Viewing films and TV series related to Honors Study Topic themes can be a fun and easy way to involve your chapter, college and community in the investigation of the Honors Study Topic. Consider one of these for your chapter’s next movie night.
FILMS & TELEVISION SERIES
12 Angry Men (1957) – Themes 2, 3
12 Angry Men explores many techniques of consensus-building, and the difficulties encountered in the process, among a group of men whose range of personalities adds intensity and conflict. The jury members are identified by number until two of them exchange names at the very end, the defendant is referred to as "the boy", and the witnesses as "the old man" and "the lady across the street".
42 The Jackie Robinson Story (2013) - Themes 2, 3, 8
American biographical film about the racial integration of American professional baseball by player Jackie Robinson, who wore jersey number 42 through his Major League career.
1984 (1984) – Themes 1, 2, 3
Based on George Orwell's novel of the same name. The film depicts a totalitarian future society in which a man whose daily work is rewriting history tries to rebel by falling in love. This provocative film explores a dystopian society in a state of constant warfare and propagandist manipulation.
A Christmas Story (1983) – Themes 5, 8
This story tells of 9 year old Ralphie Parker and his desire for a Red Ryder Carbine Action 200-shot Range Model air rifle. The story depicts life in the “60’s” of a typical Middle class family and the events that shape their world.
A Civil Action (1998) – Themes 2, 3
The film is a true story depiction about environmental pollution that took place in Woburn, Massachusetts in the 1980’s and the court case that would revolve around the issue.
A Few Good Men (1992) – Themes 3, 4
The film revolves around the court-martial of two U.S. Marines charged with the murder of a fellow Marine and the tribulations of their lawyers as they prepare a case to defend their clients.
A League of Their Own (1992) – Themes 3, 5, 8
During World War II in 1943, Jimmy Dugan coaches Dottie Hinson of the Rockford Peaches in the new All American Girls Professional Baseball League to the World Series; while fictional, this film reflects the historical nature of the women who actually joined the AAGPBL, and it helps to illustrate issues surrounding gender norms of the period.
A Nazi Officer’s Wife: How One Jewish Women Survived the Holocaust (2003) – 3, 4, 8
After the Nazi annexation of Austria, Edith Han a Jew assumes the identity of her Christian friend Grete Denner, and joins the Red Cross effort, where she meets her husband, a Nazi officer, and has a baby. She assumes her identity after the war, causing a divide between her and her husband, who knew her secret identity.
All of Me (2013) – Themes 6, 7
This films follows a group of women as they experience bariatric surgery. The women have varied post-op experiences but one reality is true for all of them: having surgery means the loss of their primary coping strategy (eating), and the experience of shedding, or trying to shed, hundreds of pounds changes everything. Their health, their self-images, their marriages, and friendships are all at stake.
All the President’s Men. (1976) – Themes 3, 8
The movie follows reporters Woodward and Bernstein as they uncover the details of the Watergate scandal that led to President Nixon's resignation.
Along the Lines of Beauty (2014) – Themes 1, 2, 3, 5
Korea has a Population of 48 million people with many of those living in the city of Seoul. While most people use public transit, such as the subway, public image and appearance is very important, especially for women. Hear what Korean women have to say about image and beauty in Korea and why women's appearance is so important.
Amazing Grace (2006) – Themes 3, 8
An American-British biographical drama film about the campaign against the slave trade in the British Empire led by William Wilberforce, who was responsible for steering anti-slave trade legislation through the British parliament.
Amistad (1997) – Themes 3, 4, 8
An historical drama film based on the true story of the 1839 mutiny aboard the slave ship La Amistad during which Mende tribesmen abducted for the slave trade managed to gain control of the their captors’ ship off the coast of Cuba, and the international legal battle that followed their capture by a U.S. revenue cutter.
Amreeka (2009) – Themes 1, 3, 4, 8
Amreeka explores the trials a Palestinian Christian mother endures when she decides to move from the West Bank to Illinois to raise her son with her extended family in America. This film explores stereotypes and Christianity.
American Graffiti (1973) – Themes 1, 5, 8
The film is a study of the cruising and rock & roll cultures. The Library of Congress deemed the film “culturally and historically significant” and is now on the National Film Registry.
