Ever since I was a kid, I have been obsessed with movies. I blame my dad because we used to watch A LOT of movies together as I was growing up. At some point during my childhood, I even wanted to become a movie director.
Some movies can really leave an impact in your life. Their cinematography and storylines can change the way you view the world. They can either inspire you, transport you, elevate you, motivate you, make you aware of worldly things, or open your mind to so many possibilities. Here’s 15 movies that I think can leave this effect on you.
1) Captain Fantastic (2016) – when I watched its trailer, I thought it was going to be a sad movie because for some reason that’s the impression the trailer gave off. Instead, it turned out to be an inspiring movie that I suggest to everybody who wants to learn about what world we live in. A pair of parents decide to run off into the wild and raise their children surrounded by nature and most definitely away from our capitalist world. They not only train them to survive in the wild but educate them about the different ideologies that exist (while also showing the major faults of capitalism). With a fondness for literature and Noam Chomsky, this family suddenly must face some real-life problems that the children were not aware of in the wild. Suddenly, their father realizes how our capitalist world may be rotting our minds (Coca-Cola is poison water) however being away from society may have its disadvantages too. This movie shows you the layers to what a simple life is and how hard it is to maintain it. A must watch.
2) 12 Years A Slave (2013) – if you haven’t heard of this movie, you have got to be living under a rock. This is a movie that every human being has to watch at least once in their lifetime. This movie tells the true biographical story of a free black man in the 1850s of the United States, who was kidnapped and sold off as a slave. He lived 12 years of his life as a slave in which he went through horrible horrible experiences working on plantations. This movie will show you our shared history and how we need to learn from the suffering of African-American slaves (along with all slaves throughout history in every country) which was caused by our ancestors. This movie will show you how we must respect each other and fight for freedom and justice. This movie will bring you to tears.
3) Into the Wild (2007) – I was hesitant to watch this movie at first, however once I understood its concept it became mind-blowing. This movie shows the adventurous and free life of a man who decided to break away from society, the authorities that govern our every day lives, monetary value and even college education, to find himself in the true world of nature and the mind. He takes off on a trip through North America with the intent to immerse himself into the wild of Alaska. Along the way, he explores the deepest parts of our minds and comes to revelations about what is life and what is the meaning to our existence. This is a tale of breaking away from what we consider “the regular structure and pressures of life” into something very profound.
4) The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind (2019) – based on a true story, we meet William, a teenage boy who lives in a poor town in Malawi (South East Africa) who simply wants an education. His family is poor and they end up not being able to afford to pay for his education anymore since they depend on the yearly crops. During the harsh season, the land is very dry due to the the windy environment and lack of rain. His town starts to die of starvation and William tries to save it by using the elements and his knowledge to help the crops grow. It is also a movie that truly brings out the situations which most African countries face; military governments that spread fear and abuse its power. However when faced with this, it is an inspiring story that gives you hope for the future.
5) The Bucket List (2007) – we’ve all made a bucket list at least once in our lives but have we ever had the time to be able to check those things off our list? This is probably another movie you’ve heard of which I had to include in my list. Two old men dying from cancer decide to write up a bucket list and start checking off these things before they die. This movie will show you how time is so precious and that in the midst of trying to survive our everyday battles with work, family and paying the bills, we need to try to live too. Who knows when our last breath will be.
6) 1917 (2019) – when I watched this movie at the theater, it sent chills up my spine. This movie will show you a first hand experience of what a war is really like. The movie is filmed in one single shot thus you are truly following the harsh journey of the characters all the way through. Also based on a true story, two British soldiers in 1917 are tasked with crossing the German lines to stop a “surprise” British attack on the Germans since the latter is in on the secret. Their heroic venture into enemy lines meant the salvation of thousands of men dying in this attack. This is a heart-wrenching movie that leaves you at the edge of your seat.
7) Hidden Figures (2016) – if you’re a feminist, you should definitely watch this movie. Three African American women fight for their civil rights and prove a lot of people wrong. Working for NASA during the race for space movement during the Cold War, these three women contribute to NASA’s space program as the greatest minds of our age.
