Documentaries are the spice of life. If you want to be totally absorbed in the wine connoisseur world, or dive headfirst into the sport of ultra marathons, then documentaries are exactly what makes that possible. The only thing that lets them down is that they aren’t always available across all platforms. Thankfully, most of us have access to the internet; that’s where YouTube comes in. YouTube has made thousands of full length documentaries available to stream right now on their platform, and these are the grittiest.
For those who are fans of poker, there are few documentaries that truly do the subject justice. One documentary that breaks the mould and frequently finds itself on the ‘best of’ lists, is Nosebleed. This feature length documentary follows two of the best online cash game players as they try to win a coveted World Series of Poker bracelet.
Rather than trying to glamorise the subject, director Victor Saumont shows us exactly what it’s like in the life of a successful poker player. The documentary begins with the pair of players sitting at a breakfast bar and burning through a few rounds of poker. It’s jarring to think that in these humble surroundings, hundreds of thousands of dollars have been won, and indeed lost. The documentary continues to portray this pursuit of a bracelet truthfully, never accelerating through the unglamorous, or even dull moments. For those who love the highs, lows, accelerations and lulls in the game, Nosebleed will not disappoint.
Where Dreams Go To Die
Whilst Nosebleed can be a bit of a slow burner at times, Where Dreams Go To Die is exactly the opposite. This documentary follows two years’ worth of attempts at the Barkley Marathon. Gary Robbins is the runner who is followed, who is known for running multiple ultra-marathons. Put it this way, he’s no Sunday jogger. The Barkley Marathon came a little more into the public eye after a previous documentary detailed just how gruelling it was back in 2014. Since then the race has become no less tough.
Each year the organiser of the race chooses 40 people to take part. They each do 5 laps of a trail that’s around 30 miles long, totally unmarked and through unimaginably difficult terrain. They have 60 hours to complete it, they must bring back various pages of hidden books and they have no idea when the race will start. Other than that, it’s basically a fun run. The race takes them through such intense climbs that if they finish it, they’ll have scaled the equivalent of Mount Everest, twice. If you want to see human endurance tested to the absolute limits, then Where Dreams Go To Die is a must view.
Real Scenes: London
Resident Advisor is for most people, all about music reviews. However, that’s not all they do. The team at Resident Advisor released their first documentary series back in 2017, which has shortly been followed by loads more that are really worth watching. Real Scenes: London explores London’s totally unique club music scene. Unsurprisingly, the documentary is pretty gritty. It dives deeply into the controversy surrounding the closing of London’s enormous Fabric nightclub, exploring angles that many documentaries would shy away from.
After Fabric, you fly through the elements that are hitting the London scene the hardest, namely gentrification. Venues are increasingly expected to pay enormous rents, neighborhoods are becoming less commercial and more residential. Sound complaints, bigger bills, and nosey neighbors are all threatening to drive London’s most beloved music venues to the brink of extinction.
When a city is responsible for grime, dubstep, and jungle, it seems impossible that their music scene could be under threat. However, listening to the heartbreaking interviews from venue owners, musicians, and producers, it does seem to be the case. Real Scenes: London, is an unapologetic account of what is happening currently and how important it is to stop it in its tracks.