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10 glorious documentaries to stream on Foxtel Now

Remarkable documentaries expand our horizons, keep our brains active and give us something to talk about. Still sceptical? Foxtel Now offers a strong selection.

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There are plenty of ways to improve your knowledge. You can read a book. Take a class. Listen to a podcast. But if you only have a couple of hours on hand and want something to stimulate your brain, watching a documentary is both an enjoyable and productive way to spend the time.

A well-crafted feature will gauge your interest and challenge your way of thinking. There are plenty of amazing titles out there to get you started, but it can be difficult to pick one if you’re new to the genre. Luckily, Foxtel Now has some of the best. Here are 10 thought-provoking docos, both standalones and series, that you can stream right now.

Cosmos: Possible Worlds

1. Cosmos: Possible Worlds


  • Year: 2020
  • Cast: Neil deGrasse Tyson, Trang Vo, Neil Arnote, Alexander Alayon

A follow-up to the 2014 television series Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey, Cosmos: Possible Worlds explores potential future discoveries based on current theories. Over the course of the show, host Neil deGrasse Tyson guides viewers through visually compelling voyages while explaining how technology is being used at the moment to find answers to some of the problems humanity is facing, like climate change.

If you’re interested in how our future may look one day, this show is definitely a good pick, as it highlights the importance of imagination and scientific exploration in creating a better life. Plus, the series is stunning to look at.

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Crimes that Shook Australia

2. Crimes that Shook Australia


  • Year: 2013
  • Cast: Stan Grant, Matt Doran

If you’re a true crime fan, this series is unmissable. Each episode focuses on a particular crime and dives deep into what happened. Expect dramatic reenactments and archive footage, as well as interviews with witnesses or people close to the investigation – all in order to shine a light on some of the most horrific unlawful acts the country has ever seen.

In season three, for instance, the audience was exclusively shown the footage filmed by the police as they entered the infamous Snowtown bank vault. Viewers can find out more about the events leading up to the crime itself, as well as learn what happened afterwards. Crimes that Shook Australia is a dark and riveting series – the stuff of horror movies, only real.

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Debi Marshall Investigates: Frozen Lies

3. Debi Marshall Investigates: Frozen Lies


  • Year: 2019
  • Cast: Debi Marshall, Kris Illingsworth

Follow award-winning investigative crime journalist Debi Marshall as she explores one of Australia’s most sensational murders – the 1979 Adelaide case of the lawyer in the freezer.

As she struggles to uncover the truth, Debi embarks on an investigation that stretches from the Australian outback to the Adriatic coast, leading her into a terrifying web of abductions, serial killings and cover-ups. Along the way, FBI-trained criminal profiler Kris Illingsworth offers crucial assistance.

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I Love You, Now Die

4. I Love You, Now Die: The Commonwealth v. Michelle Carter


  • Year: 2019
  • Cast: Michelle Carter, Jesse Barron, Emily Bazelon, Sam Boardman

Directed by Erin Lee Carr and produced by Andrew Rossi, this captivating two-part documentary revolves around the case of Michelle Carter, colloquially known as the “texting suicide case”.

Watch Carter as she stands trial for sending aggressive texts to her boyfriend encouraging suicide, just before he was found dead by suicide in his car. Can one person be held responsible for the suicide of another? That’s only one of the aspects this revelatory doco will make you think about.

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Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath

5. Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath


  • Year: 2016
  • Cast: Leah Remini

This eye-opening documentary shines a spotlight on Scientology, the controversial church that Remini herself used to be a member of. The King of Queens star visits former Scientology members and interviews them about their experiences, all in order to discredit the church and reveal some of its practices.

At the same time, Remini is encouraging more disciples to flee, which makes the series incredibly compelling. The fact that the actress herself was a member gives the show more credibility and her strong screen presence is a plus. She appears to be a passionate and sincere crusader, so don’t be surprised if you find yourself totally immersed in the show.

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Aussie Gold Hunters

6. Aussie Gold Hunters


  • Year: 2017
  • Cast: Jake Larsen, Matt Dickson, Christine Clark, Greg Clark

This intriguing series follows several hardcore crews of gold prospectors as they battle all manner of challenges while pursuing their dreams in the Australian outback. Aussie Gold Hunters takes you deep into the remarkable world of gold mining in Western Australia, where the crews are putting everything on the line to change their fortune. The competition is fierce, with teams using their instinct and endurance to find gold in order to survive financially.

