While Netflix have yet to publish their full list of 2020 releases, this could be the list of best documentaries to watch in 2020 that you’ve been waiting for. Updated with all the best documentaries from 2019 and a couple to expect this year, we’ve got you sorted if one of your goals is to watch more horizon-broadening stuff.
From true crime to politics, these are the documentaries you NEED to see this year.
If you remember Alexander McQueen when you were younger, you probably remember how the press referred to him. He was the son of a taxi driver who became Givenchy’s chief designer aged just 27, and he was both sought after and shunned by the fashion world. The reality of this genius designer became a lonely, haunted man with a terrible past. Haunting and lovely, this documentary is a love-letter to a talent that left us too soon.
PERIOD: END OF STORY
Imagine asking a group of men if they knew what a period was, only to be faced with blank stares. Imagine when you got your period, being shunned. In a small village in India, this is the reality for many women. After American high school students raise money and send them a low-cost, biodegradable pad-making machine, their lives change. This film shows that no matter the distance, the cultural values, or the effort it takes, you can make a real difference in the world.
You might not have heard that Barack and Michelle Obama have a production company in partnership with Netflix. If you haven’t, like me, this is the first film they’ve created. This documentary takes a look at what happens when a Chinese billionaire hires 2,000 American workers. This is a seriously eye-opening documentary about two different cultures. While the Americans are initially pleased, when they’re expected to work to Chinese standards – things do not go according to plan.
THE GREAT HACK
What’s the truth behind fake news? With the Cambridge Analytica scandal still fresh in most of our minds, it’s time to find out what really happened and who Cambridge Analytica actually were? Taking a look at the story through the eyes of the journalist who initially broke it, find out the mindblowing misuse of data behind this story and why you should never really trust what you see on the internet.
Blue Planet is an oftentimes heartbreaking look at the impact humanity has had on the world. Especially when you compare it to Blue Planet II (which is also on Netflix). If you love learning about nature, animals, and the world outside your window, this is the documentary for you. Plus, who doesn’t love David Attenborough? Although it’s not been released in 2020, this is definitely one of the best Netflix documentaries in 2020 – to watch anyway!
Fyre festival was the greatest festival that never was. Looking absolutely stunning and envious, the true panic behind the Instagram visuals can be seen in this documentary. Often hilarious, it’s given us unlikely heroes (Andy King and what he was willing to do to get water to everyone will forever be burned in my memory). It’s a shocking look at what happens when you talk the talk but cannot walk the walk. Promise people the world and give them cold cheese sandwiches, no tents, and general chaos and you’ll go down in history. Shocking how it all unfolded!
If you love true crime as much as we do, you will love this. Please don’t read too much into this case, because one of the most shocking parts happens right at the beginning. We watched, enraptured, not sure what this story was really about and then…well we were shocked. The story isn’t quite what it seems, and the culprits were pretty obvious but never proven. You’re going to love this one, it’s one of the best true crime documentaries I’ve ever seen and a definite contender for the best Netflix documentaries in 2020.
Another true crime doc for everyone who can’t get enough of it. This one has some shocking twists in it. Kathleen Peterson was found dead at the bottom of a staircase in 2001. Her husband becomes the suspect, which is usual for these kinds of cases – right? But he says he doesn’t know what happened. It could be that an intruder broke in, an owl attacked her, or she fell down the stairs, but when an eerily similar death from his past is reinvestigated, there’s just enough doubt cast over him to make this compelling as hell.
This six-part documentary is for anyone who wants to know about the murky underworld of finance. Honestly, you’ll be shocked to learn about how banks work with drug cartels, how corporations scam us all in pursuit of profit and how morally corrupt individuals escape justice. This is a juicy, must-watch, that will change the way you feel about the world.