One of the best ways to learn the background stories behind today’s current events is by watching new documentaries.

I try to watch a few documentaries every week and I’ve collected some of the most interesting documentaries I’ve seen this year that you can freely stream on YouTube.

Here are some of the best new documentaries of 2020 that you can watch online:

1. The Age of A.I.

An excellent 8-part documentary series hosted by Robert Downey Jr. that covers the many ways that artificial intelligence, machine learning, and neural networks will change the world.


2. The Great Divide

The story of how America became so divided exploring the rise of Barack Obama and then Donald Trump. Only available to watch in the U.S.


3. Battle of Social Networks

Social networks have become battlefields for truth and power. They provide their users with great freedom. But they are also being utilized to manipulate people, and sway public opinion by means of “fake news.” Watch the full documentary film here.


4. No Way Back: Trash. Inside The Global Waste Crisis

The world produces more than two billion tons of trash every year and this increasing amount of waste is irreversibly damaging the planet’s ecosystems.


5. The Rise and Rise of Psychedelics

The UK is experiencing a psychedelic renaissance. Scientists at top universities are claiming hallucinogens can revolutionize how we treat mental illness.


6. Brain Doping: The Effect of Smart Drugs

Forget about life-work-balance: A new generation of drugs promises unlimited increases in productivity without the need for rest or sleep. But what are the side effects?


7. Framing Reality

A thought-provoking exploration of how we frame reality inspired by the Venus Project’s Jacque Fresco, which looks at alternative solutions to the world’s problems.


8. How Doggerland Sank Beneath The Waves

The fascinating story of Doggerland, an area of land that is now submerged beneath the southern North Sea, that once connected Britain to mainland Europe. It was flooded by rising sea levels around 8,500 years ago.


9. The Corrupt Billionaire

Isabel dos Santos is Africa’s richest woman. She claims she made her fortune through her successful businesses, but leaked documents suggest otherwise.


10. Japan’s Evaporated People

Every year, thousands of Japanese men and women vanish without a trace. They are known as the “johatsu”, or evaporated people, and they engineer their own disappearances.