In an age where anyone with a smartphone can become a documentarian, documentaries have become more inclusive and expansive. Today, we have curated a list of modern, unique documentaries on the popular streaming service Hulu that deserve your time and attention.
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Viewing a documentary walks you a hundred miles in someone else’s shoes over a few hours. Whether the subject is from a different city, state, or country, viewing a documentary is an immersive experience that can change your overall perspective. The nine modern Hulu documentaries featured below traverse the many differences, as well as similarities, we all share as a society.
From a flash-in-the-pan internet celebrity to the plights of a free-climber, below are nine stellar Hulu documentaries that may change the way you think.
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From home to home, each family is different in their own incredible way. The documentaries below showcase the many beautiful definitions of the word “family”.
1. Far From the Tree
Based on author Andrew Solomon’s New York Times best-selling novel of the same name, Far From the Tree dives into the emotional bond between parents and their children, who are vastly different from each other. After dealing with his own parents’ negative emotions after coming out as gay, Solomon sought to see how other parents deal with children who aren’t what they expected.
The raw emotion emitted from the families featured radiates from the screen, whether it is love, joy, frustration, or sadness. Far From the Tree stretches the perception of what a “normal family” is, fights prejudice, and promotes acceptance for all.
2. Three Identical Strangers
Three Identical Strangers is a too-crazy-to-believe true story about three identical triplets who were separated at six-months-old, and the secrets surrounding their adoptions. The documentary is a discussion on the beauty of coincidence, identity, and medical ethics. Three Identical Strangers is a wild ride from start to finish and is best watched with as little information as possible. Just trust me, Three Identical Strangers is certainly worth a space in your watchlist.
Although social media is only decades old, the progression of technology moves at hyperspeed. With insanely viral moments taking over pop culture every month, many Hulu documentaries showcase the craziness of social media.
3. Fyre Fraud
Following the train-wreck social media phenomenon Fyre Festival, Fyre Fraud is a true-crime documentary on one of the most deceptive stories the internet ever birthed. The documentary follows the life of Fyre Festival’s founder, Billy McFarland, as well as the many workers and employees that followed this ill-fated music festival to an early grave.
In a boisterous fire of social media influencers, a beautiful island in The Bahamas, and Ja Rule, Fyre Fraud is a fascinating criticism of business in the digital age. Within just a few minutes of viewing, you will learn everything is not as it seems.
Hulu documentary Jawline is a peek behind the social media curtain at one teen’s chase of social media stardom. The film stars Austyn Tester, then 16-years-old, as he rises in popularity on the social media platform YouNow. Jawline captures a story that is as classically American as it is culturally relevant: a pursuit of fame. What makes Jawline special is the effervescent positivity of its main subject, Tester.
The film also digs into the rarely seen managerial side of social media fame, by showcasing young social media manager Michael Weist. The doc displays Weist as he struggles to keep his young, wildly successful clients popular online. Whether you occasionally check your Facebook feed or have dreams of becoming a social media celebrity just like Austyn Tester, Jawline is an intriguing watch that analyzes social media from a thought-provoking angle.
Some of the greatest stories ever told happened in the realm of sports. But forget basketball and baseball, the featured Hulu documentaries below show off sports that are lesser-known but just as compelling.
5. Minding the Gap
2018 Sundance star Minding the Gap celebrates the friendship built behind a shared adoration of skateboarding. The film centers around three boys, the sport that keeps them together, and how they grow and evolve into men over time.
Although the film showcases beautifully shot skateboarding footage, it also analyzes deeper subjects such as their volatile family lives and the societal expectations surrounding them.
6. Free Solo
For all those who enjoy watching GoPro videos of extreme athletes on YouTube, Free Solo is going to be your kind of documentary. It explores the incredible journey of rock climber Alex Honnold. Throughout Free Solo, the rock climber prepares to do a free solo climb of El Capitan, a rock formation in California’s Yosemite National Park.
In the rock climbing world, a free solo climb means that he is preparing to do the climb without any kind of protective equipment. The film tests the strength of the human mind and body. As you watch, the deep, inner connection between humanity and nature reveals itself.
7. Behind the Mask
The two-season, twenty-episode documentary series Behind the Mask, follows the lives of eight different mascots all across the nation. Although mascots are often one of the most recognizable figures of our favorite sports teams, rarely do we see the person behind the mask. Sports lovers and fans of feel-good content will thoroughly enjoy this fun documentary series turning your favorite sports on its heads.
This section of Hulu documentaries is for all the foodies out there who are looking to diversify your taste buds. After enjoying the appetizer and main course below, you may be encouraged to try a new kind of cuisine.
8. Jiro Dreams of Sushi
The life and business of genius chef and sushi mastermind, Sukiyabashi Jiro, is examined in Jiro Dreams of Sushi. In this doc, you will witness sushi rolls that are far beyond your neighborhood shop or grocery store replica.
The documentary also shows the inner workings of his family life and how maintaining a thriving, well-known local business affects them. The doc is an exploration of the time and effort it takes to become a master while showcasing the art and culture of sushi.
9. Ramen Heads
Like Jiro Dreams of Sushi, Ramen Heads analyzes the mastery and creativity behind a beloved cuisine: ramen. The chefs behind six of Japan’s most popular ramen shops are featured in this delicious documentary.
The main star of the doc is the number one ramen shop Tomita Ramen, helmed by Osamu Tomita, Japan’s “reigning king of ramen.” Here, you will delve into the history behind ramen and the creativity in preparing the perfect bowl. After viewing Ramen Heads, you will definitely look at your next bowl of delectable ramen differently.
Which of these Hulu documentaries are you adding to your watch list?
The aforementioned Hulu documentaries reveal parts of our society that you may have never known existed, whether it is the journey of a rock climber or a failed multi-million dollar social media music festival. When you need a doc that will command your attention, reference this hand-picked selection for experiences that will broaden your perspective in just a few short hours.
What movies have you recently watched on Hulu? Is there anything you look for on Hulu, but you can’t seem to find it? Comment below with your thoughts!