8 Must-See Documentaries to Add to Your Streaming Queue

Illustration of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg for "RBG" documentary film poster
RBG (Magnolia Pictures / CNN Films)


Directed and produced by J-school professors Julie Cohen ’89JRN and Betsy West, executive-produced by Amy Entelis ’79JRN

This documentary about Ruth Bader Ginsburg ’59LAW, ’94HON was an unexpected box-office hit before it grabbed Oscar nominations for best documentary feature and best original song. 

Stream on: Hulu, Amazon, Google Play, YouTube, iTunes


Still from Sandi Tan's documentary "Shirkers" on Netflix
Shirkers (Netflix)


Directed by Sandi Tan ’00SOA, produced by Jessica Levin ’02SOA

In 1992, a teenage filmmaker set out to make a cult-classic road flick, only to have the footage stolen by her collaborator. Sandi Tan revisits her youth in Singapore and the trauma of that creative loss, but in the end it’s her attempts to fathom the motives of the mysterious thief that prove the most compelling. 

Stream on: Netflix


Bhagwan Rajneesh from Netflix's Wild Wild Country
Bhagwan Rajneesh. Wild Wild Country (Netflix)

Wild Wild Country

Produced by Juliana Lembi ’17SOA

This docuseries about a controversial Indian free-love guru and his desire to establish a massive commune of followers in a tiny city in rural Oregon raises questions about cultism, tolerance, and the limits of religious freedom.

Stream on: Netflix


Edward Galland, David Kellman, and Robert Shafran from Three Identical Strangers
Three Identical Strangers (CNN Films)

Three Identical Strangers

Executive-produced by Amy Entelis ’79JRN 

What happens when you separate identical triplets at birth? This incredible story of nature vs. nurture (and a nefarious adoption agency) chronicles the story of three long-lost brothers who reunite as adults and discover a disturbing secret about their past.

Stream on: Amazon, Google Play, YouTube, iTunes, Vudu


NYPD police officers from "Crime + Punishment" on Hulu
Crime + Punishment (Hulu)

Crime + Punishment

Produced by Ross Tuttle ’00SIPA 

This acclaimed documentary centers on the “NYPD 12,” a group of predominantly Black and Latino police officers who fought illegal, racially discriminatory arrest quotas.  

Stream on: Hulu


Diver swimming over reef in "Chasing Coral" on Netflix
Chasing Coral (Netflix). Photo: the Ocean Agency / XL Catlin Seaview Survey / Richard Vevers

Chasing Coral

Produced by Larissa Rhodes ’14SOA

In this visually striking film, a team of scientists and divers survey the perilous state of Earth’s most diverse underwater ecosystems. 

Stream on: Netflix


Still from Netflix's Making a Murderer, part 2. From left: Allan Avery, Dolores Avery, Steven Avery
From left: Allan Avery, Dolores Avery, and Steven Avery. Making a Murderer, part 2 (Netflix)

Making a Murderer, part 2

Written, directed, and produced by Laura Ricciardi ’07SOA and Moira Demos ’96CC, ’08SOA 

This true-crime series about a Wisconsin man who was freed from prison after serving eighteen years on a wrongful rape and murder conviction, only to be arrested for a second murder, sparked public outrage over the case’s flawed investigations. Now the hit show is back to follow the continuing appeals in this complex case. 

Stream on: Netflix


Víctor Jara in front of Chilean flag. Still from ReMastered: Massacre at the Stadium on Netflix
Víctor Jara. ReMastered: Massacre at the Stadium (Netflix)


Co-executive-produced by Stuart Sender ’87JRN 

Notorious events in the lives of famous musicians take center stage in this series, with episodes dedicated to icons such as Bob Marley and Johnny Cash. Sender directs an episode about the 1975 Miami Showband killings in Northern Ireland, and an episode directed by Bent-Jorgen Perlmutt ’07SOA introduces us to the 1970s Chilean activist and folk singer Víctor Jara.

Stream on: Netflix

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