Top 10 Social Impact Films That Changed the World

Top 10 Social Impact Films That Changed the World

Movies are not just about entertainment; they can also inspire change and make people see the world from different perspectives. Social impact films have gained popularity over the last 30 years, with many becoming box office hits and shedding light on serious issues. If you’re looking for a thought-provoking addition to your watch list, here are the 10 best social impact films of all time.

1. The Thin Blue Line

Released in 1988, The Thin Blue Line reinvestigates the murder of police officer Robert Wood in Dallas in 1976. The film explores the possibility of a wrongful conviction and brings new evidence to light, ultimately playing a part in the release of the accused from prison. It raises questions about the justice system and the need for the death penalty.

2. Bowling For Columbine

Bowling For Columbine, a 2002 documentary directed by Michael Moore, delves into the possible causes of the 1999 Columbine High School shooting. The film earned critical acclaim and changed the way people viewed gun violence.

3. Selma

Selma is based on the 1965 Selma to Montgomery voting rights march and highlights Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s impact on the Civil Rights Movement, as well as the bravery of local residents who risked their lives for their rights.

4. The Birth of A Nation

The groundbreaking 1915 silent film The Birth of a Nation centered around the Civil War, the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln, and the rise of the Ku Klux Klan. However, the film controversially depicted the Klan as protectors of American values. In 2016, another film with the same title was released, focusing on the slave rebellion led by Nat Turner.

5. Philadelphia

Philadelphia, a 1993 courtroom drama starring Tom Hanks and Denzel Washington, tells the story of a successful lawyer who is fired after revealing he is gay and has AIDS. The film is credited with opening the public’s eyes to the realities of the AIDS crisis.

6. Super Size Me

Morgan Spurlock’s 2004 documentary Super Size Me showcases the health effects of eating fast food. Spurlock goes on a McDonald’s-only diet, ordering everything Super Size, and the film documents the impact on his health and appearance. The documentary inspired healthier choices and led to McDonald’s removing the Super Size option from their menu.

7. An Inconvenient Truth

An Inconvenient Truth, a 2006 film featuring former US Vice President Al Gore, raised awareness about the effects of global warming. Gore won a Nobel Peace Prize in 2007 for his efforts to educate people about their impact on the environment.

8. Brokeback Mountain

Brokeback Mountain, a 2005 film about the complicated relationship between two cowboys who fall in love, was praised for its inclusivity of gay characters in cinema. The film’s success led to more studios supporting LGBTQ-centered films in Hollywood.

9. Bambi

While it may be surprising to see Bambi on this list, the classic cartoon inspired social awareness about the importance of conserving wildlife and their habitats. After its release, deer hunting in the US declined, and the film is said to have laid the groundwork for environmental activism.

10. Blackfish

Blackfish is a documentary about the life of a captive killer whale named Tilikum. The film focuses on the orca’s capture in 1983 and its stressful life in captivity, raising questions about the ethics of keeping whales in cages. SeaWorld experienced a drop in sales and attendance after the film’s release, and Blackfish received the BRITDOC Impact Award for the positive change it brought about.

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