10 Lesser-Known Inspiring Documentaries to Watch On Netflix

Everybody has a desire to travel and breathe new air, and see new landscapes, cultures, and horizons. A wonderful way to do it around the world without spending a lot of money is through documentaries, expanding your knowledge of other places that you may not have known about or had only superficially heard of.

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Netflix has such a diverse catalog, from food and cultural traditions to personalities that have left their mark in literature or politics, but the list can be so vast that many times viewers can miss little gems of this genre.


Bigger Than Africa (2018)

One of the most famous migrations in history was the African slaves, who crossed the Atlantic Ocean and brought their stories, food, and spiritual beliefs to the destination countries, trying to keep their roots alive as long as possible.

One of those traditions was the Yoruba religion. For 90 minutes, the audience will learn about the journey of this culture from West Africa to the slave settlements in Brazil, the United States, the Republic of Benin, Cuba, and Trinidad and Tobago.

A Sinister Sect: Colonia Dignidad (2020)

After World War II, many Germans migrated to allied countries, including Chile. This is where the preacher Paul Schäfer and his followers traveled and created a foundation to help people in vulnerable sectors of the Chilean central region, but that was only a screen.

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Nowadays, it is known from testimonies of former members and documentation that Colonia Dignidad (now Villa Baviera) used surveillance and punishment methods to control the bodies and minds of its followers, tortured and murdered civilians sent by Pinochet, and sexually abused teenagers from nearby communities.

Born in Syria (2018)

Everybody knows how the wars and their consequences go beyond economic losses, as they affect the daily coexistence of thousands of people around the world, especially when they must flee their nations and seek refuge, as has happened with more than 9 million Syrians.

Hence, comes this documentary that presents to the audience the perspective of 7 children and their exodus from Aleppo to Europe, looking for a new beginning, where they leave behind their families, friends, and routines and must face challenges such as mafias, the sea, and subsequently, the integration into a different and hostile society.

Gabo: The Creation of Gabriel García Márquez (2015)

One of the most prolific writers of Latin America and the contemporary world was undoubtedly the Colombian Gabriel García Márquez, who captured the essence of the unbelievable reality of the continent in such emblematic works as Love in the Time of Cholera or One Hundred Years of Solitude, which have even been made into films for the big screen.

For an hour and a half, the viewers will not only learn about the influence of journalism on the works of Gabo, as he is still called in Latin America but also how his childhood experiences shaped his entire narrative style and led him to win the Nobel Prize.

Raja, Rasoi aur Anya Kahaniyan (2017)

Imagine entering into the kitchen and perceiving the welcoming fragrance of spices coming out of various pots, this is a remarkable and recognized feature in all Indian food, but how did its different dishes originate?

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This documentary travels through all the regions of one of the most populated countries in the world to find the answer behind the food of the Indian royalty and the different historical events that influenced the gastronomic culture of their societies up to the present day.

Guatemala: Heart of The Mayan World (2019)

Suppose you are planning to visit a new tourist destination. In that case, this documentary is an appetizer, an interesting option that may help the viewer to look for more information about Guatemala and the Mayan culture and how it continues to have an impact to this day.

Is it a country with its conflicts and disparities? Yes, undoubtedly, but the tourism potential remains as in almost all Latin American countries. This audiovisual shows the audience the natural landscapes of Guatemala, its food, the vestiges of the ancient Mayan settlers and their settlements, and facts that are worth knowing and checking out.

Exercising and staying healthy as a lifestyle has been important for several years ago, to the point that people may feel pressure to get into this type of activity, buying the right clothes and shoes, but the protagonist of this documentary shows the viewers that this is not necessary to achieve it.

Lorena Ramirez is a Mexican woman who has won several ultramarathons, but what’s amazing about her is that she competes wearing her simple sandals. But there’s more to her background, she is part of the Tarahumara, an indigenous group from northern Mexico who is known for their long-distance running skills.

Europe’s Most Dangerous Man: Otto Skorzeny in Spain (2020)

On Nazism and World War II, people can talk for hours, and Hitler and his allies are still the subjects of novels, TV series, movies, and biopics. One of those controversial and interesting characters was Otto Skorzeny, known as the Scarface of the Nazi party by the Americans.

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This documentary is presented as an opportunity to learn more about the history of one of the most loyal men the Führer had. After his participation during WW II, Skorzeny fled to Spain where he started a new life, establishing new jobs and social relationships under the protection of the dictator Francisco Franco, but without cutting ties with his political ideology.

Pacificum: Return to The Ocean (2017)

For centuries, the ocean has been the basis for the complex evolution of human beings, and in the case of the Pacific, it has been a source of marine abundance and cultural exchange, which greatly influenced the development of the various pre-Hispanic cultures along its coast.

Four scientists, a paleontologist, a specialist in pre-Hispanic urbanism, a marine biologist, and an expert in ecotourism came together in this audiovisual to show how the sea complemented the ancient societies of Peru, and how even today there are archeological findings of the passage of marine life in their lands and traditions.

Léa & I (2019)

What would you do for your best friend if you found out she had a disease that reduced her life expectancy? That question is what motivated Camille Shooshani to film the journey she took with her friend Léa Moret in search of a cure for her cystic fibrosis.

And beyond Léa’s illness, their journey through Latin America to try alternatives to conventional Western medicine led them to get to know each other better, heal unresolved issues that each them had, and recognize what is truly worthwhile in life.

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