegan

Bad Vegan is a story never told before about food scenes in New York. Sarma Melngailis, who plays the celebrity restaurateur, was in charge of vegan eateries upscale. Some of them included One Lucky Duck and Pure Food and Wine. 

The series is rich in critical acclamation and celebrity patrons, where Melngailis rose to fame for her entry into the raw food world. However, the success doesn’t last long, as she gets married to a con man. 

If you are in search of a movie featuring canine immortality, Bad Vegan is the one you should watch! 

7. Chasing Coral

Coral bleaching is a threat to the environment, and that’s the essence of this Netflix Documentary. It gives an idea of what coral bleaching looks like and has an impact on nature. 

Climate change induced by humans is a massive threat to coral reefs, contributing to global warming and increased sea temperature. Visuals in the documentary include reefs in American Samoa, Florida Keys, Bermuda, and New Caledonia. 

You get to witness plenty of archival differences and comparisons that take you to a fresh experience. Finally, be prepared for an insightful end!

8. The Last Dance

The Last Dance is our next recommendation for good documentaries on Netflix. It was premiered just at the right game when all missing games were canceled during the lockdown. 

Jason Hehir directed the movie, and ESPN Films co-produced it. There are tons of footage from NBA sports clips, which were, of course, taken after seeking permission from the teams. 

Keeping an eye on Michael Jordan’s formidable career, this documentary has unfolded secrets left for the public to discover. Go watch The Last Dance today!

9. 20 Feet From Stardom

How many celebs come and go without their work recognized by the world? As an ode to background singers who were far from recognition, Morgan Neville directed 20 Feet From Stardom.

Singers and musicians like Merry Clayton, Lisa Fischer, and Darlene Love were handed over the microphone. Their impacts on society have been traced over the years. 

Dive into an overwhelming documentary lasting for 2 straight hours featuring incredible voices. “The Shoop Shoop” song by Betty Everett and “Monster Mash” by Bobby Pickett were some famous songs that featured in it. 

10. Miss Americana

If you are a die-hard fan of Taylor Swift, this classic piece is a must-watch. Miss Americana takes a rare peek into the life of the pop superstar. Swift’s intimate portrait is captured by Lana Wilson, who also directed the documentary. 

Miss Americana gives an opportunity to Swift to become truly vulnerable and give rest to her strategically woven image. It’s all about getting up close and personal with the face behind these relatable lyrics. 

Taylor also goes on to discuss her challenges dealing with feud and fame or how she had a disordered eating habit. The documentary is a true inspiration for those who want to grow from scratch. 

11. My Octopus Teacher

This 2021 winner of the Best Documentary Feature needs your attention right away. Don’t just go after the name because the movie actually has a lot to portray. 

Craig Foster, the director, spent an entire year free diving and chasing an octopus living in South African waters. He goes on to discover an amicable bond with the octopus as she lets Craig enter her house. 

This documentary gives excellent proof of humanity within animals, thus triggering social perspectives.

12. Race To The Summit

Race To The Summit is for Free Solo fans who want to reach new heights. It is actually a climbing and sports documentary that shows the rivalry between Dani Arnold and Ueli Stock.

Both of them were climbers racing on the Swiss Alps’ northern faces. As the documentary rolls out, one understands the psychology behind a climber. What makes them so vulnerable to such risks? 

However, it might not be a perfect watch for those fearing heights as it contains some sharp clips. These clips will not only raise your heartbeat but will also leave you awestruck!

13. Our Father

How scary it would be to discover that one email changes your entire existence. Our Father was released in 2022, which shook Netflix viewers. 

Dr. Donald Cline was a famous fertility doctor in Indiana belonging to the late 1980s. For over a decade, he had helped medically infertile women with his own sperm. Yes, you hear that right!

What happens next in the movie is for you to watch. So, add this masterpiece to your list right away!

14. Rolling Thunder Revenue

Bob Dylan’s eponymous tour through this documentary is the most epic documentary I have ever watched. Martin Scorsese left no stone unturned in differentiating fiction from reality. 

There is archival footage featuring singers who knew Bob Dylan very closely, like Sam Shepard and John Baez. 

Moreover, the fluid style also pays tribute to the 1978 film Renaldo and Clara by Dylan. Hence, if you perceive movies through the vision of a critic, I absolutely recommend watching Rolling Thunder Revenue. 

15. Virunga 

I am signing the list off with a documentary that has a personal touch to it. Virunga is a story of four people who dedicated their lives to preserving and protecting Virunga National Park. 

Apparently, it is located in the Democratic Republic of Congo and has been targeted for hunting animals that are on the verge of becoming extinct.

Virunga was nominated for the Best Documentary Feature, where Barry Jenkins announced its feature-length sequel. Go watch it on Netflix and discover something new. 

Concluding Words

And here comes our list of good documentaries on Netflix to an end. If you haven’t watched them yet, this might be the best time to do so.

After all, we learn from what we see. These documentaries shed light on social threats and vulnerabilities, which are an absolute watch for all viewers. 

That being said, I wrap up here. If you found this article helpful, make sure to comment down your thoughts below. Keep following us to read such informative content. Thank you!

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With an adept skill of curating content on multiple genres, Mony has harnessed success as a Content Writer quickly. Find her sharing her profound thoughts and opinions on lifestyle, beauty, fashion, pets, and parenting.

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