12 influential and inspirational films for Sociology students
It has never been easier to consume media and in particular TV series and documentaries, in a time of binge-watching though I am often asked by students for advice on actual films to watch rather than just series, in particular films that are both inspirational and useful for Sociology. So, as the evenings close in, the clocks go back and the temperatures drop I decided to compile an essential watch list of 12 films from the last 20 years that are useful for a range of different topics.
Film: I, Daniel Blake
IMDB rating: 7.9/10
Where can I watch it: Amazon Prime
Useful for: Social class, underclass, inequality, poverty, work
Explanation: A very powerful film that looks at the difficulties of unemployment in the North East of England from the point of view of an older unemployed male and a young single mother of two. This film is really useful for explaining the cycle of deprivation and why living in poverty can be a fatalistic and hopeless existence.
Film: American History X
IMDB rating: 8.5/10
Where can I watch it: YouTube movies
Useful for: Ethnicity, racial inequality, poverty
Explanation: A film that many students will find uncomfortable to watch but is an incredibly powerful depiction of a former neo-Nazi white supremacist trying to turn his life around after serving a prison sentence for his actions. This is certainly a film that leaves a long-lasting impression.
Film: Love, Simon
IMDB rating: 7.7/10
Where can I watch it: Amazon Prime and YouTube Movies
Useful for: Sexuality, identity, gender equality
Explanation: Some students will say that a few of these film suggestions are ‘well old’ so here is one right up to date, an American high school boy struggles with the secret of his sexuality and forms an online relationship with another guy to open up about his feelings and experiences. This is a great feel good film to watch on a rainy day.
Film: City of God
IMDB rating: 8.6/10
Where can I watch it: Netflix
Useful for: Crime, Ethnicity, Social class, inequality
Explanation: A multi-awarding winning film which helps to understand the life of crime in an area of Rio with deep rooted poverty. This is another hard-hitting film which I have recommended to students in the past and the feedback has always been overwhelmingly positive. There is also a follow up entitled ’10 years later’.
Film: American Beauty
IMDB rating: 8.4/10
Where can I watch it: YouTube Movies
Useful for: Family, sexuality, gender identity
Explanation: I have often shown some of this film to students during the family topic in order to understand empty shell marriages that look ideal from the outside with the perfect home, car and lawn but are far from perfect behind the closed doors. The film also covers issues of divorce, teenage relationships and sexuality.
Film: Freedom writers
IMDB rating: 7.5/10
Useful for: Education, ethnicity, social class, labelling, methods
Explanation: A film that both students and teachers can relate to that looks at a young teacher attempting to inspire students from poor and ethnic minority backgrounds. This is really good to look at labelling in schools and also interesting from a methods point of view as the students keep a diary to record their feelings.
Film: The Green Mile
Useful for: Crime, deviance, ethnicity, labelling, stereotyping
Explanation: Well, if this one does not make them cry then nothing will! An incredibly powerful story of a black man accused of child murder and rape who possess a special gift. Because this film is almost twenty years old then many students may not have heard of it let alone seen it though every single person I know who has seen this film has been moved by it.
Film: The Wife
Where can I watch it: Cinema
Useful for: Gender, equality, power, identity, Feminism
Explanation: I have included this one as it is on at the cinema at the time of writing and is sure to pick up many awards, this is a really interesting look at the power imbalance between a husband and wife and how there is an expectancy for the husband’s role and status to take precedence over the wife whilst she adopts the emotional, expressive support role.
Film: This is England
Useful for: Ethnicity, Social class, identity, subcultures, crime
Explanation: A film that takes a look at how a young boy becomes initiated into a group of racist skinheads in England in the 1980s. Another difficult watch but if students like the film then they can also watch the follow-up mini-series 86, 88 and 90, the latest of which is on Netflix.
IMDB rating: 7.6/10
Useful for: Religion, gender, equality, feminism
Explanation: An Irish mother has her child taken away from her by the catholic church under horrific circumstances and a journalist picks up the story many years later to investigate the whereabouts of her child. Another fantastically powerful film.
IMDB rating: 8.0/10
Useful for: Disability, identity, equality
Explanation: Another recent film that looks at a young boy with facial disfigurations trying to live a normal life in an American school. It is a film that will get students to consider identity, disability and equality as well as tug on the heart strings. This was recommended to me by one of my students and I really enjoyed it too.
IMDB rating: 7.8/10
Useful for: Sexuality, identity, social class, Marxism
Explanation: Another feel-good film which looks at how the striking miners and gay activists combined forces in the mid-eighties to successfully campaign and protest against the government. The film is also useful for students to understand New Right policies under Margaret Thatcher.
So, this of course only scratches the surface of films and I am sure you have other recommendations too but I wanted to include films that were all within the last 20 years and accessible (literally and figuratively) for Sociology students. Please also do check the age certification on each film before recommending depending on the key stage you are teaching.
By Matthew Wilkin
Matthew has been teaching Sociology for 16 years and has taught in the UK, Kenya and Spain. He currently teaches at Bellerbys College in Brighton. Matthew runs the www.podology.org.uk website and is continuing his mission to visit every country in the world.
He is also a contributing author to the new Themes & Perspectives books written specifically for the AQA A-level Sociology specification.
Lively activities for teaching wuthering heights, sociology: suicide and masculinity, a level sociology – gender and identity video, welcome to gatsby’s kaleidoscopic carnival, business news quiz – 30.01.13, other articles.
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1. Rear Window (1954)
PG | 112 min | Mystery, Thriller
A photographer in a wheelchair spies on his neighbors from his Greenwich Village courtyard apartment window, and becomes convinced one of them has committed murder, despite the skepticism of his fashion-model girlfriend.
Director: Alfred Hitchcock | Stars: James Stewart , Grace Kelly , Wendell Corey , Thelma Ritter
Votes: 512,926 | Gross: $36.76M
2. Dogtooth (2009)
Not Rated | 97 min | Drama, Thriller
A controlling, manipulative father locks his three adult offspring in a state of perpetual childhood by keeping them prisoner within the sprawling family compound.
Director: Yorgos Lanthimos | Stars: Christos Stergioglou , Michele Valley , Angeliki Papoulia , Christos Passalis
Votes: 104,749 | Gross: $0.11M
3. Requiem for a Dream (2000)
R | 102 min | Drama
The drug-induced utopias of four Coney Island people are shattered when their addictions run deep.
Director: Darren Aronofsky | Stars: Ellen Burstyn , Jared Leto , Jennifer Connelly , Marlon Wayans
Votes: 882,236 | Gross: $3.64M
4. 96 Minutes (2011)
R | 93 min | Drama, Thriller
The story of 4 lives slammed together in a shocking moment. Intercutting between a carjacking and the separate stories of the 4 kids in Atlanta, we watch as they hurtle toward a life-changing end.
Director: Aimee Lagos | Stars: Brittany Snow , Evan Ross , Sharon Conley , Justin Martin
5. Reality Bites (1994)
PG-13 | 99 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance
A documentary filmmaker and her fellow Generation X graduates face life after college, looking for work and love in Houston.
Director: Ben Stiller | Stars: Winona Ryder , Ethan Hawke , Janeane Garofalo , Steve Zahn
Votes: 52,851 | Gross: $20.98M
6. The Help (2011)
PG-13 | 146 min | Drama
An aspiring author during the civil rights movement of the 1960s decides to write a book detailing the African American maids' point of view on the white families for which they work, and the hardships they go through on a daily basis.
Director: Tate Taylor | Stars: Viola Davis , Emma Stone , Octavia Spencer , Bryce Dallas Howard
Votes: 483,394 | Gross: $169.71M
7. Fat Girl (2001)
Not Rated | 86 min | Drama
Two sisters confront their sexual attitudes and experiences while on a family holiday.
Director: Catherine Breillat | Stars: Anaïs Reboux , Roxane Mesquida , Libero De Rienzo , Arsinée Khanjian
Votes: 12,595 | Gross: $0.72M
8. Beautiful Boy (2010)
R | 100 min | Drama
A married couple on the verge of separation are leveled by the news their 18-year-old son committed a mass shooting at his college, then took his own life.
Director: Shawn Ku | Stars: Michael Sheen , Maria Bello , Kyle Gallner , Logan South
Votes: 6,890 | Gross: $0.08M
Teen / Grown Ups
9. 360 (2011)
R | 110 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery
A modern and stylish kaleidoscope of interconnected love and relationships linking characters from different cities and countries in a vivid, suspenseful and deeply moving tale of romantic life in the 21st century.
Director: Fernando Meirelles | Stars: Rachel Weisz , Jude Law , Anthony Hopkins , Ben Foster
Votes: 17,339 | Gross: $0.10M
10. Enemy (2013)
R | 91 min | Drama, Mystery, Thriller
A man seeks out his exact look-alike after spotting him in a movie.
Director: Denis Villeneuve | Stars: Jake Gyllenhaal , Mélanie Laurent , Sarah Gadon , Isabella Rossellini
Votes: 208,816 | Gross: $1.01M
11. Hick (2011)
R | 99 min | Comedy, Drama
A Nebraska teen gets more than she bargained for when she sets out for the bright lights of Las Vegas.
