100 Must-See Documentaries Streaming on Netflix This April

Shannon in Finders Keepers

Eight recent documentaries we’re excited about are new to Netflix Watch Instantly, so they lead off this month’s incarnation of the Netflix 100. Two of them, Finder’s Keepers and Stray Dog were on our list of the best of 2015 (that brings the total of our favorites of last year streaming on Netflix to seven). They’re joined by The Hunting Ground, which was nominated for an Oscar this year for its original Lady Gaga track, and My Prairie Home, a film we reviewed favorably from Sundance two years ago that follows transgender singer-songwriter Rae Spoon.

Also: Western, the new feature from Tchoupitoulas directors the Ross Brothers; Orion: The Man Who Would Be King, which is the latest strange-tale music doc from Jeanie Finlay; Sunshine Superman, a romantic and thrilling and well-soundtracked film on the start of BASE jumping; and Batkid Begins: The Wish Heard Around the World, just because it’s too adorable to resist (also, Batkid v Sunshine Superman, hah ha). While it’s not on the list because it doesn’t technically qualify, the nonfiction film parody series Documentary Now! is highly recommended for all doc fans.

Sadly, eight additions means eight documentaries are leaving the list. Five of those are by way of expiration. Manakamana, Which Way Home and Ain’t That California have all already ceased streaming on the service. The last of those gone means I no longer have to defend it as being a doc for a while. Two more are leaving on April 8 — my beloved Sherman’s March and the brilliant archive-based film Let the Fire Burn. See those while you still can if you haven’t or want to watch them again (both are very re-watchable).

To go along with the departure of Ain’t That California, I chose to let the newly added Jafar Panahi’s Taxi pass through quickly since it’s not even technically a doc. For the last two, I chose First Comes Love and Meet the Patels for the chopping block because if Sherman’s March has to go, there may as well be none of its descendants on here either.

Now a reminder of how the Netflix 100 titles are numerically arranged:

They are mostly ranked in order of my favor with some objective authority, but there are some clumps throughout the list that obviously fit together. Some are by director, some are by genre or subject matter and some are by series. In fact, I see this whole list as being best watched in order of the rankings. There are a few double features in the bunch (Expedition to the End of the World and Encounters at the End of the World and Super Size Me and Super High Me, for two example sets) and some groupings where I truly think the higher ranking title is best watched before a certain title or titles below it.

(Editor in Chief)

Christopher Campbell is the founding editor of Nonfics.