Besides the excitement of the competition, the series provides plenty of insights into the prospecting practice. Plus, it’s an emotional rollercoaster, as anything can (and probably will) go wrong at any minute. Add in the impressive landscapes and you’ve got yourself a hit.

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The Inventor: Out for Blood in Silicon Valley

7. The Inventor: Out for Blood in Silicon Valley


  • Year: 2019
  • Cast: Elizabeth Holmes, Alex Gibney, Errol Morris, John Carreyrou

With a new invention that promised to revolutionise blood testing, Elizabeth Holmes became the world's youngest self-made billionaire. Just two years later, her company Theranos was dissolved, shocking Silicon Valley in the process.

To say that the Theranos scandal is fascinating would be an understatement, it’s the perfect example of how far corruption, fraud and greed can go. More importantly, the documentary does a great job at highlighting Holmes’s unnerving behaviour and showcasing how the Valley’s common practice to overpromise can lead to building a house of cards. Tune in to see how it all comes tumbling down.

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Beware the Slenderman

8. Beware the Slenderman


  • Year: 2016
  • Cast: Joan Allen, Joan Copeland, Peter Falk, Clark Gable

A true-life horror story for parents everywhere, Beware the Slenderman tackles the Slenderman stabbing, when two girls attempted to murder one of their friends to please a fictional monster. The documentary touches on the impact and origin of the Slenderman phenomenon, but is mainly focused on the crime and the court case that followed.

This isn’t an easy doco to sit through. The crew had access to the girls’ families, which makes Beware the Slenderman even more heartbreaking. Yet, it’s worth the watch, as it tries to make sense of the horrible crime. Children are extremely impressionable and when they’re going through hardship they can take refuge in the darkest of places, both online and off. Hopefully, features like Beware the Slenderman will remind everyone that we should be paying more attention.

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Arthur Miller: Writer

9. Arthur Miller: Writer


  • Year: 2017
  • Cast: Joan Allen, Joan Copeland, Peter Falk, Clark Gable

A documentary about the beloved American playwright of the same name, Arthur Miller: Writer is told from the unique perspective of his daughter Rebecca Miller, an award-winning filmmaker. It’s a loving portrait of a talented and complicated man that doesn’t shy away from exposing both his strengths and weaknesses.

The documentary includes in-depth interviews, personal photographs and home movie-style footage. Miller interviewed her father and followed him with cameras for decades. She doesn’t ask particularly tough questions, but neither does she avoid the messier moments of his life. What results is a tender and fascinating look at a public intellectual's inner life.

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Mommy Dead and Dearest

10. Mommy Dead and Dearest


  • Year: 2017
  • Cast: Jim Arnott, David Blanchard, Dee Dee Blanchard, Gypsy Rose Blanchard

A traumatic and revealing story, Mommy Dead and Dearest is about the murder of Dee Dee Blancharde. Her daughter Gypsy, who suffered years of psychological and physical abuse, was accused of the crime. This was a sensational case that was almost surreal, since the daughter was basically held hostage by her mother from a young age, a casualty of a rare disorder called Munchausen syndrome by proxy.

Filmmaker Erin Lee Carr became fascinated by the crime and the documentary, not recommended for the faint of heart, sheds new light on this devastating story. Mommy Dead and Dearest features home videos, interrogation-room clips, medical records and in-person interviews with Gypsy to paint a comprehensive and bleak picture.

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2 Responses

  1. Default Gravatar
    PatriciaFebruary 24, 2016

    What is the name of a documentary I watched on demand about 4-6 weeks ago. It was a BBC production I think and a 2 part story about the history of women’s rights in the UK.

    • Default Gravatar
      BrodieFebruary 25, 2016

      Hi Patricia,

      I think you might be after the four-part documentary The Ascent of Woman. It was produced by BBC2 and recently aired on Foxtel. Unfortunately, it’s no longer available on any streaming service in Australia. I’ve dug around and it only seems to be available for download on the BBC UK store. Australians are restricted from downloading from this website, but this can be worked around by using a VPN. Read more about VPNs here.

      Thanks,
      Brodie

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