Social movements begin with a conversation. Documentaries provide the perfect platform for dialogue. They serve as powerful tools that bring important topics to the table and inform us about our world in a way that kindles dialogue, and ultimately, larger social movements.
So we encourage you to come together and watch one (or ten) of these incredible documentaries and have a discussion about the critical issues of our time.
HE NAMED ME MALALA is an intimate portrait of Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Malala Yousafzai, who was targeted by the Taliban and severely wounded by a gunshot at the age of 15. She currently works as a leading campaigner for girls’ education globally as co-founder of the Malala Fund.
HE NAMED ME MALALA: Malala Yousafzai at the Jordan/Syrian border. Feb 16, 2014. Credit: Photo by Gina Nemirofsky. © 2015 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation All Rights Reserved
2) The Carrier
Set in a remote Zambian village, THE CARRIER offers a stunning portrait of both a family and community caught in a desperate struggle to Prevent Mother-To-Child Transmission (PMTCT) of HIV and to liberate future generations from the vicious cycle by stopping the AIDS epidemic in its tracks.
THE CARRIER Credit: KAT WESTERGAARD
VIRUNGA is a gripping exposé of the realities of life in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and the incredible true story of a group of brave people risking their lives to build a better future in a part of Africa the world has forgotten.
Andre With Gorilla Virunga National Park Credit: Orlando von Einsiedel
In Uganda, a new bill makes homosexuality punishable by death. CALL ME KUCHU follows the activists working against the clock to defeat state-sanctioned homophobia while combating vicious persecution in their daily lives.
One of the many front-page stories published by Ugandan newspaper, The Rolling Stone, which terrorised the LGBT community
5) Sweet Dreams
SWEET DREAMS follows a remarkable group of Rwandan women as they emerge from the devastation of the 1994 genocide to create a new future for themselves through drumming and ice cream. In the words of Kiki Katese, the founding member of the all-female drumming troupe Ingoma Nshya “Because of our history, people know how to fight against, but not for. We want to change that equation.”
Anna, Ole, Fred, and Peter are four members of the Emergencies Team, the most intrepid division of the respected, international Human Rights Watch organisation. E-TEAM is the personal, intimate story of how they lead their lives as they set out to shine light in dark places and give voice to thousands whose stories would never otherwise have been told.
PRAY THE DEVIL BACK TO HELL chronicles the story of the Liberian women who came together to end war and bring peace to their country. Armed only with white T-shirts and the courage of their convictions, ordinary mothers, grandmothers, aunts, and daughters demanded a resolution to the country’s civil war.
Liberian women demonstrate at the American Embassy in Monrovia at the height of the civil war in July 2003 Photo Credit: Pewee Flomoku
Can a young Iranian woman become an astronaut? SEPIDEH: REACHING FOR THE STARS is the story of a remarkable teenage girl named Sepideh who defies societal expectations and courageously works to make her dream come true.
Sepideh with Telescope Credit: Paul Wilson
THE DEVIL CAME ON HORSEBACK follows former US Marine Captain Brian Steidle as he documents the genocide in Darfur, Sudan. Upon his return to the US, Steidle campaigns for international intervention and becomes frustrated by the inaction of politicians back home.
Brian Steidle with the African Union team
10) Double feature: The Act of Killing/The Look of Silence
THE ACT OF KILLING follows former Indonesian death squad leaders as they are challenged to re-enact real-life mass killings in the cinematic genres of their choice, from classic Hollywood crime scenarios to lavish musical numbers. We recommend that you watch the “Director’s Cut” version of this film.
FISH Credit: Photo by Joshua Oppenheimer (framegrab)
THE LOOK OF SILENCE serves as a powerful companion piece to THE ACT OF KILLING by initiating and bearing witness to the collapse of fifty years of silence surrounding the 1965 Indonesian genocide. It tells the story of a family of survivors who discover how their son was murdered and the identities of the killers through footage of the genocide perpetrators in THE ACT OF KILLING.
Photo by Joshua Oppenheimer (framegrab)