As students, there are a few things you can always count on: you’ll always seemingly have more homework than you can manage, sleep never seems to come soon enough or last long enough, and of course, Netflix will always be there to give you some much-needed breaks from your workload.
Luckily, February brings plenty of new additions to the Netflix roster so you can enjoy those brief moments of relaxation (just try not to binge anything too hard). Among some bigger releases, like Finding Dory and Sausage Party, Netflix is changing pace a bit to bring in some very interesting and important films that should absolutely be given a watch.
Here are 5 films to watch out for in February:
1) Eleven P.M. (1928)
To start, this is one of the most surprising additions. Now, I know, a film from 1928 probably isn’t the first thing that a college student would want to watch, but hear me out: Eleven P.M. is an important film. This could be considered the first ever addition to the black cinema canon. A surreal flick about a violinist and an orphan, this is one of the earliest films directed by, and starring, black Americans. While it might not be the most exciting films, it’s an important film in its own right.
2) Paris Is Burning (1990)
The first documentary on the list, Paris is Burning is one of the most important documentaries of the early 90s. Filmed throughout the 1980s, the film is a snapshot of the LGBTQ community in New York City and the ball culture they embrace. The 90s were a tumultuous time for the community, with the AIDS epidemic hitting in full force, but Paris is Burning is a testament to their culture and the end of New York City’s golden age. With commentary on race, sex, gender and class, this film is an incredibly interesting and informative watch.
3) Contact (1997)
On the more conventional front, the sci-fi classic Contact is coming back to the service this month. Based on the Carl Sagan novel of the same name, Contact is an entertaining sci-fi fable involving the first contact with extraterrestrial life. It was directed by Robert Zemeckis in the prime of his career, and starring multiple fan favorites like Matthew McConaughey, James Woods and Jodie Foster, it’s an enjoyable classic of that 90s sci-fi, and is more than worth your time if you’re into high concept science fiction.
4) Clouds of Sils Maria (2014)
Clouds of Sils Maria is a bit of a strange flick, in that it’s both a foreign film and not. A French-German-Swiss co-production starring American actors, the film tells an intimate and personal story of love and conflict, including multiple twists and surprises. It’s also a beautiful film, with sweeping shots of incredible vistas in the Swiss alps and a tone that is both dreamy and realistic. Starring Juliette Binoche, newfound indie darling Kristen Stewart and Chloe Grace-Moretz, Clouds of Sils Maria is one of the most surprising new additions to the Netflix roster.
5) Night Will Fall (2016)
Ending on a more somber note, the holocaust documentary Night Will Fall will be added later in the month and it’s looking like something not to miss. The film documents the making of the 1945 documentary German Concentration Camps Factual Service, which was the official British film on the concentration camps. Shot by combat cameramen after the war, the original film was originally abandoned for more than 70 years before being finished and released in 2014. Night Will Fall tells the story of the fated film, including its creation, what let to its eventual abandonment and featuring some footage from the film itself. It’s looking to be a unique look at a previously lost film, and tuning in to it’s reclamation of history will be a must.
So, once you’ve gotten a handle on your homework this weekend, search Netflix for some of these films and enjoy!
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