Recommend Netflix streaming documentaries

Of a specific sort. I’m interested in documentaries about unusual people or people in unusual situations. I’ve recently watched Darkon (people who play a long running LARP game), I Think We’re Alone Now (people obsessed with 80’s singer Tiffany), Dear Zachary (about a murdered child), and Confessions of a Superhero (Hollywood street performers).

I greatly enjoyed Darkon and I Think We’re Alone Now. Dear Zachary was very good, but I’m not looking for crime stories really, and Confessions of a Superhero had the sort of content I am after, but it was poorly made (boring).

Suggest titles you have seen that are similar, bonus if you know if they are Netflix Instant available.


You’d probably enjoy “King of Kong”, about competitive arcade gamers.

When I watched it it was available on streaming; it appears that it no longer is. You might add it to your queue, though, in case it comes back.

I’m going to nominate, both categories, unusual people and people in unusual situations (and available instantly) The Eyes Of Tammy Faye. I saw it before either her of Jerry Falwell had died, but I was extremely happy to see her outlive him, even if it was only by a few months. OTOH, it was (as one might expect) very biased since it was only her side of the story. Sometimes I wished I had seen a similar documentary from his POV since he really seemed like a scumbag by the time the movie was over. If you like it, I’d suggest Jesus Camp and For The Bible Tells Me So as well.
Either way, it’s very good and certainly worth watching.

I know it sounds dull, but I really recommend A League of Ordinary Gentlemen, which follows some pro-bowler men as they try to get the PBA back on its feet. Apparently, the PBA really struggled for awhile and they’ve been trying to get back to the glory days of bowling.

It streams on Netflix and it really is fascinating, especially some of the sadder bowlers who have a hard time making it in the non-bowling world.

I was amused by Nerdcore Rising, in which white “nerdcore” rapper MC Frontalot attempts his first tour. Traveling on a shoestring budget from city to city and playing in these little bars to crowds that are… skeptical to say the least.

Interspersed with interviews with other musicians and audience reactions. My favorite audience moment was a girl who said it was racist for a white guy to rap about math or computers.

I thought Exit through the Gift Shop was interesting. It’s a documentary made by a street artist about a man who spends his life videotaping street artists becoming a street artist himself. It definitely fits the bill for ‘unusual people in unusual situations.’

I have been recommending The VICE Guide to Travel to everyone I know. VICE is a Canadian 'zine and the editors visit the roughest places on earth - North Korea, Liberia, Pakistan, and Chernobyl, to name a few - and deliberately place themselves at ground zero of areas of strife. They usually have a local to help them navigate, say, the gun markets in Pakistan, or the streets of Monrovia. It’s really gripping because they appear to be performing without a safety net, and there are plenty of “oh shit, we have to run NOW” moments.

North Korea was fascinating - I’ve watched A State of Mind, which is also available on Netflix Streaming, about two gymnast girls living under the regime. Shaun Smith, the editor of VICE, visits North Korea and is shepherded around to empty tea rooms and constantly pisses of his guide because he’s always trying to go places he shouldn’t.

The episodes are about 25 minutes each and I found myself watching them all over a weekend - I couldn’t stop!

I’m seconding Exit Through The Gift Shop. It’s awesome. Weird, wonderful, and some amazing art by Banksy. And Oscar-nominated!

There are two I liked, that go together. Before Stonewall and After Stonewall, chronicling the gay rights movement. Very interesting.

Is there an easy way to watch these online? Is there a list of them somewhere?

I’ve seen Liberia and North Korea.

the Liberia one made North Korea look fantastic.

“Monster Camp” is similar to “Darkon”–the real life drama and intrigue that goes on in Live action role play.
“Second Skin” is about online gaming and very well done.

Do no recommend-
I hate to say it but “A Film Unfinished” is very boring. I wouldn’t bother. Wonderful premise poorly executed.
If you haven’t heard of it–it’s a holocaust documentary about found footage of the Warsaw ghetto. Nazi propaganda filmmakers took a lot of footage of the ghetto presumably to make a film about how adequate life was there (they staged a lot of scenes), but they filmed everything including giant piles of feces in the streets and starving children. The documentary shows the footage to survivors and has them talk about it.
…It’s very slow. I’ve fallen asleep three times trying to watch it.

I just saw “Anvil: The Story of Anvil”, it was pretty good.!_The_Story_of_Anvil

The Parking Lot Movie - Follows the employees of an independent parking lot near UVA.

No Impact Man follows a Manhattanite and his family as they try to reduce their waste and carbon foot print to near 0.

Not available instant anymore, but Word Wars was an interesting look at competitive scrabble.

I’ll second King of Kong, Jesus Camp, and For the Bible Tells Me So.

Actually, yeah! Go here: VICE - VICE is the definitive guide to enlightening information.

There are some new ones that look really cool as well… I’m glad you asked, because I had no idea that they were online AND that there are new ones!

Thanks for all the replies so far. I found several of these. I’m watching Monster Camp now.

I’d recommend “Man on Wire”.

I’ve seen that one. Simply amazing.

Beyond the Mat, The Rise and Fall of WCW, and Hart and Soul are all good. They’re all about wrestling, but you don’t need to be a fan to enjoy them. Most of it is stuff that happens in their private lives or backstage.

Beyond the Mat is excellent.

The other two being WWE productions are not anything close to documentaries.

I also recommend:
King of Kong
Jesus Camp