New York City-based documentaries on Netflix

There are many movies filmed in New York, but if you want a real sense of the city and its history, you should consider these documentaries on Netflix, according to

There is no documentary that could encompass all that New York has to offer, but these titles will each show you a small piece of what life is like in NYC. These documentaries will keep on surprising you with the huge array of neighborhoods and subcultures that are present in this city. The New York related documentaries below are available on Netflix:


Man on Wire  IMDB 7.9                     

In 1974, high-wire artist Philippe Petit famously strung a wire between the towers of the World Trade Center, 1,350 feet above the ground. That stunt is exhaustively examined in this 2008 documentary that celebrates the breathtaking beauty of the illegal act, memorializing the Twin Towers in a subtle and powerful way.



Brooklyn Castle IMDB 7.9

The chess club at a Brooklyn public school is the subject of this absorbing documentary that follows five middle schoolers over the course of a year at Intermediate School 118. One of the most decorated chess teams in the country, this inner-city team must overcome structural poverty and neglect to become champions.



The Central Park Five IMDB 7.7

The 1989 attack on a jogger in Central Park and the subsequent wrongful conviction of five young black and latino boys is the subject of this 2012 documentary by Ken Burns and his daughter, Sarah. Particularly relevant in the era of #blacklivesmatter, this fiery doc engages with issues of structural racism and media bias.



Paris is Burning IMDB 8.0

No list of documentaries is complete without Paris is Burning, especially one about NYC. An in-depth examination of the underground '80s ball culture that gave us voguing, as well as a sensitive portrayal of the scene's luminaries like Pepper LaBeija and and Venus Xtravaganza, this funny and heartbreaking doc is required viewing.



16 Acres IMDB 6.7

This powerful doc tracks the aftermath of 9/11 on NYC -- specifically, the morass of political and emotional motivations behind the plans for a 9/11 memorial on the World Trade Center grounds.




Advanced Style IMDB 7.2

NYC street style has always been a huge part of the culture of the city, and this emotional documentary follows eight women who have developed their own unique avant-garde styles. Despite their advanced ages, these women keep it fresh and daring every day on the grimy streets of Manhattan.



Beautiful Darling IMDB 7.3

The muse for both Andy Warhol and the Velvet Underground, trans actress Candy Darling is the focus of this 2010 documentary. With excerpts from Candy's diary and archival footage from her days at Warhol's infamous Factory, this doc is an intimate glimpse into the life of an idiosyncratic NYC icon.



Scatter My Ashes at Bergdorf's IMDB 5.9

Featuring interviews with fashion icons like Tom Ford, Vera Wang, Iris Apfel, and Oscar de la Renta, this absorbing documentary charts the untold history of one of NYC's most iconic stores, Bergdorf Goodman's. The department store has been in midtown Manhattan since 1899, and certainly has enough stories to prove it.



Holes In My Shoes IMDB 7.7

This hour-long PBS special traces the extraordinary life of Jack Beers, a true NYC lifer who was born in the Lower East Side in 1910, trained as a wrestler with Jack Dempsey in the '20s, and became a self-taught mechanical engineer in the '30s. Beers worked on nearly all of NYC's most iconic buildings, including Radio City Music Hall and the MOMA, and personally installed the radio tower on top of the Empire State Building before becoming an actor in his eighties.


Bill Cunningham New York IMDB 7.9

Legendary New York Times fashion photographer Bill Cunningham is featured in this cultured yet personal documentary. Following the revered figure at home and at work, the multitude of interviews tells the story of a man who's seen the best of what New York has to offer.



Doin' It In The Park IMDB 7.4

With hundreds and hundreds of outdoor basketball courts in the five boroughs, it's no surprise that seeing pick-up basketball games is an everyday occurrence for NYC residents. This documentary charts the evolving nature of the game and how street basketball has influenced the professional league, while also investing in the characters who make their local basketball court their home.