Best Netflix educational documentaries

In an ocean of content & limited time, those are the documentaries to spend time on both for entertainment & educational purposes.

Tue, 05 May 2020

Watch on Netflix

Cuba and the Cameraman - 1h 53m

Dirty Money - 1h per episode, 6 episodes per season, 2 seasons

The Game Changers - 1h 52m

The Vietnam War - 1h 35m per episode, 10 episodes

Inside Bill's Brain - 1h per episode, 3 episodes

Trotsky - 51m per episode, 8 episodes

The Cuba Libre Story - 51m per episode, 8 episodes


Each and every series and movie in this best Netflix documentaries list was hand-picked by our professional content team after watching more than 60 highly rated documentaries. These are both very entertaining and will most likely expand your knowledge base.

1. Cuba and the Cameraman

Release: September 7, 2017
Running time: 1h 53m
IMDb score: 8.2 / 10

Mr. Jon Alper, an American journalist, travels to Cuba every 5-10 years for 45 years, capturing the transformation of the Cuban society in his camera lens. The movie shows the relative optimism of the Cuban public during the first years of the Castro regime, to the economic struggle after the fall of the soviet union on December 25, 1991 and finally the death of Fidel Castro in 2016 after more than half a century of governance, leaving a hole yet a hope for a better future in Cuban people hearts.

Cuba and the Cameraman - Cover

The most powerful aspect of the documentary is probably the real stories of a little girl, a construction worker and a family owning a farm. During his visits, Jon Alper returns to the same people and sees how their lives changed. As Cuba is often described as a country frozen in time, it is fascinating to see the timeline of the people growing into the difficulties & challenges induced from conditions of extreme poverty and lack of resources. Some choose to flee pursuing a better life, some fulfill their dreams or at least find a decent way to survive, and others simply stay on the land they feel they belong to under all circumstances.

Official Trailer:

Jon Alpert speaking about his film:

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2. Dirty Money

Release: January 26, 2018
Seasons: 2 
Episodes: 12
Episode duration: ~ 1h
IMDb score: 8.1 / 10

A Netflix original containing 12 episodes spreading over 2 seasons. Each episode in the series shows a different story relating to corporate corruption, financial frauds, money laundering and other illegal or immoral activities performed by large corporations & governments.

Dirty Money - Cover

The first episode demonstrates the story behind Volkswagen emissions scandal, also known as dieselgate, which used a software system to manipulate air pollution tests by adjusting the vehicle engine to emit lower levels of pollution during the test.

The second episode demonstrates Scott Tucker, A payday loan business owner in the usa, which violated the federal regulation and created a debt trap to his customers.

Other episodes demonstrate the stories of Valeant Pharmaceuticals that acted to purchase pharmaceuticals firms the put large investments on R&D, creating a huge value to the shareholders while turning drugs to unaffordable to a huge segment of patients, by raising drug prices to sky rocketing levels, the HSBC bank money laundering for mexican cartels, and more.

This documentary is an eye-opening, and anyone wishing to better understand the economic ecosystem around us, should definitely take the time and watch.

Official Trailer:

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3. The Game Changers

Release: September 16, 2019
Running time: 1h 52m
IMDb score: 7.9 / 10

James Wilks, a former UFC fighter, gets injured and cuts his intense physical activities for a period as long as 6 month. During this time, he starts reading papers and gathering information regarding nutrition, strength and injury recovery, leading him to conduct a deep research on plant-base nutrition. The movie presents elite athletes performing or evolving their performance as their nutrition is based on protein sourcing from plants.

The Game Changers - Cover

The movie received many positive reactions, however caught a fair amount of criticism about the so called facts the movie showcased, which many professionals found insufficient or just wrong or unproven.

The movie has a website containing more information about the movie, the research that was conducted, and also includes plant-based recipes for those of you eager to try.