American History X (1998) – Themes 3, 4, 8
A dramatic exploration into the roots of hatred in America.
American Sniper (2014) – Themes 3, 4, 8
An American Biographical War drama film based on the memoir American Sniper: The Autobiography of the Most Lethal Sniper in U.S. Military History. The story follows the life of Chris Kyle who became the deadliest marksman in U.S. military history with 255 kills.
Amy (2015) – Themes 1, 5, 8
A documentary that examines the life and music of Amy Winehouse.
An American Mosque (2014) – Themes 2, 3
This documentary is set in a rural California town and focuses on religious freedom and struggle against intolerance and the perception of Islam in America.
Avatar (2009) – Themes 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6
An American epic science fiction film set in the mid-22nd century when humans are colonizing Pandora, a lush habitable moon of a gas giant in the Alpha Centauri star system. The film explores the genetic engineering body and mind, futuristic mining in a futuristic universe.
Billy Bud (1962) – Themes 2, 3
In the year 1797, the British naval vessel HMS Avenger impresses a crewman “according to the Rights of War” from the merchant ship The Rights of Man. The new crewman Billy Budd is considered naïve by his shipmates, and they attempt to indoctrinate him in their cynicism.
Blood Diamond (2006) – Themes 3, 4
An American German political war thriller film about the “diamonds mined in war zones and sold to finance conflicts, and thereby profit warlords and the diamond companies across the world.
Born Free (1966) - Themes 3, 6, 8
Technicolor British drama film depicting the lives of Joy and George Adamson, a real-life couple who raised Elsa the Lioness, an orphaned lion cub, to adulthood, and released her into the wilderness of Kenya.
Born Into The Brothels (2004) – Themes 3, 5, 8
A look into the lives of children who live in the red light district of Calcutta.
Born on the Fourth of July (1989) – Themes 1, 3, 4
Based on the life of Ron Kovic who returned from fighting in Vietnam a paraplegic and had difficulty adjusting.
Boys Don’t Cry (1991) – 3, 5, 6, 7
A movie based around the true life experience of Brandon Teena a young female-to-male transgender who leaves his hometown under threat.
Brighton Beach Memoirs (1986) – Themes 5, 8
This film comedy focuses on a Polish-Jewish American Teenager in 1937 as he grapples with puberty, sexual awakening and his search for identity.
Catching Dreams (2013) – Themes 1, 5, 7, 8
The movie follows a 37 year-old trapeze artist as he takes an eight-year journey across the globe to audition for the Cirque du Soleil.
Chasing Beauty (2013) – Themes 5, 6
This documentary provides an inside look at the modeling industry. The film examines what it takes to be a top model - the demanding and oftentimes unattainable physical requirements of the position, the financial and emotional investment, and the moral negotiations that are sometimes prerequisites for making it.
Cider House Rules (1999) – Themes 3, 6, 8
A compassionate young man (Homer Wells), raised in an orphanage and trained to be a doctor there. The director of the Orphanage trains the young man in obstetrics and abortions as an apprentice despite never attending high school.
Cinema Paradiso (1988) – Themes 1, 5, 8
A filmmaker recalls his childhood, when he fell in love with the movies at his village’s theater and formed a deep friendship with the theater’s projectionist.
Citizen Kane (1931) – Themes 1, 7, 8
A film that examines the life and legacy of Charles Foster Kane, a character based in part upon the American newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst, Chicago tycoons Samuel Insull and Harold McCormick.
City of God (2002) – Themes 1, 2, 3
Brazilian film that depicts the lives of three impoverished thieves rob and loot business owners. They split that loot with others who protect them.
Coming Home (1978) – Themes 3, 4, 8
Fictionalized account of the difficulties faced as soldiers re-adjust to civilian life as viewed through the eyes and experiences of a female nurse working in a hospital in 1968.
Crash (2004) – Themes 1, 2, 8
Writer-director Paul Haggis interweaves several connected stories about race, class, family and gender in Los Angeles in the aftermath of 9/11. Winning the Academy Award for Best Picture in 2006, the film illustrates complex situations from multiple perspectives, giving the viewer a chance to challenge pre-existing beliefs and stereotypes.
