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VueCount – Best Documentaries on YouTube

VueCount / March 17, 2023

The school season may be coming to a close, but the arrival of summer doesn’t mean you have to stop learning new things. YouTube is an incredible resource for continuing your education no matter your age. It’s no secret that YouTube is the home to millions of how-to videos, but did you know they also have full length documentaries?

To help you start your educational binge, we have combed the internet to find highly recommended documentary offerings from YouTube and developed a short list of our favorites. All of these documentaries are available for free on the platform.

  1. 13th – This film examines systemic racism and the persistent horror of slavery in the United States with thorough, detailed, and astounding reporting. It is an academy Award nominee that Interviews public figures including Bryan Stevenson, Van Jones, Cory Booker, and more. The narrator’s thesis discusses how the Thirteenth Amendment did not make black people free, but instead shepherded them into a criminal system designed to keep them oppressed.
  2. All Is Self While, many of us may feel that we are somehow separate from the rest of existence, this couldn’t be further from the truth. Separation is an illusion. In reality, we are far more connected than we could possibly imagine. This film explores the topic of our unity and shows how spiritual traditions around the world have understood this for millennia, and how modern science is beginning to understand it now.
  3. The September Issue An intimate, funny and surprising behind-the-scenes look at VOGUE’S legendary editor-in-chief Anna Wintour and her team of larger-than- life editors, the 2009 Sundance Film Festival Winner tells the captivating story of how they create the must-have bible of fashion: THE SEPTEMBER ISSUE. Director R.J. Cutler delivers this riveting look into the world of fashion that is as fun, fabulous and fast-paced as the world it captures.
  4. Hoop Dreams – This documentary follows two ordinary inner-city kids dare to dream the impossible – professional basketball glory – in this epic chronicle of hope and faith. Over a five-year period, this unforgettable story delivers a poignant reflection on what it means to have hope even in the face of immense obstacles.
  5. Living on One Dollar– Four young friends set out to live on just $1 a day for two months in rural Guatemala. Armed with only a video camera, they battle hunger, parasites, and extreme financial stress as they attempt to survive life on the edge. An unimaginable reality for most young Americans, the challenges they face are real and plague over 1.1 billion people around the world. While the friends quickly learn there are no easy answers, the generosity and strength of Rosa, a 20 year old women, and Chino, a 12 year old boy, give them resilient hope that there are effective ways to make a difference.
  6. The Origin and Rise of MrBeast – Jimmy Donaldson, aka MrBeast, became obsessed with YouTube at a young age. From his early days making gaming videos to the massively viral Squid Game video, Jimmy has built a viral video empire based on the joy he gets from helping others. In this documentary “Beyond the Spotlight: Mr. Beast” you will hear his story straight from him and his closest friends and family.
  7. The White Helmets – As daily airstrikes pound civilian targets in Syria, a group of indomitable first responders risk their lives to rescue victims from the rubble. This film is a powerful glimpse into war-torn Syria won an Oscar for Best Documentary Short Subject.
  8. Dear Zachary – This film revolves around Andrew Bagby, who was found dead in a park in Pennsylvania. The viewers get to see how the police investigation begins to suspect his ex-girlfriend, who fled to Canada after his death. Dear Zachary is extremely shocking, and as viewers, we are able to make our own perceptions about the case, particularly when some facts come to light about the woman in question.
  9. Our Planet Share the wonder of the extraordinary place we call home. Utilizing the latest technology Our Planet was filmed entirely in Ultra High Definition in over 50 countries. From exotic jungles to the deepest seas, open your eyes to the connections we all share. Narrated by Sir David Attenborough.
  10. Fed Up – This documentary blows the lid off everything we thought we knew about food and exercise, revealing a 30-year campaign by the food industry-aided by the U.S. government-to mislead and confuse the American public. Exposing the hidden truths contributing to one of the largest health epidemics in history, the film follows a group of families battling to lead healthier lives-and reveals why the conventional wisdom of “exercise and eat right” is not ringing true for millions of people struggling with diabetes, childhood obesity and other serious conditions.
  11. Life in a Day – This film is an attempt by director, Kevin Macdonald, to provide a glimpse into what a typical 24-hour experience is like for people worldwide. This film awakens a sense that it is every bit as much as winning the lottery.Ambitious in its scope, he utilized tens of thousands of YouTube submissions by contributors from several countries who submitted self-filmed videos of their days.
  12. Man on Wire – On August 7, 1974, a young Frenchman named Philippe Petit stepped out on a wire illegally rigged between the World Trade Center’s twin towers in New York. After dancing for nearly an hour on the wire, he was arrested, taken for psychological evaluation, and brought to jail before he was finally released. This documentary incorporates Petit’s footage to show the numerous extraordinary challenges he faced in completing the artistic crime of the century.

This list ought to be a great start to your educational journey on YouTube. With millions of educational videos and thousands of documentaries like these, it is no wonder that 377 million Americans visit YouTube every day. With the help of VuePlanner’s superior targeting technology, we can help you align your ads with this type of educational and documentary content to reach a specific audience. Reach out to our team to get started today.