During the last few years of political, social, economic and even spiritual unrest, documentaries have become a key way to understand how we’re gotten to where we are. The best documentaries are the ones that leave you silent at the end of it, whether it’s from jaw-dropping moments or unbelievably true stories. 2022 proved to be a good year for documentaries, including some that take a closer look at the history public figures, and others that look to the future ahead of us.
God Forbid: The Sex Scandal That Brought Down a Dynasty unpacks the scandal that brought down the former Liberty University president, as well as his wife, his family’s legacy and even former President Donald Trump. The jaw-dropping documentary weaves the real story of the fall of the Falwells through the lens of Giancarlo Granda, the pool boy at the center of the scandal. You can watch it on Hulu.
We Feed People
Good Night Oppy
Talk about a story of resilience. Good Night Oppy charts the remarkable true story of Opportunity, a NASA exploration rover that was sent to Mars for a 90-day mission but ended up surviving for 15 years. While Oppy may be a robot, it does remind us to never give up hope. You can watch it on Amazon Prime.
The Secrets of Hillsong
This documentary explores the rise and fall of Hillsong Church, one of the most popular and influential churches in the world. Over four episodes, the story chronicles the church’s meteoric growth, its celebrity following and its hidden secrets, including allegations of sexual abuse and leadership abuse. The documentary also examines the role of Hillsong founder Brian Houston, who has been accused of covering up his father’s sexual abuse. You can watch it on Hulu.
What We Leave Behind
Julián Moreno is the focus of What We Leave Behind, a poetic exploration on family, tradition, immigration, and life and death. Filmmaker Iliana Sosa interviewed her grandfather, who took time every month for nearly 20 years to take a bus for the 560-mile trip from his home in Mexico to visit his daughters and grandchildren in El Paso, Texas. It will tug on your heartstrings, so you’ll definitely want a box of tissues near you. You can watch it on Netflix.
In a time when “fake news” is a common phrase, it can be hard for many to recognize the dangerous works journalists actually do. Endangered peels back the veil on the fourth estate, showing audiences just how difficult it can be to discover the truth. You can watch it on HBO Max.
TikTok has absolutely taken over in the last few years. The pandemic surged the video platform to massive heights, and it seems like many of us are unaware of its impact. TikTok, Boom explores exactly how the app rose in popularity and how it’s changing our society — for better and for worse. You can watch it on Amazon Prime.