5 Documentaries to Watch In the Final Week of Black History Month — and Beyond

Black Lives Matter

As February, and therefore Black History Month, edges toward a close, you may find yourself wondering if you did enough to celebrate the achievements of the Black community. 

With the Black Lives Matter movement both here, and abroad, no longer dominating global headlines, it can be easy — if you’re white — to forget that the problems of systemic racism and the erasure of culture is still very much a longstanding and ongoing problem. 

Our own Bla(c)k History Month may not be until July, but as the late, great Dr Martin Luther King Jr. famously said, “the time is always right to do what’s right,” so here are five documentaries to watch in the final week of Black History Month and beyond. 

First Australians, the Untold Story of Australia

This seven-part documentary, directed by Beck Cole, chronicles the birth of contemporary Australia from the perspective of its First People.

First Australians is an investigation of what happened when the oldest living culture in the world was overrun by the world’s greatest empire. 


Where to watch it: SBS On Demand 


In this award-winning masterpiece from Ava DuVernay, the realities of modern day slavery are held under a microscope to reveal an unsettling truth.

In the age of mass incarceration, in which one out of four African-American males will serve prison time at one point in their lives, it is evident that the horrors of the Jim Crow era are still very much alive and well in the American prison system. 


Where to watch it: Netflix or YouTube

The Australian Dream

Directed by BAFTA-winning filmmaker Daniel Gordon, The Australian Dream centres around retired AFL star Adam Goodes who left the sport he loved and embarked on an advocacy journey after enduring racial abuse during a game. 

An activist for Indigenous causes, Goodes spoke out about his experience and was met with the heartbreaking fact that Australia is often incapable of and unwilling to confront its own problematic past. 


Where to watch it: Apple TV, Google Play or Amazon Prime

Time: The Kalief Browder Story 

In 2010, 16-year-old Kalief Browder was arrested in New York City for allegedly stealing a backpack — despite consistently maintaining his innocence. 

He was charged and bail was set at $3000, an impossible amount of money for his impoverished family to find. He was sent to Rikers Island Prison to await trial to prove his innocence.

Browder was finally released from prison in 2013 but, having been subjected to unimaginable violence and extended periods of solitary confinement, took his own life two years later.

Executive produced by Jay-Z, this harrowing documentary is an exploration of the ways in which the social justice system consistently fails young Black men and the devastating consequences of a deeply ingrained racial prejudice.


Where to watch it: Netflix 


Dr Martin Luther King Jr. is often regarded as the face and father of the Civil Rights Movement. Famed for his non-violent protests and rousing calls-to-arms, the activist is perhaps one of the most quoted (and misquoted) figures in history with a legacy that has spanned the swinging sixties all the way through to the age of social media

In this documentary, filmmaker Sam Pollard examines the harassment of MLK at the hands of the FBI, as the American government actively sought to undermine the civil rights icon and the movement itself. 


Where to watch it: Amazon Prime Video, Apple TV

Read more stories from The Latch and subscribe to our email newsletter.