5 documentaries to watch right now no matter your mood

True crime addicts? History buffs? Music lovers? We’ve got you covered. 

Whether you’re looking for a history lesson, a true crime story to sink your teeth into, or a peek inside the lives of one of your favorite celebrities, there’s something for everyone on this list of documentaries to watch right now. 

Murder in Boston: Roots, Rampage, and Reckoning 

This HBO Original three-part documentary series produced and directed by Jason Hehir (“The Last Dance,” HBO’s “Andre The Giant” ), and produced in association with The Boston Globe is a must-see. The series explores how this lightning rod case wreaked havoc on a city with a history of racial hostility through countless interviews with the people who lived it. Residents, journalists, city officials, family members, and a retired Boston police officer offer insight into this harrowing true story. 

Synopsis: On October 23, 1989, Charles “Chuck” Stuart places a frantic 911 call reporting that he and his pregnant wife, Carol, a white couple, have been shot by a Black man in Boston’s Mission Hill neighborhood. The ensuing investigation proves to be a lightning rod for the city, igniting decades-old racial tensions and brutal targeting amidst a media firestorm…

Now streaming on MAX. 

American Symphony 

Jon Batiste in “American Symphony” (Credit: Netflix)

Produced by the Obamas’ Higher Ground Productions, this documentary is an awe-inspiring look at a fascinating artist, in a way we’ve never seen him before.

Synopsis: In 2022, musician Jon Batiste finds himself the most celebrated artist of the year with eleven Grammy nominations including Album of the Year. In the midst of that triumph, Jon embarks on his most ambitious challenge to date, composing an original symphony.  This trajectory was upended when Batiste’s life partner — best-selling author Suleika Jaouad — learns that her long-dormant cancer has returned.  American Symphony is an intimate portrait of two artists at a crossroads and a meditation on art, love, and the creative process.

Now streaming on Netflix

Kevin Hart & Chris Rock: For Headliners Only 

Chris Rock and Kevin Hart in “Kevin Hart & Chris Rock: Headliners Only.” (Courtesy of Netflix)

This documentary directed by Rashidi Harper follows the two comedy icons as they embark on a joint tour, giving viewers a first-hand look into the lives of these giants. In it, Kevin Hart and Chris Rock deliver their own accounts of their early lives, careers, challenges, and their genuine friendship.

Now streaming on Netflix.


Stamped from the Beginning 

In this eye-opening documentary executive produced by Mara Brock Akil, Oscar-winning director Roger Ross Williams brings the best-selling book from Dr. Ibram X. Kendi to the screen. 

Synopsis: Published in 2016, Dr. Kendi’s National Book Award winner chronicles the entire story of anti-Black racist ideas and their staggering power over the course of American history. Williams’ documentary adaptation uses an innovative animation process that blends live action with the art of the era to illuminate figures and moments both well-known and obscure, both historical and contemporary. Leading female academics and activists such as Dr. Angela Davis, Honorée Fanonne Jeffers, Brittany Packnett Cunningham, Dr. Jennifer L. Morgan, and Dr. Kendi guide viewers through a searing account of how racist tropes and imagery were developed and enshrined in American culture.

Streaming now on Netflix.

American Santa

Executive-produced by Billy Porter, this short film is sure to bring some holiday cheer. 

Synopsis: Black Santas rise as superhero figures, spreading boundless joy, love, and acceptance to families and children at a bustling mall. But as Americans prepare to celebrate, a haunting shadow threatens to unravel the season’s true spirit, delivering an indictment against bigotry written on the back of a Christmas card. “American Santa” was filmed in December 2022 leading up to Christmas Eve at the Eastridge Mall in Gastonia, North Carolina. To capture the genuine essence of this unique holiday experience, filmmaker Avi Zev Weider embedded closely with Stafford Braxton and the dedicated Santas of “Santas Just Like Me.” Their immersive approach provides an intimate and unapologetic look into the lives of these Black Santas, unveiling both the immense joy they bring and the unsettling challenges they face. The film has recently played at Provincetown Film Festival, Woodstock Film Festival, and Montclair Film Festival.

Watch it here. (https://www.americansantamovie.com/)

The post 5 documentaries to watch right now no matter your mood appeared first on TheGrio.