Apart from very captivating fiction stories out there, some documentaries really strike the hearts of the audience. There is something really fascinating when it comes to a true story. Unlike fictional narratives, true stories don’t usually come to a sweet or exciting end. However, in documentaries, one cannot anticipate any forthcoming scenario. All in all, one can say that the truest and most accurate visual representation of how the world is, inclusive of both good and evil, nurturing and abandoning, and blessings and curses, is in the form of the best documentaries out there.
Often movies from a category of documentaries provide the watcher a way to completely engross himself into a reality that has not been brought to light before. Documentaries sometimes show reality and help the watchers get answers to long-existing questions once and for all.
Currently, Amazon is competing with the other streaming services to provide the best and most influential content for its viewers. Amazon Prime has several commendable documentaries ready to give you a new journey to a world outside your doorstep and an insight beyond.
Here below is a list of the best documentaries on Amazon Prime.
1. All In: The Fight For Democracy (2020)
Directors: Liz Garbus, Lisa Cortes.
Writer: Jack Youngelson
Stars: Stacey Abrams, Ari Berman, David Pepper
IMDb Rating: 6.3
Rotten Tomatoes: 100%
The days building up to the 2020 election of the United States have been one of the most contentious days in America’s history. Beginning from the coronavirus outbreak to the fight for justice for the colored, further moving to the staggering economic plunge hitting millions and millions of lives around the country, the need for ballots and votes has never been more important before. That is the underlying theme of this documentary. This Amazon Studios Original, released in September, less than two months before Election Day, is one of the best documentaries on Amazon prime in 2020. The filmmakers intend to spread their message across the United States by coming down on voter suppression’s grave issue. They brought to light the 2018 gubernatorial race of Georgia, in which Stacey Abrams allegedly lost due to the same reason.
2. One Child Nation (2019)
Directors: Nanfu Wang, Jialing Zhang
Stars: Nanfu Wang, Zaodi Wang, Zhimei Wang
IMDb Rating: 7.5
Rotten Tomatoes: 98%
This Amazon Prime video documentary has content, which is perhaps one of the world’s most debatable policies. In 1979, Deng Xiaoping, the then Chinese leader, had brought up the one-child policy 1979 to control the population explosion in the nation. At the time of its enforcement, the approximate population was 970 million. It was in 2015 when the policy eventually retracted from the original law regarding the two-child policy. Over the course of thirty-six years in which the policy was active, there had been countless consequences, both intentional and unintentional, regarding parents who had to struggle with the most impracticable choices. One child nation shows such choices, majorly emerging from the favored status of a male’s birth in modern-day China. The filmmakers basically probe into the citizens’ personal trauma arising from this policy as it drew the world’s attention while China made its way to a global superpower.
3. Chasing Happiness (2019)
Directors: John Lloyd Taylor
Stars: Nick Jonas, Joe Jonas, Kevin Jonas, Priyanka Chopra Jonas, Miley Cyrus
IMDb Rating: 7.8
Rotten Tomatoes: 75%
In the past few years, the Jonas Brothers have emerged from the famous Disney Channel-tinged image to an all-new musical career period. Their journey to this phase has had a lot of hard work, dedication, determination, and efforts that don’t go so noticed. The growth of their enormous success brings to light both their lives with and without each other. Chasing Happiness is a real-life story that discusses the trio of brothers’ lives, from their official split in 2013 to their reconciliation in 2019. The Amazon prime video documentary also partly promotes its first record in many years; Happiness Begins. However, it’s quite different from being a public relations chaos, as this movie also contains previously unreleased footage and personal interviews with the Jonas brothers.
4. Coldplay: A Head Full of Dreams (2018)
Directors: Mat Whitecross
Stars: Will Champion, Jonny Buckland, Chris Martin, Guy Berryman, Beyonce.
IMDb Rating: 8.0
Rotten Tomatoes: 50%
This Amazon Studios original comes from longtime Coldplay collaborator Mat Whitecross. The documentary brings forth the band’s staircase from Brit alt-rock to its superstardom. In the early 2000s, Coldplay propelled itself into the pop consciousness and has only evolved since. Coldplay is now one of the biggest bands in the world. The band now has 20+ years of experience in playing music. With this, the band decided that it’s time to start taking stock of their career. Featuring the latest concert footages along with Whitecross’s unseen archived clips, as well as personal interviews, the documentary ‘A Head Full of Dreams’ presents an influencing look at Coldplay and its journey to success and fame.
