The original documentary isn’t currently on Netflix, but its sequel, detailing the life and times of “The Godmother” Griselda Blanco, sure is. Larger-than-life stories, unbelievable exploits, and wild wardrobes abound—all without having to rely on voiceover narration—in the way only Miami documentary filmmaking studio Rakontur knows how. (Full disclosure: I interned for them in high school and it was awesome.). I like to think the artist known as Banksy is actually a tightly-knit cabal made up of individual artists, dealers, and graffitos around the world. That’s probably not the case, and Exit Through the Gift Shop is less a true story than an unintentional presentation of street art’s cornball European sense of self-importance, courtesy of Thierry Guetta, a.k.a., Mr. Brainwash.
With Netflix adding tons of options to its collection, it may be hard to choose which ones to watch. Along with various documentaries on everything from health care to LGBT rights, the streaming service has a small but strong set of films exploring the drug industry (both legal and otherwise) and the issues surrounding the trade. Here are five drug-themed documentaries to watch on Netflix. 1. DMT: The Spirit Molecule While many of Netflix’s drug-related documentaries cover the dangerous and terrifying world of the trade, not all of them fit this mold.
Enter DMT: The Spirit Molecule, a documentary that dives into the mysteries of the strongest hallucinogen known to man. Most of the film is based on a study from one doctor, who conducted a five-year study in the early-’90s covering the effects of the drug, how it changes peoples’ perception of reality, and how it’s actually a natural-occurring chemical in the human body.
2. Cocaine Cowboys This powerful 2006 documentary, , explores the rise of cocaine and the resulting crime epidemic that swept Miami, Florida, in the 1970s and 1980s. The producers interview everyone from law enforcement officials, journalists, and lawyers to former drug smugglers and gang members, in order to provide a first-hand perspective of the Miami drug war. The film is gripping, gritty, and intense and poses some hard questions about the drug trade and its ability to turn a city into a crime-infested war zone.
3. The Culture High A sequel to the 2007 documentary The Union: The Business Behind Getting High, this 2014 doc is about the war on drugs in the U.S., specifically focusing on marijuana. It tackles the issues with and motivations of the war on drugs and what could change with the legalization of marijuana in more states.
This well-regarded documentary has a 93% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes. 4. Russell Brand: End the Drugs War Comedian Russell Brand has never shied away from controversial topics. In favor of decriminalizing drugs himself, Brand investigates how various countries’ drugs policies are working. He looks at the different sides of the issue by joining police for drug raids and also talking with drug users and visiting drug dens.
While Brand is known for sharing his opinions loudly, a review from The Telegraph said, “the truly insightful scenes came as Brand stepped down from his soap box and focused on the human stories behind the statistics.” 5. Drugs, Inc. This documentary series from National Geographic focuses on the different roles of people involved in the drug world and what their motivations are to sell, deal, ship, etc.
different kinds of drugs. It covers the production and sale of drugs as well as the culture and crime that come along with it. Two of the show’s seasons are currently available on Netflix. Check out on Facebook!
best dating drug dealer documentary on netflix - The 21 Best Documentaries on Netflix
In the mood for a documentary on Netflix tonight? You can’t do much better than these four examinations of our nation’s drug policy in action, in the past and today. Expect to see much that’s troubling, but expect to be enlightened as well, not just about our nation’s love/hate relationship with substance use, but also about what it means to deal with addiction.
No matter your personal relationship with drugs and alcohol, the subject affects us all. 1. “Breaking the Taboo” (2011) The U.S. has 5% of the world’s population but a quarter of its prisoners, and the majority of them ended up behind bars courtesy of our nation’s decades-old war on drugs.
Yet despite this mania for punishment, the U.S. remains the world’s largest consumer of illegal drugs. How did we go so wrong, and how can we fix it? Brazilian filmmaker Fernando Andrade explores these questions in “Breaking the Taboo,” which travels from Nixon’s declaration of drugs as “public enemy No.
1” in 1971 to the 2011 Global Commission on Drug Policy, a think tank of world leaders and intellectuals that started a long-overdue conversation about smarter and more compassionate ways to deal with drug use. The film turns to experts and political heavyweights such as former presidents Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter to make the case for medically, not criminally. But with growing criminal distribution networks firmly in place across the globe, international drug cartel violence growing, and a vast prison industry protecting its mission, ending the war on drugs is proving much tougher than starting it.
2. “Ken Burns: Prohibition” (2011) We’ve come to expect nothing but excellence from Ken Burns’ sprawling documentaries. The filmmaker doesn’t disappoint with his fascinating examination of our nation’s failed 13-year experiment with alcohol prohibition.
The subject has more than a few parallels to today’s attitudes, but the filmmaker resists any temptation to moralize. Instead, he lets the story of the unintended consequences of making substance abuse a crime rather than a health problem speak for itself. The three-part series begins with “A Nation of Drunkards,” an examination of a time when cider and beer were consumed like water and cheap whiskey began to destroy lives and families.
Who could blame those who witnessed the era’s rampant addiction for seeing prohibition as the solution? Eliminate the alcohol, they theorized, and you eliminate the drunkenness — and all the evils that come along with it. It didn’t turn out that way, of course, as the nation so painfully learned. Instead, we got speakeasys, mass poisonings from bootleg booze and Al Capone — and we became, as Part 3’s title calls us, “A Nation of Hypocrites.” 3. “The Anonymous People” (2013) We hear with heartbreaking regularity the stories of drug epidemics, relapses and deadly overdoses.