Creative problem-solving in the face of extreme limits (2014) [TEDGlobal] – Theme 7
Navi Radjou has spent years studying "jugaad," also known as frugal innovation. Pioneered by entrepreneurs in emerging markets who figured out how to get spectacular value from limited resources, the practice has now caught on globally.
Crimson Tide (1995) – Themes 2, 3, 4
On a US nuclear missile sub, a young first officer stages a mutiny to prevent his trigger happy captain from launching his missiles before confirming his orders to do so. The film addresses the complexity of decision making in tense situation and ties to themes such as rights and responsibilities and decisions that surround war and peace.
Dallas Buyers Club (2013) – Themes 3, 6
The movie is based on the true life of Ron Woodroof who seeks out alternative therapies and smuggles unapproved AIDS medications into the U.S.
Dead Man Walking (1995) – Theme 3
A nun, while comforting a convicted killer on death row, empathizes with both the killer and his victim's families. Illustrates the complexities surrounding prisons and prisoners, victims and the victimized, and rights and responsibilities.
Downton Abbey (2013) – Themes 1, 3, 5, 8
This series depicts a lavish Edwardian Mansion and the two classes that live in the home. It shows how both classes function, one serving the other. It depicts the very different cultures that existed under one roof during this time period overshadowed by World War I.
Eat Drink Man Woman (1994) – Themes 5, 8
This film examines a family in which the widower father must grapple with his daughters’ discovery of boys.
Erin Brockovich (2000) – Themes 3, 6, 7
An unemployed single mother becomes a legal assistant and almost single-handedly brings down a California power company accused of polluting a city's water supply. This film addresses themes such as poverty, the power of large corporations, difference between urban and rural populations and the often confusing and complex legal system in the United States.
Field of Dreams (1989) – Themes 1, 6, 7, 8
In this movie, an Iowa corn farmer hears voices and interprets them as a command to build a baseball diamond in his fields, in which he does, and the Chicago White Sox come.
Fire (1996), Earth (1998) and Water (2005) – Themes 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 8
Deepa Mehta’s Elements Trilogy examines issues such as arranged marriages, violence, and homosexuality in Indian culture.
Food, Inc. (2009) – Themes 3, 6, 7
This film examines the costs of putting value and convenience over nutrition and environmental impact. The filmmaker takes his camera into slaughterhouses and factory farms where chickens grow too fast to walk properly, cows eat feed pumped with toxic chemicals, and illegal immigrants risk life and limb to bring these products to market at an affordable cost.
Flashdance (1983) – Themes 5, 7, 8
A Pittsburgh woman with two jobs as a welder and an exotic dancer wants to get into ballet school. The film illustrates economic differences and challenges faced by those seeking to transcend their current status.
Freedom Writers (2007) – Themes 2, 3, 7, 8
A young teacher inspires her class of at-risk students to learn tolerance, apply themselves, and pursue education beyond high school. Through unusual and frequently controversial techniques the teacher brings the group of students together and as a result many see success that may not otherwise have been possible.
Gahndi (1982) – Themes 1, 2, 3, 4
The life of the lawyer who became the famed leader of the Indian revolts against the British rule through his philosophy of nonviolent protest. Challenging socially and politically accepted practices through non-violent mean, Gahndi, inspires a global movement toward tolerance and acceptance.
Gattaca (1997) – Themes 2, 3, 6, 7
The movie is set in the future and focuses on Vincent Freeman who wants to travel to the stars. But he is categorized as less than suitable due to his genetic makeup and is one of the underclass humans during this time.
God Grew Tired of Us: The Story of the Lost Boys of Sudan (2006) – Themes 2, 3, 4
This documentary shares the story of four young men and their experience crossing the Sudan as refugees and then adapting to live in the United States.
Good Hair (2009) – Themes 5, 6, 7
Chris Rock examines the lengths to which African American women and men go to have “good hair.”
Good Will Hunting (1997) – Themes 1, 7, 8
This fictional film depicts the class conflict and internal struggles Will Hunting undergoes as he fights to understand his own potential and identity with the help of a Community College professor.
