Contrary to popular belief, there is more to YouTube than videos of cats, nut shots, and Miley Cyrus. It’s actually home to some really stellar documentary work. The following are ten great documentaries on a wide variety of subjects you can catch right now on the ole YouTubes. Have fun learnin’!
10. Cobra Gypsies (2015) – director: Raphael Treza
Raphael Treza, who directed Hallucinogen Honey Hunters (note: also a great name for a band), explores the lives of nomadic gypsies in Northern India.
9. Four Horsemen (2012) – director: Ross Ashcroft
A look at the world economy – particularly through the lens of the most recent financial crisis – this documentary attempts to look at causes and solutions without being incendiary or over-dramatic.
The guy blaming the downfall of America on disco at the very beginning of the movie is hilarious. And probably right.
8. The Big Bang Machine (2014) – from PBS’s NOVA
This one might be cheating a little because it’s an episode of PBS’s long running science series Nova but, technically, it’s a documentary (about the Large Hadron Collider in Switzerland) and it’s free on YouTube so, you know, stop whining.
7. Lions Eating Baboons (2013) – director: Caroline Brett
With a title that pretty much says it all, this nature film studies the monkey-eating lions of Africa. As opposed to the monkey-eating lions of Nebraska.
6. DPRK: The Land of Whispers (2013) – director: Chrystian Cohen
Listed as a “one-man documentary” on life inside the secretive south Asian country. It also has a cool soundtrack with Moby on it, so you know it’s serious business.
5. Space Shuttle (2011) – director: Guy Noffsinger
In 2011, NASA ended the space shuttle program. This NASA produced documentary, narrated by (of course) William Shatner, takes a look at the history of the program from the beginning of the original space race up to the end of the program itself.