Director: Derick Martini | Stars: Chloë Grace Moretz , Blake Lively , Rory Culkin , Eddie Redmayne
12. Joe (I) (2013)
R | 117 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller
An ex-con, who is the unlikeliest of role models, meets a 15-year-old boy and is faced with the choice of redemption or ruin.
Director: David Gordon Green | Stars: Nicolas Cage , Tye Sheridan , Gary Poulter , Ronnie Gene Blevins
Votes: 50,629 | Gross: $0.37M
13. August: Osage County (2013)
R | 121 min | Comedy, Drama
A look at the lives of the strong-willed women of the Weston family, whose paths have diverged until a family crisis brings them back to the Oklahoma house they grew up in, and to the dysfunctional woman who raised them.
Director: John Wells | Stars: Meryl Streep , Dermot Mulroney , Julia Roberts , Juliette Lewis
Votes: 94,219 | Gross: $37.74M
14. Elephant (2003)
R | 81 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller
Several ordinary high school students go through their daily routine as two others prepare for something more malevolent.
Director: Gus Van Sant | Stars: Elias McConnell , Alex Frost , Eric Deulen , John Robinson
Votes: 95,957 | Gross: $1.23M
15. Dirty Pretty Things (2002)
R | 97 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller
Irregular migrants Okwe and Senay work at a posh London hotel and live in constant fear of deportation. One night Okwe stumbles across evidence of a bizarre murder, setting off a series of events that could lead to disaster or freedom.
Director: Stephen Frears | Stars: Chiwetel Ejiofor , Audrey Tautou , Sophie Okonedo , Kriss Dosanjh
Votes: 43,776 | Gross: $8.11M
Grown Ups (crimes)
16. The Lucky Ones (2008)
R | 115 min | Adventure, Comedy, Drama
Three different soldiers - a woman and two men - return from war and facing the peaceful life's problems of each other.
Director: Neil Burger | Stars: Rachel McAdams , Tim Robbins , Michael Peña , Molly Hagan
Votes: 14,431 | Gross: $0.18M
17. Detachment (2011)
Not Rated | 98 min | Drama
A substitute teacher who drifts from classroom to classroom finds a connection to the students and teachers during his latest assignment.
Director: Tony Kaye | Stars: Adrien Brody , Christina Hendricks , Marcia Gay Harden , Lucy Liu
Votes: 95,635 | Gross: $0.07M
18. Date and Switch (2014)
R | 91 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance
Two guys who make a pact to lose their virginity before prom find their friendship tested when one of them comes out of the closet.
Director: Chris Nelson | Stars: Nicholas Braun , Hunter Cope , Dakota Johnson , Gary Cole
19. Trainspotting (1996)
R | 93 min | Drama
Renton, deeply immersed in the Edinburgh drug scene, tries to clean up and get out despite the allure of drugs and the influence of friends.
Director: Danny Boyle | Stars: Ewan McGregor , Ewen Bremner , Jonny Lee Miller , Kevin McKidd
Votes: 714,420 | Gross: $16.50M
20. Thank You for Smoking (2005)
R | 92 min | Comedy, Drama
Satirical comedy follows the machinations of Big Tobacco's chief spokesman, Nick Naylor, who spins on behalf of cigarettes while trying to remain a role model for his 12-year old son.
Director: Jason Reitman | Stars: Aaron Eckhart , Cameron Bright , Maria Bello , Joan Lunden
Votes: 227,235 | Gross: $24.79M
21. Vicky Cristina Barcelona (2008)
PG-13 | 96 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance
Two friends on a summer holiday in Spain become enamored with the same painter, unaware that his ex-wife, with whom he has a tempestuous relationship, is about to re-enter the picture.
Director: Woody Allen | Stars: Rebecca Hall , Scarlett Johansson , Javier Bardem , Christopher Evan Welch
Votes: 266,028 | Gross: $23.22M
22. Midnight Cowboy (1969)
R | 113 min | Drama
A naive hustler travels from Texas to New York City to seek personal fortune, finding a new friend in the process.
Director: John Schlesinger | Stars: Dustin Hoffman , Jon Voight , Sylvia Miles , John McGiver
Votes: 117,868 | Gross: $44.79M
23. Kill Your Darlings (2013)
R | 104 min | Biography, Drama, Romance
A murder in 1944 draws together the great poets of the beat generation: Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac, and William Burroughs.
Director: John Krokidas | Stars: Daniel Radcliffe , Dane DeHaan , Michael C. Hall , Ben Foster
Votes: 40,670 | Gross: $1.03M
24. On the Road (2012)
R | 124 min | Adventure, Drama, Romance
Young writer Sal Paradise has his life shaken by the arrival of free-spirited Dean Moriarty and his girl, Marylou. As they travel across the country, they encounter a mix of people who each impact their journey indelibly.
Director: Walter Salles | Stars: Sam Riley , Garrett Hedlund , Kristen Stewart , Amy Adams
Votes: 42,968 | Gross: $0.72M
25. Love Me (IV) (2013)
PG-13 | 97 min | Thriller
Sixteen-year-old Melissa Kennedy's been missing for almost 3 months now and the Town of Ridgedale is coming unhinged. The projectionist at the old revival movie house, Sylvia Potter (16) ... See full summary »
Director: Rick Bota | Stars: Lindsey Shaw , Jamie Johnston , Jean-Luc Bilodeau , Kaitlyn Leeb
26. Blue Jasmine (2013)
PG-13 | 98 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance
A New York socialite, deeply troubled and in denial, arrives in San Francisco to impose upon her sister. She looks like a million dollars but isn't bringing money, peace or love.
Director: Woody Allen | Stars: Cate Blanchett , Alec Baldwin , Peter Sarsgaard , Sally Hawkins
Votes: 210,528 | Gross: $33.41M
27. The Broken Circle Breakdown (2012)
Not Rated | 111 min | Drama, Music, Romance
Elise and Didier fall in love at first sight, in spite of their differences. He talks, she listens. He's a romantic atheist, she's a religious realist. When their daughter becomes seriously ill, their love is put on trial.
Director: Felix van Groeningen | Stars: Veerle Baetens , Johan Heldenbergh , Nell Cattrysse , Geert Van Rampelberg
Votes: 42,803 | Gross: $0.18M
28. Blue Is the Warmest Colour (2013)
NC-17 | 180 min | Drama, Romance
Adèle's life is changed when she meets Emma, a young woman with blue hair, who will allow her to discover desire and to assert herself as a woman and as an adult. In front of others, Adèle grows, seeks herself, loses herself, and ultimately finds herself through love and loss.
Director: Abdellatif Kechiche | Stars: Léa Seydoux , Adèle Exarchopoulos , Salim Kechiouche , Aurélien Recoing
Votes: 160,455 | Gross: $2.20M
29. Dallas Buyers Club (2013)
R | 117 min | Biography, Drama
In 1985 Dallas, electrician and hustler Ron Woodroof works around the system to help AIDS patients get the medication they need after he is diagnosed with the disease.
Director: Jean-Marc Vallée | Stars: Matthew McConaughey , Jennifer Garner , Jared Leto , Steve Zahn
Votes: 510,927 | Gross: $27.30M
30. The Art of Getting By (2011)
PG-13 | 83 min | Drama, Romance
George, a lonely and fatalistic teen who has made it all the way to his senior year without ever having done a real day of work, is befriended by Sally, a popular but complicated girl who recognizes in him a kindred spirit.
Director: Gavin Wiesen | Stars: Freddie Highmore , Emma Roberts , Michael Angarano , Sasha Spielberg
Votes: 60,418 | Gross: $1.43M
31. Geography Club (2013)
PG-13 | 84 min | Comedy, Drama
At Goodkind High School, a group of students with varying sexual orientations form an after-school club as a discreet way to share their feelings and experiences.
Director: Gary Entin | Stars: Cameron Deane Stewart , Justin Deeley , Meaghan Martin , Wesley Eure
32. The Breakfast Club (1985)
R | 97 min | Comedy, Drama
Five high school students meet in Saturday detention and discover how they have a great deal more in common than they thought.
Director: John Hughes | Stars: Emilio Estevez , Judd Nelson , Molly Ringwald , Ally Sheedy
Votes: 427,527 | Gross: $45.88M
33. Mary and Max (2009)
Not Rated | 92 min | Animation, Comedy, Drama
A tale of friendship between two unlikely pen pals: Mary, a lonely, eight-year-old girl living in the suburbs of Melbourne, and Max, a forty-four-year old, severely obese man living in New York.
Director: Adam Elliot | Stars: Toni Collette , Philip Seymour Hoffman , Eric Bana , Barry Humphries
34. Dare (2009)
R | 92 min | Drama, Romance
A drama centered around three high school seniors - an aspiring actress, her misfit best friend, and a loner - who become engaged in an intimate and complicated relationship.
Director: Adam Salky | Stars: Emmy Rossum , Zach Gilford , Ashley Springer , Cady Huffman
35. Some Girl(S) (2013)
Not Rated | 90 min | Comedy, Drama
On the eve of his wedding, a successful writer travels across the country to meet up with ex-lovers in an attempt to make amends for past relationship transgressions.
