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The Best Documentary Films that You Can’t Afford to Miss

The Best Documentary Films that You Can’t Afford to Miss

If you’re looking for quality, engrossing content that blends education and entertainment, documentary films are an excellent place to start. With so many documentaries out there, however, it can be tough to know where to begin. Whether you’re fascinated by the natural world, science and technology, or social issues, this list has something for everyone.

H1: Natural World Documentaries

H2: Planet Earth (2006)

This BBC nature documentary series is a classic for a reason. With stunning high-definition footage of some of the most awe-inspiring places on earth, “Planet Earth” is both beautiful and informative. The series covers everything from deserts and oceans to jungles and grasslands, and the film crew used innovative technology to get up close and personal with some of the planet’s most incredible creatures.

H2: Life (2009)

If you’re interested in learning more about the diversity of life on earth, “Life” is another must-watch documentary series. Narrated by Sir David Attenborough, “Life” focuses on the behavior and adaptations of different species, giving viewers a new appreciation for the complexity of the natural world.

H2: March of the Penguins (2005)

This French documentary film follows the treacherous journey of emperor penguins as they travel to their breeding grounds in Antarctica. The harsh environment and extreme weather conditions don’t deter the penguins from their mission, and the film offers a rare glimpse into the fascinating lives of these birds.

H1: Science and Technology Documentaries

H2: Particle Fever (2013)

If you’re curious about the mysteries of the universe, “Particle Fever” is a must-watch documentary. The film follows a group of physicists as they work to discover the Higgs boson particle, and it provides insight into the scientific process and the collaborative nature of modern science.

H2: The Internet’s Own Boy (2014)

This documentary tells the story of Aaron Swartz, an internet activist and programmer who helped create RSS and co-founded Reddit. Swartz’s life was cut short when he committed suicide in 2013 after being charged with wire fraud and computer fraud, but his legacy lives on in the fight for free access to information and data.

H2: The Code: Story of Linux (2001)

“The Code” is a fascinating documentary that chronicles the development of Linux, a free and open-source operating system that has been hugely influential in the tech industry. The film explores the culture of collaboration and creativity that drives the open-source movement and the ways in which Linux has disrupted the traditional software business model.

H1: Social Issue Documentaries

H2: Blackfish (2013)

“Blackfish” is a controversial documentary that exposes the treatment of killer whales in captivity, particularly at SeaWorld. The film delves into the psychological toll that captivity can take on these intelligent and social animals and sparked a public outcry against Seaworld’s practices.

H2: Making a Murderer (2015)

This Netflix documentary series follows the story of Steven Avery, a man from Wisconsin who was wrongfully convicted of rape and exonerated after 18 years in prison, only to be arrested for murder two years later. The series raises questions about the criminal justice system and the role of the media in shaping public opinion.

H2: The True Cost (2015)

“The True Cost” is a documentary that explores the environmental and social impact of the fast fashion industry. The film exposes the human cost of cheap clothing and encourages viewers to consider the ethics of their own clothing consumption.


In the world of documentary films, there are countless options to choose from. Whether you’re interested in the natural world, science and technology, or social issues, there is sure to be a documentary that captures your attention. By understanding the different types of documentaries out there, you can broaden your horizons and gain a deeper appreciation for the world around you.


H2: What is a documentary film?

A documentary film is a non-fictional motion picture that presents real-world events, people, or issues in an informative or entertaining manner.

H2: What are some benefits of watching documentaries?

Watching documentaries can be an engaging and educational way to learn about the world around us. Documentaries can expand your knowledge, challenge your assumptions, and give you a fresh perspective on a variety of topics.

H2: Are documentaries all serious?

No, not all documentaries are serious. While many documentaries tackle complex and weighty subjects, there are also plenty of documentaries that are entertaining and lighthearted.

H2: Where can I watch documentaries?

Documentaries can be found on a variety of streaming platforms, including Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime. Many documentaries are also available for purchase or rental through services like iTunes or Google Play.

H2: Can documentaries be biased?

Yes, documentaries can be biased. Because documentaries are created by individual filmmakers or production teams, they may present a particular point of view or perspective on a given topic. It’s important to critically evaluate the information presented in a documentary and consider its sources and biases.

H2: Do all documentaries have a narrator?

No, not all documentaries have a narrator. While many documentaries use a narrator to guide viewers through the film and offer context and information, some documentaries rely on interviews, on-screen text, or other techniques to convey information.

H2: Can documentaries be entertaining?

Yes, documentaries can be entertaining! While many documentaries tackle serious subjects, there are plenty of documentaries that are engaging, humorous, or emotionally compelling.


  • BBC Earth. (2006). Planet Earth.
  • BBC Earth. (2009). Life.
  • Bonne, J. (Director). (2005). March of the Penguins.
  • Mark Levinson. (Director). (2013). Particle Fever.
  • Brian Knappenberger. (Director). (2014). The Internet’s Own Boy.
  • Hannu Puttonen. (Director). (2001). The Code: Story of Linux.
  • Zimmerman, G. (Director). (2013). Blackfish.
  • Laura Ricciardi and Moira Demos. (Creators). (2015). Making a Murderer.
  • Andrew Morgan. (Director). (2015). The True Cost.


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