How badly does Netflix want to keep your eyeballs glued to their screen? Bad enough to have invested a reported $800 million to deliver more than 1000 hours of original content in 2017, including a record-breaking $40 million check cut to comedian Chris Rock for two stand-up specials.
If you can't wait that long for more original programming, check out five of the fresh documentary features hitting the service this month.
1. THE CONFESSIONS OF THOMAS QUICK (2016)
The same audience that turned out for the true crime series Making a Murderer and October’s Amanda Knox will probably devour this documentary about a Swedish man named Sture Bergwall who was confined to a psychiatric institution in the 1990s and eventually confessed to the murders of more than 30 victims. That’s only the beginning of Bergwall’s story—and if you can resist Googling the rest, the film should provide for a satisfying series of twists. (11/1)
2. NORMAN LEAR: JUST ANOTHER VERSION OF YOU (2016)
The pioneering television producer who radicalized American sitcoms in the 1970s with All in the Family and The Jeffersons is the subject of this documentary, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year. The film was greeted with huge applause, at which point the then-93-year-old Lear told the crowd he was appreciative but “had to take a leak.” (11/1)
3. FOOD CHOICES (2016)
Originally slated as an Indiegogo project, Food Choices was completed and purchased by Netflix for streaming distribution this year. Director Michal Siewierski examines the health effects of a plant-based diet.(11/2)
4. THE IVORY GAME (2016)
Leonardo DiCaprio produced this on-the-ground documentary about the morbid business of ivory poaching: Activists capture the lucrative trade of illicit elephant tusks, risking discovery in the hopes of shining a fresh light on a practice that threatens the animals with extinction. (11/4)
5. SOUR GRAPES (2016)
Dubbed a “real life comic mystery” by Variety, Sour Grapes documents a wine fraud scam that rocked the vineyard community. Thousands of bottles of faux vintage wine were sold for more than $35 million, leading both collectors and the FBI to trace the sales to an enterprising con artist. (11/18)