Director: Daisy von Scherler Mayer | Stars: Adam Brody , Kristen Bell , Zoe Kazan , Mía Maestro
36. After Sex (2007)
TV-MA | 77 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance
Vignettes about eight different couples at varying points in their relationships, each having conversations immediately after having sex.
Director: Eric Amadio | Stars: Marc Blucas , Jose Pablo Cantillo , Emmanuelle Chriqui , James DeBello
37. Mona Lisa Smile (2003)
PG-13 | 117 min | Drama
A free-thinking art professor teaches conservative 1950s Wellesley girls to question their traditional social roles.
Director: Mike Newell | Stars: Julia Roberts , Kirsten Dunst , Julia Stiles , Maggie Gyllenhaal
Votes: 88,498 | Gross: $63.86M
38. The Killing Fields (1984)
R | 141 min | Biography, Drama, History
A journalist is trapped in Cambodia during tyrant Pol Pot 's bloody 'Year Zero' cleansing campaign, which claimed the lives of two million 'undesirable' civilians.
Director: Roland Joffé | Stars: Sam Waterston , Haing S. Ngor , John Malkovich , Julian Sands
Votes: 58,284 | Gross: $34.70M
39. Metropolis (1927)
Not Rated | 153 min | Drama, Sci-Fi
In a futuristic city sharply divided between the working class and the city planners, the son of the city's mastermind falls in love with a working-class prophet who predicts the coming of a savior to mediate their differences.
Director: Fritz Lang | Stars: Brigitte Helm , Alfred Abel , Gustav Fröhlich , Rudolf Klein-Rogge
Votes: 182,264 | Gross: $1.24M
40. Fish Tank (2009)
Not Rated | 123 min | Drama
Everything changes for 15-year-old Mia when her mum brings home a new boyfriend.
Director: Andrea Arnold | Stars: Katie Jarvis , Michael Fassbender , Kierston Wareing , Rebecca Griffiths
Votes: 64,473 | Gross: $0.37M
41. Girl, Interrupted (1999)
R | 127 min | Biography, Drama
Based on writer Susanna Kaysen's account of her 18-month stay at a mental hospital in the late 1960s.
Director: James Mangold | Stars: Winona Ryder , Angelina Jolie , Clea DuVall , Brittany Murphy
Votes: 205,457 | Gross: $28.87M
42. Tomboy (2011)
Not Rated | 82 min | Drama
A family moves into a new neighborhood, and a 10-year-old named Laure deliberately presents as a boy named Mikhael to the neighborhood children.
Director: Céline Sciamma | Stars: Zoé Héran , Malonn Lévana , Jeanne Disson , Sophie Cattani
Votes: 21,945 | Gross: $0.13M
43. XXY (2007)
Not Rated | 86 min | Drama, Romance
The story of an intersex fifteen-year-old. She lives with her parents, who have to cope with the challenges of her medical condition.
Director: Lucía Puenzo | Stars: Ricardo Darín , Valeria Bertuccelli , Germán Palacios , Carolina Pelleritti
Votes: 14,796 | Gross: $0.05M
44. American History X (1998)
R | 119 min | Crime, Drama
Living a life marked by violence, neo-Nazi Derek finally goes to prison after killing two black youths. Upon his release, Derek vows to change; he hopes to prevent his brother, Danny, who idolizes Derek, from following in his footsteps.
Director: Tony Kaye | Stars: Edward Norton , Edward Furlong , Beverly D'Angelo , Jennifer Lien
Votes: 1,167,393 | Gross: $6.72M
45. Into the Wild (2007)
R | 148 min | Adventure, Biography, Drama
After graduating from Emory University, top student and athlete Christopher McCandless abandons his possessions, gives his entire $24,000 savings account to charity and hitchhikes to Alaska to live in the wilderness. Along the way, Christopher encounters a series of characters that shape his life.
Director: Sean Penn | Stars: Emile Hirsch , Vince Vaughn , Catherine Keener , Marcia Gay Harden
Votes: 647,637 | Gross: $18.35M
46. Taxi Driver (1976)
R | 114 min | Crime, Drama
A mentally unstable veteran works as a nighttime taxi driver in New York City, where the perceived decadence and sleaze fuels his urge for violent action.
Director: Martin Scorsese | Stars: Robert De Niro , Jodie Foster , Cybill Shepherd , Albert Brooks
Votes: 896,601 | Gross: $28.26M
47. Rebel Without a Cause (1955)
PG-13 | 111 min | Drama
A rebellious young man with a troubled past comes to a new town, finding friends and enemies.
Director: Nicholas Ray | Stars: James Dean , Natalie Wood , Sal Mineo , Jim Backus
48. Schindler's List (1993)
R | 195 min | Biography, Drama, History
In German-occupied Poland during World War II, industrialist Oskar Schindler gradually becomes concerned for his Jewish workforce after witnessing their persecution by the Nazis.
Director: Steven Spielberg | Stars: Liam Neeson , Ralph Fiennes , Ben Kingsley , Caroline Goodall
Votes: 1,420,133 | Gross: $96.90M
49. Shame (2011)
NC-17 | 101 min | Drama
A sex addict's carefully cultivated private life falls apart after his sister arrives for an indefinite stay.
Director: Steve McQueen | Stars: Michael Fassbender , Carey Mulligan , James Badge Dale , Lucy Walters
Votes: 203,619 | Gross: $4.00M
50. The Bling Ring (2013)
R | 90 min | Biography, Crime, Drama
Inspired by actual events, a group of fame-obsessed teenagers use the internet to track celebrities' whereabouts in order to rob their homes.
Director: Sofia Coppola | Stars: Katie Chang , Israel Broussard , Emma Watson , Claire Julien
Votes: 90,865 | Gross: $5.84M
51. The Kids Are All Right (2010)
R | 106 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance
Two children conceived by artificial insemination bring their biological father into their non-traditional family life.
Director: Lisa Cholodenko | Stars: Annette Bening , Julianne Moore , Mark Ruffalo , Mia Wasikowska
Votes: 133,583 | Gross: $20.81M
52. Hunger (2008)
Not Rated | 96 min | Biography, Crime, Drama
Irish republican Bobby Sands leads the inmates of a Northern Irish prison in a hunger strike.
Director: Steve McQueen | Stars: Stuart Graham , Laine Megaw , Brian Milligan , Liam McMahon
Votes: 72,768 | Gross: $0.15M
53. Magnolia (1999)
R | 188 min | Drama
An epic mosaic of interrelated characters in search of love, forgiveness and meaning in the San Fernando Valley.
Director: Paul Thomas Anderson | Stars: Tom Cruise , Jason Robards , Julianne Moore , Philip Seymour Hoffman
Votes: 324,566 | Gross: $22.46M
54. Disconnect (I) (2012)
R | 115 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery
A drama centered on a group of people searching for human connections in today's wired world.
Director: Henry Alex Rubin | Stars: Jason Bateman , Jonah Bobo , Haley Ramm , Hope Davis
Votes: 77,669 | Gross: $7.44M
55. Life Is Beautiful (1997)
PG-13 | 116 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance
When an open-minded Jewish waiter and his son become victims of the Holocaust, he uses a perfect mixture of will, humor and imagination to protect his son from the dangers around their camp.
Director: Roberto Benigni | Stars: Roberto Benigni , Nicoletta Braschi , Giorgio Cantarini , Giustino Durano
Votes: 728,865 | Gross: $57.60M
56. Gia (1998 TV Movie)
R | 120 min | Biography, Drama, Romance
The story of the life of Gia Carangi , a top fashion model from the late 1970s, from her meteoric rise to the forefront of the modeling industry, to her untimely death.
Director: Michael Cristofer | Stars: Angelina Jolie , Faye Dunaway , Elizabeth Mitchell , Mercedes Ruehl
57. Sleeping with the Enemy (1991)
R | 99 min | Drama, Thriller
A young woman fakes her own death in an attempt to escape her nightmarish marriage, but discovers it is impossible to elude her controlling husband.
Director: Joseph Ruben | Stars: Julia Roberts , Patrick Bergin , Kevin Anderson , Elizabeth Lawrence
Votes: 63,577 | Gross: $101.60M
58. Side Effects (I) (2013)
R | 106 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery
A young woman's world unravels when a drug prescribed by her psychiatrist has unexpected side effects.
Director: Steven Soderbergh | Stars: Rooney Mara , Channing Tatum , Jude Law , Catherine Zeta-Jones
Votes: 195,572 | Gross: $32.17M
59. The First Time (I) (2012)
PG-13 | 95 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance
A shy senior and a down-to-earth junior fall in love over one weekend.
Director: Jonathan Kasdan | Stars: Dylan O'Brien , Britt Robertson , Victoria Justice , James Frecheville
Votes: 73,051 | Gross: $0.02M
60. Lost and Delirious (2001)
R | 103 min | Drama, Romance
After starting at an upmarket boarding school, a teenage girl forms close friendships with her two older roommates. However, when she discovers that her new friends are lovers she finds herself caught in a complicated situation.
Director: Léa Pool | Stars: Piper Perabo , Jessica Paré , Mischa Barton , Jackie Burroughs
Votes: 22,069 | Gross: $0.30M
61. The Lifeguard (2013)
R | 98 min | Drama, Romance
A former valedictorian quits her reporter job in New York and returns to the place she last felt happy: her childhood home in Connecticut. She gets work as a lifeguard and starts a dangerous relationship with a troubled teenager.
