BEST OUTDOOR DOCUMENTARIES on NETFLIX

We all spend a lot of time on Netflix. Here are some suggestions from Team Cortazu for you to awaken your thirst for nature and adrenaline!

TOUCHING THE VOID - 2003

Director: Kevin Macdonald

Writer: Joe Simpson (book)

Stars: Simon Yates, Joe Simpson, Brendan Mackey

In 1985, two adventurous young mountaineers, Joe Simpson and Simon Yates, set off to climb the treacherous west face of the Siula Grande in the Peruvian Andes. They were experienced climbers, and climbed "Alpine-style," climbing the mountain in "one great push," without setting up ropes or base camps ahead of time. After dealing with a snowstorm and some dangerous climbing over powder formations, they reached the summit (about 21,000 feet) on the third day. The climb down proved to be far more difficult. Simpson fell and broke his leg badly. Yates decided to try to lower Simpson down the mountain, one 300-foot section of rope at a time. The climbers had run out of gas to melt snow, so they couldn't risk stopping as night came, and a violent snowstorm began. Their plodding, painful journey hit a snag when Yates inadvertently lowered Simpson over the edge of a cliff. In the storm, the men couldn't hear each other's cries, and, Yates, uncertain as to Simpson's position, and gradually sliding down the slope himself, decided to cut the rope that connected them, sending Simpson plummeting to certain death. Miraculously, Simpson survived the fall, and was faced with the prospect of getting off the mountain alone with no food, no water, and a broken leg. In Touching the Void, filmmaker Kevin Macdonald (One Day in September) tells their story, based on Simpson's book, using contemporary interviews with the two men, and a reenactment of their climb and descent, featuring Brendan Mackey as Simpson and Nicholas Aaron as Yates. Touching the Void was shown at the 2003 Toronto Film Festival.

THE GREAT ALONE - 2015

Director: Greg Kohs

Writer: Greg Kohs

Stars: Dick Mackey, Lance Mackey

The Great Alone is a feature-length documentary shot in the arctic of Alaska that captures the inspiring comeback story of champion dog sled racer, Lance Mackey. From his sunniest days as a boy by his famous father's side to cancer's attempt to unseat him, The Great Alone pulls viewers along every mile of Lance's emotional journey to become one of the greatest dog sled racers of all time.

THE DAWN WALL - 2017 

Directors: Josh Lowell, Peter Mortimer

Stars: John Branch, Tommy Caldwell, Kevin Jorgeson

 In January, 2015, American rock climbers Tommy Caldwell and Kevin Jorgeson captivated the world with their effort to climb the Dawn Wall, a seemingly impossible 3,000 foot rock face in Yosemite National Park, California. The pair lived on the sheer vertical cliff for weeks, igniting a frenzy of global media attention. But for Tommy Caldwell, the Dawn Wall was much more than just a climb. It was the culmination of a lifetime defined by overcoming obstacles. At the age of 22, the climbing prodigy was taken hostage by rebels in Kyrgyzstan. Shortly after, he lost his index finger in an accident, but resolved to come back stronger. When his marriage fell apart, he escaped the pain by fixating on the extraordinary goal of free climbing the Dawn Wall. Blurring the line between dedication and obsession, Caldwell and his partner Jorgeson spend six years meticulously plotting and practicing their route. On the final attempt, with the world watching, Caldwell is faced with a moment of truth. Should he abandon his partner to fulfill his ultimate dream, or risk his own success for the sake of their friendship?

LOSING SIGHT OF SHORE - 2017

Director: Sarah Moshman

Writers: Sarah Moshman, Peter Saroufim

LOSING SIGHT OF SHORE follows the extraordinary journey of four brave women known as the Coxless Crew that set out to row the Pacific Ocean from America to Australia unsupported. As they row over 8,000 miles during their nine months at sea, they face extreme mental and physical challenges they must overcome in order to go down in history. This is a story of perseverance, friendship and the power of the human spirit. Everyone has a Pacific to cross.

