Monday, February 22nd, 2021 by Jo Borger
It’s almost been a year since Tiger King glued us to our screens and, yeah – we can’t believe it’s been that long either.
A good documentary utterly grips you in a way that the best comedies, thrillers, and dramas just can’t match because the subject matter actually happened. Fiction is crazy, but reality is crazier (like Exotic Joe believing that moustache really worked for him).
If you are ready to be gripped again, we’ve pulled together a list of six recently released documentaries you’ll find interesting, rewarding, and just a little bit addictive.
Bee Gees: How Can You Mend a Broken Heart
An unavoidably bittersweet profile of the British-born, Australian-raised music act. The documentary follows the Bee Gees’ story from the ground up, with never-before-seen archival footage of brothers Barry, Maurice, and Robin. A band with 20 no.1 hits that somehow missed out on that upper echelon of musical Olympus (Bowie, Beatles, Bob Dylan). Surely that sentence alone makes you curious. Available to rent or buy in the Fetch Movie Store.
The Social Dilemma
Where do social media executives and engineers go after they finish up? Not online, it seems. In this 2020 documentary, a group of ex-employees from the big Four (Facebook, Twitter, Google, YouTube) expose the eerie business models of their past employers and explain how we’ve become so addicted to the sites – and why that’s such a big problem. A necessary watch for anyone with a smartphone. Watch now on Netflix*.
I Am Greta
By the age of 15, Greta Thunberg had done something few teenagers had managed before: made politicians around the world incredibly mad. Director Nathan Grossman follows Thunberg over two pivotal years, witnessing her transition from a lone student sitting on the sidewalk with a hand-written sign to a speaker addressing a packed room at the United Nations. Perhaps the most moving part of this documentary is her approach to her experience with Asperger’s Syndrome – eloquent and unapologetic. Available to rent or buy in the Fetch Movie Store.
My Octopus Teacher
A filmmaker and an octopus… not your usual love story. After burning out at work, Craig Foster vows to freedive daily off the waters of his Cape Town home – and it’s here, underwater, where he meets an initially cagey but soon forthcoming cephalopod. A rare glimpse into the life of a surprisingly intelligent creature that has become a word-of-mouth phenomenon since its Netflix premiere in September. Watch now on Netflix*.
In a forgotten corner of Europe, two filmmakers capture the quiet life of Hatidze Muratova – one of Macedonia’s last wild beekeepers. She carefully stewards her hives that perch upon mountainsides, sustainably harvesting honey as she chants “half for them, half for me”. It’s a delicate balance – and one that is rattled when new, disruptive neighbours move in. Available to rent or buy in the Fetch Movie Store.
Winner of a Sundance Film Festival audience award and produced by the Obamas, there was no way this documentary was going to fly under the radar. Uplifting and refreshingly honest, Crip Camp recounts the story of how a 1970s summer camp inspired a national movement for disability rights. It serves as a reminder that the status quo is there to be changed. Watch now on Netflix*.
*Netflix subscription required. Visit https://www.netflix.com/au/ for more information.