12 Political Documentaries on Netflix That Will Inform, Entertain, and Inspire You
Whether you tend to watch documentaries for entertainment or to be better informed, the best political documentaries on Netflix do a little bit of both. From profiles of American politicians to series about international political revolutions, the streaming service has tons of enlightening (and captivating) political documentaries available to stream right now. Maybe you want to learn about Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's epic rise to the House of Representatives. Perhaps you're interested in the conservative Christian group that wields concerning power in Washington, D.C. No matter what you're into, you're sure to find a political documentary in this list that will grab your attention.
Knock Down the House
This inspiring documentary follows the political journeys of four women — a bartender from the Bronx, a coal miner's daughter from West Virginia, a grieving mother from Nevada, and a nurse from Missouri — who challenged powerful incumbents and helped the Democrats win control of the House of Representatives in 2018.
Get Me Roger Stone
Known as a master in the dark arts of politics, Roger Stone is a political consultant, lobbyist, and strategist who earned a reputation for using opposition research, usually for candidates of the Republican Party, and who also served as an advisor to Donald Trump. Filmed over five years, this film revolves around Stone and his transformative effect on modern politics, ending with the 2016 election of President Trump.
Ever since the Supreme Court ruled in Roe v. Wade in 1973 — giving women the right to choose whether or not to terminate a pregnancy — dissenters have fought to overturn the ruling without success. This documentary traces the decades-long political campaign to overturn the landmark decision through interviews with abortion rights supporters and opponents.
The Edge of Democracy
In this documentary from Brazil, viewers are offered a look into the terrifying world of contemporary Brazilian politics as seen through the eyes of the film's director, Petra Costa. With footage dating all the way back to the 1980s, the political documentary traces the country's distressing journey from a military dictatorship, to a fledging democracy, to far-right authoritarianism.
Alt-Right: The Age of Rage
Taking place during the first year of Donald Trump's presidency, this documentary follows the heated battle between Antifa activist Daryle Lamont Jenkins and alt-right leader Richard Spencer, which eventually led to the violent Unite the Right white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, VA.
This documentary provides an insider's look into Mitt Romney's two failed attempts to run for president of the United States, following both of the former Massachusetts governor's campaigns from Christmas 2006 until his concession speech to former president Barack Obama in 2012.
Winter on Fire: Ukraine's Fight for Freedom
This documentary focuses on the 93-day Euromaidan protests in Ukraine between 2013 and 2014, during which a peaceful student protest over former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych's failure to sign a trade agreement with the EU quickly escalated into a violent revolution that overthrew the government.
The Unknown Known
If you're not familiar with the life and political career of Donald Rumsfeld, then this documentary will tell you everything you need to know about the former US Secretary of Defense and congressman, from his time in Congress to serving under Gerald Ford and George W. Bush.
The Cuba Libre Story
If you want a crash course on the last 500 years of Cuba's tumultuous political history, then this docuseries provides just that, including illuminating interviews with both supporters and opponents of Fidel Castro and his predecessor, Fulgencio Batista.
Based on Jeff Sharlet's The Family: The Secret Fundamentalism at the Heart of American Power, this docuseries (which was produced by Sharlet) takes a deep dive into the conservative Christian group — known as the Family, or the Fellowship — that secretly wields enormous influence on American politics.
Bobby Kennedy For President
This docuseries uses never-before-seen archival footage during Robert F. Kennedy's time as attorney general and senator to explore his impact on American politics in the 1960s. The series also includes a look into Kennedy's presidential campaign, which tragically ended with his assassination in June 1968.
Joshua: Teenager vs. Superpower
In 2014, teenage activist Joshua Wong rose to international prominence during the Umbrella Revolution, a series of protests that began after the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPCSC) proposed reforms to the Hong Kong electoral system. Wong inspired young people to take to the streets in the hope of preserving Hong Hong's autonomy from China, and this documentary tells Wong's story.