Director: Liz W. Garcia | Stars: Kristen Bell , Mamie Gummer , Martin Starr , Joshua Harto
62. Margaret (I) (2011)
R | 150 min | Drama
A young woman witnesses a bus accident, and is caught up in the aftermath, where the question of whether or not it was intentional affects many people's lives.
Director: Kenneth Lonergan | Stars: Anna Paquin , Matt Damon , Mark Ruffalo , J. Smith-Cameron
Votes: 18,079 | Gross: $0.05M
63. This Is My Body (2001)
87 min | Drama
Young student Antoine jumps off studies to follow an acting career, and is offered a main role after a boy who killed himself after a fling with the director.
Director: Rodolphe Marconi | Stars: Louis Garrel , Jane Birkin , Elisabeth Depardieu , Mélanie Laurent
64. American Beauty (1999)
R | 122 min | Drama
A sexually frustrated suburban father has a mid-life crisis after becoming infatuated with his daughter's best friend.
Director: Sam Mendes | Stars: Kevin Spacey , Annette Bening , Thora Birch , Wes Bentley
Votes: 1,193,763 | Gross: $130.10M
65. Brothers (I) (2009)
R | 105 min | Drama, Thriller, War
While on tour in Afghanistan, Sam's copter is shot down and he is presumed dead. Back home, it is his screw-up brother who looks after the family. Sam does return, but with a lot of excess baggage.
Director: Jim Sheridan | Stars: Jake Gyllenhaal , Natalie Portman , Tobey Maguire , Sam Shepard
Votes: 141,679 | Gross: $28.50M
66. Drive (I) (2011)
R | 100 min | Action, Drama
A mysterious Hollywood action film stuntman gets in trouble with gangsters when he tries to help his neighbor's husband rob a pawn shop while serving as his getaway driver.
Director: Nicolas Winding Refn | Stars: Ryan Gosling , Carey Mulligan , Bryan Cranston , Albert Brooks
Votes: 689,076 | Gross: $35.06M
67. Toy Soldiers (1991)
R | 111 min | Action, Drama, Thriller
A group of troublemaking boys decide to take a stand when terrorists seize control of their boarding school.
Director: Daniel Petrie Jr. | Stars: Sean Astin , Wil Wheaton , Keith Coogan , Andrew Divoff
Votes: 24,401 | Gross: $15.07M
68. Amélie (2001)
R | 122 min | Comedy, Romance
Despite being caught in her imaginative world, Amelie, a young waitress, decides to help people find happiness. Her quest to spread joy leads her on a journey where she finds true love.
Director: Jean-Pierre Jeunet | Stars: Audrey Tautou , Mathieu Kassovitz , Rufus , Lorella Cravotta
Votes: 783,184 | Gross: $33.23M
69. Thirteen (2003)
A thirteen-year-old girl's relationship with her mother is put to the test as she discovers drugs, sex, and petty crime in the company of her cool but troubled best friend.
Director: Catherine Hardwicke | Stars: Evan Rachel Wood , Holly Hunter , Nikki Reed , Vanessa Hudgens
Votes: 95,660 | Gross: $4.60M
70. Water Lilies (2007)
85 min | Drama, Romance
After meeting at a local pool over their summer break, a love triangle forms between three adolescent girls, which proves difficult to sustain as they each desire the love of another.
Director: Céline Sciamma | Stars: Pauline Acquart , Louise Blachère , Adèle Haenel , Warren Jacquin
Votes: 13,129 | Gross: $0.08M
Teen / Sexuality
71. 50/50 (2011)
R | 100 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance
Inspired by a true story, a comedy centered on a 27-year-old guy who learns of his cancer diagnosis and his subsequent struggle to beat the disease.
Director: Jonathan Levine | Stars: Joseph Gordon-Levitt , Seth Rogen , Anna Kendrick , Bryce Dallas Howard
Votes: 340,394 | Gross: $35.01M
72. Philadelphia (1993)
PG-13 | 125 min | Drama
When a man with HIV 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.
Director: Jonathan Demme | Stars: Tom Hanks , Denzel Washington , Roberta Maxwell , Buzz Kilman
Votes: 253,890 | Gross: $77.32M
73. The Truman Show (1998)
PG | 103 min | Comedy, Drama
An insurance salesman discovers his whole life is actually a reality TV show.
Director: Peter Weir | Stars: Jim Carrey , Ed Harris , Laura Linney , Noah Emmerich
Votes: 1,160,455 | Gross: $125.62M
74. Cherrybomb (2009)
Not Rated | 76 min | Action, Drama, Romance
Three teenagers go on a wild weekend of drink, drugs, shop-lifting and stealing cars that quickly spins beyond their control.
Directors: Lisa Barros D'Sa , Glenn Leyburn | Stars: Rupert Grint , Robert Sheehan , James Nesbitt , Niamh Quinn
75. Trust (I) (2010)
A teenage girl is targeted by an online sexual predator.
Director: David Schwimmer | Stars: Clive Owen , Catherine Keener , Liana Liberato , Jason Clarke
Votes: 43,719 | Gross: $0.12M
76. We Need to Talk About Kevin (2011)
R | 112 min | Drama, Mystery, Thriller
Kevin's mother struggles to love her strange child despite the increasingly dangerous things he says and does as he grows up. But Kevin is just getting started, and his final act will be beyond anything anyone imagined.
Director: Lynne Ramsay | Stars: Tilda Swinton , John C. Reilly , Ezra Miller , Jasper Newell
Votes: 164,811 | Gross: $1.74M
77. Little Boy Blue (1997)
R | 105 min | Drama
19 y.o. Jimmy' s dad is a vicious, impotent Vietnam vet, who forces his wife and son to have incest. He has a secret he'll kill to keep. Jimmy won't abandon his two kid brothers by leaving.
Director: Antonio Tibaldi | Stars: Ryan Phillippe , Nastassja Kinski , John Savage , Shirley Knight
78. December Boys (2007)
PG-13 | 105 min | Drama, Romance
One summer, four orphans boys who have grown to be the closest of friends find themselves competing for the attention of the same family.
Director: Rod Hardy | Stars: Daniel Radcliffe , Teresa Palmer , Lee Cormie , Christian Byers
Votes: 12,358 | Gross: $0.05M
79. The Wave (2008)
Not Rated | 107 min | Drama, Thriller
A high school teacher's experiment to demonstrate to his students what life is like under a dictatorship spins horribly out of control when he forms a social unit with a life of its own.
Director: Dennis Gansel | Stars: Jürgen Vogel , Frederick Lau , Max Riemelt , Jennifer Ulrich
80. Havoc (2005)
R | 85 min | Crime, Drama
Two affluent suburban girls clash with the Latino gang culture of East Los Angeles.
Director: Barbara Kopple | Stars: Anne Hathaway , Bijou Phillips , Shiri Appleby , Michael Biehn
81. 2:37 (2006)
Not Rated | 91 min | Drama
At 2:37, someone commits suicide in the school lavatory. The day is told up to that point from the viewpoint of six different students.
Director: Murali K. Thalluri | Stars: Teresa Palmer , Frank Sweet , Sam Harris , Charles Baird
82. Liberal Arts (2012)
PG-13 | 97 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance
When 30-something Jesse returns to his alma mater for a professor's retirement party, he falls for Zibby, a college student, and is faced with a powerful attraction that springs up between them.
Director: Josh Radnor | Stars: Josh Radnor , Elizabeth Olsen , Zac Efron , Elizabeth Reaser
Votes: 39,811 | Gross: $0.32M
83. Consent (2010)
Not Rated | 87 min | Drama
A wealthy Manhattan family's inability to cope with the suicide of their eldest daughter sends them into a downward spiral of drugs, alcohol and sexual taboos that threatens to destroy them.
Director: Ron Brown | Stars: Peter Vack , Troian Bellisario , Betsey Brown , Kate Burton
84. Boys Don't Cry (1999)
R | 118 min | Biography, Crime, Drama
A young man named Brandon Teena navigates love, life, and being transgender in rural Nebraska.
Director: Kimberly Peirce | Stars: Hilary Swank , Chloë Sevigny , Peter Sarsgaard , Brendan Sexton III
Votes: 102,079 | Gross: $11.53M
85. Daniel and Ana (2009)
Not Rated | 90 min | Drama, Thriller
Daniel and Ana, siblings and best friends are forced to deal with unimaginable trauma after they are kidnapped and forced to have sex on camera.
Director: Michel Franco | Stars: Dario Yazbek Bernal , Marimar Vega , José María Torre , Monserrat Ontiveros
Votes: 1,877 | Gross: $0.00M
86. Submarine (2010)
R | 97 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance
15-year-old Oliver Tate has two objectives: to lose his virginity before his next birthday, and to extinguish the flame between his mother and an ex-lover who has resurfaced in her life.
