The Financial Express

Films to watch on racism and racial hatred

Films to watch on racism and racial hatred

After the death of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmad Arbury, and others, the never-ending racial issue once again sparked. The Black Lives Matter or BLM movement shook the world amid the pandemic and netizens broke the internet with hundreds of thousands of protest messages. Even sportsmen from different fields took part in the protest.

The protest can go on forever. But what else can be a better protest than a film that speaks up against racism?

An artistic protest might not change things overnight but can have a lasting impact on people’s minds.  

Here’s a list of some thought-provoking films that show the ugly face of racism.

  1. Do the Right Thing (1989)

This film looks at life in the Bedford-Stuyvesant district of Brooklyn on one hot summer day. Sal Fragione opens his Pizza parlour like he has been doing for the past 25 years. A simple complaint by a customer, Buggin Out- who wonders why there are pictures of Italian American stars on a black neighbourhood Pizzeria’s ‘Wall of Fame’ eventually brings out the faces of racism and tensions. This Spike Lee movie imprints the heart with conflicting emotions.

IMDb Rating: 7.9; Rotten Tomatoes: 93 per cent

  1. Malcolm X (1992)

Another Spike Lee movie that pays homage to the profound life and work of renowned orator and human rights activist, best known as Malcolm X. The movie starred Denzel Washington in the title role. This outstanding biographical epic exhibits the great man’s journey of life and the legacy that was formed after his assassination which embarks on self-determination and racial pride. 

IMDb Rating: 7.7; Rotten Tomatoes: 88 per cent

  1. The Help (2011)

In the 1960’s Mississippi, a Southern society girl Skeeter (Emma Stone) returns from college aspiring to be a writer. Surprising her townspeople, she decides to interview the African American housemaids working for white families. Aibileen(Viola Davis), her best friend’s housemaid, is the first to speak up encouraging a lot of others.

Directed by Tate Taylor, this movie is based on Kathryn Stockett’s famous novel ‘The Help.’

IMDb Rating: 8, Rotten Tomatoes: 76 per cent

  1. Django Unchained (2012)

Directed by Quentin Tarantino, this Western drama film portrays the pre-civil war slavery situation and a former slave’s quest to rescue his lost wife who is still a slave.

Django (Jamie Foxx), freed by the German bounty hunter Schultz (Christopher Waltz), accompanies him to hunt South’s most wanted criminals. On the way to finding Django’s wife Broomhilda (Kerry Washington), they both encounter the infamous plantation slaver Calvin Candie (Leonardo DiCaprio).

IMDb Rating: 8.4, Rotten Tomatoes: 87 per cent

  1. 12 Years a Slave (2013)

In the years before Civil War, Soloman Northup, a free black man from upstate New York is abducted and sold into slavery in the Deep South. His 12 years of suffering as a slave and endurance to keep life going with little moments of hope to return home to his wife Patsey (Lupita Nyong’o) and children drives straight to the heart.

Directed by Steve McQueen, this movie based on the 1853 memoir by Soloman Northup won 3 Academy Awards.

IMDb Rating: 8.1, Rotten Tomatoes: 95 per cent

  1. Selma (2014)

Ava DuVernay’s film ‘Selma’ follows the epic march by Martin Luther King Jr. and his followers from Selma to Montgomery to secure voting rights of black Americans in Alabama, 1965. The South might have legally acknowledged the term equality, but the discrimination was still rampant. The crusade against this bigotry is what makes this movie significant.

IMDb Rating: 7.5, Rotten Tomatoes: 99 per cent

  1. The Hate U Give (2018)

This young adult movie has a close resemblance to the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis. Starr Carter, an African American teenager, witnesses the fatal shooting of her best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Facing pressure from all sides of the community, Starr decides to stand up for what is right by any means necessary.

IMDb Rating: 7.4, Rotten Tomatoes: 97 per cent

  1. Article 15 (2019)

This Bollywood movie unveils the dark crimes in the rural parts of India based on their caste system. Ayan Ranjan (Ayushmann Khurrana), a city-bred Police officer, is appointed at Lalgaon. While investigating a double homicide, Ayan gets a deeper look at the caste system at different levels, which directly contradicts Article 15 of the Indian constitution.

IMDb Rating: 8.2, Rotten Tomatoes: 89 per cent

The writer is a 2nd-year Journalism student at Dhaka University.
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