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How to Stream the Best January 6 Capitol Riot Documentaries

Ben Bowman

One year ago today, thousands of people rushed to the U.S. Capitol at the behest of a defeated politician. Hundreds entered the building. For 187 minutes, military backup did not arrive. Some people died, others were seriously injured. Politicians fled for their lives. Americans fought Americans. Four police officers who defended the Capitol later died by suicide.

It was a day that saw the best and worst of America on display. Time will tell how the events of that day will impact our democracy, but if you’d like to take a closer look at what occurred, there are several thoughtful documentaries about the subject worth exploring.

Essential January 6 Documentaries

  • Four Hours at the Capitol

    October 20, 2021

    The documentary is an immersive chronicle of the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021, when thousands of American citizens from across the country gathered in Washington D.C. to protest the results of the 2020 presidential election, many with the intent of disrupting the certification of Joe Biden’s presidency.

  • Frontline

    January 17, 1983

    “Frontline” is essential viewing for anyone who wants to be informed about our world. Each episode is a mini-documentary that provides context and clarity to an important topic. Although it’s PBS, we promise it’s not dry or boring.

    The episodes tackling January 6 are:

    • Season 40, Episode 3: Trump’s American Carnage
    • Season 40, Episode 7: American Insurrection
    • Season 40, Episode 17: America After 9/11

    The best part about Frontline is how it ties individual events to a larger narrative. The Capitol riots didn’t occur in a vacuum - they were the latest event in a chain that stretches back decades. Frontline provides the narrative structure that many other news programs lack.

  • Indivisible: Healing Hate

    January 6, 2022

    Mandy Patinkin narrates “Indivisible: Healing Hate,” a six-part documentary series for Paramount+ that focuses on the rise of far-right extremism and how it drove the attack on the Capitol. The series premieres today with the episode “Rage Revealed.”

The New York Times also produced a great video document of the day. It’s called “Day of Rage.” You can watch it in its entirety here:

One year later, the FBI is still looking for the people who stormed the Capitol. Check out the videos and photos of the people in question. You can call ‪1-800-CALL-FBI (1-‪800-225-5324) to share tips and/or information related to the investigation, or submit online at tips.fbi.gov.

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