From Reya Mehrotra
House of Secrets: The Burari Deaths premiered on Netflix in October. The resumption of one of the most feared cases still in people’s memories sparked a storm. The psychological factors associated with the case and the chain of events shocked many who were unfamiliar with the episode. Be it this or any other documentary series, the audience loves to see real drama on screen. We bring you documentation based on real events for you to watch.
House of Secrets
Leena Yadav and Anubhav Chopra’s 2021 Netflix documentary explores the various theories about the deaths of eleven family members in 2018. The true crime documentary examines various aspects of the investigation, along with interviews with several people they knew to find out what could have led to the deaths of eleven family members. The series shows the importance of mental health awareness in the country and what ignoring it could lead to.
My name is Pauli Murray
The American documentary 2021 by Betsy West and Julie Cohen follows the life of lawyer and activist Pauli Murray and is available on Amazon Prime Video. Murray had argued that the 14th Amendment’s equal protection clause prohibits gender discrimination. The film shows several scholars in their work such as Brittney Cooper and Rosalind Rosenberg. It also contains a report on Murray’s papers that are held in the Schlesinger library. Her influence on Ruth Bader Ginsburg is detailed throughout the narrative of the film.
The social dilemma
The 2020 American docudrama is about how the social media algorithm is addictive, manipulating and influencing views, decisions, emotions and behavior while spreading misinformation and conspiracy theories to maintain a profitable unity. The film features interviews with former employees and shows how social media affects mental health, leading to suicides and negative effects on teenagers. The documentary received seven nominations at the 73rd Annual Emmy Awards.
Bikram: yogi, guru, predator
The documentary outlines the rise and fall of yoga guru Bikram Choudhury. He continued to build an empire through his practice. It began to crumble, however, when worrying revelations of the sexual abuse of its female followers came to light. Bikram would train teachers in hot yoga and help them start schools under his name. The film was released in 2019 and showed how he and his wife built and expanded their yoga business. He faced multiple charges, including rape, discrimination, and harassment by his students, but fled to Mexico in 2017.
Period. End of sentence
The 2018 documentary short film by Rayka Zehtabchi is about Indian women leading a revolution, albeit quietly. It plays with Arunachalam Muruganantham, Shabana Khan, Gouri Choudari, Ajeya and Anita, and it follows a group of local women from Hapur who embark on a journey to learn how to operate a machine that makes inexpensive, biodegradable sanitary napkins that rural women can be sold at low prices. This helps improve hygiene and allows access to one of the most important basic needs of a woman. It also empowers women to forego menstrual taboos and be economically safe. The film was inspired by the true story of Arunachalam Muruganantham, a Coimbatore social activist who came up with the idea of affordable pads. The film Padman, starring Akshay Kumar, is also based on his story.
Conversations with a killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes
This is the story of America’s most feared and notorious serial killers convicted of murdering more than 30 women before they were finally caught in 1978. The series explores his thoughts through the archive recordings and audio recordings of Bundy of the Dying Series to get the unique perspective of hearing the killer analyze his own life and motives. The four-part series was created using more than 100 hours of interviews. Another documentary about Ted Bundy is available on Amazon Prime Video under the name Ted Bundy: Falling for a Killer.
The Goop Laboratory
The American documentary series is based on actor Gwyneth Paltrow’s lifestyle and wellness company Goop. Paltrow is the host and executive producer of the series, which premiered in 2020. The series makes several ill-founded health claims and has therefore attracted criticism. There are anecdotes and experiences instead of scientifically based evidence and facts. Some referred to it as “pseudoscience” while others supported it because it gave a positive view of women’s problems and desires.
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