Films are supposed to be a reflection of society. They depict the characters and objects that exist/were in the world. To a large extent, this is correct. Documentaries, on the other hand, are the raw, impartial truth, if films are the reflections. Because they don’t sugarcoat things or fantasize about idealized, romantic endings, they are more realistic than films. They demonstrate what is genuinely present in the world. We need eye-openers now and then, especially in times like these, to keep us grounded.
Documentaries have never made money at the box office in the past (except Michael Moore films). That’s why, in comparison to today, the number of documentaries made in the 1980s and 1990s was substantially lower. Documentaries, on the other hand, have found a new life with the advent of online streaming platforms. Of course, Netflix is in the lead, but Amazon Prime isn’t far behind. We’re going to compile a list of the best documentaries available on Amazon Prime right now. From true crime documentaries to biographical documentaries, there’s something for everyone on this list. I recommend not missing any of these excellent documentaries available on Amazon Prime. They’re all well worth your time.
Table Of Content
- 1 4 Little Girls (1997)
- 2 Bill Cunningham New York (2015)
- 3 Cartel Land (2015)
- 4 City of Ghosts (2017)
- 5 Gleason (2017)
- 6 I Am Not Your Negro (2016)
- 7 Particle Fever (2013)
- 8 Paradise Lost: The Child Murders at Robin Hood Hills (1996)
- 9 Requiem For The American Dream (2015)
- 10 Sound City (2013)
- 11 The Act of Killing (2012)
- 12 Tales of the Grim Sleeper (2014)
- 13 The Endless Summer (1966)
- 14 The Invisible War (2012)
- 15 When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts (2006)
4 Little Girls (1997)
When the Civil Rights Movement began gaining traction in the country, opponents tried to break the activists’ willpower by committing atrocities against them. One such occurrence occurred in 1963, and it shook the country so badly that the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was passed the following summer. So, what was the nature of this occurrence and how serious was it? On the 15th of September, 1963, it was a Sunday morning. Four young girls were killed when a bomb planted by Ku-Klux-Klan militants exploded in the chapel. This documentary, directed by Spike Lee, focuses on the events leading up to and following the tragedy. It covers the movement’s major events and marches, as well as interviews with the four girls’ friends and relatives, as well as activists. It depicts both the emotional and historical effect of the occurrence, as well as how little has changed in the aftermath of the battle.
Bill Cunningham New York (2015)
Bill Cunningham was a well-known fashion photographer who worked for the New York Times and became well-known for his collection of fashion images that he saw all across New York and chronicled throughout his life. What I admire about him is that he has never restricted his movement when taking photographs among New York’s upper crust, but has also stepped out into the street to photograph ordinary people and the way they wear their clothes. And it is this all-encompassing vision of his work that will entice us as viewers. “We all get dressed for Bill,” Anna Wintour, the chief editor of Vogue, has also said.
ALSO READ : 35 Best Suspense Movies On Netflix That’ll Keep You Guessing
Cartel Land (2015)
Most of us are aware of how Mexico has suffered great violence over the years as a result of the multiple drug gangs that operate in the nation after seeing series like ‘El Chapo’ and ‘Narcos: Mexico.’ As a result of this ongoing threat in their life, many Mexicans have formed their own militias for self-defense. The first portion of this 2015 documentary focuses on one such militia, which was formed in the state of Michoacán by a doctor named Jose Mireles in order to combat the Knights Templar Cartel. The second section details how this cartel came up against a paramilitary outfit known as the Arizona Border Recon, which sought to prevent them from functioning in the United States. This film gives us a firsthand account of the lives of those who were forced to devote their time and energy to combating cartels rather than caring for themselves and their families. It’s a raw depiction of the suffering these folks faced, and it’s this that makes seeing ‘Cartel Land’ such a memorable experience.
City of Ghosts (2017)
For quite some time, the entire world has been aware of what is going on in Syria. While ISIS’ warriors tried to achieve their insane and mad goals, the people of Syria struggled under their tyranny, attempting to survive and break free from the people who were wreaking havoc on their lives. Raqqa was the de facto capital of ISIS, and it was here that a citizen journalist organization was operating, attempting to capture and communicate to the world the atrocities perpetrated against Syrians. Their effort not only revealed a lot of new information, but it also dispelled a few myths that the outside world had constructed about the Syrian people. Raqqa Is Being Slaughtered Silently is the name of this group. This film focuses on the lives of those who were involved with this activist group. It depicts the dangers they faced while working secretly, how some people were forced to flee for their lives, and how others were expelled from their own country.
