Streaming services really have helped with the explosion of documentaries in recent years, and Amazon Prime is no different.
While it may not have the same depth of original documentaries as Netflix or Disney+, there's still plenty to choose from on the streaming service. In fact, there's more than a few that you won't be able to find anywhere else.
Here are a few suggestions...
'Somm' is a perfect example of how documentaries about topics you have no earthly interest in often make up some of the most entertaining efforts. For one, nobody really cares about wine tasting other than painfully stuck-up people, and that's what 'Somm' essentially is - an examination of the kind of people who go out of their way to prove themselves as the most knowledgeable when it comes to something few people reasonably care about. Centred around the final examination for the Master Sommelier, 'Somm' delves deep into the weird world of wine and the people who percolate it.
'I AM HUMAN'
So often when we talk about technology, the obvious temptation is to speak to the fears and potential dangers of it, and how it will end up being our doom. 'I Am Human' is therefore refreshing in how it attempts to delve into how science, technology and humanity intersects with recovery. Three people, one a paraplegic, one with Parkinson's, and the other left blind from a neurological condition, all decide with a certain amount of trepidation to take part in high-tech operations that could change their conditions, even temporarily. The documentary is done with a real emphasis on the human involved, not just the baffling technology involved in their journey.
'WACO: THE RULES OF ENGAGEMENT'
The 1993 Waco siege involving the FBI and the Branch Davidian Church is one that's still controversial and resonates to this day when discussing excessive force in law enforcement. 'Waco: The Rules of Engagement' was nominated for an Academy Award and features a variety of real footage taken from the FBI, the Branch Davidians, and interviews with survivors of the siege, the FBI agents involved, as well as scientists and independent investigators - all of it wrapped together to paint a truly disturbing image of a doomed enterprise and the fallout.
Stanley Kubrick's 'The Shining' is a movie that is replete with hidden messages, references, inspirations and the kind of subtext that would make semiotic students and professors go crazy for. 'Room 237' examines the strange theories surrounding 'The Shining', including the utterly bat-shit theory that it's really about Kubrick admitting he was involved in the faked moon landing.
'BOWLING FOR COLUMBINE'
Michael Moore's wildly energetic documentary about school shootings in the US hasn't lost any of its fire or its relevancy in today's world. If anything, the themes and the issues explored in the documentary are sharply snapped into focus since the dawn of the internet and the embrace of the NRA by the current US administration.
We're technically cheating on this one, because it's a series of documentary movies rather than just one. Anyway, 'Classic Album' dives deep into a different album, exploring how they were made with the artists in question playing through the stems, the recording masters, all while sharing anecdotes from the process and illuminating their works in new ways. Paul Simon's 'Graceland', Duran Duran's 'Rio', Steeley Dan's 'Peg', Fleetwood Mac's 'Rumours' and Motorhead's 'Ace of Spades' are just some of the albums on offer.
The black power salute at the 1968 Olympics was a truly groundbreaking moment and was probably the most overt political statement made in Olympic history. 'Salute' follows the impact that that moment had on sports, but more specifically, how it affected Peter Norman, the Australian silver medallist who stood with Tommie Smith and John Carlos during the moment. Directed by Norman's nephew, it is a powerfully intimate and earnest attempt to examine both the history and the influence of a single moment in time, and the quiet, gentle power of protest.