All the Documentaries You Need to See in February 2022

This month's highlights include Black History Month programming, the origin of Kanye West, and the return of 'Jackass.'

documentaries february 2022

Welcome to Documental, a monthly column keeping fans of nonfiction films and docuseries up to date on all the documentary content coming to theaters and your favorite streaming services. Here’s a guide to all the essential documentary titles to watch in February 2022.

Another February is here, and you know what that means: a brief period of the calendar reserved for romance and Black history. Well, the latter is certainly a focus for streaming services this month, as we’ll highlight down below. Elsewhere, though, documentaries are back on the big screen in a big way over the next few weeks, including what’s sure to be the highest-grossing nonfiction feature of the year.

Here’s your guide to all the documentary films and series new to theaters and streaming in February 2022:

Black History Documentaries

Black Panthers Documentary

Yes, February is Black History Month, but that’s just a 28-day reminder. Black History is worth recognizing and celebrating all year long, as are films representing Black History, whether they’re documenting the history as it’s happening, chronicling what happened in the past, or being a part of history themselves. Streaming services spotlighting Black History films include PBS (and the PBS Documentaries Prime Video Channel), MagellanTV, and The Criterion Channel.

Criterion’s service is primarily focused on the works of Black filmmaker Stanley Nelson, including The Black Press: Soldiers Without Swords, A Place of Our Own, Freedom Summer, The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution, and Tell Them We Are Rising: The Story of Historically Black Colleges and Universities. The last two are also part of PBS’s Black History Month presentation.

Other Black History documentaries are premiering or appearing on streaming services without such clear curation, too. The 1948 classic Strange Victory is flying onto OVID, as is Shirley Clarke’s Ornette: Made in America, and films about activist Fannie Lou Hamer, opera singer Marian Anderson, and NASCAR driver Bubba Wallace will be on the WORLD Channel, PBS, and Netflix, respectively, while a new Black Patriots sequel is debuting on History. Also: there’s the Showtimes docuseries Everything Gonna Be All White and the new three-part Kanye West documentary on Netflix.

Sundance Selections

jeen-yuhs kanye west documentary

Speaking of jeen-yuhs: A Kanye Trilogy, that documentary is also one of a few recent Sundance premieres. While its release is not entirely clear, Netflix appears to be releasing each of the three installments separately, on a weekly basis. However, I’ve only seen the first part (a.k.a. Act 1) scheduled for theatrical release, so I’m not sure if all of the trilogy will be on the big screen weekly as well.

Another Sundance 2022 premiere that we’re still anticipating from hearing about it over a year ago is the latest from Rory Kennedy (Last Days in Vietnam). It’s called Downfall: The Case Against Boeing, and it’s about the aftermath of the two Boeing 737 MAX plane crashes, in late 2018 and early 2019, that grounded the specific type of aircraft worldwide. That’s also being released as a Netflix Original mid-month.

We Need to Talk About Cosby premiered on Showtime at the end of January, as we highlighted in last month’s Documental, soon after its appearance at Sundance. The four-part docuseries continues to release weekly throughout February.

The Return of Jackass

Jackass Forever

It’s been more than a decade since the last Jackass theatrical feature became one of the highest-grossing nonfiction films of all time. Now, after delays, Jackass Forever is likely to get documentaries off to a good start at the box office for 2022. Maybe the sequel will even top Jackass 3D given that it’s been a long time coming, fans are hungry for more hilarious pranks and stunts, and reviews are actually pretty positive.

And if you need to catch up with the franchise or you’re not ready to head to cinemas yet, or you just want to make a month of the Jackass movies and TV series, Paramount+ has you covered. Starting on the first of February, Jackass: The Movie, Jackass Number Two, and Jackass 3 (a.k.a. Jackass 3D), as well as the deleted-scene compilation Jackass 2.5 and the uncut third movie, packaged as Jackass 3.5, are streaming on the ViacomCBS service. Seasons 1, 2, and 4 of the original Jackass reality TV series will also be showing up on Paramount+ on February 9th.

Classics on OVID

On the Bowery

If modern documentaries based on reality TV prank shows aren’t your thing, or you need something to balance the low-brow of the Jackass movies, there are a handful of old classic docs hitting OVID this month. In addition to the earliest title found on the February 2022 edition of the Documental calendar below, which is the aforementioned Strange Victory, there are two films from 1956, Lionel Rogosin’s On the Bowery (one of the best NYC documentaries of all time) and Henri-Georges Clouzot’s The Mystery of Picasso (one of the best documentaries about artists of all time). And one from 1961: Kent Mackenzie’s docudrama The Exiles.

