5 Netflix documentaries to watch next

Vatican Girl: The Disappearance of Emanuela Orlandi is Netflix’s latest must-watch true crime series. The four-part documentary explores the case of Emanuela Orlandi, a 15-year-old girl from Vatican City who disappeared mysteriously in 1983. It examines various theories surrounding her disappearance, including the possible involvement of the pope and the Catholic Church, International Terrorists and the Mafia.

If you were fascinated by Vatican Girl, add these five other Netflix documentaries to your watchlist.

“Don’t Fuck With Cats”

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Vatican Girl was directed by Mark Lewis. The filmmaker is also responsible for the 2019 Netflix docuseries Don’t F**k With Casts: Hunting an Internet Killer. It examines how a group of amateur online investigators tracked down the man responsible for posting a series of gruesome animal abuse videos online. In the process, they found evidence linking the perpetrator to an even more disturbing crime. But be warned. Don’t F**k With Cats can be hard to watch. Lewis even told Variety that he did Vatican Girl because he “didn’t want to do anything after that project which was also so traumatic.”

“The gardians”

‘The Guardians’ | Courtesy of Netflix

The Catholic Church plays a big role in Vatican Girl. The series offers a glimpse of life inside the smallest country in the world, which has only a few hundred inhabitants. He also speculates that the church — and possibly even Pope John Paul II himself — knew more about Orlandi’s disappearance than has been publicly revealed.

For another look at the Catholic Church and its secrets, click play on The Keepers. This seven-part series looks at the still-unsolved murder of Sister Cathy Cesnik in 1969. Cesnik was a teacher at a Catholic high school in Baltimore. Years after her death, a number of students came forward to say they had been sexually abused by a priest at school and believed Sister Cathy had been murdered to cover up her crimes.


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Procession is another documentary about sexual abuse in the Catholic Church. But it takes a different approach than you might expect. Rather than focusing on the crimes that were committed, this 2021 film (directed by Robert Greene), focuses on healing. It follows six men who were abused by members of the clergy when they were young. Years later, they reunite to overcome their trauma through the use of drama therapy.

“The Disappearance of Madeleine McCann”

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For another look at a strange disappearance, stream the 2019 documentary The Disappearance of Madeleine McCann. The eight-episode series delves into the story of missing British girl Madeleine McCann, who vanished from a hotel room in Portugal in 2007, and the ensuing media frenzy surrounding the case.

Journalists, police officers and others involved in the investigation were interviewed for the series. But it should be noted that Madeleine’s parents, Kate and Gerry McCann, did not participate and denounced the documentary. Madeleine’s disappearance is still not officially resolved and her body has never been found. However, authorities now believe a German pedophile may be responsible for her murder, the BBC reported.

“Dig Deeper: The Disappearance of Birgit Meier”

Dig Deeper: The Disappearance of Birgit Meier looks at the disappearance of a 41-year-old German woman in 1989. The four-episode series explores what may have happened to Birgit, who was in the process of divorcing her husband when she faded away. The initial, cursory investigation turned up few leads, in part because police may have been distracted by several high-profile murders in the area. The case languished for decades, even as Birgit’s brother (a police officer himself) continued to try to find out what had happened to his brother.

Vatican Girl: The Disappearance of Emanuela Orlandi is now streaming on Netflix.

How to get help: If you or someone you know has been sexually abused, text HOME to the Crisis Text Line on 741741 for free, confidential support.

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