The pandemic while clearly a bane for humanity at large, emerged a boon for OTT platforms. Not only did it enhance and redefine viewership patterns across the globe, it also brought employment to thousands of actors, camerpersons, technical crew, directors and associated professionals.
Documentary makers, in particular, have found a renewed lease of life. No longer are their canned short truths relegated to intellectual libraries. People are actually watching them and investors do not question that relatively smaller expense when compared to a magnum opus on screen.
To its credit, Netflix has some of the strangest, most compelling, and complex deep dives on fascinating real-life stories. The pick of Netflix’s documentaries do provide crucial perspectives on our weird world. From the high of mountainous living to gleaning the best of deep sea eco-systems, from food stories to pedagogy legends from Formula 1-focused Schumacher to long lost tribal sports, Netflix has it all.
Here’s a Quick 6 for sheer binge watching over the weekend:
14 Peaks: Nothing Is Impossible:
Six months and six days. That’s how long it took Nims Purja to climb the world’s 14 highest mountains, all above 8,000 meters. The journey is brilliantly documented in 14 Peaks: Nothing Is Impossible. The docu will get you going to Google more on Purja’s life.
The Tinder Swindler: The film follows the sins of Simon Leviev, who allegedly posed as a billionaire diamond heir on Tinder so he could exhort money from women. Guess what? He’s still out there. Somewhere.
Pelé: Early in 2021, we saw the definitive portrait of arguably the greatest footballer of all time: Pelé. The film is both a celebration of the electric Brazilian and an unflinching look at the mistakes he made during his career.
Cocaine Cowboys: The Kings of Miami: Throughout the 1980s, Willie Falcon and Sal Magluta controlled the largest cocaine smuggling organization on the East Coast and one of the biggest in the world, making more than $2 billion in cash by bringing cocaine into the U.S. from Colombia via Miami. Through interviews with their close friends and co-conspirators, this docuseries details everything from the early days of the operation to the various trials, convictions, murders, bribes, and escapes in this notorious case.
Schumacher: This German sports documentary on the life of seven-time Formula 1 champion Michael Schumacher is an inside look at his early years, his rise to prominence, and his current rehabilitation at the family’s home following his 2013 skiing accident.
Bob Ross: Happy Accidents, Betrayal & Greed: When you think of Bob Ross, you probably think calming, joyful brushstrokes, trees and nature, and maybe even of his signature Afro. But this new Netflix docu paints a more sinister portrait of the beloved painter’s legacy, examining the complicated legal battles that have ensued over the use of Bob Ross’s name following his 1995 death.