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​The Best Biographical Documentaries on Netflix (November 2018)

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Netflix is particularly savvy at burying all its categorical keywords; “biographical documentaries” isn’t exactly a phrase or sub-genre that comes to mind immediately when browsing for something to stream. Which is why USCardCode.com is here to pick through all the algorithms to find the best of what that esoteric signifier has to offer.

Little Dieter Needs to Fly

The story of former fighter pilot Dieter Dengler told in his own words, is one that, while pretty unbelievable, best illustrates the mastery manipulation of the man helping tell it. Werner Herzog makes no apologies for the way he so often bends the truth to more snugly serve the grandeur he finds in the subjects he chooses for his documentaries - but he’s never been interested in unadulterated truth anyway. Instead, he’s in the documentary game for the exultation of truth, conveying it in such a way as to focus on the overpowering emotions at its core. And so, in Little Dieter Needs to Fly, Herzog takes Dengler back to Southeast Asia, where, in the early days of the Vietnam War, he was shot down and taken the prisoner, tortured and starved—but then, somewhere within him, found the will to escape. Dengler leads us to step by step through this harrowing experience, accompanied by locals who Herzog hired to help Dengler “reenact” the events, and in a sense help him remember.

Pumping Iron

A 28-year-old Arnold Schwarzenegger, competing for his sixth Mr. Olympia title, effortlessly waxes poetic about his overall excellence, his litanies regarding the similarities between orgasming and lifting weights merely fodder between bouts of pumping the titular iron and/or flirting with women he can roll up into his biceps like little flesh burritos. He is both the epitome of the human form and almost tragically inhuman, so corporeally perfect that his physique seems unattainable, his status as a weightlifting wunderkind one of a kind.

Brother’s Keeper

There’s an alleged crime at the center of Brother’s Keeper: whether or not Delbert Ward, a 59-year-old farmer from Munnsville, New York, is guilty of murdering his older brother William. But that’s not really what Brother’s Keeper is about. Filmmakers Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky instead focus on the wide fissure between urban and rural American cultures in the late-1980s and early-1990s, examining the way the three remaining Ward brothers, essentially outcasts in their community prior to William’s death, are increasingly embraced by Munnsville as the media descend upon the town to report on Delbert’s trial. The mystery here is not about whether or not William was murdered.


Director Asif Kapadia wisely puts his subject front-and-center; friends, family members, and music industry associates are all interviewed for the film, but nearly all of them are presented as voiceovers rather than talking heads. Even when others are speaking, it’s impossible to take your eyes off Winehouse in Amy. He has a way of making her really feel cinematic, lingering in slow motion as she looks back at the paparazzi and rolls her eyes after rushing into a car amid a flurry of camera flashes.

Above is one of the best Biographical Documentaries on Netflix. If you ran out Netflix credit you can buy Netflix Gift Card at USCardCode.com with email delivery service and enjoy them. BTW, do not forget leaving your comments below if you have a better list.


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