Sometimes the truth can seem frightening. And whether you believe they’re real or fake, the truth is still out there somewhere. HBO Max has been well-received for its carefully chosen selection of films and shows. Their collection of compelling documentaries is not to be missed!
From the equal pay struggles of a women’s soccer team to the public’s craze over stuffed toys, these films and shows below will show you just how diverse the documentary genre is. These films and documentary shows can be viewed on HBO Max.
Run Time: 105 minutes
Director/s: Andrea Nix Fine & Sean Fine
Writer: Andrea Nix Fine
Cast: Megan Rapinoe and Jessica McDonald. Becky Sauerbrunn & Christen Press. Sam Mewis & Julie Foudy
LFG follows members of the United States women’s national soccer team as they file a gender-discrimination lawsuit against the United States Soccer Federation for pay discrimination. The documentary features prominent soccer players Megan Rapinoe, Becky Sauerbrunn and Jessica McDonald as they sue to the federation three month before the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup. U.S. District Judge R. Gary Klausner set up a Los Angeles trial to hear the players’ claim of discriminatory play. Klausner did not mention the unpaid portion.
The film also includes clips that show the team’s athletic performances, including highlights of their 2019 World Cup win, which set many records. These clips show their greatest accomplishments and contrast with the struggle for equal compensation for the players. They also show the harsh realities these athletes face while trying to fulfill the physical demands of their jobs. LFG is a cinematic documentary that explores all the hard work that the team puts in off the field.
Episode Count: 4
Average Run Time: 49-52 minutes
Creator: Clay Tweel
Cast: Janja Lalich, Reza Aslan, Steve Hassan
This article is about the controversial UFO cult founded in the ‘70s, Heaven’s Gate: The Cult of Cults is a miniseries that follows the Heaven’s Gate group and its leader Marshall Applewhite. Members of Heaven’s Gate believed that their physical bodies on Earth are merely a container for their souls. They believed they could become immortal extraterrestrial beings and then ascend into heaven on a UFO. However, things spiraled with the group’s mass suicide in 1997, which was considered the largest suicide in the United States, and changed society’s perception of modern new-age religion. This documentary shows former members of this group and their loved one breaking down this cult.
Although this cult is not well-known it is still very popular. Heaven’s Gate: The Cult of Cults This documentary is informative but not too one-dimensional. The documentary examines the complexity of this mysterious group’s teachings, confused inner systems, rise and eventual fall. Learn how Applewhite founded the cult. Heaven’s GateFrom humble beginnings, to a massive, deadly entity.
Run Time: 118 minutes
Director: Morgan Neville
Writer: Morgan Neville
Cast: Anthony Bourdain. Asia Argento. David Chang. Anderson Cooper. Trevor Noah. Iggy Pop
When news of Anthony Bourdain’s death was announced in 2018, the culinary scene was never the same. Many years later, Roadrunner: A film about Anthony BourdainThis site examines Bourdain’s life as a travel journalist, author, and chef. Bourdain is a well-known chef and a popular figure in the general public. His book made him famous. Kitchen ConfidentialThis is his candid view of the tough restaurant industry. His television show on travel earned him fame. Parts UnknownThis makes it possible for audiences to be more aware about people living in conflict zones, developing nations, and disaster areas. They can also share one universal item: food.
Bourdain is remembered as a hardworking individual who has experienced many highs and lows throughout his career. His frequent travels to work often brought him personal problems that he has never solved. Everything is about to unravel. Roadrunner: A film about Anthony Bourdain
Run Time: 118 minutes
Director: T. J. Martin and Dan Lindsay
Writer: T. J. Martin and Dan Lindsay
Cast: Tina Turner, Oprah Winfrey, Carl Arrington, Kurt Loder
A megastar’s life can be turbulent. Tina is a film demonstrating the highs and lows of Tina Turner’s musical career. Primarily adapted from Turner’s memoir ‘Happiness Becomes You,’ the documentary is a raw retelling of Tuner’s life events, from her childhood abandonment, living in poverty, rise to stardom, and the abusive relationship she had to endure in secret. The audience will witness her struggles as she rises again in the music business. They will also be able to see how she became solo artist and how her relationship with Erwin Bach, the love of her life, was peaceful.
TinaResilience, that is what resilience is all. With all the good happening in the singer’s journey, many bad moments still take over a massive portion of her life. Despite the trauma she’s had to endure over the years, Turner has proven that she is resilient. This is how Turner has been a strong figure in both her professional and personal life.
Run Time: 90 minutes
Director/s: Chris Charles Scott III & Seth Porges
Writer: Seth Porges
Cast: John Hodgman
What if your local amusement center was a death trap? Class Action ParkVernon Township, New Jersey is home of the famous American amusement park Action Park. The park is famous for its attractions, such as the Alpine Center or Motorworld. Waterworld was another popular attraction. This park revolutionized American watersparks. Action Park attracted adrenaline-seekers who were seeking thrills. Still, there is another reason why the amusement park gained notoriety: it’s filled with a chock-full of safety hazards.
