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15 Documentaries So Good You Won’t Sleep Until You Finish Them

I love creative, unique, and even supernatural shows as much as the next gal, but I’ve come to find out that there are some real-life events that are just as (if not more) fascinating than anything even the best writers can come up with. That’s why, every now and then, I love to binge the latest documentary or docuseries on my favorite streaming platforms. I’m drawn to the stories that are so outrageous that I can’t believe they’re real, as well as the success stories of my favorite artists. When you want a sprinkle of reality that’s just as fascinating as fiction, these are the best documentaries that you’ll be so into you’ll have to finish in one sitting.

 

1. Keep Sweet: Pray and Obey

Format: Docuseries
Number of episodes: 4
Where to stream: Netflix

I tend to believe there’s not much that’s more fascinating than a cult. Add that element to a corrupt leader and polygamist practices and you get a particular sector of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The title, Keep Sweet: Pray and Obey, is the outline for how women should behave according to their leader, Warren Jeffs. The documentary takes a deep dive into the problematic traditions of this particular cult and the actions of their leader, including extreme exercises of power, abusive actions, and multiple “marriages” to underage wives. This is one you won’t want to miss but will want to forget.

 

2. Victoria’s Secret: Angels and Demons

Format: Docuseries
Number of episodes: 3
Where to stream: Hulu

America’s most popular lingerie brand has quite a troubling past, and Victoria’s Secret: Angels and Demons explains the evil that can be hidden behind a beautiful facade. This Hulu documentary digs into the brand’s problematic exploitation of women and the unattainable expectations it placed on women’s bodies.

The documentary also examines Les Wexner, CEO of the infamous brand, and his connection to Jeffery Epstein. Epstein is known for creating an elaborate sex trafficking network, and it has since come out that Wexner may have had a much closer working relationship with Epstein than anyone knew. If you’ve followed the Epstein case, or simply are interested in hearing more about the history of the VS brand, this is the documentary for you.

 

3. The Most Hated Man on the Internet

Format: Docuseries
Number of episodes: 3
Where to stream: Netflix

This three-part Netflix miniseries explores the 2010 revenge porn site known as, “Is Anyone Up?” created by Hunter Moore. His site was created to allow anyone to upload explicit content of another person without the individual’s permission, often along with the individual’s personal information. In 2012, Rolling Stone magazine dubbed Moore the “Most Hated Man on the Internet,” after he was exposed for creating the horrific site. The docuseries goes into the story of Charlotte Laws, a mother on a mission to have her daughter’s personal photos removed from the site. True crime fans, this one is for you.

 

4. The Janes

Format: Documentary
Where to stream: HBO

The Janes is an incredibly timely documentary highlighting a group of courageous women. In pre-Roe v. Wade America where abortions were illegal, this unlikely group of women created an underground network to provide women with safe and affordable abortion services. Known as “The Janes,” these women risked their lives for what they believed in, all while defying society and the prominent Catholic Church. The film includes firsthand accounts from some of The Janes themselves, many of whom have not spoken on camera previously.

 

5. Britney VS Spears

Format: Documentary
Where to stream: Netflix

Britney Spears lovers rejoiced last November when the singer was finally released from her conservatorship. After years of chanting “Free Britney” and hearing horror stories of what the pop sensation had to go through in the previous nearly 14 years under the “care” of her father, Jamie Spears, and lawyer Andrew M. Wallet, viewers get a peek into the events that led up to the conservatorship and Britney’s battle for freedom in the Netflix documentary, Britney VS Spears. See the rise and fall (or should we say, push) of the popstar’s career before finally seeing her rise from the ashes in the last year. For Britney Stans, and any fans of pop culture, this is a must-see.

 

6. White Hot: The Rise and Fall of Abercrombie & Fitch

Format: Documentary
Where to stream: Netflix

Abercrombie & Fitch hasn’t always been the trendy, inclusive, affordable brand we all know and love today. In fact, the brand has had to work to mend its reputation after years of racism, sizeism, and, let’s face it, overpowering scents. The brand reigned superior in the late ’90s and early 2000s, but at what cost? Exclusionary tactics, elitism, and exploitation were the name of the A&F game. Watch White Hot for firsthand accounts of the exploitation and abuse from former employees, then decide for yourself if the brand holds itself to higher standards going forward.

 

7. Shania Twain: Not Just a Girl

Format: Documentary
Where to stream: Netflix

Let’s go, girls! Straight to the couch to watch the documentary we never knew we needed. Netflix recently released a documentary dedicated to the queen of pushing boundaries and crossing musical genres; a pop-country trailblazer, the one and only: Shania Twain. Catch this documentary to watch her overcome a childhood of poverty to become a musical legend, and see how she conquers life’s later struggles with grace. This is not just a documentary for country music fans. It will touch the hearts of anyone who can appreciate a story of struggle, loss, and triumph.

