10 impactful documentaries you should watch on Netflix

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Fyre: The Greatest Party That Never Happened (2019)

Possibly Netflix’s most talked about documentary outside of the true crime genre is the recent Fyre: The Greatest Party That Never Happened. From Fyre Festival’s incarnation and subsequent very public failure in 2016, this is one of two documentaries outlining exactly what went wrong. The other one, Fyre Fraud aired on Hulu mere days after Fyre came out on Netflix, and the general consensus is that they both have enough different content to warrant watching both.

Though similar in story (of course), it is Netflix’s Fyre doc that has the edge in terms of how the narrative plays out. Starting with Fyre Festival founder Billy MacFarland’s history of schemes and scams, director Chris Smith gives a detailed account of how Fyre Festival became the most Instagrammed misfire of the 21st century. Interviews with McFarland’s employees reveal a horrific management style, his colleagues reveal the extent to which the festival was doomed from the very start and the Bahamian workers (arguable those who suffered the worst from the fallout of the disastrous festival) reveal the emotional and physical toll that Fyre Festival took on their lives.

Created alongside the marketing team for the festival (which is an ethical grey zone in itself), Fyre is packed full of footage from every moment in the lead up to the festival. From McFarland and Ja Rule living it up on the beach, to their less than pleasant comments about potential festival goers to the disaster relief tents flapping in the wind on the first day of the festival — everything is on camera. Fyre is structured in a way that keeps you engaged from the first minute, but without this footage, the documentary wouldn’t be half as good.