Now here is your calendar for all the documentaries and reality series releasing in February 2022:

Documentary Release Calendar for February 2022

DateTitleStreaming ServiceNote
2/1Africa's Great Civilizations (2017)PBSBlack History Month presentation
Bessie Coleman: The First Black Aviatrix (2018)MagellanTVBlack History Month Playlist
The Black Church: This is Our Story, This is Our Song (2021)PBSBlack History Month presentation
The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution (2015)The Criterion ChannelBlack History Rising: Documentaries by Stanley Nelson
The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution (2015)PBSBlack History Month presentation
The Black Press: Soldiers Without Swords (1999)The Criterion ChannelBlack History Rising: Documentaries by Stanley Nelson
Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan (2006)Amazon Prime Video
and Hulu
Celebrating Betty White: America’s Golden Girl (2022)Hulu
and Peacock TV
The Fight for the Black Middle Class (2017)MagellanTVBlack History Month Playlist
For Love of Liberty: The Story of America's Black Patriots (2010)MagellanTVBlack History Month Playlist
Freedom Summer (2014)The Criterion ChannelBlack History Rising: Documentaries by Stanley Nelson
Jackass 2.5 (2007)Paramount+
Jackass 3 (2010)Paramount+
Jackass 3.5 (2011)Paramount+
Jackass: The Movie (2002)Paramount+
Jackass: Number Two (2006)Paramount+
Jayhawkers: The True Story of Phog Allen and Wilt Chamberlain (2021)MagellanTVBlack History Month Playlist
Ku Klux Klan: An American Story (2020)MagellanTVBlack History Month Playlist
The Monopoly of Violence (2020)Mubi
Monumental Crossroads: Heritage, History and Hate (2018)MagellanTVBlack History Month Playlist
Muhammad Ali (2021)PBSBlack History Month presentation
My Father: Gordon Parks (1969)The Criterion Channelsupplementary material with The Learning Tree
A Place of Our Own (2004)The Criterion ChannelBlack History Rising: Documentaries by Stanley Nelson
Race for Justice (2016)MagellanTVBlack History Month Playlist
A Ripple of Hope (2010)MagellanTVBlack History Month Playlist
The Story of Lovers Rock (2011)The Criterion ChannelRoots & Revolution: Reggae on Film
Tell Them We Are Rising: The Story of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (2017)The Criterion ChannelBlack History Rising: Documentaries by Stanley Nelson
Tell Them We Are Rising: The Story of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (2017)PBSBlack History Month presentation
Top Chef - Season 18 (2021)Hulu
and Peacock TV
The Upsetter: The Life and Music of Lee Scratch Perry (2008)The Criterion ChannelRoots & Revolution: Reggae on Film
2/2Celebrity Big Brother - Season 3 (2022)Paramount+
Chez Jolie Coiffure (2018)The Criterion ChannelThree Documentaries by Rosine Mbakam
Delphine’s Prayers (2021)The Criterion ChannelThree Documentaries by Rosine Mbakam
Disrupt & Dismantle with Soledad O'Brien - Season 1 (2021)Paramount+
Jersey Shore: Family Vacation - Season 3 (2019)Paramount+
Looking for Venera (2021)Mubi
MeatEater - Season 10 Part 2 (2022)NetflixNetflix Original Series
New Worlds: The Cradle of Civilization (2021)In Theaters
The Tinder Swindler (2022)NetflixNetflix Original
The Two Faces of a Bamiléké Woman (2018)The Criterion ChannelThree Documentaries by Rosine Mbakam
2/3And Just Like That... The Documentary (2022)HBO Max
Come Back, Africa (1959)OVIDOVID Exclusive
Puppy Bowl Presents: The Winter Games (2022)Discovery+
Strange Victory (1948)OVID
You Got to Move: Stories of Change in the South (1985)OVID
2/490 Day Journey (2022)Discovery+
Breaking Bread (2020)In Theaters
Jackass Forever (2022)In Theaters
Magnolia Table with Joanna Gaines -- Season 5 (2022)Discovery+
Poly Styrene: I Am a Cliché (2021)In Theaters
