These Documentaries on Amazon Prime Will Change Your Life

True story.

Updated 10/10/19

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 GoNetflix, 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 are 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 a heart-wrenching love story set in war-torn Syria 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's 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

Art and Craft (2014)

Art and Craft documentary

IMDb 

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 one.

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

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

05 of 30

A Syrian Love Story (2015)

A Syrian Love Story

 Amazon Prime Video

Shot over the span of five years, filmmaker Sean McAllister tells the unbelievable true love story of Amer and Ragda. The film follows the couple, who met while in jail for daring to speak out against an oppressive regime, as they navigate life after being behind bars. As The Guardian notes, A Syrian Love Story is "unmissable."

Available on: Amazon Prime Video

06 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 film will stick with you long after it's over.

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

4 Little Girls (1997)

4 Little Girls

 HBO

Spike Lee's film about the 1963 bombing of a black church in Birmingham, Alabama that killed four little girls should be considered required viewing for everyone in America. Lee's 4 Little Girls exposes a defining moment in the civil rights movement that's often overlooked by traditional education curriculums. Stream it now.

Available on: Amazon Prime Video

09 of 30

The September Issue (2009)

best documentaries amazon
Roadside Attractions. Roadside Attractions

Deemed "the real Devil Wears Prada" by VogueThe September Issue is a must-watch film for anyone with an Amazon Prime account. The documentary follows Vogue Editor-in-Chief Anna Wintour as the publication prepares the famed fall issue. It's a fun watch for even those who don't consider themselves sartorially savvy.

Available on: Amazon Prime Video

10 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

11 of 30

Forbidden Lie$ (2009)

Forbidden Lie$

 Amazon

What happens when you find out that a best-selling memoir about a best friend’s honor killing isn’t true? Such is the topic of Anna Broinowski’s documentary, Forbidden Lies, which digs deep to try to get into the psyche of author Norma Khouri. Expect a lie detector test, reenactments from Khouri, as well as a trip back to Jordan as the author insists that her claims are the truth.

Available on: Amazon Prime Video

12 of 30

Wisconsin Death Trip (1999)

Wisconsin Death Trip

 Amazon

This black-and-white documentary is based on the 1973 book of the same name. It dramatizes photographs by Charles Van Schaick found in the early 1970s, connected to a series of incidents that took place in Wisconsin.

Available on: Amazon Prime Video

13 of 30

Planet Earth (2006)

Planet Earth

 IMDb

BBC's Planet Earth claims that you'll see the world "as you've never seen it before," and honestly, the series does not disappoint. From the frozen tundra to the fertile rain forests, the 11-episodes series delivers compelling information and imagery, not to mention, it's narrated by naturalist David Attenborough.

Available on: Amazon Prime Video

14 of 30

Planet Earth II (2017)

Planet Earth II

 Netflix

If you just couldn't get enough of Plant 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

15 of 30

The Iceman Tapes (1992)

The Iceman Tapes

 HBO

Things are not always as they seem, and this chilling documentary about a serial killer/family man will prove this point. It’s not for the faint of heart, as you’ll hear about some of the 100 murders Richard “The Iceman” Kuklinski reportedly committed from police officers, medical examiners, and his wife. Oh yeah, and you’ll hear from Kuklinski himself as to exactly how he did it.

Available on: Amazon Prime Video

16 of 30

Capturing the Friedmans (2003)

Capturing the Friedmans

 IMDb

When filmmaker Andrew Jarecki learned that one of his subjects, a professional clown, was the son and brother of two men convicted of child sexual abuse in a 1980s criminal trial, he used home videos as well as interviews to compile a documentary to explore it.

Available on: Amazon Prime Video

17 of 30

The Bridge (2006)

The Bridge documentary

IFC Films

The Golden Gate Bridge may be one of the most photographed structures of all time, but it's also one of the biggest suicide sites in the world. This film highlights the large number of suicides that occur there each year. It is harrowing, to say the least.

Available on: Amazon Prime Video

18 of 30

Free Solo (2018)

Hulu: Free Solo

 Amazon

This movie documentary chronicles Alex Honnolds free solo climb of 32,000-foot El Capitan in Yosemite National Park. Trust us, your palms will be sweating the entire time.

Available on: Amazon Prime Video

19 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 ten-episode series explains how earth is both habitable and lethal, and mass extinctions are necessary for a prosperous planet.

Available on: Amazon Prime Video

20 of 30

Frozen Planet (2011)

Frozen Planet

 TV Guide

David Attenborough lends his voice to another BBC documentary, and this time they head to the Arctic and Antarctic regions to chronicle life in one of the harshest environments on earth. Filmmakers spent a phenomenal 2300 days in the field and 18 months at sea to record this incredible footage and showcase the breadth of life in such a barren place. 

Available on: Amazon Prime Video

21 of 30

Minimalism (2016)

Minimalism documentary

 IMDb

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

22 of 30

Fasting (2017)

Fasting documentary

 Amazon

This documentary gives you a firsthand look at the world of fasting. It includes seven different methods, including time-restricted feeding, intermittent and prolonged fasting, long-term water fasting, religious fasting, eating disorders, improvising or fasting unsafely, fasting mimicking diet, and juice fasting.

Available on: Amazon Prime Video

23 of 30

Leaving Neverland (2019)

Leaving Neverland

 IMDb

In this HBO documentary, two men abused by Michael Jackson recount their experiences. You might see the iconic entertainer in another light after this.

Available on: Amazon Prime Video

24 of 30

Africa (2013)

Africa documentary

 IMDb

The Discovery Channel and BBC unite to shoot six hour-long episodes about the incredibly diverse continent of Africa. Narrated by David Attenborough, this series is yet another visual feast with incredible never-before-seen footage of the animals, flora, and fauna that dominate this incredible landscape.

Available on: Amazon Prime Video

25 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

26 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

27 of 30

Foods That Cure Disease (2018)

Foods That Cure Disease

 IMDb

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

28 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

29 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

30 of 30

Life (2009)

Life

 Amazon Prime Video

Yet another David Attenborough-narrated nature documentary, Life explores the strange evolutionary adaptations animals on our planet have made in order to survive. The 11-episode series took around four years to film, covering every continent and habitat on earth. Consider this series the prequel to Planet Earth.

Available on: Amazon Prime Video

Up next: These are the best movies to watch when you're bored.

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