I’ve really gotten into watching documentaries. I love the interviews and the suspense. I also like that you know that you will be signing up for a 1 ½ hour show full of amazing information from a unique perspective. I love any genre but crime and conspiracy hold a special place in my heart. I have some of my favorites listed below. I thought that I would also give them my own personal rating as well. Documentaries investigate subjects from such a raw filming technique that it brings a beautiful level of connection that the watcher can feel. There are so many options out there that it can feel overwhelming so below you can read little blurbs about the films to see if you want to spend the time watching them.
More Than Meets the Eye
This documentary is the story of the “greatest party that never happened”. Unfortunate right? This festival was planned out to be the festival of festivals. They promised so many things but never delivered and it went so far downhill it’s not even funny. This mastermind of a guy uses models and celebs to promote the most fantastic island festival. When everyone shows up it is quickly realized that this was not the dream they were sold. How did it all go down? Tune into this doc to find out.
This one is wacky. So imagine 2 years, 8 people, 1 biosphere. No air in no air out. This was the idea in 1991. Did they actually do it, maybe? They claimed it was for science and what our future might hold in space. Unfortunately, the story does not end there. Add a pinch of cult behavior, a dash of investigatory work and a cup of suspicious characters and you have this documentary. This one was so intriguing and I highly recommend it to those who want a more sciency aspect.
Misha and the Wolves:
This is investigative journalism to the max. International snooping into a heartbreaking story of a woman who survived the holocaust by living with wolves. You read that correctly, she evaded the Nazis by becoming one of the pack at 7 years old. Her story is heard by a writer and a book a quickly written about her time in the woods. Things go downhill with a lawsuit that sets off a snowball of events that get wilder and wilder. This orphaned Jewish woman has more to her than meets the eye and unraveling her story with time was a wonderful experience. Super well filmed and structured.
Made You Look: a True Story about Fake Art
I have always been obsessed with a good heist, con, whatever you want to call it. This one was huge and I had never heard of it before. This film shows how a woman was able to con an art buyer for a museum by selling her fake Rothkos and Pollocks. Hundred of these “never seen before” paintings of these dead legends in the art world were being sold by a cunning woman. Many of these fakes were sold to buyers for millions of dollars. How could nobody tell they were fake? Well, the artist behind the masterpieces actually specialized in …..
Find out by watching :)
Downfall: The Case Against Boeing:
This is one suggested to me by Sam, and I'm glad she did because it was so good. Everyone has heard of the company Boeing, the one that makes a lot of the planes we fly on. Back a few years two of their planes malfunctioned and crashed killing close to 400 people between the two flights. This documentary follows the investigation into the company as they try to deny fault on their end. It was fascinating to see this unravel as the film progressed and it was eye-opening to the lengths that this company went to play the blame game on innocent pilots.
The John Gacy Tapes:
This is a thriller that revolves around the infamous serial killer that became known as Pogo the Clown. He was able to hide his crimes for four (ish) years and had a suspected total of 33 young men in his confession. The documentary is voiced over by the confession tapes and interviews with people on the case and who knew the man himself. I was hooked by this true-crime documentary. You hear about how they caught him, how he tried to get away with his crimes, and how this affected the LGBTQ+ community. This is a story of that killer that gets away once and doesn’t see a reason to stop. Chilling, jaw-dropper, cat and mouse type of documentary that engrossed you completely.
The Ted Bundy Tapes:
This is done by the same people as the Gacy Tapes. The same type of layout but with a much higher profile case. You might think you know the story of Ted Bundy, but oh boy I assure you that you do not until you see this film. His coercive and calculating methods chill you to the bone but somehow he manages to still have long-term relationships with women at the same time. This story shows how attractiveness, knowledge of the law, and being an amazing orator can get you far if you are smart like Bundy.
Jeffery Epstein: Filthy Rich:
Following the death of this infamous character, this documentary explores the filthy rich and other exploits. This is an amazing watch if you want a better understanding of some of the top figures and what they can get away with. They go and investigate his personal island and the secrets behind the (large) closed doors. The Epstein Empire of flying political figures out to have their way with underaged girls is cracked open. This is a heavy one but I think is an important watch for us young women in the world of today.
The Mystery of Marilyn Monroe: The Unheard Tapes:
Wow, this one is a doozy. This one definitely borders on that conspiracy theory genre (which I love). Was her death a true overdose, or was she intensionally murdered? If she was murdered, who would have wanted her dead? You may have heard the rumors that JFK was having an affair with Marilyn. How, you ask does this figure into it? The FBI did not like that. Why? Well I guess you will just have to watch it.
Framing Britany Spears:
This documentary gives a true insight into conservatorship. For years she was restricted in almost every way, even though she was an adult. Her feelings are felt and she crosses that barrier with the viewer. Amazing work that I highly recommend. We are privy to see how controlling her father was and how hard he worked to keep his claws on her. I think that this is a must-see if you want to fully understand the scope of what her life looked like for the years under the conservatorship.
This is Paris:
Paris Hilton. Need I say more? Well, I will just in case you aren’t sold. Her life is not all glam and pretty clothing. She’s been through a lot. This documentary includes some really deep moments about what her life was like as a child and teen. I never knew that she was sent to one of those wilderness reform places but after watching this, you can see the effects that it had on her growing up. It’s fascinating to see a completely different side to this woman who has lived decades in the spotlight.
This movie follows the rise of Harvey Milk from a people person to the first openly gay man to sit in an elected position for California. He was a part of the Board of Supervisors for San Fransisco until his untimely assassination by a fellow member. This is not technically a documentary but it does the job and the cast is amazing. This movie illustrates the horrific effects of homophobia on the queer community and how his seat rattled politics all over the country. One thing that is worth noting is that James Franco plays Milk’s lover; a wonderful casting choice in my opinion as Franco has been idolized by so many girls for his looks (yay gay representation!!)
A Different Look at Life
My Octopus Teacher:
For all my nature lovers out there, this one is for you. This is an incredibly touching film about a diver who befriends an octopus and watches her life for about a year. This diver makes himself almost become one with the ocean and films his whole underwater journey to show what he is experiencing below the surface. It’s got ups and downs as this little octopus learns to trust him. My heart was melting this whole time I have to be honest. This one is so uniquely beautiful.
Have a Good Trip:
This one I wasn’t quite sure where to put but I think it fits best in this one. This documentary explores the many different sides of psychedelic drugs. It is a series of interviews with some people you may recognize about their experiences and takeaways from interactions with psychedelics. They go through safety and cautionary tales as well as the change in perspective some experienced after taking the drugs. This was such a refreshing balance of raw opinions about the tripping process, societal thoughts, and a scientific perspective. I really believe that educating people about drugs is so important, no matter your personal opinion about them. It can save lives.
This is not for the weak. I was on the edge of my seat the whole time with my heart racing. Free soloing is when you rock climb without any attachments, it’s just you holding yourself up. This documentary follows the planning and climb of the first man to free solo El Capitan. For some reference: this side of the mountain is a whopping 2,900 feet and it’s very steep. This one is for those people that love a little kick of adrenaline. One of the things that stuck with me the most is that during the time of the filming, they don’t know if he will make it up the mountain alive. Really gets you thinking. Loved it.
If you have any other personal favorites, comment them! My purpose was to create a reference page for everyone so I can’t wait to hear from you guys.