8) Victoria and Abdul (2017) – two completely different people form a deep relationship. Set in the late 1880s, Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom happens to befriend Abdul, an Indian servant in her Royal Household. Keep in mind that India was a British colony and the British looked down on the colonized back then. Their relationship becomes platonic in which Victoria ends up considering Abdul her closest friend. A true story which shocked people back then and still shocks people today. It shows that we create divisions yet we can easily create harmony too.
9) Green Book (2018) – set in the 1960s, an Italian-American tough guy takes on the job of being an African-American pianist’s bodyguard as he tours the deep South of the United States. Not only is this the story where a talented black man faces harsh discrimination, but he also faces an identity crisis since he battles with his own demons. Being a famous pianist with lots of money and having received an education, this man does not have “white” skin to fit in with “white people” but he is also not the stereotypical “black person” of those times. He fits in nowhere, thus leading a lonesome life. This movie shows how discrimination and division causes so much unnecessary suffering.
10) The Blind Side (2009) – an inspiring movie that you have probably heard of (I mean, its starring Sandra Bullock so how can you not have heard of this movie??) where a white family in America gives a homeless and traumatized African-American boy a chance. And this chance leads him to becoming a famous All-American football player. This story gives you faith in humanity. We are all the same human beings, if only we had faith in each other.
11) 42 (2013) – if there’s one thing Americans love, its baseball. Meet Jackie Robinson, a baseball player in the 1940s, who faces discrimination during his baseball career and who’s jersey number was 42. This is basically another story from our history that everyone should know about. Inspiring and mind-opening.
12) Colette (2013) – back when women were considered “not good enough to write a novel”, sigh, they either had to change their name to a man’s name (like George Eliot) or ghost write for men to acclaim they wrote the books to be able to sell them. Society was horrible back then. This is the story of Colette who ghost writes for her husband so that the books sell. After the novels become famous, she starts to fight for her work and credibility. Women unite!
13) Hacksaw Ridge (2016) – in the Battle of Okinawa, a medical soldier with strong morals objects to killing people at war and ends up being the first person to receive the Medal of Honor however having never fired a shot. A real-life story of not only war, but of true human value. I’m pretty sure you must’ve heard of this movie. If not, go watch it!
14) Thirteen Days (2000) – set in October 1962, this movie tells the story of the 13 days in which President JFK had to deal with the Cuban Missile Crisis. FYI, the Cuban Missile Crisis is an incident that the modern age has unfortunately decided to neglect. It was during the Cold War and the Soviets had the intent to deploy medium-range and intermediate ballistic missiles in Cuba which could reach cities like Washington D.C., Denver, New York and Philadelphia. And of course, wipe these cities off the map. A U-2 plane happened to be spying over Cuba when it noticed this huge missile base being built in Cuba. The Soviets happened to be sending over a shipment of “supplies” to Cuba which in reality were these missiles. This 13-day incident is crucial to our history because this was the only time during the Cold War that the United States and USSR directly confronted each other which could have escalated to a full-out nuclear war. The Cuban Missile Crisis is a historical event that we must not forget.
15) Cube (1997) – picture yourself being locked in a metal cube and you have no idea how you got there. The only way out of that particular cube is by opening a hatch that leads you to yet another cube, and so on. There’s no way out of this maze of cubes. This is a sci-fi horror movie that really will make your eyes widen. It makes you question our governments who conduct shady experiments as well as our existence. Our history is proof that us human beings resolve to violence and end up killing off each other. Only the innocent will survive.
As you can tell, I love historical periodical movies! There’s a lot to learn from them. That’s why I watch them. Even though action movies and rom coms are fun to watch, they aren’t as effective or educational as historical periodicals in my opinion. Therefore, if you’re looking for an incredible movie to watch (not simply good but INCREDIBLE), you should pick a movie from the list above. Enjoy this quarantine lifestyle by watching something worthwhile.