Director: Richard Ayoade | Stars: Craig Roberts , Sally Hawkins , Paddy Considine , Noah Taylor
Votes: 95,325 | Gross: $0.47M
87. Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966)
Not Rated | 131 min | Drama
A bitter, aging couple, with the help of alcohol, use their young houseguests to fuel anguish and emotional pain towards each other over the course of a distressing night.
Director: Mike Nichols | Stars: Elizabeth Taylor , Richard Burton , George Segal , Sandy Dennis
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- Rank Movies
The Top 50 Sociology Movies of All Time
Rank This Chart
Paradise Lost: The Child Murders at Robin Hood Hills https://www.flickchart.com/movie/218DA68818 1996 , 150 min.
Joe Berlinger, Bruce Sinofsky • Starring: Damien Wayne Echols , Jessie Miskelly , Jason Baldwin
Biography • Documentary • Law and Crime
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Spellbound https://www.flickchart.com/movie/63305095D9 2002 , 97 min.
Jeffrey Blitz • Starring: Angela Arenivar , Neil Kadakia , Nupur Lala
Biography • Culture and Society • Documentary
21 Up https://www.flickchart.com/movie/98EB43D362 1977 , 100 min.
Michael Apted • Starring: Bruce Balden , Jacqueline Bassett , Symon Basterfield
28 Up https://www.flickchart.com/movie/6BEC4F9A04 1985 , 136 min.
Seven Up! https://www.flickchart.com/movie/12C62DB999 1964 , 39 min.
Paul Almond • Starring: Derek Cooper , Wilfrid Thomas , Bruce Balden
Beyond The Mat https://www.flickchart.com/movie/F8F5CFF326 1999 , 102 min.
Barry W. Blaustein • Starring: Jesse Ventura , Mick Foley , Dwayne Johnson
35 Up https://www.flickchart.com/movie/6176339577 1992 , 123 min.
Michael Apted • Starring: Bruce Balden , Jacqueline Bassett , Andrew Brackfield
Pumping Iron https://www.flickchart.com/movie/F16E894BE2 1977 , 85 min.
George Butler • Starring: Arnold Schwarzenegger , Lou Ferrigno , Franco Columbu
Samsara https://www.flickchart.com/movie/C249CC809E 2011 , 99 min.
Avant-garde / Experimental • Culture and Society • Documentary
7 Plus Seven https://www.flickchart.com/movie/368C4C68B5 1970 , 52 min.
Fast, Cheap & Out of Control https://www.flickchart.com/movie/16114EB752 1997 , 80 min.
Errol Morris • Starring: Ray Mendez , Rodney Brooks , George Mendonca
Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory https://www.flickchart.com/movie/27E6AEA419 2011 , 121 min.
Joe Berlinger, Bruce Sinofsky • Starring: Damien Wayne Echols , Jason Baldwin , Jessie Miskelly
Jesus Camp https://www.flickchart.com/movie/5A05D80627 2006 , 87 min.
Heidi Ewing, Rachel Grady • Starring: Levi , Mike Papantonio , Pastor Becky Fischer
Documentary • Sociology
Catfish https://www.flickchart.com/movie/AC14F787F7 2010 , 94 min.
Henry Joost, Ariel Schulman • Starring: Megan Faccio , Nev Schulman , Rel Schulman
49 Up https://www.flickchart.com/movie/453671B0C3 2005 , 180 min.
42 Up https://www.flickchart.com/movie/8560746071 1999 , 139 min.
Marwencol https://www.flickchart.com/movie/5BCF430652 2010 , 84 min.
Trekkies https://www.flickchart.com/movie/D91CD3D2E1 1997 , 86 min.
Roger Nygard • Starring: Denise Crosby , Majel Barrett Roddenberry , DeForest Kelley
Marjoe https://www.flickchart.com/movie/0A4172E3C8 1972 , 88 min.
Sarah Kernochan, Howard Smith • Starring: Marjoe Gortner , Sarah Kernochan
Catching Hell https://www.flickchart.com/movie/441F554E6E 2011 , 102 min.
Alex Gibney • Starring: Bill Buckner , Bob Costas , Michael Wilbon
Culture and Society • Documentary • Sociology
To Be and to Have https://www.flickchart.com/movie/911A889238 2002 , 104 min.
Nicolas Philibert • Starring: Georges Lopez , Alizé , Axel
Devil's Playground https://www.flickchart.com/movie/481B3BA4BB 2002 , 77 min.
Lucy Walker • Starring: Velda Bontrager , Joann Hochstetler , Emma Miller
The Great Rock 'n' Roll Swindle https://www.flickchart.com/movie/681D35F13A 1980 , 103 min.
Julien Temple • Starring: Sid Vicious , Paul Cook , Malcolm McLaren
Biography • Documentary • Music
Waste Land https://www.flickchart.com/movie/07D3DAC17F 2010 , 90 min.
Lucy Walker, Karen Harley, João Jardim • Starring: Vik Muniz
Biography • Documentary • Sociology
Style Wars https://www.flickchart.com/movie/C89BC3D645 1984 , 69 min.
Henry Chalfant, Tony Silver • Starring: Cap , Daze , Dondi
Word Wars https://www.flickchart.com/movie/AC9301DC7E 2004 , 80 min.
Eric Chaikin, Julian Petrillo • Starring: Mike Birbiglia , Joe Edley , Stefan Fatsis
The Perfect Human https://www.flickchart.com/movie/EDD9C70484 1967 , 13 min.
Jørgen Leth • Starring: Claus Nissen , Majken Algren Nielsen , Jørgen Leth
Listen to Britain https://www.flickchart.com/movie/098FFF328C 1942 , 20 min.
Humphrey Jennings, Stewart McAllister
Culture and Society • Documentary • Military and War
Mad Hot Ballroom https://www.flickchart.com/movie/AC134471F6 2005 , 105 min.
Marilyn Agrelo • Starring: Wilson Castillo , Tara Gallagher , Sid Grant
Babies https://www.flickchart.com/movie/96F52EEFF1 2010 , 79 min.
Thomas Balmès • Starring: Bayar , Hattie , Mari
Freakonomics https://www.flickchart.com/movie/5FB7FF19ED 2010 , 85 min.
Heidi Ewing, Alex Gibney, Seth Gordon, Rachel Grady, Eugene Jarecki, Morgan Spurlock • Starring: Sammuel Soifer , Jade Viggiano , Kahiry Bess
Black Panthers https://www.flickchart.com/movie/573E2FF899 1968 , 31 min.
Agnès Varda • Starring: H. Rap Brown , Stokely Carmichael , Eldridge Cleaver
Culture and Society • Documentary • Female-Directed Film
American Teen https://www.flickchart.com/movie/150E52FD76 2008 , 95 min.
Nanette Burstein • Starring: Jake Tusing , Megan Krizmanich , Colin Clemens
Portrait of Jason https://www.flickchart.com/movie/95F397AF23 1967 , 105 min.
The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill https://www.flickchart.com/movie/C48C59DCC4 2003 , 83 min.
Judy Irving • Starring: Mark Bittner
Kumaré https://www.flickchart.com/movie/43C1A3ECCF 2011 , 84 min.
Vikram Gandhi • Starring: Purva Bedi , Kristen Calgaro , Vikram Gandhi
Heavy Metal Parking Lot https://www.flickchart.com/movie/5FC521A981 1986 , 16 min.
John Heyn, Jeff Krulik
Culture and Society • Documentary • Music
Resurrect Dead: The Mystery of the Toynbee Tiles https://www.flickchart.com/movie/FDD752D777 2011 , 85 min.
Jon Foy • Starring: Justin Duerr , Colin Smith , Steve Weinik
Documentary • History • Sociology
I Like Killing Flies https://www.flickchart.com/movie/FE4200C3BC 2006 , 80 min.
Matt Mahurin • Starring: Kenny Shopsin , Eve Shopsin
...A Valparaíso https://www.flickchart.com/movie/A9863B8410 1965 , 28 min.
Documentary • Foreign Language Film • Short Film
The Parking Lot Movie https://www.flickchart.com/movie/0F3E13DAA6 2010 , 74 min.
Hype! https://www.flickchart.com/movie/3F5C410A5C 1996 , 84 min.
Doug Pray • Starring: 7 Year Bitch , The Melvins , Mudhoney
The Nightmare https://www.flickchart.com/movie/03E80DCA65 2015 , 91 min.
On the Bowery https://www.flickchart.com/movie/5A704863EE 1957 , 65 min.
Lionel Rogosin • Starring: Ray Salyer , Gorman Hendricks , Frank Matthews
Culture and Society • Documentary • Slice of Life
My Date With Drew https://www.flickchart.com/movie/8E3540304C 2005 , 90 min.
Jon Gunn • Starring: John August , Eric Roberts , Brian Herzlinger
Biography • Comedy • Culture and Society
Salut les cubains https://www.flickchart.com/movie/E5EA5A2147 1963 , 30 min.
Agnès Varda • Starring: Michel Piccoli
The Social Dilemma https://www.flickchart.com/movie/604D7C772E 2020 , 94 min.
Jeff Orlowski • Starring: Vincent Kartheiser , Skyler Gisondo , Kara Hayward
Culture and Society • Documentary • Social Issues
Calcutta https://www.flickchart.com/movie/D469D91CBC 1969 , 105 min.
