Netflix is reigning king of true crime with a string of hits to its name already this year including The Tinder Swindler, Inventing Anna and Jimmy Savile: A British Horror Story. And things just got even better for genre fans, as the streamer has a chilling new true crime documentary that is already shocking subscribers.
Our Father tells the horrifying true story of Donald Cline, a former fertility doctor who fathered more than 50 children by illegally artificially inseminating his sperm into dozens of women in the 1970s and 1980s. This twisted tale first surfaced in 2015, and it’s a story so unsettling it seemed almost destined to become the subject of a true crime documentary.
The feature-length doc focuses in particular on Jacoba Ballard, who was one of the first people to discover that Cline was actually her father. The film follows Ballard as she uncovers the truth about the doctor’s “sick experiment”. She also receives help from a rapidly-growing list of half-siblings. Our Father also condemns the inadequate legal system which has made prosecuting Cline a far more difficult task than you might think.
Our Father only hit Netflix today (May 11) but it’s coming out of the gate strong with a solid initial reception from critics. On review aggregate site Rotten Tomatoes the documentary currently scores 88% with critics praising it for its strong subject matter and clear empathy for the victims of Cline’s crimes.
It’s too early to tell if Our Father will crack the Netflix top most-watched list, but a quick glance at social media suggests the film is going down well with subscribers. Over on Twitter early viewers seem plenty shocked by the story, with many sickened by Cline’s actions and infuriated that he hasn’t faced proper justice for what he did.
Our Father on @netflix is emotional, riveting, and just…GROSS. It’s about a fertility doctor who secretly impregnated countless women with his own sperm instead of donors he lied about. Highly recommend.May 11, 2022
If you’re a true crime fanatic, then Our Father should be at the top of your watchlist (and even casual true crime audiences will likely be interested). It certainly feels like one of the reasons why Netflix is highly ranked on our best streaming services list.
Meanwhile, Netflix is probably grateful for the opportunity for the focus to switch to its content. The streamer just announced plans to introduce an ad-supported tier later this year, alongside a global crackdown on password sharing. This hasn’t been well received by many subscribers, but to some it’s not a dealbreaker.