The Game Changers fact-checks by scientists:

Official Trailer:

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4. The Vietnam War 

Release: September 17 – September 28, 2017
Seasons: 1 
Episodes: 10
Episode duration: ~ 1h 35m
IMDb score: 9.1 / 10

A masterpiece. This 10-part documentary series covers the tragic years of the war between the communist North-Vietnam & Vietcong units backed by China & Soviet Union to South-Vietnam & USA. This bloody war lasted more than 15 years (1959 - 1975) and took the lives of more than 58 thousand American soldiers, and more than 4 million Vietnamese soldiers and citizens.

The Vietnam War - Cover

This brilliant documentary is a history lesson, including countless footages and interviews with the people who participated in the blood shed from both sides of the mattress. The decisions making of 4 different presidents including John F. Kennedy, Lindon Johnson, Richard Nixon and other figures in the American government those years are clearly stated and demonstrated. The rebellion of the American people opposing the war and the tragedies and post-trauma that affected so many people is heart breaking and mind opening.

Above all, this documentary's importance lies in the fact that it can change us. It might change the view of how we observe the meaning of the word war, and also how we react to the political world around us.

The Trailer:

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5. Inside Bill's Brain

Release: September 20, 2019
Seasons: 1 
Episodes: 3
Episode duration: ~ 53m
IMDb score: 8 / 10

Many of use know Bill Gates as the mythological founder & CEO of Microsoft. But whats going on in the mind of this ingenious man nowadays? What does he spend his time thinking on and acting upon? What are his fears and concerns about the future of the earth and specifically the human nation?

Inside Bill's Brain - Cover

Spiderman uncle Ben taught us that with great power comes great responsibility. Bill Gates shows us that with great capital comes great power, and he chooses to take responsibility and fund the fight against Polyo, the devestating effects of rapid climate changes, sanitization challanges in developing countries and more.

The Trailer:

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6. Trotsky

Release: November 9, 2017
Seasons: 1 
Episodes: 8
Episode duration: ~ 51m
IMDb score: 7.1 / 10

The Russian nation has known many years of poverty and depression, but was never lacking ambitious leaders, fuelled with the passion & ideas to conduct revolution in the soviet union. One of those leaders, was Leon Trotsky. Born to middle class Jewish parents, Lev Davidovich Bronstein, later known as Lev Trotsky, developed a clear political agenda, leading him to connect with Vladimir Lenin, and being the main figure in building & organising the Workers & Peasants Red Army as the military force of the Bolshevik regime in 1918. The series reveals the controversial character of Trotsky, from his early ideas of revolution as a speaker and activist in Europe, to bringing down the Russian Tzar's Regime and fighting a bloody, ruthless war against the White Army that lacking a common ideology, was made up of groups of coalitions that opposed to the Bolshevik vision, and finally to him being exiled to Mexico by Lenin's successor, Joseph Stalin.

Trotsky - Cover

This documentary is extremely detailed and well made. The acting is extraordinary, and honestly, this is a pearl to anyone curious about the bloody history of the Soviet Union and the evolution of communism, since Trotsky, Lenin and Stalin, were defiantly the driving force and the ones planting the seeds.

The Trailer:

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7. The Cuba Libre Story

Release: December 11, 2015
Seasons: 1 
Episodes: 8
Episode duration: ~ 51m
IMDb score: 7.7 / 10

The unique history of Cuba over the last 500 years demonstrated through all critical times that shaped its legacy. Starting with being one of the largest sugar providers and an strong ally to the American government, to the fall of Fulgensio Batista and the rise of Fidel Castro, cutting the bond with the USA and building a solid connection with the Soviet Union as an ally and a financial providing force, till its final collapse in 1994.

The Cuba Libre Story - Cover

Throught the episodes, more than 50 international Cuba experts and contemporary witnesses were interviewed. This well-made series is an extremely important one to watch in order to deeply realise the complications of the American relationship with Cuba, and also to understand the Cuban mentallity and culture that was shaped by years of povery and struggle due to Communist-Socialist Castro regime.

The Trailer:

Watch on Netflix

IMDb Score