10 Most Hard-hitting Documentaries You Must Watch

There are so many things happening around in our society to which we turn a blind eye. We are wrapped in a bubble, unaware of the horrific incidents happening around us. At every moment, every second, someone somewhere is losing their loved one. Since we are far off from such atrocities, we are indifferent. However, our planet is suffering irrespective of race, religion, and we must remember that we belong to this world. So, we must know what’s happening around us, no matter how shocking it may sound. We are the future, and we must acknowledge the harsh reality and race towards finding solutions.

Therefore, I am listing some of the most hard-hitting documentaries that reflect the ruthless reality. I am sure they will prove to be a wake-up call for all!  

Best hard-hitting documentaries


1. House of Secrets: The Burari Deaths

In 2018, the world came to a standstill with a shocking killing of 11 family members of the Bhatia family based out in Burari, Delhi, India. First, it looked like murder, but the motive of the killing was shocking. The docuseries reveals the investigations carried out by Delhi Police, CBI, and believe me; it is nerve-racking. I am shocked to the core at how could an educated family take such an extreme step. 

Where to watch: Netflix

2. Crime Stories: India Detectives

Another hard-hitting documentary streaming on Netflix is Crime Stories: India Detectives. This true-crime documentary series complements the tribulations of the Bengaluru police as they attempt to solve four violent crimes. Amid this, I was fortunate to watch the first episode because it is off-air as per the Karnataka HC’s interim order.  

Where to watch: Netflix

3. Seaspiracy

There are so many conspiracies in this world, and one of them surrounds the sea. And I realized this nexus after watching this documentary. We consume fish but do we know the backstory? Well, Seaspiracy focuses on all about it. This hard-hitting documentary analyzes the human impacts on marine life and advises people to curtail fish consumption.  

Where to watch: Netflix

4. Born in Gaza

When there is a terrorist attack in our country, we are left shaken. But Gaza witnesses this now and then with innocent lives at stake. And this situation has been highlighted in this documentary from the viewpoint of 10 Palestinian children. This documentary is controversial for many because they think that details are falsely portrayed. Whatever it may be, but the plights highlighted are heart-wrenching.    

Where to watch: Netflix

5. Captive for 18 years: the Jaycee Lee story

If you have seen the movie Room, then you might relate to life in captivity. That’s exactly what Jaycee Lee Dugard was subjected to at the age of 11. She was missing for 18 years, and her ordeal is tormenting. There are so many crimes taking place across the globe, but this was the most brutal of all. And I pray that no one should face such a nightmare ever!

Where to watch: Vimeo

6. 1232 KMs

Pandemic has far-reaching effects on us, especially the nationwide lockdown. People lost their jobs and a source of livelihood. Amid this, the migrant laborers suffered the most. When they were left without food and money, they decided to walk miles to their hometown. This documentary chronicles their journey and the hardships they faced.  

Where to watch: Disney+ Hotstar

7. My Octopus Teacher

When this documentary won the award for Best Documentary Feature at the 93rd Academy Awards, it left me curious. I was anxious to watch the beautiful bond between filmmaker Craig Foster and a common octopus in a South African kelp forest. And when I finally did, it left me teary-eyed. No wonder it bagged an Oscar.

Where to watch: Netflix

8. Amoli

We all know how vicious prostitution is, but the people caught in it know the true side of it. Besides, if it is about the sexual exploitation of children, then it is extremely hurtful. This documentary film left me speechless on so many occasions, especially at the start of the film. If you are faint-hearted, avoid watching it.  

Where to watch: YouTube

9. The World’s Most Famous Tiger

I hope everyone is aware of the diminishing tiger population in India. However, there was one Bengal tigress named Machali, who was the queen in every sense. She played a pivotal role in the restoration of the tiger population in the Ranthambore National Park. She was considered the oldest living tigress. Gradually, her existence was threatened by her offspring. I feel this is one of the most hard-hitting documentaries because it aesthetically chronicles her losing reign. It is definitely a must-watch!

Where to watch: Disney+ Hotstar

10. The Real Black Panther / Counting Tigers

Both these documentaries hold equal importance and are definitely the best hard-hitting documentaries ever! The Kabini Forest Reserve is home to a lone black panther named Saya, who challenged the status quo and claimed the throne in the jungle. It is beautiful to watch the life of this lone survivor and his journey to date. On the other hand, Counting Tigers beautifully highlights the intricacies and challenges faced while monitoring tigers in India.

Where to watch: Disney+ Hotstar

On a parting note


Streaming platforms are a blessing in disguise. You get to unravel so many things, which you are unaware of! Be it national or on the international level. Well, this is my list of most hard-hitting documentaries, but I would love to extend this list with your valuable suggestions. Besides, I always prefer watching documentaries, so do enlighten with your watch list, and I will be happy to explore. So, do not forget to comment below.

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