Hidden, yet riveting films on Netflix

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In the age of online viewing, a staple website for instant streaming is Netflix. Many students have accounts, and others borrow the login and password information from their friends.

While Netflix is known for having entire seasons of popular shows and some popular movies, it also has its’ fair share of widely unknown movies and cancelled television shows. Between these extremes, Netflix also has a handful of hidden treasures.

I am a nerdy person, so I tend to watch a lot of documentaries. Here are a few of some of the most riveting, but less well-known documentaries I have seen since getting Netflix.

1) “The Lottery”
Four out of five stars
This documentary follows four young children through the highs and lows of being placed in one of New York City’s best charter schools through a lottery. Thousands of children’s names are placed into a drawing to see who will be selected for admittance to the better schools. I enjoyed this documentary due to the competitive nature the families exhibited to the education of their children. The public education system is always a hot-button topic, and this documentary examines how truly competitive it can be when parents want their children to go to a better school than most.

2) “World’s Most Dangerous Gang”
Five out of five stars
This documentary examines the notoriously dangerous gang MS-13. Originating in El Salvador, this gang has spread to large and small cities in the U.S. with membership exceeding 50,000 members. This documentary focuses on interviews with people who had spoken to police officers, then were murdered for talking. Many spoke about the rituals and beliefs of the gang. The film keeps you enthralled with very rapid movement from one topic to another. Something that struck me while watching this was a map of where chapters of this gang were located, because there were some in the Kansas City area.

3) “Zero Day”
Four out of five stars
“Zero Day” is a documentary of the combination of real students and actors focusing on the events that led up to, and the actual shooting at Columbine High School in Colorado. I watched this documentary a while ago with someone and completely forgot about it until now. I rediscovered it on Netflix, and I was grateful I did. This is an exploration into the minds of the shooters who killed 13 students and injured many others. Through a format of simulated home movies based on those found under the beds of the actual murderers, this documentary is a great look into the national event that started many others.

4) “Addicted”
Five out of five stars
This show was something I had stumbled upon after viewing something similar to it on Netflix. “Addicted” follows the lives of people with drug or alcohol addictions who are prompted to get an intervention before their lives are ended by their addiction. By being motivated to join treatment from friends and family, this show chronicles the joys and struggles of people who have addictions. This show is one of the most riveting and real looks into drug addiction I have ever seen, especially if you have known people who have struggled with addiction. I enjoyed watching it due to the in-depth look and actual footage of how drug and alcohol addiction can shatter lives and the families of the people who struggle with addiction.

5.) “The September Issue”
Four and a half out of five
“The September Issue” is a documentary with an inside look into the September Issue of “Vogue” magazine, which is the release of all fall line fashion previews. The great thing about this documentary is that it isn’t just for people who are interested in fashion. It is for groups of people who want an inside look into how fashion trends are chosen, how photos are taken or how runway shows operate, as well as the creation of the actual magazine. It’s informative and cut-throat in a great way.

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  • Joe

    Thanks for putting together this list, exactly what I was looking for. I would recommend one that had a affect on me. Its called 180 South. Really interested film.

  • Pamela Zinn Lucas

    I could not find Zero Day on Netflix