In recent times, people have been becoming more aware of social issues like corruption, abuse, gender bias, social discrimination, poverty, war, and environmental and economic issues. These plights existed even before the 21st century perhaps even more so but they were never really as exposed to the general public as they are today.
Cinema plays a vital role in bringing these issues to the surface in an artistic way. It keeps the audience engaged and entertained while spreading the message of peace, acceptance, and positivity.
Recently, there has been a rise in the number of social impact films and these are generally the ones that manage to make an impression on the audience. This list contains some exceptionally good films that will compel the watcher to think about what’s happening around the world and how they can make a difference.
Based on a short story written by Annie Proulx, Brokeback Mountain centers around the forbidden love story of two young men- a rodeo cowboy, Jack Twist, and a Ranch hand, Ennis Delmar. While working together as sheep herders, they develop an emotional and sexual bond with each other. After spending a night together, the two part ways and get married to their respective girlfriends but they’re still unable to erase the feelings that they have for each other. The film draws a lot of attention to homophobia and how it might prevent an individual from making the decisions they want and how it makes it difficult for a person to accept their own sexual identity.
It was a cinematic masterpiece of its time and one of the few films that managed to spread awareness about homophobia such
As the sudden death of his cattle. When he looks into the case, he finds evidence suggesting that the death of the cattle is caused by the toxic chemical waste released by Dupont (a chemical company) into the town’s water supply. He takes it upon himself to expose the truth and fought for more than a decade to unveil the reality of harm caused by these companies.
Based on the New York Times article, Dark Waters took inspiration from the true story of Rob Bilott and his legal battle against chemical companies that release hazardous chemical waste, putting both mankind and fauna at risk.
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Rob Bilott is an attorney who defends companies like DuPont in court. His career takes a complete turn when a farmer from his grandma’s hometown informs him about the death of his cattle. On looking into the case, he makes a shocking discovery that the death of the livestock has been caused by the toxic chemical waste released by Dupont into the town’s water supply. He takes it upon himself to expose the truth and fights for more than a decade to unveil the truth about these chemical companies.
Lipstick Under My Burkha
This amusing drama/comedy tries to capture the reality of being an audacious woman in India. It depicts the story of four women who are trying to fight the prejudices of society by living an alternate secret life of their choice.
The film uses humor to portray the burden of various responsibilities and the stereotypes that prevent a woman from living for herself.
It’s a must-watch for anyone curious about the challenges that small-town women have to face to become independent and come out of the veil of restrictions that society places upon them.
The hate you give
The movie is based on the award-winning young-adult novel, The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas.
The story is about an African- American teenager, Starr whose life takes a tragic turn when she witnesses the shooting of her best friend by a police officer. The incident puts huge trauma on Starr’s mental health and life becomes very difficult for her as she gets a lot of outrage from people.
Starry must stand up for herself and her community. She faces racism and aggression as she tries to cope with the loss of her best friend in front of her eyes because of a misunderstanding.
Minal and her friends are molested and threatened by a politician’s nephew and his friends. Minal, along with her friends, tries to file an FIR but they are threatened and blackmailed. An old man, Deepak witnesses Rajveer’s friend harassing Minal but finds himself incapable of helping her but goes beyond his ways to fight a legal battle for her later in the movie.
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Amitabh Bachchan has done a marvelous job in explaining how a woman’s NO, her denial, is taken as a YES by men. The movie does an excellent job of depicting how women are taken to be incapable of making their own decisions and how they are slut shamed for wanting to live life on their terms.
It’s a must-watch for every woman! It’ll encourage you to always stand up against abuse and harassment.
Based on the real-life story of Erin Brokovich, an environmental activist, consultant, and consumer advocate, the movie mainly focuses on exposing environmental crimes and misogyny.
Erin is a single-mother desperate to find a job to support her child and after many failed attempts, she manages to become a legal assistant. She is disliked by her co-workers due to dressing in a certain way. Her employer is also seen making comments here and there but she never gives up her boldness and works like a tigress even after not having any professional legal training.
Erin discovers that due to the negligence of a reputed corporation, several people in a town are falling victim to cancer. She files a huge lawsuit and manages to win a settlement of $333 million from the corporation, the largest settlement of its kind.
The film received nominations for various Academy Awards and Julia Roberts won Best Actress for playing the role of Erin Brokovich at the 73rd Academy Award.
Cinema has a lot more to offer than just entertainment. It is a powerful art that can bring a wave of social changes to the world. It doesn’t matter how big or small a film is, what matters is the impact that it manages to make on society.
The audience holds the responsibility of engaging in entertainment that will have some kind of positive impact on our lives.
Hope these movies will raise your awareness as well as impel you to think and care about these social issues a little more.