Steve Gleason used to play for the National Football League’s New Orleans Saints. His most memorable play was a blocked punt in a 2006 game in New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina. He was, however, dealt a blow in 2011 when he was diagnosed with ALS. This neurological condition is recognized for altering neuronal functions that gradually quit operating. In its most severe form, it paralyzes the breathing system, resulting in death. When Gleason learned of his problem, he resolved to keep a diary of his experiences. Meanwhile, it was reported that his wife was expecting a child. Gleason’s battle with his condition and the birth of his kid are chronicled in the film. It depicts how the sickness impacted his life and how it could have become worse if Gleason had fallen into the pits it dug for him. There were things Gleason clung to, and this film demonstrates his courage, where it came from, and how it improved his life.
I Am Not Your Negro (2016)
James Baldwin had seen a lot over his lifetime. Medgar Evers, Malcolm X, and Martin Luther King Jr. were three of his close friends who were involved in the Civil Rights Movement. Before his death in 1987, he worked on a book called “Remember This House.” This book was meant to be based on his interactions with activists and all he witnessed during those turbulent times. He wasn’t able to finish the book, unfortunately. His incomplete manuscript inspired ‘I Am Not Your Negro.’ It’s narrated by Samuel L. Jackson and contains Baldwin’s personal notes and letters, which would have been included in the book if it had been finished. The film draws a parallel between what happened before and what is happening now in order to assess how much has changed and how much more reform is required to improve circumstances.
Particle Fever (2013)
You are doing yourself a big disservice if you haven’t seen this documentary if you are a science buff. ‘Particle’ explores fresh, cutting-edge physics concepts that have the potential to alter our understanding of our own existence. ‘Particle’ is divided into two story strands that are wonderfully intertwined. The first is about scientists at CERN in Switzerland who are trying to make the Large Hadron Collider to run in order to recreate the conditions of the Big Bang in order to figure out how the cosmos we see around us came to be. While this thread is about actual physics, the other is about theoretical physics, with physicists Nima Arkani-Hamed and Savas Dimopoulos offering their own views about how the Big Bang happened. They are concerned with concepts such as the multiverse theory and supersymmetry theory.
Paradise Lost: The Child Murders at Robin Hood Hills (1996)
The bodies of three young boys were discovered in the Robin Hood Hills in May 1993. They were bound by shoelaces, stripped naked, and had their bodies sexually mutilated. The fact that these heinous and callous acts were carried out by three adolescent lads only added to the horror. They appeared to be practicing some sort of Satanic ritual, with the three victims serving as the sacrifice. The events surrounding this event are the subject of this documentary. It begins when the assailants were apprehended. It covered the processes at the trial, what evidence was found against the teens, how they behaved during the trial, and finally what was served to them, in addition to interviews with the parents of the victims and the killers. It also takes into account the political and theological views of the culture in which they lived. This is followed by two further documentaries that look at the later revelations and how they affected the case.
Requiem For The American Dream (2015)
Noam Chomsky is one of the world’s most prominent philosophers today, and a documentary devoted to his views on society and the current world’s economic system is certainly worthy of our attention. ‘Requiem For The American Dream’ is a collection of interviews with the famous thinker in which he examines how market principles have allowed a certain segment of society to get richer over time, concentrating wealth in the hands of a select few. Chomsky’s main focus in this gripping and eye-opening documentary is on how inequality has crept into society and how it is attempting to undermine the middle class. If you’re frustrated by cultural and economic constraints on you, such as student loans and your own level of living, you can watch this documentary to see how society has been systematically shaped to place this pressure on you.
