Netflix members have a lot to look forward to in the coming weeks. In addition to the slew of original TV shows still set to premiere this year, the streaming service is also expected to debut several new compelling documentaries over the next few months.
These films explore a wide variety of fascinating subjects, from the increasingly violent turmoil in Syria to the gripping, real-life case of Amanda Knox. Below, check out seven Netflix documentaries that you won’t want to miss out on this fall.
1. Extremis, September 13
Directed by Academy Award and Emmy Award-nominated filmmaker Dan Krauss, Netflix’s original short documentary explores the harrowing choices and wrenching emotions that families, doctors, and patients face while making end-of-life decisions in the intensive care unit of a hospital. In this time of grief, a family’s love becomes both their anchor and their guide.
2. The White Helmets, September 14
The Netflix original short documentary follows three rescue workers who put their lives at risk to help civilians in Aleppo, Syria, and Turkey, in early 2016, as violence escalates. Described as “a snapshot of the harrowing realities of life for ordinary Syrians and a humbling portrait of the power of the human spirit,” the film hails from the Academy Award–nominated director Orlando von Einsiedel and producer Joanna Natasegara (who previously teamed together behind the critically acclaimed Virunga).
3. Audrie & Daisy, September 23
This wrenching documentary chronicles the story of two teenage girls from opposite sides of the nation who are driven to attempt suicide after they are sexually assaulted and then harassed both online and in-person by their peers.
The documentary follows the outcomes of their assault cases through social media, court documents, and police investigations. The film was directed by the husband and wife team Bonni Cohen and Jon Shenk.
4. Amanda Knox, September 30
Directed by Rod Blackhurst and Brian McGinn, this documentary feature will explore the notorious case of Amanda Knox, the American student who made headlines around the world after she was accused, convicted, and then later acquitted of murdering her British roommate while studying abroad in Italy. The film gives unprecedented access into the key players of the case, including Knox, her ex and accused co-conspirator Raffaele Sollecito, and Giuliano Mignini, the Italian prosecutor who brought the case to trial.
5. The 13th, October 7
Helmed by Selma director Ava DuVernay, this documentary takes on the subject of mass incarceration. The title is inspired by the 13th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, which outlaws slavery “except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted.” Featuring appearances from author Michelle Alexander, activist Angela Davis, and Senator Cory Booker, the film will trace the history of racial imbalances in the criminal justice system. In addition to being available to stream on Netflix, this documentary will also open for a limited theatrical run in early October.
6. Into the Inferno, October 28
Werner Herzog and volcanologist Clive Oppenheimer embark on a global journey to explore some of the most mythical volcanoes in the world, visiting Indonesia, Ethiopia, Iceland, and North Korea. To better understand the complex, deeply rooted relationship between mankind and the natural wonder, the duo interviews both scientists and indigenous people, and combines history and philosophy with their original reporting.
7. The Ivory Game, November 4
Award-winning director Richard Ladkani and Academy Award–nominated director Kief Davidson filmed undercover for 16 months to uncover the sinister practice of ivory trafficking. With the help of a team of intelligence operatives, undercover activists, passionate frontline rangers, and tough-as-nails conservationists, the duo works to infiltrate the corrupt global network of poachers who pursue the “white gold” of ivory — and consequently bring African elephants closer and closer to extinction.
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