10 impactful documentaries you should watch on Netflix

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Behind the Curve (2018)

Recently new to Netflix is Behind the Curve, a documentary about Flat Earthers. With the growing phenomenon of people who believe the earth is a flat disc and not a globe, Behind the Curve explores some of the leading figures in the movement and some of the theories that Flat Earthers believe.

Behind the Curve could easily have been a point and laugh type documentary — despite growing numbers of Flat Earthers, the idea is still widely mocked and obviously not backed up by any credible science. Director Daniel J. Clark steers away from this easy route and chooses instead to let the Flat Earthers speak for themselves.

The film focuses mainly on two key figures who are the ipso-facto leaders of the movement  –Mark Sargent (a sceptic turned believer) and Patricia Steere (a Flat Earther reporter and podcaster). Clark follows the two of them as they film YouTube videos and in the lead up to the first Flat Earth International Conference, an event plagued with controversy. Not only have some of the experiments to prove the Earth’s curvature failed, but factions within the Flat Earth movement have been subject to in-fighting that threatens the unity of the community.

This idea of community is a key theme of Behind the Curve and one of the reasons why it works so well as a film. Clark zooms in on ideas about acceptance — those who feel that they are outcasts in society are more likely to be attracted to theories like Flat Earth, and often seek fraternity within movements like this. Clark also brings in topical ideas about fake news and the psychology behind the conspiracy theorists to conclude a well-made, engaging documentary.