First of all, Netflix, congratulations on winning all of those shiny gold statues. Between Rosamund Pike (I Care A Lot) and Chadwick Boseman (Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom), there were stellar results for the streaming platform all around. And that’s before we even considered the turnout for Netflix’s flagship TV shows, The Crown, Schitt’s Creek, and 2020’s surprise hit The Queen’s Gambit, which swept eight of 11 categories.
Now that the celebration’s over, though, it’s back to work for the company. As International Women’s Day rapidly approaches, Netflix has one thing on its mind for its March lineup: celebrating women, in all their unvarnished truth. Of course, there’s the highly anticipated second directorial outing from SNL and Parks and Rec alum Amy Poehler, Moxie, about high school girls fighting back against the patriarchy when the systems put in place to protect them from it fail to do so.
But there’s also content like Bombay Rose, a beautiful and subversive hand-painted animation about a flower seller who escapes an arranged marriage, and The One, a cautionary girlboss tale with a Black Mirror-esque premise set “five minutes in the future.”
For some reason, there’s also an avalanche of true-to-life, stranger-than-fiction content headed our way this month. Whether your tastes skew towards the Biggie documentary or a macabre true crime docuseries about Mormons and murders, Netflix clearly wants to teach us a lesson or two this March. What will you watch first? Whatever your pick for movie night, you can rest assured knowing that there is bound to be a crown jewel or two nestled amongst this month’s new content—perhaps even a winner of one of next year’s Emmy Awards.
1 / 8
Biggie: I Got a Story to Tell
Incredible access and rare footage of The Notorious B.I.G., also known as Biggie, Biggie Smalls, or (before all that) Christopher Wallace, characterise this documentary. There seems to be little critical consensus for Biggie, which dropped on the first of the month. Some reviewers clearly consider it essential viewing, delicately tracing the elements that birthed the ’90s hip-hop rap scene alongside the transformation of the kid Christopher Wallace to The Notorious B.I.G. Other critics have slammed it for its unwillingness to question or criticise the man behind the legend, eliding certain foundational aspects of Biggie’s life. You’ll have to decide for yourself what you think.
Watch Biggie: I Got a Story to Tell from 1 March.
2 / 8
Based on the novel of the same name by Jennifer Mathieu, Moxie features Amy Poehler and Hadley Robinson as a dynamic mother-daughter duo. The film follows an ensemble cast of fed-up, agitated teenagers led by Robinson’s Vivian who, inspired by the riot-grrl antics of her mother Lisa’s youth, take on sexism in their high school. (Oh, and the wonderful Josephine Langford of the so-bad-it’s-good After series plays a cheerleader.) Capturing the launch of the titular Moxie zine as a way of biting back against harassment and male misbehaviour, the movie’s tagline says it all: It’s time to woke up.
Watch Moxie from 3 March.
3 / 8
Murder Among the Mormons
Don’t let the fact that this docuseries was put together by the director of Napoleon Dynamite fool you. All within the span of a tidy three episodes, Murder Among the Mormons documents a forgery scandal with fatal consequences. The series charts a tale of deception and evil, centered around the 1985 Salt Lake City bombings, that eventually entangled itself with the Church of Latter Day Saints itself. If you’re a viewer with even a tacit understanding—or preconceived notions—of the Mormon faith, this docuseries is for you. It plays upon these presumptions of community, suppression, and opacity to construct a portrait of the bomber, (spoilers from 35 years ago) Mark Hofmann. You won’t be any less enraptured, though, for knowing exactly whodunnit; the narrative is twisting and duplicitous, and the documentarians play fast and loose with the notion of truth and falsehood themselves, to stupendous result.
Watch Murder Among the Mormons from 3 March.
4 / 8
French-Ukrainian actress Olga Kurylenko stars in this French-language series as Klara, a soldier sent home from combat after a traumatising incident. Once back in Nice, she tries to rebuild her shattered self. That process, however, is interrupted after her sister, Tania, is brutally assaulted. And so ignites Klara’s relentless journey to hunt down the man who hurt her sister. She uses her lethal skills for vengeance by proxy, landing herself in hot water after her quest puts her directly in the path of Yvan Kadnikov, the son of a powerful Russian oligarch of the French Riviera.
Watch Sentinelle from 5 March.
5 / 8
Nevenka: Breaking the Silence
Nevenka Fernandez, a young Spanish economist, was just 26 when she spoke up about the sexual harassment she had experienced at the hands of Ismael Alvarez, the mayor of Ponferrada. The ensuing media circus and chauvinistic public attention—this was the year 2000, and Spain’s first major sexual harassment case—nearly destroyed her life. Even with Alvarez’s 2001 conviction, Fernandez had to move multiple times to duck harassment and death threats. And Alvarez returned to politics in 2011. Now, Nevenka Fernández speaks for the first time in 20 years about, in her own words, going through hell and coming back out stronger.
Watch Nevenka: Breaking the Silence from 5 March.
6 / 8
Bombay Rose was the belle of the 2019 Venice Film Festival, and was picked up for distribution the next year by Netflix. The coronavirus pushed its release back by two months, though, which means it lands on our homepages this International Women’s Day. Award-winning Indian animator Gitanjali Rao reportedly spent six years crafting this gorgeous urban romance. 60 artists brought the film to life painstakingly, going frame-by-frame, and filled it with an elegant fusion of sleek contemporary technique and indigenous folk art stylings. The story follows Kamala, a young Hindu woman who has escaped a loveless arranged marriage by working in Mumbai as a flower seller by day and a nightclub dancer by night. Her life is thrown into magical chaos, however, when her stars cross with those of Salim, a Muslim boy. Politically muted but fantastically rendered, Bombay Rose is a lush romp through city streetscapes, and a wonderful escape from the present day.
Watch Bombay Rose from 8 March.
7 / 8
In a world where a DNA test can find your perfect partner—the one person you’re genetically predisposed to fall passionately in love with—there are bound to be a few drawbacks. Indeed, this “soulmate science fiction” has some dark implications, many of which The One has promised to explore. Hannah Ware stars as Rebecca, the ambitious and impulsive CEO and founder of MatchDNA, alongside Dimitri Leonidas as James, Rebecca’s best friend and co-founder. That is, until James abruptly and mysteriously departs, at the height of the company’s success. The show seems to ask viewers the question that the characters are posed at the beginning of the first episode: How far would you go to find “the one”?
Watch The One from 12 March.
8 / 8
War is being waged on our oceans. Kip Andersen, the mind behind the incendiary factory farming documentary Cowspiracy, debuts his followup in the form of Seaspiracy. This time, he’s taking on the environmental impact of the seafood we enjoy. Focusing a critical lens on the fishing industry, Andersen teams up with a pair of nascent directors, Ali and Lucy Tabrizi, to discover an “alarming global conspiracy” that links the intersecting issues contributing to oceanic destruction. Together, Andersen and the Tabrizis reveal the way government policy, the fishing industry, and even environmental organizations contribute to the devastation of marine life. Save our seas? These guys hope to do so with this doc.
Watch Seaspiracy from 24 March.