• Savannah Azize, Addison Clary, Kamryn Kershaw, & Sara Nimmo

Top 10 Documentaries

Are you looking for the top 10 documentaries? This post is all about the top 10 documentaries.

Here at The CoBE Institute, we love watching documentaries! In this article, four of our amazing associates will walk you through our top 10 documentaries! A short synopsis of what the documentary entails as well as where you can go to watch it will be provided for each documentary. This list is not in a ranked order as we love them all equally and they should all be watched! We hope you enjoy our selections and happy reading!

This post is all about the best documentaries.

Top 10 Documentaries:

1. Fyre Festival (2019)

First up on our list is Fyre Festival! Fyre Festival begins as one of the greatest marketing strategies of all times. They had dozens of top celebrities endorsing the “luxury music experience.” However, as days passed and it got closer to the actual date, they realized they made a huge mistake. They had limited funding and no way to pay for the amount of people that booked a ticket to come to the festival. Upon guest arrival, there were half built shacks in a small area that were fought over. Since there were not enough for everyone, this left many without shelter and nowhere to go. Watch the 1h 37m film to see the full experience!

This documentary was chosen to be on our list to both show how poor planning can result in tremendous financial issues, and because the film keeps you on the edge of your seat to see if they will pull it off, and how they will handle issues thrown at them!

Fyre can be found on Netflix listed as “Fyre: The Greatest Party That Never Happened.”

2. Athlete A (2020)

Next up on our list is the eye-opening documentary called Athlete A! Just coming out this past year, this documentary turned heads and got tremendous social backing right away. Athlete A is a documentary focused on the United States of America’s (USA’s) Gymnastics team and the abuse they endured by their very own team doctor. Throughout the documentary, you will see several gymnasts come forward to testify against Larry Nassar which was the first step on bringing an end to their nightmares. This documentary has taken the world by storm as no one ever imagined the USA Olympics team would have to face such a daunting experience. Take time to watch the 1h 44m documentary in its entirety to hear their full story!

This documentary was chosen for many reasons. First and foremost, to help inspire and empower others to come forward with the truth to finally get the help and justice they deserve. This film also brings light unto the fact that people, especially females, must be extremely careful in all situations to help prevent something like this from happening to yourself or someone you love.

Athlete A can be viewed on Netflix.

3. America’s Book of Secrets (2012)

America’s Book of Secrets is a documentary series based on a metaphorical “book of secrets” that explores some of the many wonders in the United States. It covers anything from Fort Knox to the Free Masons, and Area 51. This series discusses American history as well as what actually happens behind the scenes of some of America’s most legendary monuments and organizations. This information comes from former confidential documents that were released.

This documentary series was chosen because it gives an inside look at some of the biggest wonders in the United States of America and takes viewers beyond the locked doors of the American Government. America’s Book of Secrets is informative as well as thrilling as it takes viewers on this journey through some of America’s deepest, darkest secrets.

America’s Book of Secrets can be found on Netflix.

4. The Assassination of Gianni Versace (2018)

Another documentary series, The Assassination of Gianni Versace takes viewers on the journey when Gianni Versace, world renowned fashion designer, was shot dead in front of his Miami mansion which occurred back in May 1997. This series follows the events that took place that led up to that tragic day and what led Versace’s killer, Andrew Cunanan, to murder Gianni Versace as well as other victims leading up to that date. The series also uncovers what occurred directly after the murder and continues all the way to the arrest of Andrew Cunanan.

This documentary series was chosen for the fashion lovers as well as the true crime fans! It uncovers the lifestyle of one of fashions most coveted stars and follows along one of the most dangerous criminals in United States history.

The Assassination of Gianni Versace can be watched on Netflix.

5. After Parkland (2019)

After Parkland is a powerful documentary that covers the horrific events that occurred on February 14th, 2018 at Stoneman Douglass High School in Parkland, Florida. This documentary begins by briefly giving real students recollection of those events and their experiences in that tragic event. The documentary also follows some of the victim’s parents and follows them along the beginning of the grieving process that most people cannot begin to imagine. Following along with the students and parents, you get to see how they are affected. They start to participate and lead the protests against gun rights which leads to them trying to change the United States of America for the better, so that others do not have to experience what they went through.

It is based on a tragic event, but it honors those who died and what they died for in a very powerful way which sparks a call for change. This documentary is an important part of carrying on those victims’ names and helping to make a change in society in America. Truly amazing in quality, this honors the victims of the Parkland shooting.

