Netflix has revived the interest in real life investigative journalism. Be it in serial or traditional movie format, producers and directors are benefiting from the public’s appetite to learn about the problems that affect society and the crimes that are being committed in their own backyards. The following five documentaries are a few of the most popular and most impacting subjects available for immediate streaming. They will surely blow your mind and alter your perception about the subject matter.
1. The Keepers
Sister Cathy Cesnik was found brutally murdered. The investigation grows cold but uncovers allegations that the Catholic Church knew sexual abuse of minors was reported to the victim shortly prior to her death, cases they had buried to protect the accused clergy men. Another woman was also murdered in a similar fashion casting doubt that the killing may have been due to the coverup, and after 47 years, both cases are still unsolved. Listening to the investigators and victims’ stories will break your heart and enrage you. Watch with caution.
2. The Champions
Ever wonder what happened to the canines rescued from Michael Vick’s illegal dog fighting ring compound? Then this documentary is for you. The story starts by introducing the events surrounding the raid and subsequent investigation and proceeds to show what happened to the dogs who were adopted out, and the ones who are still in sanctuary. Each adoptive family will give you a peak into the life of their Vicktory Dog while the rescue staff shares their individual rehabilitation journey. This case changed the odds for the fighting dogs recovered in raids thereafter, giving these pups a second chance at life. Have tissues at the ready.
3. I Am Jane Doe
Sex trafficking is reaching new heights in the USA, to a degree that online companies are profiteering from the illegal activity of selling women and children through personal ads. Even when victims speak up and seek justice from the most prominent sex ad page Backpage.com, the courts find in favor of the internet company claiming they are protected under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. You have to watch the full story to understand why this ruling was so appalling that even Congress stepped in to seek justice for past, present and future victims.
4. Making a Murderer
Steve Avery is accused and convicted of a crime he allegedly didn’t commit. Why was he convicted? The evidence and narrative lead to a corrupt police department with a grudge against the accused. By now, many viewers have become familiar with this documentary series but to those who haven’t watched it, we implore you to check it out. This investigation will have you shouting at your TV and wondering if it could happen to you. As Dave Chappelle quips: “A 200k in Wisconsin should have worked for a white guy”.
5. Food Inc
Ever since modern society outsourced farming to a multinational corporations and a few farmers, the way the food in our plate is grown and/or raised has been optimized for profit. Genetically modified organic (GMO) seeds and products have flooded the market making consumers wonder what goes into their bodies via the supermarket. Is it too late to ask for pesticide free fruits and veggies, more humane methods of raising and processing beef, chicken and pork? Stay tuned…