 

8. Girl in the Picture

Format: Documentary
Where to stream: Netflix

When you watch Girl in the Picture, you won’t believe it’s a true case, and more accurately, you won’t want to believe it actually happened. Following the heartbreaking story of Suzanne Sevakis, the documentary will drag you into the life of a young, ambitious girl with an obsessive stepfather. Franklin Delano Floyd kidnapped Sevakis and her siblings when she was just 5 years old, during a time when her mother was in jail. After placing her siblings into foster care, Floyd raised Suzanne as his own daughter until inevitably forcing her into a marriage with him and making her the mother of his child. When Sevakis is found dead on the side of the road from an apparent hit and run, questions start being asked about her death and the life she was forced to lead.

 

9. Machine Gun Kelly’s Life in Pink

Format: Documentary
Where to stream: Hulu

For those of us on the Machine Gun Kelly train, Life in Pink is a must-watch. A look into the singer’s life, the documentary shows Kelly’s triumphs and struggles with fame, fatherhood, and past traumas. Even if you think you’re a huge MGK fan, you may learn a thing or two about the battles he has overcome throughout the years. This documentary isn’t just for fans of the “twin flame” singer, though. Life in Pink is for anyone who can appreciate the story of a struggling artist who ends up making a name for himself.

 

10. The Vow

Format: Docuseries
Number of episodes: 9
Where to stream: HBO

The MLM-esque cult NXIVM got its claim to fame by convincing its followers that their Executive Success Programs, or ESP, were the key to elevating their lives and making them into the best versions of themselves. The programs and accompanying retreats gained so much popularity throughout the United States, Canada, and Mexico that there have been more than 18,000 recorded members. What should have been a beneficial learning experience for followers turned out to be a place where the cult leader, Keith Raniere, tore his followers down in order to elevate himself. This included a secret sex trafficking network with himself at the forefront, making the recruits his personal sex slaves. The network involved problematic practices such as blackmail, downline recruitment, and more. This is one of the most interesting cult documentaries you’ll see all year.

 

11. Halftime 

Format: Documentary
Where to stream: Netflix

It was just about time we were gifted with a documentary highlighting the powerhouse singer, dancer, and actress extraordinaire: Jennifer Lopez. Halftime dives into the life and career of the award-winning superstar and all the pressure that comes with a successful, multifaceted career. With a heavy focus on JLo’s Hustler film and her unparalleled Super Bowl LIV halftime performance with Shakira, the documentary pays homage to the talent and hard work that has gone into making Jennifer Lopez into a household name. 

 

12. My Octopus Teacher

Format: Documentary
Where to stream: Netflix

As humans, it’s often very easy to take for granted the beauty of nature and all we can learn from it. This

was not the case for filmmaker and naturalist, Craig Foster, who befriended an octopus one day while snorkeling in South Africa. Foster was so enthralled by the creature that he began going back every day for nearly a year to spend time with his tentacled companion. In My Octopus Teacher, Foster describes what he was able to learn about humans, life, relationships, and loss from spending time in the ocean. See for yourself how one’s connection to nature can be both humbling and life-changing.

 

13. The Tinder Swindler

Format: Documentary
Where to stream: Netflix

For a story of a con man that feels like it’s straight from a true crime novel, you have to watch The Tinder Swindler. Con artist extraordinaire Simon Leviev uses the dating app “Tinder” to fund his lavish lifestyle. By forming relationships with unsuspecting women and showering them with expensive gifts (funded by his previous victims), Leviev is able to gain their trust before hitting them with extravagant stories about how he needs their money to escape his “enemies.” Catch the story that has taken over social media this year, you may just learn a thing or two about best online dating practices.

 

14. The Keepers

Format: Docuseries
Number of episodes: 7
Where to stream: Netflix

Cathy Cesnik was a Catholic nun and high school teacher who mysteriously went missing in 1969 in Baltimore, MD only to be found dead two months later. To this day, the killer remains unknown and justice has yet to be served. Decades later, details came out from one of Cesnik’s former students who stated her high school chaplain may have been involved in not only Cathy’s murder but other heinous crimes. The Keepers aims to answer the bitter question, “Who killed sister Cathy?” Will they discover the truth? Find out for yourself.

 

15. Three Identical Strangers

Format: Documentary
Where to stream: Hulu 

If you ever thought it would be incredible to have a Parent Trap moment and run into your long-lost sibling after being separated at birth, you need to head to your couch to put on Three Identical Strangers as soon as possible. This is the case of triplet brothers Edward ‘Eddy’ Galland, David Kellman, and Robert ‘Bobby’ Shafran who find each other after years of separation and never knowing the others existed. Not only did they discover their siblings, the brothers learned that their adoptions were actually part of a scientific study on identical siblings being raised in different socioeconomic environments. For a story that seems too out there to be true, be sure to watch Three Identical Strangers.

 



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The post 15 Documentaries So Good You Won’t Sleep Until You Finish Them appeared first on The Everygirl.

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