These Documentaries on Amazon Prime Will Change Your Life

True story.

woman watching tv with mug

Hiraman / Getty Images

This article is updated monthly with our latest picks.

If you're a regular MyDomaine reader, you've no doubt noticed we've been watching a lot of documentaries lately. We've been scrolling through the nonfiction film libraries of HBO MaxNetflix, and Hulu and writing up our recommendations along the way. So, naturally, Amazon was the next platform we turned to in search of true stories to stream. The thing is, there is a staggering number of documentaries included with Prime.

After watching a bunch of films, we're sharing the best documentaries on Amazon Prime that we think everyone should add to their watch list. From the heart-wrenching love story of a couple separated by bars that we can't stop thinking about to a funny and fascinating film about a famed art forger that we've been raving about for weeks, these are the documentaries that we highly recommend streaming stat.

Here are our picks for the best documentaries on Amazon Prime right now.

01 of 30

Human Flow (2017)

Human Flow

 Amazon

Artist, filmmaker, and activist Ai Weiwei delves into the global refugee and migrant crisis in this Amazon original documentary. Filmed over the course of a year in 23 different countries, Human Flow chronicles the crisis in a way that you won't see on the nightly news. Consider this a must-watch movie for the 21st century.

Available on: Amazon Prime Video

02 of 30

Planet Earth (2006)

Planet Earth

You've no doubt come across BBC's award-winning Planet Earth before, but if you haven't watched it yet, this is one to add to your list ASAP. Shot across 62 countries over four years (and narrated by the dulcet tones of David Attenborough), the 11-episode series captures life on Earth from frozen tundra to fertile rainforest and then some in stunning HD.

Available on: Amazon Prime Video

03 of 30

I Am Not Your Negro (2017)

I Am Not Your Negro

 Amazon

Raoul Peck's Oscar-nominated I Am Not Your Negro uses James Baldwin's unfinished Remember This House manuscript as a jumping-off point for discussing race in the United States, spanning the civil rights movement to the Black Lives Matter campaign. Simply put, this film will make you rethink race.

Available on: Amazon Prime Video

04 of 30

Art and Craft (2014)

Art and Craft

Design Indaba

One of those rare documentaries that's almost too good to be true, Art and Craft tells the story of famed art forger Mark Landis, who has been getting away with deceiving world-renowned museums for over 30 years. It's funny, fascinating, and entirely engrossing. Art lovers won't want to miss this.

Available on: Amazon Prime Video

05 of 30

Missing Mom (2018)

Missing Mom

 Amazon Prime Video

Two sons with nothing to lose set out to find their mom—who has been missing for over 25 years—in this gripping documentary. Robert McCallum and Jordan C. Morris's Missing Mom will leave you guessing until the very end. This engrossing, heart-wrenching mystery will stick with you long after it's over.

Available on: Amazon Prime Video

06 of 30

Encounters at the End of the World (2007)

Encounters at the End of the World

 Amazon Prime Video

Filmmaker Werner Herzog chronicles his journey to Antarctica as he visits McMurdo Station, the United States' largest research center on the continent. Not only does Encounters at the End of the World showcase the hauntingly beautiful landscape, but it also explores the minds of the scientists studying the otherworldly wildlife there.

Available on: Amazon Prime Video

07 of 30

Gleason (2016)

Gleason

 Amazon Prime Video

When Steve Gleason was diagnosed with an incurable degenerative autoimmune disease, he was given two to five years to live. Gleason follows the former defensive back for the New Orleans Saints through his first few years of living with the disease. Trust us—even non-sports fans will enjoy this powerful film.

Available on: Amazon Prime Video

08 of 30

Rewind (2019)

Rewind documentary poster

rogerebert.com

It helps to have a thick skin when you watch this one, but either way, you won't want to miss this tell-all exposé that shines a light on childhood abuse. Director Sasha Joseph Neulinger uses his father's home videos to reconstruct his destructive boyhood and examine the lasting effects of child abuse.

Available on: Amazon Prime Video

09 of 30

Unseen (2016)

Still from Unseen Documentary

IdeaStream

In 2009, 11 decomposing bodies were discovered on the property of Anthony Sowell's Cleveland residence. But until one woman escaped from Sowell's clutches and filed rape charges against him, local police ignored the many missing person reports from the area. Unseen tells the victims' stories and demonstrates the disturbing invisibility of women on the margins of society.

Available on: Amazon Prime Video

10 of 30

Trail of Tears (2008)

Trail of Tears poster

Woodsville High School Library

This five-part documentary series should be required viewing for all Americans (and everyone else). Exposing the oppression, racism, and destructive treatment from American and British governments and people, Trail of Tears delves into the all-too-real history of Native Americans since the "discovery" of the new world.

Available on: Amazon Prime Video

11 of 30

The Milky Way (2015)

The Milky Way documentary poster

With Quiet Hands

Motherhood is a beautiful thing. But mothers don't always get their dues in a society that stigmatizes breastfeeding and the bodily changes that motherhood brings about. The Milky Way takes a hard look at why that is and empowers women to trust themselves, their babies, and their bodies.

Available on: Amazon Prime Video

12 of 30

I Am Another You (2017)

I Am Another You

 Amazon Prime Video

When award-winning Chinese filmmaker Nanfu Wang arrives in Florida, she runs into a young drifter named Dylan who has intentionally chosen a life of homelessness. Intrigued by his story, Wang decides to start chronicling his journey with her camera. The result is I Am Another You, an introspective film that, as the tagline reads, "explores the meaning of freedom—and its limits."

Available on: Amazon Prime Video

13 of 30

Leaving Neverland (2019)

Leaving Neverland

Rate Your Music

In this HBO documentary, two men abused by Michael Jackson recount their experiences. You might just see the iconic entertainer in a whole new light after this compelling film.

