The top 12 documentaries streaming on Netflix from their Chief Content Officer


This fast-paced documentary profiles Ayrton Senna, one of the greatest drivers in the history of Formula One racing, and a hero in his native Brazil. Using only archival footage, director Asif Kapadia examines the idealistic Senna’s inspiring legend. Charismatic, compassionate and a dedicated risk-taker, Senna was known for his integrity in a sport often fraught with cutthroat politics, and also for the deep religious faith that gave him purpose.


Black Power Mix Tape 1967-1975

From 1967 to 1975, a film crew directed their cameras at major figures in America’s Black Power movement, generating hours of footage that remained unreleased for three decades. Archival footage of Stokely Carmichael, Bobby Seale, Huey P. Newton, Angela Davis and Eldridge Cleaver speak to the movement’s evolution while contemporary African American thinkers, including Harry Belafonte and Erykah Badu, reflect on their legacy.


Cave of Forgotten Dreams

In this spellbinding documentary, filmmaker Werner Herzog offers an unprecedented examination of Chauvet Cave, a cavern in southern France that contains the oldest human-painted images yet to be found on Earth.


Waiting For Superman

Dynamic documentarian Davis Guggenheim weaves together stories about students, families, educators and reformers to shed light on the failing public school system and its consequences for the future of the United States.


Winnebago Man

This entertaining documentary explores the phenomenon of Jack Rebney, who became an Internet sensation after a grainy, nearly 20-year-old video of him furiously swearing up a storm while filming a Winnebago sales video made the rounds online. Traveling to a mountaintop, filmmaker Ben Steinbauer tracks down Rebney — who’s become known in underground circles as the “Angriest Man in the World” — and tries to discover what makes the loner tick.



Buck Brannaman, inspiration for “The Horse Whisperer,” is revealed as a complex figure in this Sundance Audience Award winner for Best Documentary by Cindy Meehl. The master horseman reveals details of his troubled childhood and his dawning awareness of new ways that humans and horses might work with one another. As Buck learns more about horses, he finds that the ways we communicate with our animal companions offer lessons on how we relate to fellow human beings.


The Arbor

In this experimental look at the life and work of British playwright Andrea Dunbar, director Clio Barnard asks her actors to lip-synch to an audio “screenplay” she created using interviews conducted with members of the Dunbar family.


The Last Mountain

This gripping documentary follows ordinary citizens in West Virginia’s Coal River Valley as they wage a campaign to prevent the infamous Massey Energy Company from expanding ruinous mountaintop removal mining operations in their community.


Forks Over Knives

Focusing on the research of two food scientists, this earnest documentary reveals that despite broad advances in medical technology, the popularity of modern processed foods has led to epidemic rates of obesity, diabetes and other diseases.


Casino Jack and the United States of Money

Documentarian Alex Gibney (Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room) turns his acute focus on convicted Washington lobbyist Jack Abramoff, reproaching him and other legislators for their negative impact on U.S. politics. Gibney’s film plays less like a dry treatise and more like a high-stakes political thriller, fearlessly examining the ways American policies and political processes are undermined by an endless quest for power.


Camp Victory, Afghanistan

Filmed over a three-year span, this documentary chronicles the difficulties of building an effective Afghan army composed of uneducated and poverty-stricken enlistees trained by American soldiers who don’t always grasp the scope of their task.


Storage Wars

Set in Southern California — where the contents of storage units legally go up for auction if unpaid for three months — this A&E reality series reveals the hidden treasures within and the eager auction hunters who make a living snatching them up.


Credit – The 12 Docs of Christmas…

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