18 documentaries on Netflix that will change your life

Filmmakers create documentaries in order to open audience’s eyes to new ways of life. Some documentaries are so powerful they can literally change your world after watching. We’ve picked just a few of the life-changing documentaries Netflix has to offer that might make you alter your way of being.

The first official documentary was made in 1922. Filmmaker Robert Flaherty traveled to the Arctic to shoot scenes for Nanook of the North, which documented the lives of the Canadian Inuit Eskimos. It was the first-ever film that allowed viewers to watch how others lived and helped to humanize other cultures in Western eyes.

Modern documentaries are still doing just that. Those who appear in the below films most likely lead lives different than your own. They’ve probably come to different conclusions about life in general. Or, these people might be crusading for you and your well being against an entity you’re not even aware of. Whatever the case may be, their stories will absolutely make you think differently in one way or another.

So log into your Netflix account and get comfy with a bowl of popcorn. Your mind is about to be blown.

1The True Cost


How much does a single piece of clothing actually cost? The dark side to the fashion industry is exposed in this devastating documentary that reveals the horrible working conditions, lack of workers’ rights, and environmental impacts of creating cheap goods for Western consumers.



There was a loophole in the abolishment of slavery, and that loophole is still enslaving thousands in modern times. 13th explores the pitfalls of the American prison system and how mass incarceration has become a billion dollar industry.



Living materialistically is, in many ways, living the American Dream — and that’s what our society wants us to believe. But ultimately, material items and consumption cannot provide us with long-lasting happiness.

4What The Health


What are the pharmaceutical companies not telling us? This documentary explores the dark side to the drug companies and government collusion that is costing us big bucks and keeping us sick.



Three women in one West Virginia town are working daily to fight the current heroin crisis sweeping across America. Watch them do their best to save lives while getting a hard look at the epidemic affecting millions.

6Requiem for the American Dream


Noam Chomsky, one of the great intellects of our time, speaks his mind on how the wealth of America has been placed in the hands of a few and how that aspect of our culture has completely collapsed the idealistic American Dream.

7The Mask You Live In


The way American society has shaped masculinity deprives men from emotional connectivity with others. Ultimately, masculinity is a mask that’s hard to take off when men need to express themselves and show each other empathy.

8Pervert Park


They face stigmatization everywhere else except for the trailer park they share with each other. Pervert Park offers a humanizing look at pedophiles and how, in this one location, they rely on each other for support.

9Inn Sæi: The Power of Intuition


The modern world has disconnected us from our natural intuitive side. If we can harness the power of our intuition once more, we could unlock wonder, knowing, and an ancient instinct lost in our current state of being.



No matter who you casted your vote for the 2016 Presidential Election, this documentary might shed light onto the beliefs of the other side. Learn why others voted for their candidate and how important the election was for many different constituents across the country.

11What’s with Wheat?


Why has Celiac’s disease and gluten sensitivity spiked in recent decades? The truth is that the wheat we eat now is nothing like the wheat our ancestors ate. But what’s changed and why?



Embrace follows one woman’s journey to figure out why 91% of women hate their bodies. By the end of it, she “embraces” the fact that our bodies are not ornaments, but vehicles to get us from one amazing life experience to the next.

13Poverty, Inc.


Poverty in third world countries is big business for first world nations. What we do to help our fellow men, women, and children in need is actually incredibly counterproductive. This documentary explores what needs to change on our end in order to finish poverty once and for all.

14Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret


There’s a single industry that is the leading cause for global warming, water depletion, and environmental chaos, yet leading sustainability groups and government will not talk about it. It’s time to educate yourself because no one else will.

15Romeo is Bleeding


By staging a retelling of Romeo & Juliet set in modern day Richmond, California, one man uses art to bring awareness to what is happening in his city and hopefully inspire change.

16A Plastic Ocean


Plastic is overwhelming our oceans and harming the creatures within. Two activists explore the environmental impacts of plastic waste and what can be done to fix the massive ocean pollution problem.

17Pet Fooled


Do pet owners know what they are actually feeding their pets? The pet food industry is constantly looking for the cheapest way to keep our pets “nourished” but aren’t taking health risks into consideration.



What would you do if you only had three months to live? This short documentary explores the life of Joanna, a mother with limited time left who wants to teach her son the value of love of and kindness.

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