After Parkland can be viewed on Hulu.

6. American Murder: The Family Next Door (2020)

American Murder: The Family Next Door portrays the tragic occurrences surrounding the Watts family and how deceptive social media and appearances can be. Christopher and Shanann Watts lived in Frederick, Colorado with their two daughters and a third child on the way. They were the idyllic American family, until tragedy struck the morning of August 13, 2018. Shannan and her two daughters mysteriously disappear with no trace of where they may be. The documentary shows the investigation and how social media helped to hide the true story behind the family.

This documentary was chosen for those who enjoy true crime mysteries and for those who are interested in the effects of social media. Unlike many other true crime documentaries, American Murder: The Family Next Door focuses heavily on the victims and telling the story from their perspective which allows viewers to see the true story behind the events and what led up to them.

American Murder: The Family Next Door can be watched on Netflix.

7. The Imagineering Story (2019)

Another documentary series, The Imagineering Story follows the development of the Walt Disney Company and the Disney Parks all over the world. Each episode highlights a specific park and how it was taken from its initial concept to its current completed product. The series also shows major occurrences within the company such as the death of Walt Disney and the release of widely popular movies.

This documentary is great for anyone who has a love for Disney or history in general. Walt Disney started a company many years ago, and it has grown into a household name all over the world. The Imagineering Story shows the inner workings and designs of the pop culture icon that is the Walt Disney Company.

The Imagineering Story can be found on Disney+.

8. The Stanford Prison Experiment (2015)

Next on our list is The Stanford Prison Experiment. This film brings light to many misjudgments made by Philip Zimbardo and his team at Stanford. To start out, the team splits a group of college aged male volunteers into the roles of either prisoners or guards chosen at random. The team puts both groups through psychological simulations that lead them to truly embody their roles. After the fact, Stanford received a lot of backlash for this experiment, and one can see the lasting damage it had on the participants psychologically.

This documentary was selected for this list for a variety of reasons. One of which was because it shows how different the times were in 1971 compared to the date it was released in 2015. Lots of traction for this video documentary was gained due to viewers being astonished to learn about a study that today we know to be ethically cruel and unusual. The quality of this film leans more towards high end home videos which is a huge draw to many which makes the film appear more real.

The Stanford Prison Experiment can be viewed on Amazon Prime.

9. Black Fish (2013)

The next documentary chosen for this list was Black Fish. This film was released in 2013 and made a large splash, no pun intended, in the documentary community. Even people who had no previous interest in documentaries were drawn to this film. During the time of Black Fish’s release, the United States in had really began to turn its focus towards animal rights and being environmentally friendly which played a huge role in the popularity and success of this film.

Black Fish gives a behind the scenes view on SeaWorld and the treatment of their animals, specifically their Orcas. SeaWorld has been a part of several controversies that eventually led to the stop of their Killer Whale breeding program. This film gives testimonies from current and previous Killer Whale trainers who have vastly different views on the industry. After this documentary was released, many people changed their minds and stopped supporting SeaWorld and like attractions all around the world. Overall, it proved to be a very powerful film with a heavy message.

Black Fish can be found on Netflix.

10. The Social Dilemma (2020)

The last documentary on our list is The Social Dilemma. This film was created in hopes that they could spread awareness to some of the potential threats that come with being active on social media. For many, social media is looked at as a positive way to connect with others but leads to people being exposed to many psychological tricks and dangers. For example, the film explains how the like button was created to spread positivity. However, its true purpose is to subconsciously make people believe that the likes one gets makes them feel important, giving a false sense of self-worth.

This documentary resonated with so many because it was released at the beginning of 2020. During 2020, many people turned toward social media platforms during quarantines because of the pandemic. Many have had reflections about the use of social media platforms due to this documentary which shows it left a large lasting impression on its viewers. Many even began straying away from social media and limiting their screen times as a result.

The Social Dilemma can be watched on Netflix.

Closing Recap

Documentaries are a great way to relax and unwind while also still learning about various topics found throughout the world. The ten documentaries described above are all excellent options for anyone who is looking for recommendations. While we highly recommend the ten listed above, we also encourage everyone to find their own personal favorites and share with others. Documentaries can be found on almost any topic imaginable, so find something that resonates with you and enjoy it!

This post was all about the top 10 documentaries.

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