The Hidden Gems of Netflix: The 5 documentaries you need to see

Story by Nick Erickson, Assistant Features Editor

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Though textbook studying might not be everyone’s forte, many college students still find time to gain knowledge through other means. Documentaries are immensely popular this year among students, and Netflix is a particularly good source for watching content. Here is a handful of the most fascinating and in-depth documentaries the streaming service has to offer.

1. Amanda Knox (2016)-

After her roommate was found gruesomely murdered studying abroad in late 2007, 20-year-old Amanda Knox was found guilty and imprisoned. Filmed over the course of five years, the documentary does not so much set out to prove or disprove Knox’s innocence but rather sheds light onto how the media blew the case out of proportion. Showcasing of interviews with Knox and even her prosecutor, it’s a whirlwind of a story.

2. Tower (2014)-

The 1966 clock tower shooting at the University of Texas is an event often forgotten from the public mind. Filmmaker Keith Maitland set out to bring attention to the event, and through his animated reenactment of the massacre it feels as relevant and horrific as ever. For history buffs, this documentary is both insightful and thought-provoking.

3. Man on Wire (2008)-

In 1974, high-wire walker Philippe Petit tested the limits, sneaking onto the World Trade Center, stringing a cable between the tops of the two towers and spent almost an hour walking back and forth between the two buildings. Comprised of footage and harrowing re-enactments of the event, this film will both unease those with a fear of heights and amaze with Petit’s incredible feat.

4. Being Elmo: A Puppeteer’s Journey (2011)-

Many are familiar with the children’s characters on Sesame Street, but most are unaware of those behind the puppets. In this documentary, meet Kevin Clash, the puppeteer who created and performed as the beloved Elmo for many years. From the poverty line to becoming a cult icon, Clash shows there’s more than meets the puppet.

5. Exit Through The Gift Shop (2010)-

The famous and anonymous graffiti artist Banksy created a documentary a few years back following a street artist by the alias of Mr. Brainwash. Debated by the public whether or not the entire film is a hoax, it is nonetheless an enthralling view into the brooding art world and all of the dirty secrets it holds.