(re)Motel - Season 2 (2022)Discovery+
Torn (2021)Disney+
2/6Homegoings (2013)PBS
2/7Heaven: Can You Hear Me? (2022)WORLD Channel Local, USA episode
(also on the PBS app)
Owned: A Tale of Two Americas (2018)PBSIndependent Lens episode
Riveted: The History of Jeans (2022)PBSAmerican Experience episode
2/8The Beatles: Get Back (2021)Blu-ray/DVD
Exile, a Myth Unearthed (2011)OVIDOVID Exclusive, streaming premiere
Love is Blind Japan (2022)NetflixNetflix Original Series
Marian Anderson: The Whole World in Her Hands (2022)PBSAmerican Masters episode
Summer of Soul (...Or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised) (2021)DVD and VOD
2/9And Then We Marched (2017)OVID
The Beatles: Get Back - The Rooftop Concert (2022)In Theaters
A Biography of Lilith (1997)OVID
Catching Killers - Season 2 (2022)NetflixNetflix Original Series
Farmer Wants a Wife (2022)Discovery+
Jackass - Seasons 1,2, and 4Paramount+
Marvel Studios: Assembled - The Making of Hawkeye (2022)Disney+
A Month of Single Frames (for Barbara Hammer) (2019)OVID
Secret Crush (2022)Discovery+
Tip of My Tongue (2017)OVID
A Year in Notes and Numbers (2017)OVID
2/10jeen-yuhs: A Kanye Trilogy (2022)In Theaters
2/11First Time Fixer - Season 3 (2022)Discovery+
Everything’s Gonna Be All White (2022)Showtime
Love Is Blind - Season 2 (2022)NetflixNetflix Original Series
Ronnie's (2020)In Theaters
and VOD
The Unmaking of A College (2022)In Theaters
2/12The Cabins (2022)Discovery+
Profiled: The Black Man (2022)Discovery+
Puppy Bowl Presents: Puppy Mania (2022)Discovery+
2/13My Pack Life (2022)Discovery+
When the Waters Get Deep (2020)WORLD Channel(Also on the KQED Arts YouTube channel)
2/14Bulletproof (2020)PBSIndependent Lens episode
Temptation Island - Season 3 (2021)Peacock TV
We Are The Radical Monarchs (2019)PBS
2/15The American Diplomat (2022)PBSAmerican Experience episode
Discovering David Dobrik (2021)Discovery+
For Lucio (2021)Mubi
Icahn: The Restless Billionaire (2022)HBO Max
Luda Can’t Cook (2021)Discovery+
2/16jeen-yuhs: A Kanye Trilogy (2022)NetflixNetflix Original
Marvel Studios: Assembled - The Making of Eternals (2022)Disney+
Murderball (2005)Peacock TV
No Maps on My Taps (1979)OVID
Ornette: Made in America (1985)OVID
Pass the Mic: A Movement Generations in the Making (2022)TubiTubi Original
Say Amen, Somebody (1982)OVID
Swap Shop - Season 2 (2022)Netflix Netflix Original Series
2/17Algren (2021)OVIDOVID Exclusive, streaming premiere
The Burning Wall (2002)Peacock TV
Secrets of the Salisbury Poisonings (2021)Discovery+
2/18Alien Abduction: Betty & Barney Hill (2022)Discovery+Shock Docs
Alien Abduction: Travis Walton (2022)Discovery+Shock Docs episode
The Automat (2021)In Theaters
Downfall: The Case Against Boeing (2022)NetflixNetflix Original
Extraordinary Stories Behind Everyday Things - Season 3 (2022)Discovery+
Painting with John -- Season 2 (2022)HBO
A Peloton of One (2020)In Theaters
Uprooted (2022)Discovery+
2/20 Mr. Bachmann and His Class (2021)Mubi
2/21American Song Contest - Season 1 (2022)NBC
Apart (2021)PBSIndependent Lens episode
Black Ink Crew: Compton - Season 2 (2022)VH1
Black Ink Crew: New York - Season 10 (2022)VH1
Black Patriots: Heroes of the Civil War (2022)History
Pier Kids (2019)The Criterion Channel
2/22Dunk or Die (2022)VOD
Fannie Lou Hamer's America (2022)WORLD ChannelAn America ReFramed Special
RACE: Bubba Wallace (2022)NetflixNetflix Original
2/23Monobloc (2021)OVIDOVID Exclusive, streaming premiere
2/24The Connection (1961)OVID
Destination Fear: Trail to Terror (2022)Discovery+
The Exiles (1961)OVID
The Mystery of Picasso (1956)OVID
On the Bowery (1956)OVID
2/25Let Me Be Me (2022)In Theaters
Rookie Season (2022)In Theaters

(Editor in Chief)

Christopher Campbell is the founding editor of Nonfics.