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3 new Netflix documentary releases to add to your watchlist in July

Published Jun 24th, 2024 5:23PM EDT
Skywalkers on Netflix
Image: Netflix

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I love documentary films and docuseries — which is a good thing, considering that truth is often stranger than the fiction offered by low-quality original TV shows and films from streamers like Netflix. And not just stranger, but often more entertaining, moving, and profound, too.

So many of my favorite releases from the streaming giant are its endless supply of documentaries and docuseries, and it’s partly because they’re often about the quirkiest, most offbeat things that you’d just never have expected to get interested in. From recent standouts like Bad Surgeon to American Nightmare and How to Rob a Bank, I’ve always found it much easier to get invested in them compared to, let’s say, TV shows that increasingly are tailor-made to only appeal to a certain demographic.

And here are three new Netflix documentary releases I’ll be watching in July.

The Man with 1000 Kids (July 3)

The Man with 1000 Kids on NetflixImage source: Netflix

In this first documentary series — which comes from the makers of Lover, Stalker, Killer — a group of families is scammed by a man who’s secretly fathered hundreds of children around the world. The Man With 1000 Kids, Netflix says about the documentary series, “uncovers the gripping tale of a charming Dutch scammer, Jonathan Meijer, who is accused of traveling the world deceiving mothers into having his babies on a mass scale.

“The three-part series investigates the murky world of the fertility industry and uncovers how due to a lack of global regulations, some international fertility clinics continue to allow anonymous donations.”

The series got exclusive access to a group of aggrieved parents, and it uses them to help unravel the bizarre story of a YouTuber who defrauded parents all around the world.

Homicide: Los Angeles (July 16)

Homicide: Los Angeles on NetflixImage source: Netflix

This next docuseries is a true-crime title from the creator of Law & Order.

Dick Wolf, along with his Wolf Entertainment, teamed up with Alfred Street Industries (the company behind shows like Netflix’s Is It Cake? and Sparking Joy with Marie Kondo) to launch two true-crime Netflix docuseries, both of which are essentially two seasons of the same branded show — Homicide: New York and Homicide: Los Angeles. The idea is that each five-episode Homicide season will “illuminate the stories of notorious murder cases as told by the people who know them best: The detectives and prosecutors who cracked them.”

As for Homicide: Los Angeles, specifically, Netflix adds that “It may be known for sun, surf, sand, and star power, but Los Angeles County is also home to more than 9 million people — which means that the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department is tasked with investigating a vast number of harrowing cases.”

The resulting series takes a look at cases including the years-long murder prosecution of record producer Phil Spector as well as the death of a young mother, Teresa Boudreaux, which remained unsolved for more than 20 years, among other grisly crimes.

Skywalkers: A Love Story (July 19)

Skywalkers on NetflixImage source: Netflix

In this third and final documentary release coming to Netflix in July, we’re told that love is like heights.

The fear of them both never goes away, “you just get better at facing it.”

Skywalkers: A Love Story follows two daredevils from Moscow who share a passion for climbing the tallest structures in the world, a passion that Angela Nikolau and Ivan Beerkus present as an expression of their love for each other (while everyone else will no doubt look on in horror). If you ask me, there’s adventure, and then there’s recklessly tempting fate — the “skywalkers” of this story, meanwhile, tiptoe back and forth across the line with glee, daring death to catch up to them.

This Netflix documentary film is the result of more than 200 hours of material shot across seven years and six countries. It also includes first-person footage from the couple’s most terrifying climbs. “There’s a danger to romance,” Jeff Zimbalist, who co-directed the documentary with Maria Bukhonina, told Netflix. “It crushes us. It breaks our hearts. It breaks our hopes. Here, that danger is material. If the love falls apart, if the trust falls apart, it’s life or death. That felt like such a potent way of taking this amorphous sense that we all have in our romance and externalizing it and making it tangible.”

Andy Meek Trending News Editor

Andy Meek is a reporter based in Memphis who has covered media, entertainment, and culture for over 20 years. His work has appeared in outlets including The Guardian, Forbes, and The Financial Times, and he’s written for BGR since 2015. Andy's coverage includes technology and entertainment, and he has a particular interest in all things streaming.

Over the years, he’s interviewed legendary figures in entertainment and tech that range from Stan Lee to John McAfee, Peter Thiel, and Reed Hastings.