With nicknames such “Accident Park,” “Friction Park,”And “Traction Park,” Class Action Park unravels the park’s poor safety records, which resulted in the deaths of at least six visitors. From intoxicated guests, under-aged staff, and dangerously-designed rides, you’ll be surprised at how rides with names like Cannonball Loop, Alpine Slides, and Tarzan Swings managed to endanger many lives. The documentary also features former employees of Action Park and Eugene Mulvihill, a penny stockbroker who founded Action Park to provide a lot more fun. “no rules.”
Run Time: 119 minutes
Director: Alex Gibney
Writer: Alex Gibney
Cast: Erika Cheung, Tyler Shultz, Dan Ariely, Roger Parloff, Ken Auletta
If you enjoyed Hulu’s The DropoutThis documentary is for YOU. The Inventor: Out for Blood In Silicon ValleyFollow the story Elizabeth Holmes, a biotechnology entrepreneur from America and her now-defunct venture Theranos. Her massive frauds are the reason she was so successful. She was once voted the youngest female billionaire. Fortune lists her as “The World’s 19 Most Disappointing Leaders”The film explores Holmes’ inner workings and explains how she managed to pull off one the most important criminal frauds in healthcare.
Holmes was the first person to create a miniature blood test that only requires very small blood volumes, such as a finger prick. It sounds incredible, but medical experts are skeptical about its technology. Sunny Balwani, Holmes and Holmes wanted her company to succeed and believed that any criticism she received was a plot to bring her down by her competitors. They instead increased Theranos’ marketing. Holmes and Holmes are eventually driven to the ground by the allegations against her company, no matter how convincing Holmes is about her company’s success.
Run Time: 87 minutes
Director: Nick Bilton
Writer: Nick Bilton
Cast: Christopher Bailey, Dominique Druckman, Wylie Heiner
What is it that you need to be popular? Fake FamousThree people are transformed through a social experiment. They become social media influencers and go from being average to extraordinary. A model, a fashion stylist and an ordinary assistant in real estate are all interested to live an influencer-friendly lifestyle.
Fame comes with a price. Participants must “fake”They bought followers and pretended to live a luxurious life to achieve fame. Social media has changed the way we see people. Fake FamousThis is a great reminder that Instagram culture can be out of touch in real-life.
Run Time: 135 minutes
Director: Sam Jones
Writer: Sam Jones
Cast: Rodney Mullen, Tony Hawk, and Steve Caballero.
Tony Hawk is unrivaled in skateboarding. No one else even comes close. Tony Hawk: Until The Wheels Come Off This documentary gives viewers a glimpse into Tony Hawk’s life as a professional skateboarder and shows how he balances his demanding career with his personal life. Skateboarding has been a part of Hawk’s life since he was twelve years old. Hawk has won numerous awards and broken records since then. His career is not the only thing that the documentary explores.
Tony Hawk: Until The Wheels Come Off This documentary focuses on Hawk’s passion and life lessons from skateboarding. The audience is given a firsthand view of Hawk’s passion, discipline, determination, and hard work required for a particular trick. It is a film that focuses on Hawk’s life and celebrates skateboarding culture. Interviews with skateboard legends are included, as well as footage that has never been seen before and unfiltered access to the skater.
Run Time: 111 minutes
Director: Frank Marshall
Writer: Mark Monroe
Cast: The Bee Gees
The Bee Gees – How Can You Mend A Broken Heart?The film is about the three brothers and the members of The Bee Gees, a legendary family band. The film explores Robin, Maurice, Barry Gibb’s involvement in the formation of The Bee Gees. The documentary is centered on Barry Gibb. It also includes archive interviews with Robin Gibb (Mark Ronson) and Maurice Gibb (Archive Interviews). Other musicians that comment are Noel Gallagher (Mark Ronson), Justin Timberlake Eric Clapton, and Chris Martin.
The Bee Gees took over the world in the ‘60s and ‘70s with hits like “Stayin’ Alive” and “How Deep Is Your Love.”Through The Bee Gees – How Can You Mend A Broken Heart?The documentary follows the band’s rise in fame, their brief separation and their subsequent reunion in music. Contrary to the common belief that all documentaries are gossipy, this film emphasizes the creative processes the band engages in when recording and writing music. This film focuses on the Bee Gees’ heartfelt songwriting skills that are often overlooked due to their glittering performances.
Episode Count: 2
Average Run Time: 77 minutes
Creator: Amy J. Berg
Cast: Evan Rachel Wood
Phoenix Rising is a chilling documentary that follows Evan Rachel Wood’s story of alleged domestic abuse. Wood kept the identity her abuser secret at first. Wood revealed the identity her abuser when filming began in 2020. The documentary shows the dangers of domestic abuse and how they can affect anyone, regardless of their gender. It is a shocking reminder to the reality of abuse that many people experience.
Wood, a trauma survivor is currently trying to heal and reclaim the story of her life in a world where women are often blamed. Wood fights tirelessly for justice, despite the many difficulties she has experienced. Phoenix Rising also records the actress’ experience in creating The Phoenix Act, which aims to extend the statute of limitations for domestic violence cases, specifically in California.