5. McQueen (2018)
Directors: Ian Bonhote, Peter Ettedgui
Writer: Peter Ettedgui
Stars: Alexander McQueen, Tom Ford, Isabella Blow, Kate Moss
IMDb Rating: 7.8
Rotten Tomatoes: 99%
If you are someone who likes the field of fashion, this biographical documentary is the one you should not definitely miss. This movie takes a close look at the life story of Alexander McQueen. McQueen was a respected British Fashion Designer who initially was a tailor but eventually rose to fame. He graduated as a chief designer at Givenchy and then later as an English fashion designer. Sadly, in 2010, McQueen took his life at the age of 40. McQueen’s family provided no help or contribution in the making of this documentary. The filmmakers have put in their tireless work, which presents to you a well-researched, motivating, and humble look at the short life of an excellent design flair that left too soon.
6. Gleason (2016)
Directors: Clay Tweel
Writer: Clay Tweel
Stars: Steve Gleason
IMDb Rating: 8.4
Rotten Tomatoes: 96%
The documentary ‘Gleason’ is filmed over a period of five years. It focuses on the life of Steve Gleason, who was on top of the world as New Orleans Saints’ defensive back. Gleason was best known for the Saints’ first game back at the Superdome, where he made a defensive move against the Atlanta Falcons. The team went on to win that game, becoming one of the most sparkling and successful seasons in the history of the Saints. However, in 2011, Gleason’s life took an acute sharp turn when he was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). The documentary highlights his life after diagnosing the disease, including the time of his wife’s pregnancy and how the diagnosis affected his life and his family’s life. The movie shows his disease’s headway to present today, where we can see Gleason depending on assistive technology for communication. All in all, the documentary is an emotional journey of strength, resilience, and determination, with Gleason as living proof, having it all in the flesh.
7. Hale County, This Morning This Evening (2019)
Directors: RaMell Ross
Writer: RaMell Ross, Maya Krinsky.
Stars: Latrenda Boosie Ash, Quincy Bryant, Daniel Collins.
IMDb Rating: 6.8
Rotten Tomatoes: 97%
This is the kind of movie that demands to be seen, but no one would choose to. An issues-based documentary-like Hale County tends to have a particular kind of narrative, be it history or a key player. However, director Ross wishes to make his film objective. One can call the movie “kitschy” and not watch it, but I feel Hale County, This Morning This Evening is a must-watch. The movie on Amazon prime provides a wide view of black lives from the 2010s. Director Ross chose to shoot the movie by merely hanging out with people, filming, and photographing. According to him, that way, we gain a more comprehensive understanding of the colored. These lives are frequently framed and compared in their relationship to white lives, in roles both as supporting players or villains. Albeit, Hale County has no interest in putting up such content and walks differently. Unlike typical movies, Hale County focuses on capturing the richness of life itself.
8. Cartel Land (2015)
Directors: Matthew Heineman
Stars: Dr. Jose Mireles, Tim Foley
IMDb Rating: 7.4
Rotten Tomatoes: 90%
To date, there has been ample number of both films and TV series on cartels, trafficking, money laundering, et cetera. Unlike all others, this documentary takes you right in the center of the Mexican drug war. Presented through the eyes of infamous vigilante groups trying to take the cartels down, the film tops in the list of crime documentaries. The film has two courageous men in the lead: Dr. Jose Mireles, aka “El Doctor,” the person who rallied citizens of the state of Michoacan to shove the Knights Templar Cartel out of that area. The other man in the lead is American veteran Tim “Nailer” Foley, who created a group called Arizona Border Recon intending to put an end to the Mexican cartel from carrying on business in the U. Nominated for an Academy Award, the film takes an unrestrained and forthright look at this critical issue that has quite frequently been glorified instead of being seriously addressed.
9. The Invisible War (2012)
Directors: Kirby Dick
Writer: Kirby Dick, Amy Ziering
Stars: Helen Benedict, Kori Cioca
IMDb Rating: 7.6
Rotten Tomatoes: 99%
This amazon prime film is an awe-inspiring insight into rape cases in the U.S. military and how they were dealt with in the past. The Invisible War features the Coast Guard veteran Seaman Kori Cioca, who files a civil suit against the defense department for her inability to get medical benefits. It all began when she couldn’t afford the medical difficulties resulting from her rape and could not get medical benefits to cover it. Viewers by and large credit this documentary with influencing a change in the U.S. military’s policies and culture since the rape allegations took a rise. The film has keenly and deeply addressed this grave issue. It has helped the US military consider such issues of sexual assault with sincerity and inspire women to come up and put out in the open the torment they have faced.
