5 Documentaries on Netflix You Should Watch

From One Second To The Next Everyone has time for this short thirty-minute doc from Werner Herzog, who might be the greatest documentarian of our time. While many docs make a huge to-do about important issues far beyond the scope of normal lives, Herzog probes right into the everyday, illuminating the dangers of texting and driving. He shows the wrenching aftermath of accidents caused by this harrowing habit. This should be required viewing in every driver’s ed. class.

I stopped texting after this longer than I stopped eating McDonald’s after SUPER-SIZE ME.

  Chariots of the Gods This bizarre documentary from Germany investigates and hypothesizes the potential influence of extra-terrestrials on the building of ancient human achievements, like Stonehenge and The Egyptian Pyramids. Get ready a for hefty dose of retro pseudoscience. This film earnestly investigates aliens and technology that should never have made it out of the stoner circle. But all the more entertainment for us. Slightly troubling is the fact that this film was shown in American schools during the 1970’s…And they wonder why we take drugs.

What the fuck?

  Crips and Bloods: Made In America It wouldn’t be fair to praise this chronicle of gang warfare in South L.A. without interrogating my own privileged position far removed from the movie’s issues. It would be disservice to these issues to not mention how my fascination with them irreversibly comes from an outsider’s perspective. I mean to also treat this movie with so much deference because of how well it’s made, the respect it gives the issues and the subjects involved. It is not a marginalizing effort, meant to trivialize or re-package the rough content for robustly mediated white audiences. It is a movie of authentically unfolding reality in a forgotten, but not lost, part of America, as well as an engaging history and study of specific subcultures. Most importantly, it never loses sight of the humanity at stake.

This movie was directed by Stacy Peralta… from skating to ganging.

The Queen of Versailles A portrait of wealth in decline and a poignant representation of the current financial crisis, this scathing doc shows selfish developer’s wife Jackie Siegel and her quest to build the largest, most lavish house in America which she modestly names Versailles. I guess she only read French history up until 1789. Of course, the crisis hits and her husband’s timeshare company plummets in the stock market putting all their plans for Versailles up in the air. An intriguing and infuriating portrait of consumer capitalist greed, it turns the idea of a dream home into a nightmare of comeuppance.

Women be shoppin’!

Radio Bikini In 1946, the U.S. Navy held Operation Crossroads just off the coast of the small Pacific island of Bikini Atoll. But don’t try to look for the island on any current-day map; Operation Crossroads was an unprecedented atomic bomb test that sent the island to the bottom of the ocean. This doc from the 80’s examines the purpose behind this Cold War project and its radioactive aftermath for the seamen who participated. Horrifying and absurd, this movie questions U.S. post-WWII nuclear policy as well illuminates on the history of the island, snatched from native and used as Navy party central just prior to the test.