Available on: Amazon Prime Video

14 of 30

JFK's Women: The Scandals Revealed (2006)

JFK's Women: The Scandals Revealed

 Amazon

Go inside former President John F. Kennedy's secret life in this documentary, exposing his scandals and affair with Marilyn Monroe. This is the true story of what actually occurred behind the scenes.

Available on: Amazon Prime Video

15 of 30

Planet Earth II (2017)

Planet Earth II

 Netflix

If you just couldn't get enough of Planet Earth the first time around, check out the sequel to the Emmy-winning series. Explore islands, mountains, jungles, deserts, and more, getting an intimate glimpse into our planet and the wildlife that occupies it.

Available on: Amazon Prime Video

16 of 30

Hale County This Morning, This Evening (2018)

Hale County This Morning, This Evening poster

University of Georgia

Devoid of the construct of narrative, this ground-breaking documentary is composed of intimate, everyday moments from the lives of community members in Hale County, Alabama. While you may feel unmoored by the lack of plot, this commentary on the constructs of race and class is a must-watch.

Available on: Amazon Prime Video

17 of 30

Citizenfour (2014)

Citizenfour documentary poster

Occasional Planet

You've heard of Edward Snowden, but do you really know his story? Let the whistleblower's mind-blowing tale unfold around you in this Academy Award-winning documentary that exposes the real-life abuses of national security by the American government.

Available on: Amazon Prime Video

18 of 30

Minimalism (2016)

Minimalism

Patch

From director Matt D'Avella, Minimalism puts America's obsession with materialism under a microscope. It follows various people who've embraced a more minimalistic lifestyle and how this philosophy has come to recalibrate their outlook on life as a result.

Available on: Amazon Prime Video

19 of 30

Alison (2017)

Alison

Amazon 

Alison Botha was abducted in 1994 outside her home in South Africa. She was raped, disemboweled, and left to die. Against all odds, she survived. This is struggling for justice.

Available on: Amazon Prime Video

20 of 30

Living Proof (2018)

Living Proof

 Amazon

A young man diagnosed with a debilitating autoimmune disease goes on a journey for answers with his father in this touching documentary, which was a 2017 Toronto International Film Festival official selection.

Available on: Amazon Prime Video

21 of 30

Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret (2015)

Cowspiracy documentary poster

College of Charleston

Educate yourself on the most pressing issues facing our planet including global warming, deforestation, water use, and ocean dead zones, and hear why these experts believe animal agriculture is mostly to blame. Fair warning: You may be cutting meat out of your diet after watching this.

Available on: Amazon Prime Video

22 of 30

Time (2020)

Time Documentary still

Dhaka Tribune

Part love story, part critical look at our justice system, Time chronicles the story of Fox and Rob Rich, who were convicted of armed robbery. Fox was given a reduced sentence while Rob was sentenced to 60 years. The documentary takes a hard look at a system that seems to revel in the mass incarceration of black men.

Available on: Amazon Prime Video

23 of 30

Close Encounters of the Fifth Kind: Contact Has Begun (2020)

Close Encounters of the Fifth Kind poster

She Scribes

Are you a die-hard believer in UFOs or maybe just have a casual interest in extraterrestrials? This is your doc. Scientists and whistleblowers present controversial information about the existence of alien life. As for whether you believe it or not—that's for you to decide.

Available on: Amazon Prime Video

24 of 30

One Strange Rock (2018)

One Strange Rock

 Netflix

Will Smith hosts this documentary, which explores and reveals how life is able to thrive on Earth. One Strange Rock follows eight astronauts sharing their perspectives on Earth. The 10-episode series explains how Earth is both habitable and lethal and that mass extinctions are necessary for a prosperous planet.

Available on: Amazon Prime Video

25 of 30

Chasing Happiness (2019)

Chasing Happiness movie poster

The Howler

For all you Jonas fans out there, Chasing Happiness is like coming home. The documentary chronicles the Jonas Brothers' meteoric rise to fame, painful breakup, and liberating reunion with deeply personal interviews from all three brothers. Happy tears all around.

Available on: Amazon Prime Video

26 of 30

Illuminated (2019)

Illuminated

 Amazon

Ever wondered what the deal is with the top-secret society the Illuminati? This documentary takes you inside, exposing the truth behind the controversial society.

Available on: Amazon Prime Video

27 of 30

Little White Lie (2015)

Little White Lie documentary movie poster

NASW-NYS

Despite her copper skin, black curls, and full lips that differentiated her from her Jewish parents, Lacey Schwartz grew up convinced she was white. Directed by Schwartz herself, Little White Lie tells her story and the unacknowledged truth of her Black father.

Available on: Amazon Prime Video

28 of 30

That Sugar Film (2015)

That Sugar Film documentary poster

rogerebert.com

Sugar: We're a slave to it. And to prove it, documentarian Damon Gameau put himself on a grueling six-week high-sugar diet to uncover the risks and dangers of our excessively sugary diets, including so-called "healthy" foods. This film will leave you itching to overhaul your pantry.

Available on: Amazon Prime Video

29 of 30

The Witness (2016)

Still from The Witness documentary

Brooklyn Magazine

The Witness shares the horrifying story of Kitty Genovese from the eyes of her brother. After Genovese was stabbed to death in a very public manner, her brother and the rest of the world were left reeling, wondering how 38 witnesses could stand by and do nothing.

Available on: Amazone Prime Video

30 of 30

Foods That Cure Disease (2018)

Foods That Cure Disease

Movie Database

A man diagnosed with high cholesterol took control of his health by consuming a whole plant-based diet. This documentary examines plant nutrition and shows us the healthy meals he creates in his own kitchen.

Available on: Amazon Prime Video

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