10. This Panic (2016)
Directors: Jenny Gage
Stars: Delia Cunningham, Kevin Ryan, Dusty Rose Ryan, Lena M., Ginger Leigh Ryan
IMDb Rating: 6.8
Rotten Tomatoes: 94%
Be it ‘The diary of a teenage girl’ or ‘The edge of seventeen,’ independent cinema is in its own golden era when it comes to undaunted and bright examples of girl teenagers. In such taste, the best nonfiction teen film since Only the Young from 2012 is All this Panic. This honest and captivating documentary follows the lives of seven girls in New York City for a period of few years. It highlights both common and uncommon struggles the girls face in urban youth. With gushes of underage drinking, blunt talks of sex, and an apparent freedom level, the documentary is more of a real-life John Hughes film, unlike Kids’ reality. It captures moments of innocence, normalcy, and authenticity that the New York girls of this age seldom earn from documentaries.
11. Super Size me (2004)
Directors: Morgan Spurlock
Writer: Morgan Spurlock
Stars: Morgan Spurlock, Daryl Isaacs, Chemeeka Walker
IMDb Rating: 7.2
Rotten Tomatoes: 92%
This film has been considered way too powerful when it comes to influential documentaries. Many even credit the film with influencing McDonald’s Restaurants when they discontinued their super-sizing options. However, the mega foodchain denies any such influence and clarified that their decision had nothing to do with the documentary. This was when documentary director Morgan Spurlock had embarked on a journey to carry out a fanatical experiment. He experimented by choosing to eat food only from McDonald’s for one month, having its meals thrice daily, and then checking how the food affects him. Spurlock documents all the changes he undergoes in body and mind in those 30 days of his experiment without losing a lot. This film intended to raise awareness of fast-food companies that promote poor nutrition to exchange their own profits. The documentary also highlights America’s increasing obesity problem. Spurlock became the living proof of this rising issue to bring it to light. It is a fascinating watch that teaches its viewers the importance of healthy and nutritious food and awakens a sense of importance for a healthy diet and lifestyle.
12. Sriracha (2013)
Directors: Griffin Hammond
Writer: Griffin Hammond
Stars: David Tran, Randy Clemens, Adam Holiday
IMDb Rating: 7.4
Rotten Tomatoes: 81%
In 2012, the world-famous sauce of Sriracha bagged the title for “Ingredient of the Year” by Bon Appetit. That same year, Huy Fong Foods sold 20 million bottles of Sriracha, equivalent to 100 million pounds of chilies!
The Sauce has built its own cult over the years. However, despite being so world-famous, many of its fans have no idea about the Thai flavored sauce’s origin. The man behind the mega popularization of this hot sauce in America, David Tran, is not that well known.
The Amazon streaming service has this short documentary of about half an hour, which shows Sriracha’s story, from its making to its fame.
David Tran, who is also the founder of Huy Fong Foods, takes the credit for America’s advanced cuisine and its growth over the past 30 years. He had been producing Sriracha in Los Angeles for three decades.
13. The Act of Killing (2012)
Directors: Joshua Oppenheimer
Stars: Anwar Congo, Adi Zulkadry, Sakhyan Asmara, Hermano Koto, Yapto Soerjosoemarno
IMDb Rating: 8.2
Rotten Tomatoes: 95%
Before releasing The Look of Silence, one of the top films in 2015, world-famous documentarian Joshua Oppenheimer investigated the 1965 Indonesian genocide. Through its malefactors’ eyes, Joshua wished to bring to the world what exactly had happened back then. Anwar Congo, a gangster who was a part of the notorious death squad that executed hundreds of suspected leftists, bragged to Oppenheimer about murdering over 1,000 people. This true-crime documentary metamorphosed Congo’s pride into a meta-atonement when the film casts him in the on-screen adaptation of his own life. Everything is clearer when you give yourself into Oppenheimer’s appalling, unpleasant, but eye-opening experiment.
Here, we have selected from the bunch of documentaries on Amazon and handpicked for you the best documentaries available to watch right now. From options for all sorts of interests and categories, from the typical crime story to the evolution of a buried in history band to female voice stars. Until tell stay home stay connected.