Louis Malle • Starring: Louis Malle
Culture and Society • Documentary • Foreign Language Film
A League of Ordinary Gentlemen https://www.flickchart.com/movie/13FD61B1F3 2005 , 93 min.
Christopher Browne • Starring: Walter Ray Williams , Pete Weber , Wayne Webb
Superheroes https://www.flickchart.com/movie/B2A88A353A 2011 , 90 min.
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10 Movies with Sociological issues: Analyze Movies Sociologically
Movies have played a vital role in our lives ever since they were introduced as a form of artistic expression. They play a huge part in entertainment, representation, raising of awareness, and exploring aspects of society that were previously unventured. Sociological analysis of movies helps to discover and examine various aspects of movies that cater to societal issues and areas. Through this essay, I will be tracing the importance of examining sociologically and how to examine movies sociologically by exploring a series of ten movies that are important for sociology students to watch and their importance.
Film and sociology have a link that is similar to the relationship between “culture” and “structure” in society. Similarly, irregularities also between cinema and sociology, are analogous to those between culture and sociology . It is important to analyze films sociologically because the stories, characters, sets etc are all in one way or another a depiction of society and these depictions are important to the spectator’s relationship and this relationship contributes to everyday life. Movies have come to be major socializing agents, through which people idolize the characters or fictitious universes portrayed through films. Analyzing films sociologically helps us identify the various ways in which different movies contribute to various narratives about gender, religion, families, education, nationalism , etc. in our society. It also helps in understanding the extent to which its influence reaches for good and bad outcomes in society.
How to analyze movies sociologically?
An author or researcher might acquire insight into not only a particular director or writer’s concept, but also how modern society understands itself and its society by reviewing the film from a sociological standpoint. There are a few steps involved in successfully analyzing a movie sociologically. Firstly, Identify the various sociological themes and terminologies in a movie – This can be done by trying to pick out and examine the various institutions and social actors that play parts during the course of the movie. These can include the government, family, educational institutions, religion, marriage, kinship etc. Try to recognize the relationship the protagonist and the people associated with them have with the respective social institutions they come in contact with. Pick out different observations – By doing so one can pick out the key events and players in the movie that contributed to the kind of message it sought to portray. These observations can be in the form of behaviours, reactions to certain events, dialogues, negative/ positive ones etc. Ask yourself whether the movie seeks to reflect a connection with real-world problems– Try to establish a connection with the events of the real world and the ways in which the events in the movie contribute to the creation of viewpoints and perspectives about societies at large today. Also, seek to assess the ways in which it fits the social narrative of the time it represents and the time it came out. Establish a sociological argument – Using the various evidence and observations from the movie, one must now focus on one or more key elements to focus on to create a viable sociological argument. In order to further develop this argument, make sure to utilize direct quotes from the movie, or scenes, or plotlines, or dialogues etc. to make your point.
10 Movies for Sociology Students
- The Great Indian Kitchen (2021)
There are so many aspects in this film that come into play, namely the institutions of family, marriage, and kinship, the perpetuation of patriarchy and sexism, and the blatant disregard for anyone that is not a heterosexual male. It is quite the universal story of a newly married woman being driven straight into a lifetime of enforced and unacknowledged household labor, day in and day out, while her husband has the opportunity to go about his day as he wishes. Like a vast majority of Indian marriages, this was also an arranged marriage where the couple barely knew anything about each other. From the first day she steps into her husband’s house she is subjected to a life only meant to serve her husband, the same trend of life going on with her father and mother in-laws. Be it the constant disregard for any of her opinions, barring her from going to work in the name of family, being asked to ‘adjust’ to the uncomfortable conditions in the house, being shamed for her menstruation, asked to partake in sexual activities everyday regardless of her choice in the matter etc., all sum up to the unhealthy and discriminative trends that are very much prominent in patriarchal systems around the world, especially in regions like India. “In India, like in many other parts of the world, the burden of unpaid care work normally falls on women. According to an International Labour Organization report, in 2018 women in Indian cities spent 312 minutes a day on unpaid care work. Men did 29 minutes” (Pandey, 2021). Throughout this movie, we can see her utmost discomfort in the way of life she was made to live and the movie takes a positive turn into her fighting for her own liberation and using her voice to fend for herself. Exhausted and absolutely having reached a highly saturated point, she takes of from her sexist, discriminative marital home and divorces her husband. But in the very same ending there is a depiction of the remarriage of this ex-husband to a new woman who will now be subjected to the same torturous treatment. This movie goes to show in a very raw form the monotony and exhaustiveness of continues unpaid labor married women are expected of, them being shamed for the natural processes of menstruation, and no matter how educated, the responsibility of maintaining a household being solely theirs while the husband takes little to no responsibility. This is a very true reality of societies in India and this movie does a great job in planting thoughts against these regressive practices in the minds of the people who watch the film.
2. Super Deluxe (2019)
The movie starts off with the portrayal of adultery committed by a woman with her ex-boyfriend, in the absence of her husband at home. Everything goes topsy-turvy upon the ex-boyfriend’s sudden demise mid intercourse; from then on having the unhappy married couple struggle to dispose off the body discretely. Then we’re taken to Raasukutti, a young boy awaiting his estranged father’s return, after years of having abandoned him and his mother. The father does return after all, only now, as a woman. Throughout the movie, we see how Shilpa [prev. Manickam], struggles in the face of prejudice, and backlash from society upon her newfound courage to embrace her true identity. Along with that, the story of four friends on the quest of buying and watching a vulgarity, film is shown to us where, upon watching the movie, one of the boys realize that the actress in the movie is his own mother. In a fit of rage, he breaks his friends’ TV and ends up hurting himself accidentally later on. From there we see this story splitting into two. One, the injured boy’s mother’s struggle to get him treated at the soonest as his father relies wholly on the power of the divine; and two, the rest of the boys are on a mission to gather up enough money to buy a new TV before they get in trouble, upon which they find themselves drowning in more. Clearly, we can see the interplays of social concepts like Family, Marriage, Gender, Sexuality, Sexism and Religion. It is quite appalling to note how the boy resorted to calling his mother derogatory terms as the discovery of her in the vulgarity film came to be seen as a huge dishonour to him. Later on in the movie, the mother goes on to say that what she does is not a big crime, that it’s just a job like any other. She talks about how if there is a vast audience to view such films, there need to be actors to execute that, and how it is ironic that although it is considered normal to watch p@&n worldwide, the actors are shamed for it. The idea of ‘righteousness’ is constantly manipulated and redefined to fit one’s own needs and concepts of self and the other. Within this prejudiced behavior of society, it is the women that suffer the larger chunk of criticism. As if women aren’t objectified enough, society uses sex workers and what they do as a justification to objectify them even more and use that as a license to see them as less than ordinary people. Even in the case of Shilpa, the trans woman, it is clear how anyone who isn’t the typical heterosexual, and more importantly male, faces sexism in some form or the other. We can see its portrayal in the movie beyond the gender binary in Shilpa’s case as a trans woman. She is automatically seen as less of a parent upon her return as a woman, although her own child does not feel any sort of difference in seeing her as a mother now instead of a father. She is constantly perceived through the lens of perversion and treated no less than an object or something unnatural. The movie also highlights beautifully how our social constructions of gender, cultures, traditions etc, in their entirety, are just tools used to give our lives instruction and fill the innumerable gaps that we come across in our conquest of life. They are all mechanisms that humans utilize in the process s of meaning-making. They involve an alien in the film, who’s there to observe the world, and watch till when human beings will stop the whole act of playing pretend and finally be ready to see and accept the world in its rawest sense.
3. Malik (2021)
The movie Malik is composed of class conflicts, religious conflicts, resultant communal violence and unlawful political agendas by government systems. The movie depicts politicians as they use the system and people to develop projects that devastate communities and the environment while padding their pockets. While we wait to see how the police apprehend Sulaiman before he travels for Haj, the film focuses on the young Sulaiman, who begins his career as a smuggler and a daring risk-taker who also wants to help the Muslim and Christian populations in his backward coastal location. However, crime is a dangerous path, and while the community looks up to him, the bureaucracy is obligated to intervene in his illicit actions. And then when things go tough, we see how the system of government pits brother against brother with ruthlessness. These are the kinds of stories that need to be told. The movie does a fabulous job of highlighting the atrocities that marginalized communities have to go through due to the actions of those in power and how no authoritative figure can be fully trusted as the people are always prone to be subject to manipulation. It also shows us how communal and religious conflicts to are often sparked as a result of some inherent government propaganda. Politicians influencing people – owing to our system, a theme that may be addressed in various different ways such as minority communities experiencing a difficult time getting forward, and individuals set against each other. Malik highlights key concerns of our day in a captivating way.
