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Expand Your Mind: Best Documentaries on Netflix Streaming

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There was a point where I would roll my eyes at the thought of watching documentaries on purpose. Why be educational when I could be entertained? However, the quality of documentary film-making has really given other Hollywood films a challenge in the last few years. Maybe your new year’s resolution was to expand your mind and educate yourself, and the price tag of grad school was not in your budget. So, here are some of the best documentaries that I’ve discovered recently, all on Netflix Streaming and are easy to find.

Exit Through the Gift Shop

Explores the accidental filming of the world of Los Angeles street-based artists and the elusive Banksy. Raises the timeless question, “what is considered art?”

Hell House

A church in Texas goes balls-out every year creating a live-action performance “Haunted House” warning the community about the dangers of “sinning”, including drug use, homosexuality, suicide, abortion, among others. Why do they do it? Why do tens of thousands of people flock to it every year?

We Live in Public

An artist creates a large-scale art installation by gathering an underground society of more than a 100 people and filming them 24-7. Why? Because he can, and because we all secretly love being voyeurs.

Winnebego Man

For every viral video you watch, there is a personal story behind its subject. Winnebego Man captures the search to find the subject of one of the first viral videos.


Because I can never get enough of Isaac Mizrahi yelling “Where’s the scrim? I need a scrim!” A hilarious behind the scenes look at fashion week, where everything seems life-or-death.

Live Nude Girls Unite!

Documenting the struggles of a group of San Francisco exotic dancers who decide to unionize to gain better wages and sick pay. This film was where I learned most of what I know about bargaining units.

Best Worst Movie

Chronicles the rise to cult status of the so-called worst movie ever made, Troll 2, and the lives of all of those involved with the movie. For anyone that loves a good bad movie.

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Robin Hardwick - Cost-Conscious Connoisseur

Robin Hardwick - Cost-Conscious Connoisseur

Robin was raised in the shopping malls of suburban Long Island, New York. As a teenager, her life goals were to become a writer and marry Bret Michaels. After attending college at the University of Delaware (yes, in the state of Delaware) and earning a graduate degree educationl at NYU, she's achieved only one of those goals. Along with writing, Robin enjoys performing improv comedy, internet memes, cross-stitch, and showing off her alarmingly extensive knowledge of obscure pop culture trivia. Currently, Robin resides in Oakland, CA and is writing a book about the 1980s teen book series, Sweet Valley High.


  1. Ben
    January 10, 2012 at 9:45 am

    Nothing by Werner Herzog? “Cave of Forgotten Dreams” is currently streaming on Netflix.

    I though Winnebago Man was tedious and a bit manipulative of the main character. The best part was the original viral video itself.

  2. Mani
    January 10, 2012 at 1:30 pm

    Also there’s Collapse, a dire look at the future done interview style with an ex-CIA agitator.

  3. Robin Hardwick - Cost-Conscious Connoisseur
    January 11, 2012 at 7:36 am

    Good suggestions. These are just a small handful among hundreds.

  4. saw
    July 14, 2012 at 7:16 am

    Dear Zachary should be on this list. The most original and moving documentary on Netflix or anywhere.