20 Feet From Stardom turns the spotlight on the backing singers
There’s nothing that gives you that extra oomph in the morning like seeing somebody else like you succeed. There are plenty of inspirational documentaries out there, but these ones put women front and center. They’re all available to view online, largely on Netflix but also on Amazon Prime and YouTube too. So, get a bowl of popcorn at the ready, settle into a comfy seat and get ready to have your mind blown by these hugely inspirational women.
Homecoming: A Film By Beyoncé
There’s perhaps no more powerful female performer than Beyoncé, and this feature-length documentary goes a long way towards proving that. The entire documentary was built around her legendary Coachella performance back in 2018. Viewers are invited behind the scenes as she powers her way through no less than eight months of singing practices, as well as dress rehearsals, fitness regimes, and more.
It’s really inspiring to see how such a powerhouse still has to slog it out to achieve at the level that she’s capable of. If there’s one thing that this documentary proves, it’s that Beyoncé has worked hard to earn every bit of her success and influence.
The world of high-stakes poker can seem like something of a secret society to those who aren’t in the know, but the Poker Queens documentary blows it wide open. This access all areas look into what it’s like competing in a poker tournament as one of the prominent women in the game will be fascinating for poker buffs as well as those who don’t even know how to play.
There won’t be a great deal of tips for those who are interested in playing themselves, but instead, there’s an honest insight into what it’s really like competing at the upper end of the poker tournament schedule.
Honeyland tells the story of one of Europe’s last wild beekeepers
If you like a documentary that takes place a little off the beaten track, then Honeyland, directed by Tamara Kotevska, might just hit the spot. This documentary tells the story of Hatidže Muratova a beekeeper who lives in Bekirlija. All alone Hatidže Muratova takes care of wild bees, using ancient techniques to ensure both the health of her bees and her own safety.
Her existence is quite a lonely one, with just her aging mother and a difficult next-door neighbor for company. Despite this, Hatidže Muratova manages to find joy in the simple parts of nature as she traverses tricky terrain to complete her beekeeping duties. This documentary has a pretty surprising plot twist which we won’t spoil for you but, suffice it to say, all isn’t sweet in Honeyland.
20 Feet From Stardom
Whilst Beyonce is a one-woman force, this documentary shines a light on those who tend to be just out of the spotlight. Backing singers have been making the stars that we love sound incredible for decades, but rarely do they get a slice of the glory. Filmmaker Morgan Neville realized this and decided to tell the history of music another way, by casting a light on those at the side of the stage.
There has been a slew of incredible backing singers over time, like Darlene Love, Tata Vega, Merry Clayton, and more, all of whom feature in this excellent documentary. All of these under-celebrated voices come together to create a heartwarming film that rightfully won the Oscar for Best Documentary at the 86th Academy Awards.
Maya Angelou: And Still I Rise
If you’re after the Beyonce of yesteryear, then this documentary about Maya Angelou will fill those shoes and then some. Dr Angelou is one of the greatest linguists that the world has ever seen, moving people with her poetry, prose, and songwriting. Along the way, she partook in some of the most poignant political movements in history, as well as stealing hearts on the stage.
There are some people who really can do it all and Maya Angelou is one of them. It’s not just that though. She maintains such humbleness and dignity that it is impossible not to be inspired by her.