New Documentaries on Netflix in December 2020

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December docos

As people around the world start to make their plans for a (very different) festive season, we’ve got what you need to start planning your holiday Netflix viewing, too. 

If you’re not a fan of Hollywood blockbusters and holiday rom-coms, don’t worry! Netflix has you covered, with at least 11 new documentaries landing on the streaming platform throughout December. While it’s not as large as some of the hauls we’ve seen in previous months, this should be enough to give you a fresh documentary every three days.

Our must-watch picks this month are Alien Worlds, purely for the WTF-factor, and The Ripper, because we love a bit of British true-crime.

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Here are all the documentaries coming to Netflix in December 2020.

The Holiday Movies That Made Us (Season 1) N

Episodes: 2
Available on Netflix: 1 December

This retrospective documentary takes a look at two of the modern classic Christmas movies: Elf, featuring Will Ferrell, and Tim Burton’s Nightmare Before Christmas. 

The show explores the making of these Christmas classics, featuring facts known only by the most die-hard of fans. It also explores their cultural impact on Christmases past, present, and future.

An easy-going festive watch.

Alien Worlds (Season 1) N

Episodes: 4
Available on Netflix: 2 December

If you like your documentaries at the more experimental ends of the spectrum, this one’s for you.

Alien Worlds uses a little bit of science and a lot of CGI to speculate what life beyond our own universe might look like. Expect to see plenty of strange, other-worldly creatures, along with some strange, other-worldly predictions of how they might hunt, mate, and evolve.

Can it technically be called a documentary? We’re not sure. But whatever it is, we’re intrigued.

Room 2806: The Accusation (Limited Series) N

Episodes: 4
Available on Netflix: 7 December

This grueling docu-series explores the 2011 sexual assault case against the French politician Dominique Strauss-Kahn.

At the time, DSK was president of the IMF but was attempting to run for the French presidency. Coming in at a close second place, he alleged that the accusations were a smear campaign on the part of his opponent, Nicolas Sarkozy. However, others aren’t so sure.

André & his Olive Tree (2020)

Runtime: 104 minutes
Available on Netflix: 8 December

Netflix has obtained the rights to premiere this documentary feature film about Taiwan’s first Michelin star chef, André Chiang.

On Valentines Day 2018, André closed down his successful restaurant, thus relinquishing his Michelin stars. The culinary world was shocked, but André had other ideas. What follows is a journey of self-discovery, playfulness, and amazing flavors.

Regiment Diaries (Season 2)

Episodes: 6
Available on Netflix: 9 December

This military docu-series explores the nuances of the Indian army. Each regiment has its own history, culture, and traditions.

The Surgeon’s Cut (Season 1) N

Episodes: 4
Available on Netflix: 9 December

This BBC-Netflix collaboration takes a behind-the-scenes look at some incredible surgeons and their life-saving work. Each episode takes a look at a different (but equally awe-inspiring) surgery specialism, including fetal surgery, heart surgery, brain surgery, and organ transplant. Featuring moving testimonials from the life-saving experts, including how their line of work affects their personal life.

This series is not for the squeamish, as it features details of surgery.

Giving Voice (2020) N

Runtime: 1hr 27min
Available on Netflix: 11 December

Every year, the August Wilson Monologue Competition sees thousands of high-school students compete for a shot on Broadway.

Giving Voice follows six young hopefuls as they attempt to follow their dreams. The documentary won the Festival Favorite Award at Sundance 2020.

Song Exploder (Volume 2) N

Episodes: 4
Available on Netflix: 15 December

Inspired by the popular podcast, a second batch of songs are exploded for your viewing (and listening) pleasure.

This season features Dua Lipa, Nine Inch Nails, The Killers, and Natalia Lafourcade.

Anitta: Made In Honório (Season 1) N

Episodes: 6
Available on Netflix: 16 December

Another docu-series that may appeal to music fans (depending on what your tastes are). This one takes a look at Brazilian pop princess, Anitta.

The series makes use of interviews with Anitta, home-movies from her childhood, concert footage, and testimonials from her family and friends to represent the many different sides to Anitta. Popstar, businesswoman, icon.

BREAK IT ALL: The History of Rock in Latin America (2020) N

Runtime: TBC
Available on Netflix: 16 December

Spanning 50 years, this documentary explores the history of rock music in Latin America, alongside the cultural history of the region. Featuring “dictators, disaster, and dissent”, it’s no surprise that Latin America likes its rock music loud and proud. Featuring bands such as Soda Stereo, Cafe Tacvba, and Aterciopelados.

The Ripper (Limited Series) N

Episodes: 4
Available on Netflix: 16 December

Another gripping true-crime docu-series from Britan. Peter Sutcliffe, AKA the Yorkshire Ripper, murdered at least 13 women in Northern England in the 70s.

The investigation was greatly hampered by the sexist attitudes of the police, prejudiced by the fact that several of Sutcliffe’s victims worked as prostitutes.

What makes this documentary even more macabre is the timing of its release: Sutcliffe died just last month (November 2020).

What documentaries will you be watching on Netflix this month? Let us know in the comments below! 

Written by

Melissa is a freelance writer from Norwich. She has over seven years' experience running company blogs, social media, and PR campaigns. She has a degree in English Literature from the University of East Anglia, and studied journalism with the NCTJ. In her free time, Melissa runs her own book club and tells people she's writing a novel. Usually, she's just watching period dramas on Netflix.