Guns, Germs, and Steel (2005) – Themes 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 7
PBS mini-series based on Jared Diamond’s Pulitzer Prize-wining book of the same name explores the last 13,000 years of human experience to analyze why Europeans were able to conquer so much of the planet and understand the roots of global inequality.
Hairspray (2007) – Themes 3, 8
The movie takes place in the 1962 Baltimore and focuses on an overweight teenager who wants to be part of a local dance show on television. The movie shows the cruelty shown to people who did not fit into the “in crowd.”
Half the Sky (2007) – Themes 1, 3, 5
In this documentary, based on the book, six actresses, Eva Mendes, Meg Ryan, Gabrielle Union, Diane Lane, America Ferrera, and Olivia Wilde, joined Nicholas Kristof to travel to different countries observing the mistreatment of women and their bodies and visited organizations that help to give opportunities to oppressed females. The film focuses on how individuals can create significant impacts when given the opportunity to do so.
Happy Valley (2014) – Themes 1, 3, 8
This is a documentary that examines from different angles the Sandusky scandal and trial amidst the culture of Happy Valley, Pennsylvania.
Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince (2009) – Themes 1, 2, 5, 7, 8
Good versus evil prevails. This story tells of the fictional culture in a school for wizards and the evil counter culture that has waged war on the school.
High Fidelity (2000) – Themes 5, 7, 8
The film centers on Rob Gordon (John Cusack), a self-confessed music lover with a poor understanding of women. After getting dumped by his latest girlfriend, Laura (Iben Hjejle), he decides to look up some of his old partners in an attempt to figure out where he keeps going wrong in his relationships. By attempting to gain new perspectives on past situations Gordon begins to understand how to keep history from repeating itself.
Hotel Rwanda (2004) – Themes 2, 3, 4, 8
Historically based portrayal of hotel manager Paul Rusesabagina who dramatically managed to save the life of over a thousand people while tensely navigating violent warfare between the Hutu and Tutsi peoples in Rwanda in 1994. Film deals with political corruption and questions of international involvement in genocidal situations.
Influenza 1918 American Experience PBS – Themes 3, 6
Details the complex ways in which the great influenza epidemic of the time spread, why it was not stopped before it began and how medicine at the time was incapable of handling the situation.
Inside the Body Beautiful: How Plastic Surgery Works (2013) – Themes 5, 7
This Documentary examines the physiological and psychological changes that happen to young people as they strive to alter their appearance.
Intolerance: Love’s Struggle Throughout the Ages (1916) – Themes 1, 4, 5, 8
D.W. Griffith examines intolerance and its terrible effects in four historical eras in this movie including, ancient Babylon, 1952 Paris, and a modern America of the early 1900’s.
Iron Jawed Angels (2004) – Themes 1, 3, 7, 8
Defiant young activists take the women's suffrage movement by storm, putting their lives at risk to help American women win the right to vote. The film focuses on the struggles of the suffrage movement and the sacrifices made by those who chose to continue fighting even when all hope seemed to be lost.
Jesus Christ Superstar (1970) – Themes 1, 4, 5, 8
It is a “Rock Opera” which is a mash up of two genres at different ends of the spectrum (Opera and Rock and Roll). The central story is concerned with the psychological and political motivations of the characters.
Jobs (2015) – Themes 1, 7
In this revealing film we explore the trials and triumphs of a modern day genius, the late CEO of Apple inc. Steven Paul Jobs. What does it take to innovate and what does it cost?
John Q (2002) – Themes 3, 6
A down-on-his luck father, whose insurance won't cover his son's heart transplant, takes the hospital's emergency room hostage until the doctors agree to perform the operation. The film addresses the lengths that people will go to in order to achieve a specific outcome.
Kinky Boots (2005) – Themes 3, 5, 7, 8
A drag queen comes to the rescue of a man who, after inheriting his father's shoe factory, needs to diversify his product if he wants to keep the business afloat.
Last Shop Standing: The Rise, Fall and Rebirth of the Independent Record Shop (2013) – Themes 1, 7, 8
“More than a piece of nostalgia, Last Shop Standing takes a tantalizing look into the future: the stores that are opening, who is succeeding and the individual and unique passion that drives those who remain, and intend to be here long after the supermarkets have given up and the last chain store has closed.”
