7 Social-Action Documentaries Available Now on Netflix

These films will inspire you to make a difference.

Netflix Logo. Photo by Bago Games CC 2.0

Netflix Logo. Photo by Bago Games CC 2.0

Netflix is known for their new original television series, as well as old favorites. But Netflix also has an excellent collection of documentaries. Here are seven documentaries featured on Netflix that will inspire you to do more good. 

  1. Dirty Money 

This six, one-hour-long episode series exposes con-artists, cheaters, and schemers who are motivated by greed. Episodes focus on topics from Donald Trump’s shady business empire to a car company who cheats on emissions tests to save money. Through firsthand accounts with perpetrators and the victims, the he docu-series aims to expose the corruption in our economy. 

2. Minimalism: A Documentary About the Important Things

Minimalism sheds light on the way our society rapidly consumes, and how this consumption is dangerous to our mental health and our environment. This documentary delves into the lives of people who have gotten rid of their excess belongings, and committed to a life of minimalism. 

3. What the Health 

What the Health exposes the corruption in the healthcare industry as a result of the government and big business. The film wants us to ask why healthcare costs so much and is so inaccessible, costing people their lives. 

4. Rotten 

This six part documentary series aims to make the public aware of the crisis in the global food industry. The film encourages people to pay more attention to the source of the food they buy as they might have been frozen multiple times, or contain many additives. Since food has become treated like a commodity, fraud has increased and farming has decreased. 

5. Inside the World’s Toughest Prisons 

Investigative journalists voluntarily become inmates the worlds’ brutalist prisons in order to expose the poor conditions that prisoners face. One of the journalists served years in prison for a crime that he did not commit, so the docuseries is even more emotionally charged.

6. The White Helmets

The White Helmets follows the first responders who rescue people from the rubble after bombings in Syria. The Academy Award nominated documentary short shows real life heroes, who are guided by their motto that “To save a life is to save all of humanity.” 

7. Period. End of Sentence.  

This Academy Award winning documentary short about how women in India achieve financial independence, and counter stigma about menstruation, by creating low-costs sanitary napkins on a machine in their village. 

These documentaries and documentary series come in all lengths, and span a range of topics. They are guaranteed to educate and inspire you on your next Netflix binge!





ELIANA DOFT loves to write, travel, and volunteer. She is especially excited by opportunities to combine these three passions through writing about social action travel experiences. She is an avid reader, a licensed scuba diver, and a self-proclaimed cold brew connoisseur. 

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