But what’s often missing from the conversation are the stories of addiction recovery. Filmmaker Greg Williams, himself a person in recovery (emphasis on person, he explains), sought to change that omission with “The Anonymous People,” a 2013 documentary that follows those working to change our national response to and understanding of addiction as a complex brain disease that can be managed. Much of the film centers on Faces and Voices of Recovery, a nonprofit group formed in 2001 to bring people with personal stories of overcoming addiction into the public policy debate.
The group’s idea is this: If the more than 23 million people who have overcome addiction speak up and claim their success, rather than remaining quiet for fear of stigma, others will realize recovery is possible and be willing to support treatment funding rather than spending an estimated $350 billion a year on “the public wreckage of addiction” — costs such as prisons, courts, healthcare and lost workplace productivity.
The film moves from rallies to community gatherings, Capitol Hill to jails. It includes visits with personalities with their own recovery stories to tell, such as basketball star Chris Herren and actress Kristen Johnston. “This is our black plague,” Johnston says, “and I believe that the embarrassment and secrecy that shroud the disease are just as deadly as the disease itself.
I won’t stay silent any longer.” 4. “The House I Live In” (2012) This Sundance winner goes inside the lives of those caught up in our nation’s war on drugs and comes away with a disturbing conclusion: The policy we’ve adhered to through multiple presidencies has been an utter failure, leading to historic levels of incarceration and destroying whole communities while doing nothing to stem drug use.
Drugs, in fact, have never been purer, cheaper or more available. Filmmaker Eugene Jarecki starts the examination at his own house, reconnecting with the African-American woman who helped raise him and exploring why the lives of her children turned out so differently from his own. He then allows addicted person and their families, corrections officials, law enforcement agents, journalists and policy makers, among others, to have their say. Among them is a judge who shares his distress over the sentencing he is forced to hand down, noting, “Of the 2,600 people I’ve sent to federal prison, I’ve seen three or four kingpins.
We are incarcerating poor people who are drug addicts.” Dave Simon, journalist and creator of the TV show “The Wire” has this bleak assessment: “The drug war is a holocaust in slow motion.” The film offers no easy answers. Rather, it serves as a rallying cry for change and compassion in a system that has seen punishment as the only proper response to addiction.
You might not always agree with the filmmaker’s unabashedly left-wing perspective, but it’s a sure bet that no matter your politics, you’ll find plenty to get you thinking. By Kendal Patterson Follow Kendal on Twitter at @kendalpatterson
Filed Under Depending on who you ask, drugs are bad, dangerous, and destructive, illicit substances that make those who partake in them stupid or lazy, or they are just the tool people need to help free their minds from the shackles of society. Which camp is correct? There’s only one way to find out: you’ve got to hit the ‘flix.
has a wide selection of drug , but like themselves, some are more powerful or more fun than others. But don’t worry: Inverse is your plug when it comes to documentary lists. So clear out your queue and load up on the best mind-altering substance of all. Knowledge. 1. DMT: The Spirit Molecule DMT: The Spirit Molecule has everything: interviews with spiritual leaders, scientific explanations, user testimonials, and even trippy visuals.
Spotlighting the research of Dr. Rick Strassman, this documentary does a great job of connecting how the hallucinogen works with the chemical that our bodies naturally produce.
If you liked legendary drug flick Enter the Void, then you won’t want to miss this movie. 2. Super High Me Comedian Doug Benson really likes smoking weed, and his affinity for has been the subject of much of his . So it’s only natural that if anyone were to attempt a Super Size Me-style challenge involving the constant consumption of marijuana, Benson would be the perfect test subject.
This movie follows Benson through the sometimes hilarious, sometimes harrowing undertaking of being high all of the time for 30 straight days. It might not make a serious stoner reconsider their habits, but if you’re a more casual user — or even someone who has never gotten high — this film could be illuminating.
Although this documentary about 1990s club promoter and murderer Michael Alig doesn’t deal with how drugs work on a scientific level, drug use and abuse are intimately interwoven throughout Alig’s narrative. And in the end, Glory Daze: The Life and Times of Michael Alig serves as a cautionary tale for anyone who’s a little too keen on ketamine. Alig has served as the subject for several fictional tales, including the Macaulay Culkin-starring masterpiece Party Monster.
This documentary takes an unflinching look at his rise and downfall, using interviews with fellow scene members and culminating in his release from . It’s a chilling but worthwhile watch. This film blends intrigue and trickery, with notes of humor made all the more prominent by the fact that it’s a true story.
Sour Grapes follows Rudy Kurniawan, a so-called “wine connoisseur” who made millions of dollars by re-labeling generic wine bottles and selling them to the wine-loving elite prior to his arrest in 2012. The reveal of Kurniawan’s deception is a brilliant emperor-has-no-clothes plot twist, and one of his “victims” was a Koch brother.
What’s not to like? 5. Icarus Icarus is a fascinating example of what can happen when a filmmaker is in the right place at the right time.
Though the documentarian’s original intention was to explore the practice of doping on a conceptual level, what unfolds instead is the revelation of a nationwide doping scandal in Russian sports.
Though this drug usage is more professional than recreational, it will nevertheless shock you, leaving you feeling the sort of high that accompanies a good piece of non-fiction.
World's Scariest Drug (Documentary Exclusive)