Legends of the Fall (1994) – Themes 1, 2, 6, 8
Epic tale of three brothers and their father living in the remote wilderness of 1900s USA and how their lives are affected by nature, history, war, and love. Each brother participates in similar (frequently the same) situations but experiences them differently and then follow different life paths.
Life of Brian (1979) – Themes 1, 3, 7, 8
It tells the story of Brian Cohen (played by Chapman), a young Jewish man who is born on the same day as, and next door to, Jesus Christ and is subsequently mistaken for the Messiah.
The film contains themes of religious satire that were controversial at the time of its release, drawing accusations of blasphemy and protests from some religious groups.
Life and Debt (2001) – Themes 3, 7, 8
It examines the economic and social situation in Jamaica, and specifically the impact thereon of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank's globalization policies. The film features a number of interviews with former Jamaican Prime Minister Michael Manley in which he critiques the system of International Financial Institution loans. He is particularly critical of required structural adjustments as an attack on the sovereignty of many former colonial nations and suggests the system is akin to imperialism or neocolonialism. The film addresses global economic policy from the perspective of an underdeveloped nation.
Lost Boys of the Sudan (2003) – Themes 1, 2, 4
Like God Grew Tired of Us, this documentary follows the experience of the Lost Boys, but further depicts the sense of otherness two Sudanese men experienced when they settle in America.
Meet Me in St. Louis (1944) – Themes 1, 8
In the year before the 1904 St Louis World's Fair, the four Smith daughters learn lessons of life and love, even as they prepare for a reluctant move to New York. The film, which debuted in 1944, offers an interesting and somewhat romanticized look at the time period.
Midnight in Paris (2011) – Themes 1, 5, 7, 8
While on a trip to Paris with his fiancée's family, a nostalgic screenwriter finds himself mysteriously going back to the 1920s every day at midnight.
Milk (2008) – Themes 3, 8
This biographical film tells the story of the life of gay activist and politician Harvey Milk, who was the first openly gay person elected to public office.
Miracle (2004) – Themes 2, 4, 7, 8
During the Cold War, the United States hockey team made up of college players defeats an all-Soviet team of professionals. This film captures Cold War attitudes.
Miss Evers Boys (1997) – Themes 3, 6, 7, 8
The true story of the U.S. Government's 1932 Tuskeegee Syphilis Experiment, in which a group of black test subjects were allowed to die, despite a cure having been developed.
Miss Representation (2011) – Themes 2, 3, 5, 8
This documentary investigates the messages girls and women get from the media about how they should look and act.
Modern Times (1936) – Themes 1, 7, 8
The Tramp struggles to live in modern industrial society with the help of a young homeless woman.
Moneyball (2010) – Themes 1, 2, 7
Oakland A's general manager Billy Beane's successful attempt to assemble a baseball team on a lean budget by employing computer-generated analysis to acquire new players. The system is met with skepticism and Beane is ridiculed by peers but puts the system into place anyway.
Monty Python and the Holy Grail. (1975) – Themes 1, 4, 5, 7, 8
This movie follows the story of King Arthur and the knights of Camelot as they search for the Holy Grail.
MythBusters (2003-present) – Themes 1, 6, 7
A weekly documentary in which two Hollywood special effects experts attempt to debunk urban legends by directly testing them.
Norma Rae (1979) – Themes 2, 3, 7
An American drama film about a factory worker from a small town in North Carolina who becomes involved in the labor union activities at the textile factory where she works.
Nostalgia for the Light (2010) –Themes 6, 7, 8
Patricio Guzmán’s documentary examines the roles the Atacama Desert plays in helping astronomers observe the boundaries of the universe and archaeologists study how the world worked from Pre-Columbian eras through the 20th-Century disappearance of political prisoners.
On Beauty (2014) – Theme 5
Photographer Rick Guidotti refocuses his lens on people in the shadows to change the way society sees and experiences beauties.
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975) – Themes 2, 3, 6
This movie depicts the insides workings of a mental institution. Though a comedy, it gives a view of the world often lived by our mentally ill.
