While sitting in my designated seat in the Mirror office pondering what I should use this space to talk about this week, I couldn’t help but think about one of my secret guilty pleasures: documentaries. Today, I signed up for the 7-day free trial for Disney+ and was delighted to see a whole section for National Geographic documentaries for me to binge watch before effectively cancelling my subscription on the sixth day so I won’t get charged.
I am not sure what it is that I love so much about documentaries. For one thing, they are deep looks into events or the lives of people you would never normally get to see into. It’s like reading a biography or a great non-fiction book without actually going to Barnes & Noble.
There is also essentially a documentary on every topic one can think of. Netflix has four, I repeat FOUR documentaries dedicated to Crossfit champions. Hulu has a film dedicated to the world’s most renowned sex therapist, Dr. Ruth, who up until I watched it I had never known was a Holocaust survivor. National Geographic made a film solely about climbing giant pieces of rock without ropes, called “Free Solo.”
Documentaries have the ability to make us laugh and cry. They leave us speechless and they leave us thoughtful. They give us the ability to not only learn about things we never have, but also help us to learn new things about things we already thought ourselves to be experts on. A few weeks ago I watched “Whitney,” the latest documentary about Whitney Houston’s life, and found myself in shock over all the things I never knew about her despite her life in the spotlight. I have been currently watching the docuseries “Surviving R. Kelly” and find myself so disturbed and upset by the details from the victims that I simply have to turn it off after a while.
All of this being said, here are a few of my favorite documentaries in case you, the reader, are feeling inspired by my rambling. The ones I have mentioned above should also be on your must-watch list.
“Conversations with a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes”
“Feminists: What Were They Thinking?”
“What The Health”