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The 18 Best Documentaries Streaming Right Now, According to Critics

The 18 Best Documentaries Streaming Right Now, According to Critics

By Newsweek

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About the list

This list was handpicked based on a list by Newsweek on 15 July 2020.

Tired of office politics and looking for a way to wind down after work? One of the best ways to relax after a long day is by turning on a good movie. Whether it's a family comedy-drama about a girl genius with magic powers, a thriller about a woman staging her own murder to frame her husband, or a fantasyabout a man who can speak with all sorts of animals-
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About the movie: Virunga in the Democratic Republic of the Congo is Africa’s oldest national park, a UNESCO world heritage site, and a contested ground among insurgencies seeking to topple the government that see untold profits in the land. Among this ongoing power struggle, Virunga also happens to be the last natural habitat for the critically endangered mountain gorilla. The only thing standing in the way of the forces closing in around the gorillas: a handful of passionate park rangers and journalists fighting to secure the park’s borders and expose the corruption of its enemies. Filled with shocking footage, and anchored by the surprisingly deep and gentle characters of the gorillas themselves, Virunga is a galvanizing call to action around an ongoing political and environmental crisis in the Congo.

About the movie: Working from the text of James Baldwin’s unfinished final novel, director Raoul Peck creates a meditation on what it means to be Black in the United States.

About the movie: In the aftermath of a tragic fire in a Romanian club, burn victims begin dying in hospitals from wounds that were not life threatening. A team of investigative journalists move into action uncovering the mass corruption of the health system and of the state institutions. Collective follows journalists, whistle blowers, and authorities alike. An immersive and uncompromising look into a dysfunctional system, exposing corruption, propaganda, and manipulation that nowadays affect not only Romania, but societies around the world.

About the movie: A behind-the-scenes documentary about the recording of Aretha Franklin's best-selling album finally sees the light of day more than four decades after the original footage was shot.

About the movie: 'We Were Here' is the first film to take a deep and reflective look back at the arrival and impact of AIDS in San Francisco, and how the City's inhabitants dealt with that unprecedented calamity. It explores what was not so easy to discern in the midst of it all - the parallel histories of suffering and loss, and of community coalescence and empowerment.

About the movie: In 2013, the world's media reported on a shocking mountain-high brawl as European climbers fled a mob of angry Sherpas. Director Jennifer Peedom and her team set out to uncover the cause of this altercation, intending to film the 2014 climbing season from the Sherpa's point-of-view. Instead, they captured Everest's greatest tragedy, when a huge block of ice crashed down onto the climbing route...

About the movie: Fox Rich, indomitable matriarch and modern-day abolitionist, strives to keep her family together while fighting for the release of her incarcerated husband. An intimate, epic, and unconventional love story, filmed over two decades.

About the movie: Part jazz history, part true-crime tale, Kasper Collin’s new documentary employs extensive archival footage and new interviews to tell the tragic story of the magnificently talented trumpeter Lee Morgan and his common-law wife Helen, who murdered him in a New York bar in 1972.

About the movie: Three young men bond together to escape volatile families in their Rust Belt hometown. As they face adult responsibilities, unexpected revelations threaten their decade-long friendship.

About the movie: With this inventive portrait, director Kirsten Johnson seeks a way to keep her 86-year-old father alive forever. Utilizing moviemaking magic and her family’s dark humor, she celebrates Dr. Dick Johnson’s last years by staging fantasies of death and beyond. Together, dad and daughter confront the great inevitability awaiting us all.

About the movie: In 1992, teenager Sandi Tan shot Singapore's first indie road movie with her enigmatic American mentor Georges – who then vanished with all the footage. Twenty years later, the 16mm film is recovered, sending Tan, now a novelist in Los Angeles, on a personal odyssey in search of Georges' vanishing footprints.

About the movie: The captivating tales of the people and events behind one of humanity's greatest achievements in exploration: NASA's Voyager mission.

About the movie: Drawing from never-before-seen footage that has been tucked away in the National Geographic archives, director Brett Morgen tells the story of Jane Goodall, a woman whose chimpanzee research revolutionized our understanding of the natural world.

About the movie: As the Large Hadron Collider is about to be launched for the first time, physicists are on the cusp of the greatest scientific discovery of all time -- or perhaps their greatest failure.

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