Pop Politics: What Should You Watch – Oscar Docs

Back by popular demand, while many of us are still buried under snow (or mainly slush), here is the return of Pop Politics: What Should You Watch.

It has been a couple weeks since the Oscars, but there are two Oscar-winning (and one Oscar-nominated) documentaries you should watch this weekend. There were so many great documentaries nominated this year, including I Am Not Your Negro (currently still in theaters), but here are three you can stream right now.The best part is they are all on Netflix and Hulu — so easily accessible!


Courtesy of Netflix

White Helmets

If you are going to do anything this weekend, take the time to sit down and watch White Helmets. This Oscar winner for Best Documentary — Short Form is only 40 minutes long, but it is powerful. It tells the story of the volunteers who risk their lives to save civilians amongst the turmoil of the Syrian Civil War. Netflix has upped their documentary game immensely since starting their push for original content, which is great for independent short documentary filmmakers. You can also check out coverage of the White Helmets from our blog here.


Courtesy of Netflix


13th may not have won the Oscar for Best Documentary Feature, but it will be a national conversation on race and criminal justice for many years to come. Ava Duvernay, who previously directed Selma, crafts a well executed narrative about the history of the 13th Amendment and how it has created a system of mass incarceration for black Americans. The activists, politicians, and academics she interviews are remarkable. If there is one reason to watch this doc, it is to see Newt Gingrich candidly admit Congress should have treated crack and cocaine the same in determining mandatory minimums during the 1990s.


Courtesy of ESPN

O.J.: Made in America

This is the only documentary on the list to not be distributed by Netflix (you can watch it on Hulu). Unsurprisingly, it originally aired on ESPN but has been streaming on Hulu for the last couple of months. Stories about OJ Simpson were pretty big in 2016, especially the fictional American Crime Story: People vs. OJ Simpson, a miniseries retelling of the “Trial of the Century.” The winner of Best Documentary Feature, the five-part O.J.: Made in America was able to capture something the fictional retelling could not – the vast societal impact of OJ Simpson, his crime, and its aftermath. Its subject matter allows this documentary to examine race and celebrity like not many docs can.