The 10 Best Documentaries On Hulu

By Amanda Guarragi
Published: November 3, 2022 (Last updated: December 23, 2023)
The 10 Best Documentaries On Hulu

In this list, we have compiled some recommendations for the 10 best documentaries on Hulu.

Documentary filmmaking is an important genre because it explores different perspectives of truth in real situations. Some documentaries can be based on a historical event or a historical figure and can peel back layers of what actually happened to them. Other documentaries can focus on an important subject with an exciting or dangerous situation that highlights their lifestyle or bravery.

The reason why documentaries create a different experience entirely for viewers is that they use interviews, archive footage, real-time footage, photographs, and animated film scenes to recapture the story they’re telling. There are many documentaries that have come out over the years, but Hulu has some of the best ones on its platform. Each documentary ranges from personal stories that are emotionally engaging, historical advocates who have been trailblazers in America, and other important issues that have made an impact on our culture. There are specific viewpoints in each of these documentaries that highlight various emotions of the subjects. The filmmakers who are able to create a safe atmosphere for their subjects in order to get the best version of the story out of them in a candid manner are what make all of this work.

Hulu has acquired these documentaries that feature important figures like Martin Luther King Jr., James Baldwin, Ruth Bader Ginsberg, and Malcolm X. Their stories are explored with historical accuracy and are seen as a tribute to their legacy as well. The other documentaries on this list highlight important personal moments from others who have extraordinary stories. These documentaries explored the bonds of friendship, passion, and the future of the world.

Some documentaries just have a fascinating subject like The Queen of Versailles, which has a simple premise of building an estate during an economic crisis. Even though it’s through a privileged lens, it still explores a crisis that has affected many people. It’s not only through one lens but of multiple scenarios which is what makes the documentaries work differently. There are also familial aspects in Minding the Gap and Three Identical Strangers that explore some challenging issues. Families really can’t be chosen, but you can choose your friends who become family. To see the change in perspective in both those documentaries is interesting and works in favor of the people who want to grow as individuals with people that support them.

Some film fans only watch documentaries for the truth because there is no bias. Sure, there is an angle, but there are still many stories intertwined that are factual and can start a conversation. That’s the other thing about documentaries, that even if it highlights a tough subject matter people who watch it can feel connected to them and want to discuss it. Or better yet, raise awareness on behalf of the documentary. There are plenty of emotional moments in each of these documentaries because you truly feel what the subjects are going through. You can understand them on a more personal level because the filmmakers stay with them in such a candid way. There are no lines being delivered or stories being thrown in for dramatic purposes. Everything is crafted as is just to simply highlight something important.

The 10 Best Documentaries On Hulu

Minding the Gap (2018)

Three young men bond through skateboarding to escape their volatile family life in their Rust Belt hometown. As they face their adult responsibilities, some unexpected revelations threaten their decade-long friendship.

Three Identical Strangers (2018) 

Identical triplets become separated at birth and adopted by three different families. Years later, their amazing reunion becomes a global sensation, but it also unearths an unimaginable secret that has radical repercussions.

Free Solo (2018) 

In Free Solo, Professional rock climber Alex Honnold attempts to conquer the first free solo climb of famed El Capitan’s 900-meter vertical rock face at Yosemite National Park.

The Queen of Versailles (2012)

The 2008 global economic crisis threatens the fortune of Florida billionaires David and Jackie Siegel just as they are in the middle of building a 90,000-square-foot estate in The Queen of Versailles.

I Am Not Your Negro (2016) 

Writer James Baldwin tells the story of race in modern America with his unfinished novel, “Remember This House”. Director Raoul Peck examines his unfinished book about the lives of Medgar Evers, Malcolm X, and Martin Luther King Jr.

RBG (2018) 

RBG explores the exceptional life and career of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg, who has developed a breathtaking legal legacy while becoming an unexpected pop culture icon.

I Am Greta (2020)

Greta Thunberg at the age of 15 started striking for the climate. She skipped school and sat outside the parliament to show the politicians that if they don’t care about her future, why should she? A film about acting to stop climate change before it’s too late.

MLK/FBI (2020)

This documentary is based on newly declassified files, Sam Pollard’s resonant film MLK/FBI explores the US government’s surveillance and harassment of Martin Luther King, Jr.

Summer of Soul (2021) 

Over the course of six weeks during the summer of 1969, thousands of people attend the Harlem Cultural Festival to celebrate Black history, culture, music, and fashion.

Blackfish (2013) 

Tilikum, a captive killer whale, has taken the lives of three people. This impassioned documentary tells his story to unravel the consequences of keeping orcas in captivity and reveal how little is known about these highly intelligent mammals.

The documentaries that are present on this list have achieved global acclaim and have been recommended time and time again. They are all educational in their own right and explore different aspects of people’s lives throughout history. Any of the documentaries on this list are difficult to watch because of the subject matter. Some may find them difficult because of the state of a broken system in America or some can be anxiety-inducing like Free Solo. However you look at these documentaries, they are all important because of the subjects who are front and center. These stories cannot be made in a standard live-action biopic because those films are always embellished a bit for dramatic purposes. If you want something that’s raw and realistic, documentaries are always the way to go. They are incredibly special and have been a form of storytelling that feels the most natural.

What did you think of our list of the 10 best documentaries on Hulu? Do you have any other recommendations? Let us know in the comments.

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