“A film, a piece of theatre, a piece of music, or a book can make a difference. It can change the world.” ~ Alan Rickman
For its swift ability to inform, move, and yes, even to change, few artistic forms can beat a well crafted movie. These are five that have affected me.
Girl Rising tells the stories of nine girls from nine countries, showcasing “the strength of the human spirit and the power of education to change the world.” This film more than any other inspired me to want to be a voice for the voiceless and led to my becoming a World Vision Child Ambassador, championing child sponsorship as a practical way to make world of difference. About 90 minutes in length and rated PG-13 for a reason: this documentary faces hard truths head-on, yet with compassion. Featuring the talents of Liam Neeson, Cate Blanchett, Meryl Streep, and many more, every story is artistically rendered and skillfully told. To watch the trailer, click here; to rent or purchase the movie, here.
Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide. Based on the book by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn, this film focuses on what the authors call “the central moral challenge of the 21st century: the oppression of women and girls worldwide.” Like Girl Rising, each story spotlights a different woman’s story and leverages the talents of actresses such as Diane Lane and Eva Mendes. Though not officially rated, I’d put it at PG-13 and is more of a time-investment at 4 hours of playing time, but this also allows the film makers to take a deeper dive into the issues. To watch the trailer, click here; to rent or purchase the movie, here. (To buy the book, click here.)
Living on One Dollar a Day. I received this documentary as part of a Causebox package and was positively impressed by what its young film makers were able to produce–and how. It follows the journey of four college students who challenged themselves to live in rural Guatemala the way many of the locals must–on less than a buck a day. If you want a realistic glimpse into what that looks like (plus have the chance to donate to a good cause), watch this. To view the trailer or buy the movie, click here.
[Tweet “5 movies to move you. @WorldVision @TheDropBoxFilm @LivingOnOne @sevenly”]
A Walk to Beautiful. I can’t remember exactly how I came across this one; I think I was searching for a film that highlighted the dangers of childbirth in developing nations and the plight of women (or girls, as so many of them are) who must deliver their children without a midwife. If that’s what I went looking for, I certainly found it here. I ended up watching this film with my tweener daughter to nurture her (and my) awareness and compassion for these Ethiopian women’s harsh realities. But there’s healing and hope too, and this is what makes A Walk to Beautiful a worthwhile hour of viewing. To watch the trailer, click here, or to see the movie in its entirety on Youtube, click here.
The Drop Box. When this came to a local theatre last year, my husband and I made a mid-week date to go see it. Heartbreaking and profoundly moving, it’s the true story of a Korean pastor and his wife who have opened up their home and hearts to many of Seoul, South Korea’s unwanted babies. It speaks to the sacredness of human life and every individual’s worthiness of love. To watch the trailer or to rent or buy the movie, click here.
After words: So that’s my short list. What on yours that I should add to mine?