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Resolving to learn something new in 2022? Documentaries are a great way to do it while still finding time to relax during the busy winter months. Hulu subscribers have access to a great library of documentaries to explore a huge array of subjects. From politics and music to spooky docs and everything in between, Hulu’s documentaries offer something for everyone. But with so much to choose from, it’s easy to stumble upon a dud. To help you avoid that, we’ve pulled together the best documentaries on Hulu.

If Hulu doesn’t have what you’re looking for, we’ve also rounded up the best documentaries on Amazon Prime Video and the best documentaries on Netflix.

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  • The First Wave The First Wave "> The First Wave r 2021
  • Skin: A History of Nudity in the Movies Skin: A History of Nudity in the Movies "> Skin: A History of Nudity in the Movies 2020

The First Wave (2021) new

The First Wave 97% 85 % 6.7/10 r 94m Genre Documentary Stars Dr Nathalie Douge, Alexis Ellis, Kellie Wunsch Directed by Matthew Heineman >watch on Hulu >watch on Hulu Maybe you’ve heard enough about COVID-19 at this point, but if you’re ready to revisit the early days of the pandemic, The First Wave takes viewers inside New York City’s hardest-hit hospital systems in the early days of 2020. Examining the “first wave” from March to June 2020, this film focuses on the doctors, nurses, and patients on the frontlines of one of the greatest medical crises the nation has ever seen.

Skin: A History of Nudity in the Movies (2020) new

Skin: A History of Nudity in the Movies 85% 64 % 6.7/10 131m Genre Documentary Stars Malcolm McDowell, Shannon Elizabeth, Sean Young Directed by Danny Wolf >watch on Hulu >watch on Hulu Nudity in film has become less and less taboo but you may be surprised to learn just how long nudity has been appearing in feature films. Skin studies the changes in morality since the days of silent films to the present, examining how nudity in film reflected the political, sociological, and artistic shifts of the age. Additionally, Skin examines the gender inequality that until recently has long plagued nudity in film.

Dead Asleep (2021)

Dead Asleep 86m Genre Documentary Directed by Skye Borgman >watch on Hulu >watch on Hulu Dead Asleep is one of the few new documentaries hitting Hulu during a quiet month for the streaming service. The movie takes a look at the case of Randy Herman Jr., who used sleepwalking as a defense for a brutal murder. Herman stabbed his roommate 25 times, killing her in 2017. The crime is shocking and disturbing, as is the defense Herman put forward. The documentary takes a look at the plausibility of the case and where Herman is now, never losing sight of the victim in the devastating murder. The documentary comes from Skye Boegman, who also directed Abducted In Plain Sight.

Dear Santa (2020)

Dear Santa 89% 72 % 6.0/10 82m Genre Documentary Directed by Dana Nachman, Chelsea Matter >watch on Hulu >watch on Hulu One of the best traditions every holiday season is the bevy of “Dear Santa” letters sent through the US Postal Service, which then allows good citizens to fulfill the heartwarming requests in the letters. Unsurprisingly, Dear Santa is a feel-good documentary, meant to thaw even the iciest among us. There’s nothing better then seeing the faith of children and adults alike restored by good deeds. Get the Kleenex ready.

Jacinta (2021)

Jacinta 100% 8.3/10 105m Genre Documentary Directed by Jessica Earnshaw >watch on Hulu >watch on Hulu Addiction is a disease, and a difficult one to conquer at that. While the media is full of depictions of families trying to support one person through addiction, there are fewer depictions of the generational problem it poses. In Jacinta, the eponymous lead is a 26-year-old caught up in trying to recover while imprisoned at the Maine Correctional Center. Jacinta desperately wants to reconnect with her infant daughter, who lives with her paternal grandparents. She isn’t alone in prison, though — her mother, another struggling addict, is there right along with Jacinta. The documentary is a searing portrayal of how addiction can tear families apart and simultaneously find a way to bring them together in the most unexpected ways. Director Jessica Earnshaw earned the Albert Maysles New Documentary Director Award for the documentary at the 2020 Tribeca Film Festival.

Wrinkles the Clown (2019)

Wrinkles the Clown 71% 53 % 4.8/10 75m Genre Documentary Directed by Michael Beach Nichols >watch on Hulu >watch on Hulu The image of Wrinkles the Clown is enough to send shivers through even the coldest of people. The clown earned notoriety in 2015 following a viral video where he emerges from underneath the bed of a young girl. But who is he, really? The documentary explores one of the strangest occupations in the world, that of a clown specifically meant to scare children, as opposed to the unintentional scares they typically provide. Eventually, Wrinkles is exposed, but the most frightening carnival clown in the country isn’t who he seems to be at all, turning his terrifying lens toward the audience.

The Waiting Room (2012)

The Waiting Room 100% 84 % 7.1/10 81m Genre Drama, Documentary, Romance Directed by Peter Nicks >watch on Hulu >watch on Hulu The American medical system has been under the gun for many years, but there aren’t many definitive documentaries detailing the sordid problems within the country’s infrastructure. The Waiting Room exams the staff at Highland Hospital in Oakland, which sees patients regardless of insurance status. Filmmaker Peter Nicks — seen more recently following high school students in Homeroom — treats everyone in the film with dignity, cognizant of the fact that monetary differences shouldn’t change the standard of care at hospitals. The doctors and nurses clearly have an uphill battle, making it uplifting when they succeed but devastating when limitations beyond their control hamper efforts to aid those most in need. Arguably the biggest indictment on the importance of the film is how relevant it remains almost 10 years after its initial release.

Totally Under Control (2020)

Totally Under Control 99% 80 % 7.7/10 123m Genre Documentary Stars Alex Gibney, Scott Becker, Taison Bell Directed by Alex Gibney, Ophelia Harutyunyan, Suzanne Hillinger >watch on Hulu >watch on Hulu The coronavirus pandemic remains an ongoing scourge across the globe, but it’s not too early to begin looking at how the world has arrived at its current point. There is an endless number of stories and decisions to discuss surrounding COVID-19, and Totally Under Control looks at the United States government’s response to the crisis, studying it through the eyes of public health officials. Like so much of the current situation, it’s almost impossible to extract politics from the crisis, and filmmaker Alex Gibney doesn’t try, recognizing how greatly the response differed from that of the previous administration. The documentary is a difficult watch, as so many people have been personally affected by the pandemic and still are — the timeliness of the film is a feature, not a bug. It’s also bound to make people from all walks of life outraged.

Homeroom (2021)

Homeroom 84% 68 % 5.1/10 90m Genre Documentary Stars Denilson Garibo, Libby Schaaf Directed by Peter Nicks >watch on Hulu >watch on Hulu At Oakland High School in Oakland, California, the senior class of 2020 was not just faced with the COVID-19 pandemic. They weren’t just faced with the George Floyd protests, either. They had to deal with all that, as well as the circumstances unique to their own situation in a city where crime is high, health care is non-existent, and the public school system isn’t always adequately prepared to usher students along their life journeys. Director Peter Nicks documents the heartbreak the students suffer through each day of their final year, from seeing a pandemic upend their worlds to some troubles they still would have gone through even if the world didn’t change in March 2020. While there is a certain sense of sadness seeing the things these students would never experience, it’s hard not to be left with a sense of hope about how hard teenagers are fighting to overcome the myriad of adversity they face every day.

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