Six Netflix documentaries to watch at home this fall

By Lexi Meola

Elm Staff Writer

With the upcoming election and the COVID-19 pandemic on many people’s minds, manycould use a break from the real world. 

On Netflix, many documentaries have been added in the past year. One of the most popular, according to Collider, is Ava DuVernay’s “13th” (2016). 

The documentary, whichdiscusses the mass incarceration of minorities in the United States, details the United States’ long history regarding racial injustice. 

“‘13th’ systematically goes through the decades following the passage of the 13th amendment to show how black people were targeted by the media, by the government, and by businesses to create a new form of slavery,” Collider writer Matt Goldberg said. 

If you’re interested in sports, check out “The Last Dance.” The newly released 10-episode series focuses on Michael Jordan’s final season with the Chicago Bulls,in which former teammates and coaches about Jordan’s performance during that last season.

“You’ll be amazed at Jordan’s skill and drive, but the docuseries also has some eye-opening and surprisingly candid moments from one of the greatest athletes to ever live,” Collider’s Adam Chitwood said.

“Athlete A,” (2020) another sports-centered production, brought to light the heinous sexual abuse scandal growing within U.S. Gymnastics.

According to HuffPost, “This documentary features the Indianapolis Star’s reporting into the sexual abuse scandal in the U. S. gymnastics program that led to the conviction of Dr. Larry Nassar.”

By showing the negative impacts from Nassar’s actions, the film brings to light past and unknown problems within the sport.

Aside from sports, Netflix released documentaries about how our society is evolving in this ever-changing world, including the recently released “The Social Dilemma,” which discusses the dangers social media presents to society and how much division it is causing in the country and around the world. 

“Former senior leaders at companies including Facebook and Twitter share horror stories of regret and warn of how these companies have hurt and may destroy the country,” HuffPost’s Todd Van Luling said. 

“Disclosure: Trans Lives on Screen” also delves into the social consciousness, regarding a different side to some well-known celebrities pertaining to the titular subject. 

“This documentary interviews transgender celebrities, such as Sandra Caldwell, Jamie Clayton and Laverne Cox, who share their experiences in life and showbiz [where] archivalfootage helps tell the larger story of transgender performers of the past,” said Luling. 

“Disclosure” brings a new light to the narratives of transgendered celebrities and let their own stories be heard and those who could be encouraged to pursue a career in showbiz because of these accounts.

“MLK/FBI” is a new documentary surrounding the complicated parallel between Martin Luther King Jr. and the FBI. 

According to Vox’s Alissa Wilkinson, as the film explores, there has always been controversy and confusion surrounding how the FBI and King interacted with each other.

“Through experts, photos, and a recounting of history, [director Sam] Pollard not only exposes the way law enforcement harassed and sought to take down King, but also shows the racist underpinnings beneath those efforts,” Vox reporter Alissa Wilkinson said. 

Documentaries are just one of the many ways people can learn about the community surrounding them, and helps share other, often unheard, stories with their viewers.

Featured Photo caption: If you’re looking for something new to watch, head to Netflix and chill with these. Photo by Rebecca Kanaskie.

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