If you are looking for movies that explore the grim realities of slavery, Netflix has a great selection of films that portray the history and experiences of African American slaves. From brutal accounts of life under slavery to inspiring tales of resistance, the streaming platform has something for everyone.

In this article, we will explore the best slavery movies on Netflix that you can watch right now.

The Best Slavery Movies on Netflix

  1. 12 Years a Slave (2013) – Directed by Steve McQueen, this Academy Award-winning film is based on the memoir of Solomon Northup, a free black man from upstate New York who is kidnapped and sold into slavery in the South.
  2. Mudbound (2017) – Set in post-World War II Mississippi, this film tells the story of two families – one white and one black – struggling to farm the land and survive in a deeply divided society.
  3. Beasts of No Nation (2015) – This film, based on the novel by Uzodinma Iweala, follows the story of a young boy named Agu, who is forced to become a child soldier during a civil war in an unnamed African country.
  4. Harriet (2019) – Starring Cynthia Erivo as Harriet Tubman, this biopic follows the life of the famous abolitionist and political activist, who escaped slavery and became a leading figure in the Underground Railroad.
  5. The Birth of a Nation (2016) – This controversial film, which shares a title with a 1915 silent film that celebrated the Ku Klux Klan, tells the story of Nat Turner’s rebellion, a slave uprising that took place in Virginia in 1831.

Movies about Slavery on Netflix

In addition to the above list, Netflix offers a wide range of other movies that explore the history and legacy of slavery. Here are a few more noteworthy titles to consider:

  1. The Underground Railroad (2021) – While not technically a movie, this 10-episode limited series from director Barry Jenkins (Moonlight) is a powerful and unflinching look at slavery in America.
  2. Da 5 Bloods (2020) – While not explicitly about slavery, this Spike Lee film follows a group of Vietnam War veterans who return to the country in search of buried treasure and confront the legacy of American imperialism.
  3. Burning Sands (2017) – This film follows a group of fraternity pledges at an HBCU as they undergo brutal hazing rituals that expose the institutionalized violence and exploitation at the heart of Greek life.
  4. Uncle Tom (2020) – This documentary explores the experiences of black conservatives in America and the ways in which their views on politics and race have been shaped by their personal histories and experiences.
  5. Django Unchained (2012) – While not without controversy, this Quentin Tarantino film is a stylish and subversive take on the Western genre that explores themes of slavery, violence, and revenge.


Whether you are looking for an Oscar-winning drama or a thought-provoking documentary, Netflix has a great selection of movies about slavery that offer a deep and nuanced exploration of this difficult topic. By watching these films, we can better understand the impact of slavery on American society and the ongoing struggle for racial justice.