Philadelphia (1993) - Themes 3, 6, 8
When a man with AIDS is fired by his law firm because of his condition, he hires a homophobic small time lawyer as the only willing advocate for a wrongful dismissal suit.
PlanEat (2012) – Themes 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 7
Why has the death rate from heart disease and cancer exploded in recent times? Why are the ice caps melting, the oceans dying and the forests being cut down as we produce the food necessary to support our burgeoning populations? This film brings together the ground-breaking studies of three prominent scientists who have made it their life’s work to answer these questions.
Real Women Have Curves (2002) – Theme 5
This film centers on Ana, a young Mexican American woman who has graduated from high school and becomes the first person in her family to go to college.
See What I’m Saying: The Deaf Entertainers Documentary (2009) – Themes 2, 3, 5
This inspirational documentary follows four deaf entertainers and they attempt to cross over to mainstream audiences and the great challenges they overcome on their way to personal triumphs and successes.
Silkwood (1983) – Themes 3, 6, 7
The story of Karen Silkwood, a metallurgy worker at a plutonium processing plant who was purposefully contaminated, psychologically tortured and possibly murdered to prevent her from exposing blatant worker safety violations at the plant.
Slumdog Millionaire (2009) – Themes 1, 2, 3, 6
Police investigate a young man from the slums of Mumbai to determine how he managed a successful run on India’s “Who Wants to be a Millionaire.”
Stop-Loss (2008) – Themes – 2, 3, 4
Army policy put in place in mid-twentieth century that prevents one from coming out of the military resulting in the involuntary extension of one’s service duty. The film seeks to show how the policy can cause more trauma for already traumatized warriors, their friends, and their family.
The American Counterculture (2007) – Themes 1, 4, 5, 8
Christopher Gair looks at the counterculture in the post war period offering an overview of a complex and many-stranded topic. He looks at the writings, music trends, the paintings of the period and the films of the decade.
The Big Chill (1983) – Themes 1, 2, 5, 8
A close knit group of friends meet after the funeral of a member who committed suicide. They confront their own disenchantment and unresolved issues, sadder and not quite wiser.
The Blind Side (2009) – Themes 3, 7, 8
The story of Michael Oher, a homeless and traumatized boy who became an All American football player and first round NFL draft pick with the help of a caring woman and her family.
The Butler (2013) – Themes 3, 8
This is the story of Cecil Gaines, the butler that served in the White House through 8 Presidents. It depicts the civil rights movement and the congressional reaction as well as the reaction of the people. It also works through Vietnam and several other major events and the reactions of the many people in Cecil’s circle.
The Colour of Beauty (2008) – Themes 5
According to a 2008 survey, the models in the New York Fashion Week were: 6% Black 6% Asian 1% Latina 87% White. The Colour of Beauty is a short documentary that examines blatant racism in the fashion industry.
The Commitments (1991) – 7, 8
The travails of Jimmy Rabbitte to form the "World's Hardest Working Band," The Commitments, and bring soul music to the people of Dublin, Ireland.
The Deer Hunter (1978) – Themes 4, 8
Deals with conflict in war and in civilian life afterward. A compelling example of political structures that lead to wars of intervention and as a result the interdependence of global societies.
The Elephant Man (1980) – Themes 3, 5
This movie is based on the true story of John Merrick who was hated by his Victorian-era English society because he was severely deformed and how he was discovered by a doctor who treated him like a human being that he was.
The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014) – Themes 1, 5, 7, 8
A sophisticated comment on European society told through a murder mystery that explores the fun and follies of a hotel manager and his protégé. Offers interesting commentary on cultural relations, age and wealth.
The Grapes of Wrath (1940) – Themes 1, 2, 3, 8
A poor Midwest family is forced off of their land. They travel to California, suffering the misfortunes of the homeless in the Great Depression.
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (2013) – Themes 1, 2, 3, 4, 7
Katniss Everdeen, after winning the 74th Annual Hunger Games with Peeta Mellark, is threatened by President Snow. She must choose whether to comply with Snow’s orders to protect her family or to challenge the power of the Capitol.
The Incredible Bionic Man (2015) – Themes 6, 7
How close is today's technology to catching up with the human body? Two roboticists go on a journey to build an incredible bionic man revealing just how far science has come and demonstrates where this technology is headed, all the while posing the eternal question of what it means to be human.
