The Best of Netflix’s Niche Documentaries

My Octopus Teacher provides a fascinating insight into the world of this secretive cephalopod.

All of us enjoy a nature documentary, it’s comforting viewing where we know what we’re getting. Some of us though, enjoy a documentary that’s a little more unusual every now and again. Thanks to all of the different channels, streaming services, and television companies nowadays, there is more choice than ever when it comes to what documentaries are available. All of 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 secretive 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 truly wild ride, one that is bound to start a new hobby in 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 obviously make up the bulk of the documentary, but this shouldn’t put off those who have only a passing interest. Whilst poker fans are the intended target audience, the documentary isn’t jargon-heavy, making it totally accessible for anyone who wants to learn more about the life of this incredible man.

Murder Among the Mormons

The US has a fascination with true crime, so it seems only sensible that Netflix releases a new true-crime documentary on an almost weekly basis. Whilst some of them 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 that Hess has chosen to write about, the frenetic pace with which everything moves is testament to Hess’ directorial capabilities. If 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, then you won’t regret adding Murder Among the Mormons to your watch list immediately.

My Octopus Teacher

Whilst we mentioned nature documentaries as being pretty safe territory, as far as documentary topics go, this one definitely breaks some boundaries. 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 in an attempt to lift his spirits, but on the first day encounters an animal unlike any he has ever seen before. This initial chance meeting is the beginning of a year-long friendship with one of the most fascinating creatures on the planet. 


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