Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 12 July 2020

Loved 'Tiger King'? Here are 10 other documentaries to stream to quench your factual thirst

For those looking for a new documentary to watch, we offer some recommendations to check out

'Cheer', left, and 'The Pharmacist' might fill the void left by finishing 'Tiger King'. Netflix
'Cheer', left, and 'The Pharmacist' might fill the void left by finishing 'Tiger King'. Netflix

So, you binged through Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness, and now you're staring down the barrel of a weekend with nothing to watch?

You're not alone.

The Netflix saga all about the underworld of big cat collectors and conservationists, starring now-jailed zookeeper Joe Exotic, was easily this month's virtual-water-cooler watch, gripping millions of fans around the world.

But if you're now on the hunt for another documentary – whether series or feature film – to fill the void, we've got you covered.

Here are 10 suggestions, available on streaming platforms in the UAE, to watch now.

'Dark Tourist', Netflix

David Farrier (New Zealand's answer to Louis Theroux) explores the rising travel trend of dark tourism, where travellers venture to destinations with troubled, traumatic and morbid histories. In the eight-episode series, which first premiered in 2018, Farrier ventures to, among other places, Colombia where he takes a tour with Pablo Escobar's former hitman, a Japanese town evacuated during the Fukushima nuclear disaster, and a tour of the Manson Family murders in LA. It's ghoulish and gripping, shining both a light on some of the world's most harrowing figures as well as the controversial travel phenomenon.

'The Pharmacist', Netflix

In a tear-jerking story of revenge and justice, this four-part special shines a spotlight on Dan Schneider, a pharmacist from Louisiana. After his son was killed while purchasing drugs, Schneider launches a mission to find the murderer and, in the process, stages a one-man fight against a growing addiction to opioids in his home state. The grieving father goes on to gather evidence against a New Orleans doctor supplying a shocking amount of OxyContin, in a heart-wrenchingly dedicated pursuit to saving those like his son from similar addiction.

'Lorena', Amazon Prime

This 2019 true-crime docu- series unravels the story of John and Lorena Bobbitt, an American couple who made headlines after Lorena attacked her husband with a knife as he slept. In this four-part show, the pair recount the events of the night, as well as the subsequent trial that divided the American public and the impact the case has had on their lives ever since.

'McMillions', OSN

This HBO documentary, which counts Mark Wahlberg as an executive producer, lifts the lid on a true crime that tainted a fast-food chain's most famous competition. The McDonald's Monopoly promotion, which started in the US in 1987 and spawned iterations at branches across the globe, encouraged diners to become return customers, claiming Monopoly-themed pieces that could score them anything from free fries to, as advertised, a $1 million prize pot. However, between 1989 and 2001, there were almost no legitimate big-ticket winners in the States after a group of fraudsters figured out how to rig the system. This six-part series examines how this crime unfolded over more than a decade, headed up by a so-called chief of security.

'The Trials of Gabriel Fernandez', Netflix

This heart-breaking series is centred around the shocking 2013 murder of an 8-year-old boy at the hands of his mother and her boyfriend. Across six disturbing yet compelling episodes, the series charts how systems designed to protect vulnerable children in the US failed Gabriel Fernandez, who was abused and tortured before his tragic death.

'Cheer', Netflix

If you thought the world of cheerleading was all about pom poms, backstabbing and partying, with a little high-school gymnastics thrown in, this six-part series will show you otherwise. Cheer follows Texas's Navarro College Bulldogs Cheer Team as they prepare to compete in the annual National Cheerleading Championship. Not only does the show highlight just how dedicated and talented these athletes are, but also just how risky and brutal the routines can be, all for a chance to show off their skills in a two-minute routine.

'Generation Wealth', Amazon Prime

"I noticed that no matter how much people had, they still wanted more," says photographer and filmmaker Lauren Greenfield in the trailer for her 2018 documentary – and that mentality really sums up the crux of this film. Generation Wealth follows Greenfield's book and exhibition of the same name, and features appearances from characters such as a gilded hedge fund manager who lives in Germany to avoid extradition, and a bus driver who plunged herself into financial ruin after travelling to Brazil for plastic surgery. As Greenfield tries to discover the root cause of greed and capitalism, she also turns the lens on her own life and her own strive for success.

'How to Fix a Drug Scandal', Netflix

This shocking four-part series is centred around Sonja Farak, a lab technician working on drug crime cases who was caught tampering with evidence. Farak, in fact, was an addict who had been using drugs she was supposed to be testing, and subsequently falsified thousands of results, many of which had been used in convictions. The series examines just how Farak was able to carry out her brazen crimes, as well as the ripple effect her actions created in the justice system.

'Evil Genius', Netflix

The title of this four-part series comes with the addendum "the true story of America's most diabolical bank heist", and that's just pretty much what you get. Evil Genius is focused on the 2003 robbery of a PNC bank in Pennsylvania, during which pizza delivery driver Brian Wells strolled in wearing a bomb collar, demanded $250,000 and left with $9,000. Shortly after leaving the scene of the crime, Wells was apprehended by police and his explosive detonated, killing himself. The documentary charts what happens as the case began to unfurl, as it became apparent that there were multiple conspirators at play, bringing Wells's complicity into question.

'Fyre: The Greatest Party That Never Happened', Netflix

It felt like the film everyone was talking about at the start of 2019, but if you never got around to watching it, perhaps now is the time. This documentary uncovers the story behind Fyre, a festival that took place on an island in the Bahamas in April 2017. But while celebrities aplenty, luxury accommodation, and a line-up to beat all other line-ups had been promised, guests were instead greeted by soggy cheese sandwiches and basic tents. But, as Netflix's film relays, it was the Bahamian workers who had toiled behind the scenes that were the ones most let down by this ill-fated project.

Updated: April 9, 2020 08:23 PM

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