Disney+ is finally here and simply looking at the opening screen will bring a smile to most people’s faces. Whether you are a fan of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Star Wars, or The Simpsons, you are covered. There is even new content like The Mandalorian. The newest streaming channel is enough to keep a person glued to their couch for weeks.
Disney did not just stop at releasing a whole new streaming option. They also announced a bundle that includes ESPN+ and Hulu. The inclusion of ESPN+ is a welcome one. The channel includes some incredible documentaries as a part of their 30 for 30 series. You do not have to be a sports fan to enjoy the documentaries listed below.
The U (2009)
This documentary about the University of Miami football program has it all. It chronicles the changing cultural climate in the country at the time. It discusses the race and class divide that is still prevalent in the country. It manages to convey an air of tension not normally seen in documentaries. The U is also a story of young college kids so there is an air of fun to it.
Pony Excess (2010)
Another college football documentary, but this one is much sadder. Pony Excess is a morality play about money, greed, and priorities. Narrated by Patrick Duffy, it is filled with great interviews. Still, it is the story that makes it so engrossing. In 1987, Southern Methodist University was given the death penalty by the NCAA in a decision that ruined the football program for decades. It is interesting to see the importance of football in Texas and how the NCAA may have gone too far.
June 17th, 1994 (2010)
Whenever a sports announcer talks about how sports are a window into America’s soul, it is hard not to roll your eyes. June 17th is the rare exception in which the statement makes sense. The documentary has no narration or interviews. Instead, it uses a series of events that took place during the O.J. Simpson police chase to look at the country. A very powerful documentary.
Fantastic Lies (2016)
Today, people are more willing to speak out against those who have committed sexual assault. This 2016 documentary about the Duke lacrosse rape case is an example of how people can undermine them all. A fascinating look at rushing to judgement, the harm media can do, and the court of public opinion.
Have you ever wondered how a person who made hundreds of millions of dollars can declare bankruptcy? Broke examines this question by talking to a number of former athletes. Director Bill Corben does an excellent job of investigating the problem without asking the viewer to pity the athletes. Funny and revealing, this is an interesting look at how some athletes (can’t) handle fame.
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