LAST UPDATED: 30 September 2021
With seemingly endless shows ready to watch at the click of a button these days, it can be difficult to find the ones that you just have to see. So, we helped.
These films will deliver everything you'd hope from a great documentary: insight, inspiration and the power to change the world.
My Octopus Teacher
Winner of the 2021 Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature, My Octopus Teacher documents a year spent by filmmaker Craig Foster forging a relationship with a wild common octopus in a South African kelp forest. A 'quiet yet extraordinary' depiction of the bond between human and animal, and the value of the natural world, this beautiful film will warm your heart.
My Octopus Teacher is now streaming on Netflix.
David Attenborough: A Life on Our Planet
He's one of the world's most beloved natural historians, and at 94 years of age he has travelled to every continent and seen the monumental scale of humanity's impact on the planet... and David Attenborough is worried. This documentary is the beloved broadcaster's "witness statement", allowing him to reflect upon "both the defining moments of his lifetime as a naturalist and the devastating changes he has seen" — and it's having a tremendous impact on the lives of its viewers, with a recent survey revealing that as many as a third of Brits are avoiding animal products after watching the documentary.
A Life on Our Planet is now streaming on Netflix.
Kangaroo: A Love-Hate Story
This eye-opening, investigative documentary explores the truth surrounding Australia's love-hate relationship with its beloved icon: the kangaroo. The kangaroo image is proudly used by top companies, sports teams and on tourist souvenirs — yet, when they hop across the vast Australian continent, some consider them to be "pests" to be shot and sold for profit. Kangaroo: A Love-Hate Story goes behind-the-scenes of 'the largest wildlife slaughter anywhere in the world', and examines every facet — with stories from rescuers, shooters, politicians and marketers — of Australia's complicated relationship with kangaroos.
Kangaroo: A Love-Hate Story is available on multiple streaming channels. Get the list here.
The Game Changers
This film follows James Wilks — elite special forces trainer, and winner of The Ultimate Fighter — as he travels the world meeting elite athletes, scientists, icons and everyday heroes on a quest for the truth behind the dangerous myth that meat is necessary for protein, strength and health.
Having always felt a strong connection to the ocean, Dr. Sylvia Earle has dedicated her life to exploring and protecting the marine environment. In this documentary, Dr. Earle looks back upon some of her achievements as a pioneering female marine biologist, reflects on the devastating loss of marine life she has seen over the years and shares her vision for how we can change the very real and present threat to our oceans, and thus, ourselves.
Watch Mission Blue on Netflix.
With breathtaking aerial drone footage, combined with handheld and hidden camera vision, this uniquely Australian film leaves no stone unturned in it's examination of the modern day animal agriculture industry — which thrives on secrecy.
Produced by Aussie Farms and made available online for free, Dominion is essential viewing for anyone who believes that consumers deserve to know the truth about how their 'food' is made. Be warned, this film doesn't hold back. It contains some confronting scenes of what animals experience in our food system.
The film is narrated by Joaquin Phoenix, Rooney Mara, Sia, Sadie Sink and Kat Von D, and co-produced by Earthlings creator Shaun Monson.
Watch Dominion for free on the Dominion Movement website.
What The Health
What is it that government and big business is keeping from us that's keeping us sick? And why? From the creators of the award-winning documentary Cowspiracy, What the Health follows filmmaker Kip Anderson as he explores the links between animal products and chronic diseases — with the help of doctors, researchers and consumer advocates — and investigates why leading health organisations might not be talking about them.
The Ivory Game
As elephants draw ever closer to extinction, The Ivory Game follows award-winning director Richard Ladkani and Academy Award nominated director Kief Davidson as they filmed undercover for 16 months, infiltrating and exposing the deep-rooted corruption at the heart of the global ivory trafficking crisis.
Watch The Ivory Game on Netflix.
A young environmentalist sets out on a quest to find out exactly what impact animal agriculture is having on the planet — and why nobody is talking about it. Cowspiracy is a truly eye-opening documentary that has been the spark of much conversation in a space where previously there was silence. It even grabbed the attention of Leonardo DiCaprio, who you can thank for the fact that you can now stream Cowspiracy on Netflix.
To find out how you can get started eating to help the planet right now, click here.
Before Dr. Jane Goodall's ground-breaking research, little was known about chimpanzees in the wild. Never-before-seen footage shows how Dr. Goodall developed a unique bond with chimps, challenged the male-dominated scientific perspective of the time and changed our understanding of the natural world forever.
Live and Let Live
Climate change, lifestyle diseases and ethical concerns move more and more people to reconsider eating animals and animal products. From butcher to vegan chef, from factory farmer to farm sanctuary owner, Live and Let Live tells the stories of six individuals who decided to stop consuming animal products and the impact this choice has had on their lives.
Watch Live and Let Live on Vimeo.
Virunga tells the story of a team of incredibly brave individuals who risk their lives every day to protect the world's last living mountain gorillas in the beautiful jungle of Congo. A unique combination of investigative journalism and nature documentary, Virunga is equally shocking and moving. You'll see a familiar name in the credits as staunch conservation activist Leonardo DiCaprio was the executive producer on this doco too.
Watch Virunga on Netflix.
Motivated by concerns about the planet his 4-year-old daughter would inherit, Director Damon Gameau embarked on a global journey to meet innovators and changemakers in the areas of economics, technology, civil society, agriculture, education and sustainability. Drawing on their expertise, he sought to identify the best solutions, available to us now, that would help improve the health of our planet and the societies that operate within it. From marine permaculture to decentralised renewable energy projects, he discovered that people all over the world are taking matters into their own hands.
'Our Planet' will take viewers on a spectacular journey of discovery showcasing the beauty and fragility of our natural world. Today we have become the greatest threat to the health of our home but there's still time for us to address the challenges we've created if we act now.David Attenborough
Our Planet is streaming now on Netflix.