The Best of Netflix’s Niche Documentaries

We all enjoy a nature documentary; it’s pleasant viewing where we know what we’re getting. Some of us want a documentary that’s a little more unusual now and again. Thanks to the different channels, streaming services, and television companies nowadays, there is more choice than ever regarding what documentaries are available. This space has allowed directors to explore some niche topics with fascinating results. One of the biggest adopters of niche documentaries is Netflix, so if you’ve got your subscription, it’s time to put it to good use.

The Best of Netflix's Niche Documentaries
My Octopus Teacher provides a fascinating insight into the world of this mysterious cephalopod.


One thing is for sure, after watching this documentary to the end, you’ll be on the hunt for the nearest poker tournaments you can find to enter. KidPoker is a wild ride that is bound to start a new hobby for many of its viewers. The documentary follows the life of world-renowned poker player Daniel Negreanu. Born to immigrant parents, the documentary follows Negreanu’s struggles, achievements, and lessons learned growing up. His trials at the poker table make up the bulk of the documentary, but this shouldn’t put off those who have only a passing interest. While poker fans are the intended target audience, the documentary isn’t jargon-heavy, making it accessible to anyone who wants to learn more about the life of this incredible man.

Murder Among the Mormons

The US is fascinated with true crime, so it seems only sensible that Netflix releases a new true-crime documentary almost weekly. While some are of questionable quality, Murder Among the Mormons is genuine edge-of-your-seat viewing. The documentary follows the events leading up to, and in the aftermath of, a series of bombings in 1985. Directed by Jared Hess, of Napoleon Dynamite fame, this documentary mini-series has a powerhouse of a director behind it, and it shows. There is never a dull moment, and though that’s helped by the whirlwind tale Hess has chosen to write about, the frenetic pace with which everything moves is a testament to Hess’ directorial capabilities. Suppose you want to dive into a criminal underbelly covered up by a corrupt church, complete with all kinds of weird and wonderful distractions along the way. In that case, you won’t regret adding Murder Among the Mormons to your watch list immediately.

My Octopus Teacher

While we mentioned nature documentaries as being a safe territory, this one breaks some boundaries as far as documentary topics go. My Octopus Teacher follows the journey of a nature documentarian as he recovers from depression with the help of an eight-legged friend. The journey takes place on the rugged coast of South Africa, an ocean that is as notorious for its deadly riptides and sharks as it is for its spectacular underwater scenery. The subject of the documentary decides to go swimming every day to lift his spirits, but on the first day encounters an animal unlike any he has ever seen. This initial chance meeting begins a year-long friendship with one of the most fascinating creatures on the planet. 

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