Yet another month. Yet another (pleasant) load of Netflix surprises. With the work-from-home scenario seeing no near end, there’s harm in stealing 10 minutes of your favourite Netflix show in between those Zoom calls (no, you didn’t hear it from us first). But this time around, we bring you our lowdown on Netflix documentaries. Some stories of the past, some warnings for the future.
All in all, perfect in striking the balance between entertainment and enriching.
David Attenborough: A Life on Our Planet
Run time – 1 Hr 23 Min
A biographical documentary starring the one and only, legendary broadcaster and natural historian, David Attenborough. The near-centenarian recalls his life, along with the life on Mother Earth as witnessed – the evolutions, the deaths, the wraths and the extinctions. Intended initially to be a standard theatrical release, COVID 19 had other plans. The film speaks on various introspective themes – of how humans are ‘replacing the wild with the tame’, of changing landscapes owing to climate change and most importantly why now is the right time to act, before the damage to our planet gets irreversible. Quite the watch. Possibly also explains Attenboroug’s stellar debut on Instagram last week. To create the justified buzz, you see.
Blackpink: Light Up the Sky
Run time – 1 Hr 19 Min
K-pop has had its own modest rise. In reach, in fandom. From being a niche genre of music and entertainment, to K-pop groups making stage appearances across the world on some of the USA’s most discerning platforms. K-pop is here to stay. One of the more popular K-pop groups creating the buzz in Blackpink, with their members Lisa, Jisoo, Rosé and Jennie. Their upcoming documentary,which releases Netflix days after their Album does, charts their journey. Right from forming the group to reaching present levels of popularity and fame. It does help to get things in perspective, it helps to note that this is Netflix’s first K-pop documentary.
Rooting for Roona
Run Time – 41 min
This one’s all heart, grit and hope. A battle for survival and in some aspects a saga of a woman’s refusal to let go. To let go a piece so close to her, in soul and flesh. To let go of her own child. With the healthcare scenario being as pitiable as depicted in this documentary, and with opinions from every corner advising her to give away her child, the mother persists in will. This acclaimed documentary follows the stunning story of Baby Roona – diagnosed with Hydrocephalus at birth. This birth defect is caused by build-up of fluid in the brain leading to massive swelling of the head. Tip – get yourself accustomed to the widely documented story of Baby Roona before watching the documentary. As stellar as it is, it leaves you hopeful, in vain. But empowered in will.
Guillermo Vilas: Settling the Score
Run time – 1 Hr 34 Min
Follows the story behind Argentinian tennis legend Guillermo Vilas who for more than four decades relayed behind having his ranking revised. All to rightfully lay claim to the number 1 spot. Though the documentary may come across as being fit strictly for sports enthusiasts (and to an extent it is) it makes for a much more insightful watch. Replete with interviews and insights from renowned players like Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer and Björn Borg, amongst others. The documentary also narrates the story of sports journalist Eduardo Puppo who in fact relayed on behalf of Vilas – for nearly ten years. The documentary sheds light on allegations that Vilas was unfairly displaced for the numero uno position, takes us to a relook at male tennis rankings globally between 1973 and 1978 and such common phenomenon that plague the world of sports – possibly till date.
Secrets of the Saqqara Tomb
Run time – 1 Hr 53 Min
A social and cultural documentary that had me personally excited. Well, in these times that we live in, everyone seems to be a bit too excited and eager to dig up the past. Some for well founded reasons, and some. Well, trivial is an understatement. Since Netflix seems to be giving us good (and not to forget, stamped by professional and experts) reason to do exactly that, why not? This documentary narrates the endeavour of a group of archaeologists as they set about uncovering secrets and discoveries in a previously undiscovered tomb in Saqqara, Egypt. One of the more intriguing Netflix documentaries this month.