Episode Count: 4
Average Run Time: 26-35 Minutes
Creator: Amy Ziering, Kirby Dick
Cast: Keke Palmer
You’d be surprised at the things you put on your body. Not so prettyThis is a short series that examines the beauty industry’s booming and the hidden chemicals they use in their products. Society is all about self-care, and there’s no better way to take care of yourself than by treating your body with love. But what if you realized that the products you’ve been using, whether shampoo, nail polish, or facial cleansers, don’t follow up with what they advocate for? The four-episode documentary exposes the beauty industry’s lack of concern for public health, with illnesses and even death risks.
This documentary is a must-see if you are interested in the cosmetics business. Not so prettyThis article exposes the dangers beauty corporations pose to their customers. Interviewees included a mother with her adult daughter, who recalls getting sick from makeup containing asbestos. Interviewees also spoke with a company that claimed its baby powder was safe despite the harmful chemicals it contains. You’ll be shocked at the significant risks companies are willing to downplay just to maximize profits.
On the Record (2020).
Run Time: 95 minutes
Director: Amy Ziering, Kirby Dick
Writer:Kirby Dick, Amy Ziering, Sara Newens
Cast: Sil Lai Abrams, Tarana Burke, Kimberle Crenshaw, Drew Dixon
On The RecordThis documentary was made possible by the #MeToo campaign. It examines allegations that men in power have committed sexual abuse. The film examines harassment claims made against Russell Simmons (cofounder of Def Jam Recordings). Interviews are conducted among 20 women who accuse him, including Sil Lai, Alexia Norton and Sherri Hines.
Drew Dixon, a former executive of Def Jam Recordings is the main focus of the documentary. He is the first to make public accusations against Simmons. Dixon claims that Dixon was raped in her apartment. After she quit the company, Dixon claimed that L.A. Reid, a music industry executive, had sabotaged her job. What’s the point? On The Record chilling is that it criticizes the lack of black women’s voices in the #MeToo campaign, reminding viewers that there is still so much work that needs to be done to pursue justice.
Run Time: 80 minutes
Director: Yemisi Brookes
Writer: Yemisi Brookes
Cast: Lina Trivedi & Colleen Binger
Remember Beanie Babies? Who knew these fuzzy stuffed toys were the world’s first Internet sensation in the ‘90s. Beanie Mania We dig deep into the Beanie Babies obsession, which ruled America during its golden age. The original toys were intended for children. However, adults began to notice the toys and it led to what is now known as American greed.
Through interviews with Beanie Babies enthusiasts, company insiders and other notable influencers, the documentary gives you a glimpse into the Beanie Babies craze. While it didn’t feature Beanie Babies creator Ty Warner, the documentary does a great job tracking down exciting subjects, from Naperville housewives slash Beanie Babies enthusiasts to Warner’s former employees. Beanie Babies mania is a fact of life for many years. Within three years, sales grew from just a few million dollars up to more than a half a trillion.
Diego Maradona (2019)
Run Time: 130 minutes
Director: Asif Kapadia
Writer: Asif Kapadia
Cast: Diego Maradona
Diego Maradona, an Argentine soccer player, was well aware the importance of the football scene. This documentary is appropriately titled Diego MaradonaThe film explores Maradona’s life, which has been the subject of legends and myths. Maradona was an S.S.C. Napoli was his highlight, but Maradona’s victory in 1986 for Argentina at the World Cup was a major highlight. His win was a remarkable display of his geniuses and on-field brilliance. He has been a sensation since then, and is now a god for his loyal fans.
He was a completely different person off-pitch. He led a controversial lifestyle that was constantly scrutinized by the public. Viewers gradually see his descent into hell. Maradona’s personality is a mixture of religion and hedonism, respectful but condescending. This makes Maradona exciting and unique. But one thing’s certain: the footballer wasn’t ready to handle the fame. More than 500 hours of archival footage Diego Maradona is a timeline of the player’s life amid legal trouble, career controversies, drugs, bans, clashes with the press, and how he managed to rise from all that from time to time again.
Episode Count: 4
Average Run Time: 56-73 Minutes
Creator: Amy Ziering, Kirby Dick
Cast: Mia Farrow and Fletcher Previn. Dylan O’Sullivan Farrow
Allen v. Farrow This miniseries examines allegations of sexual abuse made against Woody Allen, an award-winning filmmaker. Dylan Farrow, Allen’s adopted daughter, made the accusations. She was seven years of age at the time. Dylan recorded the documentary herself. This tape was never before shown to the public. However, her account isn’t exempt from the controversy that ensues, with people claiming that her mother coached her to say certain things on her videotape. Meanwhile, Allen’s side continuously spouts facts, evidence, and witnesses that prove his innocence and claims that Dylan is only perpetuating falsehoods.
The documentary goes beyond Dylan’s sexual abuse case. Allen v. Farrow also examines the custody battle between the director and his former wife Mia Farrow and his marriage to Mia’s adopted daughter Soon-Yi Previn, who is 35 years younger than him – suggesting that Allen has long groomed Soon-Yi for years, with his interest in her beginning since she was still in high school. While Allen did not respond to any requests for an interview, the documentary features Allen and Farrow’s biological son, family friends, prosecutors, experts, and investigators.