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I’m watching more documentaries than ever thanks to new Netflix originals like this one

  • Netflix has produced a steady stream of new original documentaries in 2020 for its users to add to their list of what to watch.
  • A new Netflix original documentary coming in January — Crack: Cocaine, Corruption & Conspiracy — follows the war on drugs.
  • The documentary debuts on Netflix on January 11.

One of the reasons Netflix has steamrolled the competition to become the dominant streaming video service on the planet has to do with the sheer breadth of content that it offers for users to binge, as much as they want and whenever they want. This is why deciding what to watch on Netflix can be a bit of a challenge sometimes, especially because the streamer is increasingly building out categories behind the obvious linchpins of the service, like TV shows and movies. Since we’re in December, for example, you’ve probably seen hints by now of Netflix wanting to supplant Hallmark as the top source of Christmas-themed movies and series. The streamer’s animated fare is also trying to represent a threat to studios like Pixar, and Netflix has been especially productive on the documentary side of things.

Netflix is increasingly making waves for its original documentary projects, including such recent titles as The Social Dilemma, Becoming, and Miss Americana. Add to that list a new Netflix documentary coming in January that will track the failed war on drugs, titled Crack: Cocaine, Corruption & Conspiracy.


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The trailer, released this week and which you can check out below, hints at a compelling examination of the impact of cocaine on the US — charting its path from being a party drug to eventually devastating low-income communities and prompting a resource-draining war at the local, state, and federal levels. From Netflix’s description of the film, which will be added to the streamer on January 11: “In the early 1980s, the crack epidemic tore through America’s inner cities like a tsunami, ravaging all in its wake. Decades later, the destructive effects on people’s lives, families and communities are still deeply felt.

Crack: Cocaine, Corruption & Conspiracy examines not only the personal devastation caused by the drug, but also the shadowy origins of the crisis and the resultant, ongoing marginalization of Black and Brown people trapped by the US prison and healthcare systems.”

The film comes from documentary filmmaker Stanley Nelson, who was given a National Humanities Medal in 2013 from President Barack Obama, and whose work includes The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution and Freedom Riders.

In a statement from Nelson provided by Netflix, per IndieWire, one of the reasons Nelson said he wanted to make this film is because he thought the impact of the crack cocaine era hadn’t been fully scrutinized up to this point.

“I lived through the crack era in New York City,” he said. “I vividly remember the long lines of cars waiting for dealers; people standing in doorways smoking crack; streets littered with crack vials. Crack transformed the city and the entire country, leaving devastation in its wake — especially in Black and Latinx communities … Now that we are decades past the peak of the crack era, we can look at its long-lasting impact in a clear-eyed way.”

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