4. Ennu Ninte Moidin (2015)
‘Ennu Ninte Moideen’ is based on a true story about love, hope, anguish, sorrow and loss in the lives of two people from conservative families – Moideen – a Muslim teenager, and Kanchanamala – a Hindu girl – set in 1960s Calicut. Despite the families’ long-standing secular beliefs in society, the families are shocked and outraged when they learn of their children’s love. Interfaith marriage was frowned upon at the time, and the mayhem began with the families severing all ties. Kanchana was forced to stop her studies and placed under “home arrest.” Moideen was banished from his house after refusing to marry a woman chosen by his family. His father cut him out of his will and refused him a portion of the family property under pressure from town elders, even attempting to kill him by violently barging into the house with a country gun, and shooting Moideen. Despite many major injuries, Moideen managed to make a miraculous escape. His father stabbed him twenty-two times for giving a critical remark in public on another occasion, but Moideen survived. His father violently barged into the house with a country gun and shot Moideen. Despite many major injuries, Moideen managed to make a miraculous escape. His father stabbed him twenty-two times for giving a critical remark in public on another occasion, but Moideen survived. They try to run away in their 40s, after Kanchanamala’s siblings had settled down upon marriage, but each and every time they failed owing to unexpected circumstances. For more than two decades, the pair, on the other hand, clung to weak strands of hope. Through the course of the whole movie, we can trace how the institutions of family, marriage, religion and kinship come into play in the two protagonists’ lives. The unreasonable restrictions and control that family and religion have over an individual’s life is concerning and remains to be a reality in the world constantly. There have been multiple cases of ‘honor killings’ in India in the name of inter-caste marriages clearly showing the negative influence oppressive family systems and religious beliefs have on people.
5. PK (2014)
Throughout the movie we see PK employ many trial-and-error approaches to understand society’s basic rules, conventions, and practices throughout the film. He navigates life without being criticized or ridiculed by using the social psychology concepts of compliance and informational influence (watching others around him to examine and assess behaviors that are deemed proper and improper). The movie also focuses on latent unconscious prejudices and biases that people have while evaluating others or events in general. More particularly, he targets unconscious prejudices in the film by addressing religion, which is a taboo subject in popular society. Although discussing religion in just about any media form can be challenging, the film’s multiplicity of religious portrayal is laudable and demonstrates the producers’ genuine desire to appeal to a broad audience without portraying any faith in a poor way. There are quite a few moments in the movie where PK is trying to learn about the human mind and their ways of life. The ways we label each other by means of our religion, cultures, and physical appearances; all that we learn through various firms of socialization and relationships we form in our lives. For example, in one scenario, PK mentions how people think someone wearing a turban is Sikh; but, if he removes the turban, people may mistake him for a Hindu. Likewise, in one society, wearing white represents death, but in another, brides wear white for weddings. PK repeatedly questions the social systems of spirituality, deity, religion and ritualistic behaviors throughout the film as he tries to understand and apply them to his issues.
6. Kaala (2018)
This superhit film was known to trace very important concepts of caste conflicts, caste-based violence, class struggles, land disputes, state-sponsored violence, etc. Whenever the hero meets, fights, and becomes a savior, colony dwellings are razed with bulldozers, as depicted in Kaala. However, the site is reduced to ‘housing’ in all of these renderings, with the land remaining a passive ground. Kaala stresses on the underlying importance of land and how it is fought. Kaala takes the viewers through various elements that portray land to be a living space: as a whole life form built through the labor of its Dalit-Bahujan (beyond individual identities, the majority of downtrodden castes and classes who are robbed of their title to land by the current caste and class hierarchy) residents. It then goes on to highlight the complexities of evictions—legal attempts at forcible eviction, the complexities of talks involving various actors and their internal conflicts and ambitions, and, most crucially, organized mass opposition. Furthermore, it promotes the Dalit-Bahujan concept of land as something more than just real estate worth, as opposed to framings that reduce it to a business transaction for “better housing.” Kaala is fascinating in the way it brings our attention to a lot of what’s going on around us, although unwittingly. It is deeply anchored in our times and in our reality, and there are not many films in the industry that can depict it to such a level. It discusses, things like, riots, protests, slum clearance, and police killings. Kaala’s villain also reflects a form of contentious politics that is all too familiar to us as well. The film examines the relationship between oppressed people and oppressors. Whilst evictions and relocation on the outskirts of cities are frequently justified on the basis of housing needs, one must be wary of reducing the intricacies of Dalit-Bhahujan lives entwined with the land to mere “needs,” which is nothing more than a reduction of the complexities of Dalit-Bhahujan lives intertwined with the land itself. The finale works so well because the downtrodden can only find true redemption via unity, education, and knowledge, not through the informed voice of a single leader. Although individuals can be are fallible, ideologies cannot.
Also Read: Dalit Capitalism
7. Sancharram – The Journey (2019)
Sancharram is a refreshing change of pace in Indian cinema, illustrating the story of two Malayalee women in high school, Kiran and Delilah, who fall in love. Delilah, the outgoing, popular, and mischievous girl, and Kiran, the quiet, contemplative, and aspiring writer, have been close friends since childhood and are deeply attracted to each other. The movie goes over important topics like the lack of freedom of female sexuality, homophobia, the influence of families in the lives of queer individuals etc. For the most part, the plot is around how the characters cope with their desires and how their families react to it. The film is set in Kerala, with its lush greenery, ponds and rivers as well as all of its romanticism. For the most part, the plot is around how the protagonists cope with their desires and how their families react to it. Through the role of another girl in their class who appears to have been “betrayed” by her boyfriend, Sancharram also examines topics relating to sexuality as a whole in our culture. While they are being shunned by their peers, it is this girl who displays a glimmer of support for Kiran. The subtle comedic critique of heterosexual standards portrayed in numerous ways, but personified in the decent Malayali boy – Rajan who is in love with Delilah – provides comic relief in the film. The parents of the two women learn about their relationship, partly via Rajan, and all hell breaks loose. There is quite often a question on how ‘queer’ representations in movies especially one from the early 2000s, filled with heterosexual representation only would look. Sancharram is a good example. It is a narrative about two women told in a way that will appeal to everyone who is involved in a romantic-relationships that do not precisely follow sexuality and gender norms.
8. The Hate You Give (2018)
On the surface, The Hate U Give appears to be one of the very few films to openly address the huge wave of police killings of African-Americans, evoking the fatalities of Philando Castile and Sandra Bland. The film covers effectively the existence of racial divisions in America, systemic racism experienced by back people of all ages, police brutality etc. The film depicts the numerous and complex ways in which institutional racism makes life in general difficult for many African-American families. It’s also a compelling portrayal of a young lady finding her own political agency at a point of time when several societal forces are conspiring to take it away from her. Furthermore, the characterization of Maverick, the devoted father of this young woman, serves as a crucial counterpoint to the overused cliche of the absent African-American father. Upon the violent killing of her African-American friend by a cop, she fears for her life and limits the use of her voice to speak up about these issues, but as the movie progresses she regains her voice to speak for herself and her community. Rather than vilifying individual cops, “The Hate U Give” focuses on the downfalls of the system as a whole. Teenagers frequently feel weak and useless, believing they lack the freedom and agency to make choices, but people like Starr empower them. The youth’s eyes light up with hope as they notice the improvement in her voice and confidence. Racism, bigotry and discrimination are all too common among teenagers and children and become lives they are conditioned to get used to. The youth will keep suffering from the hatred directed at them until the world breaks free from this spiral.
9. Moothon (2019)
Moothon covers areas of gender identity, queer relationships, the effect family as an institution has on an individual and the dangers faced by vulnerable sections of society. It narrates the tale of a Lakshadweep orphan named Mulla who sets out to find his long-lost brother Akbar. When he arrives in Mumbai, he discovers that his brother has become a Kamathipura gang lord. Akbar’s rage for retaliation for previous tragedies clashes with Mulla’s search for acceptance and love. The movie shows us how men, too, are victims of the patriarchal societal order that harms women, as this film demonstrates. Two guys suffer in silence, kill their ambitions, and wreck their lives due to societal pressure in a flashback sequence. Mulla leaves Lakshadweep in search dressed as a boy to conceal her true gender identification for obvious reasons that is expressed through her conflicts with her gender identity. Not only are young girls at risk, but so are vulnerable young boys. And it is via traumatic situations that she learns this. The male gender’s sense and the notion of security and security has been broken. The film also seeks to portray queer love between Akbar and a man named Ameer. The fervor and anxiety that Akbar experienced on his journey to Ameer’s house when he was alone is not just something that LGBTQIA+ persons alone have experienced or understood. It was a more commonly understood concern. Akbar and Ameer do not kiss on TV, but their on-screen affection is much more genuine and purer than a forced kiss. Moothon has struck up a conversation about queer representation in the public eye and mainstream media.