The Imitation Game (2014) – Themes 3, 4, 7, 8
Examines Alan Turing’s work during World War II decrypting German intelligence codes for the British government. His work would help lead to the modern computer.
The Monuments Men (2014) – Themes 3, 4, 5
The film chronicles the dedicated efforts of scholars to retrieve masterpieces stolen by the Nazis throughout World War II. Relates the necessity of international concern for the preservation of the arts.
The Quiet Man (1952) – Themes 1, 8
A retired American boxer returns to the village of his birth in Ireland, where he finds love. Provides commentary on what it is like to leave one’s home to find one’s heritage.
The Patriot (1998) – Themes 3, 4, 8
Peaceful farmer Benjamin Martin is driven to lead the Colonial Militia during the American Revolution when a sadistic British officer murders his son. Shows the perils of war from multiple perspectives.
The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio (2005) – 3, 7, 8
Based on Terry Ryan’s memoir, this film traces the life of Evelyn Ryan who used her intelligence and wit to win prizes that kept her family of 11 going.
The Producers (1968) – 1, 3, 5, 8
Mel Brooks-directed comedy about the power and finances behind Broadway shows.
The Real Housewives of Atlanta (2008-presnet) – Themes 1, 2, 5, 6, 7
A reality television series focused on the personal and professional lives of several women residing in Atlanta, Georgia.
The Social Network (2010) – Themes 1, 3, 7, 8
Harvard student Mark Zuckerberg creates the social networking site that would become known as Facebook, but is later sued by two brothers who claimed he stole their idea, and the cofounder who was later squeezed out of the business.
The Sound of Music (1965) – Themes 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8
The movie is set in Austria in the 1930’s and is based around the true story of the Von Trapp family and how the escaped Germany at the beginning of WWII.
To Sir, with Love (1967) – Themes 2, 3, 5, 8
Sidney Poitier is the inspirational teacher that is placed in a rowdy classroom with all the students society has given up on. He decides to take on the task with unconventional approaches and wins the hearts of the students.
To Wong Foo (1995) – Themes 5, 8
Three drag queens from New York go on a road trip to enter a drag queen pageant in Hollywood.
Transparent (television series, 2014) – Themes 3, 5, 6
This television show traces the family life of Maura, a transgender woman.
Under the Knife (2007) – Themes 5, 6, 7
This documentary follows Louis Theroux as he travels out to Los Angeles to check out the world of plastic surgery, where breast enhancements, tummy tucks, muscle implants and the like are common procedures.
V (1983) – 1, 3, 4
A two part science fiction series concerning aliens known as the visitors who try to gain control of the earth. The series demonstrates human fragility.
V for Vendetta (2005) – Themes 1, 4, 6, 7
Highly fictionalized account of an anarchist freedom fighter opposing a dystopian United Kingdom.
Wall Street (1987) – Themes 2, 3, 8
A young and impatient stockbroker is willing to do anything to get to the top, including trading on illegal inside information taken through a ruthless and greedy corporate raider who takes the youth under his wing.
Want to innovate? Become a “now-ist” (2014) [TED] – Themes 2, 7
“Remember before the internet?” asks Joi Ito. “Remember when people used to try to predict the future?” In this engaging talk, the head of the MIT Media Lab skips the future predictions and instead shares a new approach to creating in the moment: building quickly and improving constantly, without waiting for permission or for proof that you have the right idea.
Wartorn: 1861-2010 (2010) – Themes 4, 8
HBO Documentary which explores the “invisible,” or psychological, impact of battle on soldiers from the time period of the Civil War up until the recent conflict in Afghanistan.
Whale Rider (2003) – Themes 1, 3, 8
Pai, whose twin brother died at birth, fights for her right to be acknowledged by her Maori village to serve as heir and lead the Ngati Konohi.
Wedding Banquet (1993) – Themes 1, 3, 5, 8
This film follows successful New Yorker Wei Tong whose relationship with boyfriend Simon he has kept from his parents who do not know he is gay. When the parents decide to visit from Taiwan, Wei Tong asks his tenant to pose as his fiancée so his parents do not discover the way his world works.