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7 Must-Watch Documentaries On Netflix In 2021

The best of Netflix's slate of docs provide crucial perspectives on our weird world
Documentaries On Netflix

The American streaming platform Netflix entered Malaysia in 2016. Since then, Malaysian’s streaming game has been transformed. A bountiful great documentaries on Netflix cover a diverse range of subjects, from true crime to sports to even filmmaking.

Netflix caters to the local appetite for K-Drama’s and Asian films, as well as bringing in original series to set itself apart from competitors. With over 15,000 titles available, there is plenty to choose from.

Do you have a Netflix account? Chances are, you’re looking for something good to watch. Instead of horror movies and romcoms, how about watching a good documentary this weekend?

Below we have assembled of 7 must-watch documentaries on Netflix that would not only entertain you, but might change the way you think and view the world.

1. My Octopus Teacher

My Octopus Teacher follows Craig Foster, a photographer exploring the South African kelp forest. Feeling demotivated and losing a sense of self, Foster soon developed a deep connection with an octopus he found there.

Very quickly, he learns the unique survival strategy of this intelligent creature. He spent so much time underwater that he even managed to capture a unique trick that has never been recorded by marine researchers.

Foster recorded every moment as he gained the trust and became close friends with this female octopus. By learning about the octopus, Foster managed to shed some light on his personal struggles.

All in all, My Octopus Teacher is delivered beautifully with great storytelling. Definitely a must-watch for nature lovers.

2. The Mekong River With Sue Perkins

British comedian and writer, Sue Perkins takes viewers up the Mekong River from Vietnam through Cambodia, Laos, and finally China.

The Mekong River is one of the greatest rivers in the world, sustaining millions of people in these countries with food and water.

This four-episode docuseries covers the stories of locals whose lives depend on this river. While in Cambodia, Sue Perkins visited Choeung Ek Genocidal Center to unravels the country’s painful past.

Arriving in Laos, we get a glimpse of a hydroelectric dam construction that poses a threat to Mekong’s fresh water ecosystem.

The Mekong River with Sue Perkins entices viewers in such a captivating way. Perfect for those seeking a taste of Asian history and culture.

3. Minimalism: A Documentary About The Important Things

As children, best friends Ryan Nicodemus and Joshua Millburn struggled with poverty. Growing up, they set clear financial goals to be happy.

They soon discovered that affording a comfortable lifestyle is an endless pursuit. What started with a desire to have more turned into a passion to live with less.

This award-winning documentary displays the perspectives of minimalists from different walks of life. In the interviews, they share their personal take on minimalism and how it changed their lives for the better.

More importantly, Minimalism reveals how industrialism and aggressive promotion turn people into insatiable consumers. A true eye-opener about how mass production affects the environment as well as our mental and financial health.

4. Schumacher

Get up close and personal with Michael Schumacher in this 2-hour documentary from the eyes of the people closest to him. Here, we get to see his entire professional career and how he got to the top of his game.

Michael Schumacher is a German racer who fell in love with speed at the tender age of four. His parents worked hard and supported Schumacher’s dream to win the ultimate title in racing sport.

Starting with go-cart and progressing into Formula 3, Schumacher is a self-made man who understands his machine. He drives in a different technique and wins races with scrape parts. 

A stroke of luck got him into formula 1 where he competed for gold and was unbeatable for many years. 

Schumacher’s sportsmanship and his working ethics are inspiring to say the least. Whether you’re a Formula 1 fanatic or not, this documentary would pull on your heartstrings and promises you a good time.

5. The Social Dilemma

Social media and the internet have been woven closely into our daily lives. In this documentary, former employees of Facebook, Twitter, Google, and YouTube enlightens us on how each platform is programmed to grab our attention and cause addiction.

This billion-dollar industry gains profit by analyzing our behavior online and selling these data to anyone with a deep pocket. What’s seemingly free to use every day costs us more than what we can imagine.

The Social Dilemma highlights the pressing issues surrounding the use of social media and the internet. From the spreading of fake news to the disruption of political stability, watch this 2020 documentary to find out how the internet affects us and the fragile structure of our society.

6. Our Planet

Join David Attenborough as he explores the beauty of nature across many countries. Captured in high-definition, you don’t want to miss this docuseries.

Each episode presents a different wildlife setting such as coastal seas, forests, and freshwater. Attenborough’s narration helps viewers connect with the magnificence and beauty of each ecosystem.

Our Planet carries an important message about climate change. With proof of past successes in preserving nature, Attenborough motivates us to continue the fight to save mother earth.

7. Street Food: Asia

Asian countries are famous for their mouth-watering street food. Street Food: Asia takes us on a gastronomy journey to explore the unique dishes each Asian country has to offer. 

In this documentary, famous hawkers share their philosophy in making good food. Working hard to perfect their craft, one famous cook even earned a Michelin Star.

It’s easy to enjoy a good dish, but learning the history behind it might actually leave a lasting impact on how we perceive everyday food. 

So if you’re looking for documentaries on Netflix that combines culture, yummy food, and heart-warming stories, this documentary is perfect for you.

Documentaries are films that capture reality while aiming to inform and educate viewers. Because of this, a great deal of research goes into the making of these films.

But keeping viewers engaged requires more than throwing data and information. Documentaries need to connect with viewers’ emotions to deliver a message effectively. This is why a good documentary film is really worth watching.

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