Lights, Camera, Activism: A look into Social Justice Films

Films that Inspire Change

Want to learn more about Social Justice? Check out these impactful, educational and inspiring films! Movies are a great way to learn about others’backgrounds and personal stories, and they help us know more about today's world and shape our views. I curated a small list of moves that helped me understand what people have experienced and continue to face.

After watching these movies, I encourage you to find ways to translate what you learn into your life and spread messages that influence positive change. Watch one of the three movies listed below to learn about social justice within the present day and past historical events.

  1. When They See Us  

When They See Us is a movie based on the Central Park Five—a group of wrongly accused teens sentenced to jail for a crime they did not commit. This movie shows how their lives dramatically changed from 1989-2014 because of one night in the park.  This story is impactful to show the ins and outs of the courtroom, how these boys survived and its impact on the people around them. Trigger Warning: This series contains graphic depictions of racial injustice, discrimination, violence, and wrongful imprisonment. Viewer discretion is advised.

  1. Just Mercy

Just Mercy is a fantastic film that is raw and emotional. It focuses on the story of Walter McMillian, charged with murdering an 18-year-old girl, and a Harvard graduate who works for wrongly accused suspects even if the evidence proves otherwise. It shows the effort it takes to try and fight the court as a team, how the town and city take sides and how Walter is affected. This heartbreaking story shines a light on how some people who are wrongly accused are on death row. Trigger warning: Contains scenes of depicting racial discrimination, systemic injustice, violence and death row situations. Viewer discretion is advised.

  1. Hidden Figures

Hidden Figures credits the three African-American women behind the NASA operation that sent John Glenn into orbit. It shows the adversity they faced, how they persevered and showed their talent within NASA. Hidden Figures shows women taking a stand and fighting back to do what they want and deserve to do. Contains themes of racial discrimination and prejudice. Viewer discretion is advised.

Although movies are “just entertainment” they showcase stories that many groups need to see to feel more empowered and unified. If your interested in watching more check out these.

Emma Koa
Outreach Housing Ambassador