Streaming services are now awash with documentaries — more often than not with a murder somewhere in the title. What does this boom mean for the industry? Is this even still journalism? In this measured piece, Reeves Wiedeman brings to light the important questions the industry is now —necessarily — asking itself.
One award-winning investigative filmmaker told me she gets regular notes from her agent — documentary directors didn’t used to have agents — about what streamers are looking for, and they weren’t the kinds of films she was used to making. “I’m getting, ‘Did anybody murder your sister, and do you want to make a film about that?’” she said.