Voice Force

Where the industry listens.

March 25, 2020

4 Documentaries with Captivating Narration

And where to stream them!

There’s an art to narrating a documentary. It requires great command of technique, in addition to keeping engagement without stepping in front of the visuals. It’s a high-wire act, for sure! Here are some of our favorite, most trusted voices in narration that you can stream right now. We’re going to continue putting together lists of our favorites across this week, so check back in soon!

Lo and Behold: Reveries of the Connected World

Werner Herzog

Werner Herzog’s sonorous Bavarian-tinged tone is at once bone-dry and tender, melancholy and unquenchingly fascinated. Often parodied, his voice has occasionally overshadowed the subjects of his excellent documentaries (Grizzly Man, Encounters at the Edge of the World, Cave of Forgotten Dreams). But one thing is clear: his point of view is utterly unique.

Lo and Behold is Herzog’s introspective look at the digital life we find ourselves living in. Sometimes it takes an outsider to make us see the commonplace in a new way: “Can the internet dream of itself?”

Where can I watch?

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Lo and Behold: Reveries of the Connected World can be found on Hulu

Our Planet

David Attenborough

David Attenborough is perhaps our most famous naturalist, creating and narrating nearly 50 years of educational content about wildlife and the natural world. His voice is like the kind, thoughtful professor everyone wants to receive encouragement from, a warm hug with an English accent.

Here, he partnered with Netflix to create a new docu-series centering on the environment as humans have impacted it, and the consequences climate change has for living creatures. It’s a beautiful, sobering new chapter in the incredible work Attenborough has been doing.

Where can I watch?

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Our Planet can be found on Netflix

Wings of Life

Meryl Streep

Consider the lilies. No, really. Consider how a hummingbird will pollinate a lily flapping its wings up to 80 times per second. In Wings of Life, Meryl Streep guides us through the symbiotic partnership the planet’s flowers and butterflies, hummingbirds, bees, and bats. Filmed with high framerate and time-lapse cameras, the visuals are awe-inspirng.

Equally stunning is Streep’s narration. She describes the hidden necessity of pollinators with an intimate, smooth delivery that helps to make this documentary transcend the usual nature film medium into something both tranquil and profound.

Where can I watch?

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Wings of Life can be found on Disney+

I Am Not Your Negro

Samuel L. Jackson

James Baldwin’s power as a writer of the black experience in America cannot be understated. Though he could not have seen the presidency of Barack Obama, the riots in Ferguson, or the rise of white nationalism in the 21st century, he could have predicted its coming. His incisive perception of the contradictory nature of race in this country is what made him a pillar in the western canon today.

I Am Not Your Negro is a record of Baldwin’s writing, with Jackson narrating notes and letters intended to result in a new book about the lives and deaths of Medgar Evers, Malcolm X, and Martin Luther King Jr. It’s also a profile of a genius far ahead of his time debating a society entrenched in its status and status quo. Jackson’s powerful narration gives Baldwin’s writing an incredible presence, like he’s in the room with you. It’s not to be missed.

Where can I watch?

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I Am Not Your Negro can be found on Prime Video