Sound City (2013)
If I said that music has a significant impact on everyone’s life, I would be lying. Everyone may not be attached to the same type of music, but no matter what kind of music they listen to, they all associate it with life and feelings. Because music is significant, the location in which it is created is as significant. One of these locales is the subject of the film ‘Sound City.’ It tells the story of Sound City Studios, a recording studio where renowned singers and bands recorded some of the most well-known music. While Nirvana was recording their album Nevermind, drummer Dave Grohl decided to make this documentary. Famous performers such as Mick Fleetwood, Paul McCartney, Stevie Nicks, Tom Petty, Rick Springfield, Neil Young, and others who recorded their songs here are featured in this video. This DVD has the unique benefit of having some of these musicians record original songs as well as versions of well-known tunes.
The Act of Killing (2012)
The mid-1960s were a tumultuous period in Indonesian history. The country was controlled by political upheavals, and there was a rise of anti-communist sentiment. Following a government shift, Indonesia witnessed one of the most heinous actions perpetrated by high-ranking officials. It was the communists’ mass executions. This film examines that incident and the individuals who perpetrated such atrocities. Anwar Congo, the leader of a killing squad in North Sumatra, was one of these individuals. Joshua Oppenheimer, a filmmaker, invited him to speak and provide light on the events of the time. The film’s tone gradually shifts from casual banter to somber commentary, raising questions about the morality of those who engage in such behavior. It also gives information on Indonesia’s current political regime and how mass killings are forbidden to be discussed there.
Tales of the Grim Sleeper (2014)
For over two and a half decades, a serial killer roamed the streets of Los Angeles. He was given the moniker The Grim Sleeper because he went silent for more than a decade before returning to his murderous ways. Nine women and a teenage girl had become his victims by the time he was apprehended. His crimes were sentenced two years ago, and he was charged with the death penalty. Despite the fact that his case has finally been ended, the question remains: has justice been done? Is it still justice if it might have been stopped in the first place if it has happened? Nick Broomfield’s documentary attempts to answer this question. The filmmaker returns to the location where the Grim Sleeper once resided in order to better grasp his surroundings and cognitive process. But what emerges from this film is nothing like a case study of a serial offender. It includes conversations with neighbors and those who knew and suspected the man but were unable to act because they had doubts about the legal system. And it’s for a good purpose.
The Endless Summer (1966)
Surfing is one of the most popular and exciting water sports on the planet. People from all over the world go great distances to ride the waves. Traveling and surfing may seem like commonplace now, but when this documentary was aired, it was a novel and exotic concept to most people. By following the lives of Mike Hynson and Robert August in ‘The Endless Summer,’ director Bruce Brown revealed a new way of life for surfers. These surfers scoured the globe for ideal surfing conditions. The film’s tone ranges from Brown’s vulgar commentary to smart humor. Hynson and August’s journey from their home state of California to previously undiscovered and lesser-known surfing areas is not only entertaining, but also inspires a desire to visit these locations. The term references to limitless journey throughout the world in pursuit of the endless summer.
The Invisible War (2012)
There is no doubt that the Armed Forces play a critical role in preserving the balance in today’s turbulent globe. They are the ones who help save people from horrors and restore peace to areas of the world that are otherwise in turmoil. But what happens when a group of people suffers in the ranks of the Armed Forces and is suppressed and even reprimanded instead of being treated with justice? ‘The Invisible War’ depicts sexual assault victims in the United States military. It discusses how common these occurrences are, how often they go unnoticed, what circumstances keep them hidden, and how the victims are made to suffer even more, suffering bodily and mental anguish and being robbed of justice at the hands of the system they chose to serve under.
When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts (2006)
When Hurricane Katrina reached New Orleans in August 2005, it wreaked havoc on the city, flooding more than 80% of the city. Spike Lee interviewed locals of New Orleans for this documentary to gain their perspective on the hurricane, its consequences, and the aftermath. The failure of the levees and floodwalls caused the majority of the damage. These were designed to safeguard the city, but as they fell apart, the city was swamped by the devastating cyclone. ‘When the Levees Broke’ is primarily concerned with this subject. It attempts to explore where things went wrong and what may have been done to prevent it by interviewing people involved on various levels with the building and operation of the levees. But, more importantly, it demonstrates the people of New Orleans’ unwavering determination to rebuild their lives and the city.
Our Team DCS includes 5 different writers proficient in English and research based Content Writing. We allow them and encourage them to follow the Entertainment news all day long. Our posts, listicles and even the exclusives are a result of their hard work.