NATIONAL PARKS ADVENTURE - 2016

Director: Greg MacGillivray

Writers: Stephen Judson (as Steve Judson), Tim Cahill

Stars: Robert Redford, Conrad Anker, Max Lowe 

The power of America's national parks is undeniable. Millions have packed up the family to hike through impossibly lush forests, to gaze upon towering cliffs and deep-plunging canyons, to witness the breathtaking arcs of natural history, and, most of all, to share moments of wonder amid the protected treasures of this land. A MacGillivray Freeman film produced in association with Brand USA and narrated by Academy Award (R) winner Robert Redford, National Parks Adventure is acclaimed filmmaker Greg MacGillivray's most visually ambitious giant-screen film to date-a film that offers not only a sweeping overview of the national parks' history, but is equal parts adrenaline-pumping odyssey and soulful reflection on what the wilderness means to us all.

MOUNTAIN - 2017

Director: Jennifer Peedom

Writers: Robert Macfarlane, Jennifer Peedom

Star: Willem Dafoe

Only three centuries ago, setting out to climb a mountain would have been considered close to lunacy. Mountains were places of peril, not beauty, an upper world to be shunned, not sought out. Why do mountains now hold us spellbound, drawing us into their dominion, often at the cost of our lives? From Tibet to Australia, Alaska to Norway armed with drones, Go-Pros and helicopters, director Jennifer Peedom has fashioned an astonishing symphony of mountaineers, ice climbers, free soloists, heliskiers, snowboarders, wingsuiters and parachuting mountain bikers. Willem Dafoe provides a narration sampled from British mountaineer Robert Macfarlane's acclaimed memoir Mountains of the Mind, and a classical score from the Australian Chamber Orchestra accompanies this majestic cinematic experience.

CHASING CORAL - 2017

Director: Jeff Orlowski

Writers: Davis Coombe, Vickie Curtis 

Stars: Andrew Ackerman, Pim Bongaerts, Neal Cantin

Coral reefs are the nursery for all life in the oceans, a remarkable ecosystem that sustains us. Yet with carbon emissions warming the seas, a phenomenon called "coral bleaching"-a sign of mass coral death-has been accelerating around the world, and the public has no idea of the scale or implication of the catastrophe silently raging underwater. Chasing Coral taps into the collective will and wisdom of an ad man, a self-proclaimed coral nerd, top-notch camera designers, and renowned marine biologists as they invent the first time-lapse camera to record bleaching events as they happen. Unfortunately, the effort is anything but simple, and the team doggedly battles technical malfunctions and the force of nature in pursuit of their golden fleece: documenting the indisputable and tragic transformation below the waves. With its breathtaking photography, nail-biting suspense, and startling emotion, Chasing Coral is a dramatic revelation that won't have audiences sitting idle for long.

RESURFACE - 2017

Directors: Joshua Izenberg, Wynn Padula

Stars: Bobby Lane, Van Curaza, Martin Pollock

After years of nightmares, depression, and seizures, Iraq war veteran Bobby Lane could see no way out of his trauma other than suicide. Then he met Van Curaza, a former big wave surfer who since founded Operation Surf and dedicated his life to helping veterans find solace in surfing. Backed by a growing body of research demonstrating the healing power of the ocean on the mind and body, organizations such as Operation Surf and the Jimmy Miller Memorial Foundation are using surfing to help veterans cope with physical and mental trauma.

CHASING ICE - 2012

Director: Jeff Orlowski

Writer: Mark Monroe

Stars: James Balog, Svavar Jónatansson, Louie Psihoyos

Acclaimed National Geographic photographer James Balog was once a skeptic about climate change. But through his Extreme Ice Survey, he discovers undeniable evidence of our changing planet. In Chasing Ice, Balog deploys revolutionary time-lapse cameras to capture a multi-year record of the world's changing glaciers. His hauntingly beautiful videos compress years into seconds and capture ancient mountains of ice in motion as they disappear at a breathtaking rate. Traveling with a team of young adventurers across the brutal Arctic, Balog risks his career and his well-being in pursuit of the biggest story facing humanity. As the debate polarizes America, and the intensity of natural disasters ramps up globally, Chasing Ice depicts a heroic photojournalist on a mission to deliver fragile hope to our carbon-powered planet.

FISH PEOPLE - 2017

Director: Keith Malloy

Stars: Matahi Drollet, Kimi Werner

Documentary that explores the lives of people who are dedicated to the sea, such as swimmers, surfers and fishermen.

 

P.S. Keep in mind that regarding your location, Netflix's documentary library can change. We hope you will not have such a problem. Enjoy!

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