Netflix doc series Island of the Sea Wolves captured readers' interest at POV in 2022 | Netflix

POV’s Top Reads of 2022: What Drives Doc Readers’ Interest?

Netflix's Island of the Sea Wolves review proved our most popular article of the year

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We’ve revealed our lists for the best documentaries of 2022, but what doc stories captured readers’ interest the most? POV performed its annual survey of the most popular reads that drew the most clicks from our audience. These stories published in 2022 offer a helpful window into our audiences’ reading habits, but also their viewing habits and trends in the industry that have people talking. Surprisingly, few of POV’s picks for the best documentaries of the year appear on the list, having been covered widely in mainstream publications. Instead, streamers performed well with a Canadian Netflix doc series topping the list  along with festival favourites coming soon, and conversations about ethics and representation in the industry. The surprise triumph of Island of the Sea Wolves over some of the year’s biggest controversies in the documentary field, as well above many docs in the award season conversation, might prove hopeful for documentary production in Canada if a streamer with pockets like Netflix takes note of viewer interest in stories from our home and native land.


Here are POV’s most popular stories published in 2022 according to reader views.

  1. Island of the Sea Wolves Highlights Canada’s Wildlife
  2. Pointed View: The Jihad Rehab “Controversy” Reminds Us to Question Everything
  3. Jihad Rehab Review: A Question of Ethics
  4. Deconstructing Karen Review: Waking Up White Women
  5. Tantura Director Alon Schwarz Talks Memory and Healing
  6. Buffy Sainte-Marie Still Carries On
  7. Indigenous Filmmaking Now: An Overview
  8. Nathalie Bibeau Goes Fishing with The Unsolved Murder of Beverly Lynn Smith
  9. The Best Docs of 2022: A Year in Review
  10. Blue Island Review: Welcome to the Island of Depression
  11. Love in the Time of Fentanyl Intimately Observes How Harm Reduction Saves Lives
  12. Sam Now Review: Generational trauma sensitively rendered
  13. Shania Twain: Not Just a Girl Review – Ka-ching!
  14. Eternal Spring Review: Animating an Awakening
  15. 1946: The Mistranslation that Shifted a Culture Review: Scripture Through a Queer Lens
  16. Navalny Review: Witness History in the Making
  17. Pointed View: On Barry Avrich, Knowledge Network, and Inconvenient Truths
  18. The Last Tourist Review: Selfies Versus Sustainability
  19. The Andy Warhol Diaries Explores the Man in the Machine
  20. Million Dollar Pigeons Review: A Soaring Crowd-Pleaser
  21. Barri Cohen’s Unloved Confronts a Painful Past
  22. Mariupolis 2 Review: Fragments of a Film

Pat Mullen is the publisher of POV Magazine. He holds a Master’s in Film Studies from Carleton University where his research focused on adaptation and Canadian cinema. Pat has also contributed to outlets including The Canadian Encyclopedia, Paste, That Shelf, Sharp, Xtra, and Complex. He is the vice president of the Toronto Film Critics Association and an international voter for the Golden Globe Awards.

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