10. The Truman Show (1998)
Finally, The Truman Show was a masterpiece that was lauded by most of its viewers for its incredible ability to cover so many facets integrated into society such as religion and God, the entertainment industry, media, fake vs. true reality etc. The story revolves around Truman Burbank’s life. Truman was officially adopted by a big television network company at birth to be the unwitting star of a television series in which his entire existence was broadcasted to millions of people via a complex system of hidden cameras. With the exception of Truman, everyone in this imagined universe is an actor. Truman is the only “real” person in this fabricated, artificial universe; his mother, father, and wife are all paid extra actors. The television network had been on a never-ending effort to keep Truman unaware of his condition by manipulating his environment throughout his life. Truman’s eventual revelation of the true state of his reality and epic escape from the manufactured world are shown in the film. It is a satirical movie with a religious symbolism that is carefully crafted. Christof is a shadowy personality with a God complex who, just for sake of ratings, utilizes his omnipresence to command Truman – both physically and mentally. He tries to convince Truman that Seahaven is better than what is on the outside, but Truman had not seen enough to make his own conclusion. Truman spends the entire time searching for the truth about what lies over his world’s borders. All of this is, in the end, a reflection on society and how we view religion. In fact, the film is a scathing critique of Christianity. It claims that even if there is a real God, our existence is ultimately fictitious. Nothing can be random; nothing is our decision; everything is under the power of something we aren’t even aware of. Finally, ‘The Truman Show’ is a statement on the power that the media wields over people and society. This beautifully foretells the present political status of the world. The movie shines light into the evils of commercialism by depicting how Truman himself is a victim of commercialization and is merely a product to the ones who own him. The Truman Show isn’t just a parody of any fictitious civilization depicted in the tale. We are the focus of the film. About how God is in charge of our life and. How we don’t have any control over our actions. Because our lives are ultimately fictitious, we all desire a sense of reality. We all watch pointless entertainment in order to feel something meaningful, but it has no lasting effect on us. The movie does a fine job in describing how media, the government, religion etc., are able to exercise so much power over us and how most of our free will is ultimately or partly an illusion.
Pupils and society understand themselves in the same manner that we interpret films. After all, sociology has a fictitious quality in the public’s mind. Even when we’re at our worst, despite the fact that many of us are rigorously empirical, we are nonetheless seen as offering more fiction than reality. The fact is that a common culture of human society in itself influences both movies and sociology. While it would be unwise to exaggerate their parallels, denying them would be equally wrong. In sociology, there is art at its finest and worst, but it is vital that we recognize the differences (Demerath, N, 1981, p. 81). Since we are constantly being exposed to the world of cinema and its various genres, it has come to become a vital player in our socialization process and directly or indirectly influences various perspectives we create about our societies. They also help students of sociology especially, to have access to various interpretations of the world at large through the lens of depictions of worlds within each and every movie of social importance.
Demerath, N. (1981). Through a Double-Crossed Eye: Sociology and the Movies. Teaching Sociology, 9 (1), 69-82. doi:10.2307/1317013
Pandey, G. (2021, February 11). The Great Indian Kitchen: Serving an unsavoury tale of sexism in home . BBC News. https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-india-55919305.
Angela Roy is currently pursuing her majors in Sociology and minors in International Relations and History, as a part of her BA Liberal Arts Honors degree in SSLA, Pune. She has always been driven to play a part in changing and correcting the social evils that exist in society. With a driving passion for breaking down harmful societal norms and social injustices, she seeks to learn and understand the different social institutions that exist in society like family, marriage, religion and kinship, and how they influence the workings and functioning of various concepts like gender, sexuality and various types of socializations in an individual’s life. She envisions herself to play a vital role in building safe places for today’s marginalized communities and creating a world that is characterized by equity and inclusiveness, free of discrimination and exploitative behaviors.
Movies for Sociological Review
This is a list of possible entertainment movies for you to view and do a sociological Review. I am not necessarily saying these are "good" movies...just a sampling of possible ones. I placed them in categories, but many could be in more than one. To Review a movie you must use the Guidelines I provide. However, you are certainly NOT limited to these choices...this is only a sampling of many many movies which can be used. If you know of a good movie...or come across one...do it (no need to ask my approval)...and let me know so I can add it to the list. Thanks I suggest you utilize a movie review site on the Internet to find out something about the movies before doing a Review. Some are older, some brand new...ALL can be interpreted sociologically. Although there are any number of good sites available, I suggest All Movie Guide . It usually gives a decent synopsis of the movie...sometimes a review. There are also links to 'genre' and other essays which present other possible choices. I've provided links to a few of AMG's genres (at the bottom of the page) you can explore for other movies.
Great Films for Sociology Classes
UPDATE: In January 2012, we caught up with Jessie Daniels for her latest picks in the best of the best documentaries, and got replies from several other professors representing different courses. Please check out the new lists! https://thesocietypages.org/specials/documentaries/
Here are more items suggested by the commentors:
Josh Page , a professor of sociology (particularly law, crime, and deviance) at the University of Minnesota, sends in his Top Five list for teaching undergrad courses on the criminal justice system, noting “The ‘reality’ TV stuff about prison life is pretty much uniformly bad.” Top Five Prison Documentaries for Crime and Punishment Courses 1. Sweethearts of the Prison Rodeo (2009) http://sweetheartsoftheprisonrodeo.com/ 2. The Dhamma Brothers (2008) http://www.dhammabrothers.com/ 3. The Farm (1998) http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0139193/ 4. Writ Writer (2008) http://www.writwritermovie.com/ 5. Ghosts of Attica (2001) http://icarusfilms.com/new2001/gho.html Favorite Re-entry Documentary Omar and Pete (prison reentry) (2005) http://www.pbs.org/pov/omarandpete/
Another great friend of The Society Pages, Prof. Andrew Lindner of Concordia College, Moorhead, writes in with his own favorite documentaries with teaching. He said he’d have included “49 Up,” but since it had already been mentioned, these are his next Top Five, culled from the film series he puts on every semester at Concordia: But I do a film series every semester on campus, so here are a few not mentioned: 1. “ Manufactured Landscapes ” (2006), based on the work of photographer Edward Burtynsky, it has some unbelievable footage from Chinese factories. Great for teaching about globalization and capitalism. 2. “ Paradise Lost: The Child Murders at Robin Hood Hills ” (1996) – a classic documentary on the (now recently freed) West Memphis Three. A powerful and disturbing illustration of stigma and social control. 3. “ The War Room ” (1993) – an insider’s look into Bill Clinton’s path to victory in the 1992 primaries. I use this in my “Political Sociology” course to talk about rhetoric, political strategy, and political professionals. 4. “ Flow: For Love of Water ” (2008) – a terrifying documentary on our dwindling water supply and how it is owned and managed by corporations for profit. Great for discussions of capitalism, privatization, or environmental sociology. 5. “ Secret of the Wild Child ” (1994) – an outstanding PBS/Nova documentary on feral children, particularly the famous Genie case mentioned in almost every sociology text. Challenges many students assumptions about socialization.
Nathan Palmer shares: This is such a great idea and I’d like to thank TSP and Jessie Daniels for doing this. Resources like this and The Sociological Cinema make finding great videos for our classes so much easier. Thanks for taking the lead on this and for allowing the rest of us to share. My Top Five Documentaries. Race The Power of an Illusion Pvert 3: The House We Live In (2003) My favorite film to show how historic and institutional racial discrimination is affecting us to this day. It does a great job connecting whiteness to citizenship and explaining red lining/block busting. I use it in my 101s and race & ethnicity classes. The Color of Fear (1994) An oldie, but a goodie. The film is a recording of 9 men of different racial ethnic backgrounds talking candidly about race. My only critique of the film is there are no women included and multiple racial groups are left out as well. Food Inc. (2008) More than anything I want my students in my environmental sociology class to understand how social inequality and environmental degradation are connected. The portion of this film dedicated to the mistreatment of farmers, factory workers, and the animals/land they use is priceless. The Battle for Whiteclay (2008) This independent film documents how 4 liquor stores in Whiteclay, NE (a town of 14 people) sell 12,500 cans of beer a day. The off-sale liquor stores take advantage of their proximity to the Pine Ridge Reservation, who banned alcohol sales and possession on their lands. Despite there being no legal place for the 12,500 cans to be consumed (Whiteclay only has off-sale establishments) there have been nearly no arrests while the liquor dealers make millions of dollars annually. The video is an excellent example of government corruption, exploitation, and selective law enforcement. Inside Job (2010) The 2008 credit crisis is a perfect example of how changes at the institutional level have a cascading affect all the way down to the individual. It also gets at how social problems are socially constructed. This film more than any other explains the complex crisis in a way that is approachable.
From Sarah Lageson: One site I have relied on for seeking out sociologically relevant videos is Sociology at the Movies . I also think a neat project for students in food or labor-related courses is to view Edward R. Murrow’s Harvest of Shame , then view a selection of contemporary documentaries that highlight how little has changed since 1961. Some really great documentaries include: American Harvest , The Harvest/La Cosecha , and New Harvest, Old Shame .
Carolyn Liebler says: I often use movie clips in introduction to sociology when introducing a set of theories or concepts. Students use the movie clips to pull out examples of each theory/concept. They appreciate the chance to apply sociology to their regular lives. For example, I show a short clip from: 1) Little Miss Sunshine – for students to pick out examples of material culture, non-material culture, subculture, counterculture, face and face work, front stage, and back stage behavior. 2) Wedding Crashers – as a way to apply the following theories of deviance: rational choice, labeling theory, differential association theory, and obligatory action. 3) The beginning of Ghostbusters – to apply the three major tenets of ethical research methods 4) Fiddler on the Roof – to play “spot that social institution!” and talk about how social institutions are interrelated.
Dedicated friend-to-TSP Joe Soss sends in this list of his Top 5: 1. At the River I Stand 2. Merchants of Cool 3. Occupation: Dreamland 4. Stonewall Uprising 5. Inside Job
And one from a student, Thom Friend: College student here, taking courses on media & gender. Some of my favorite documentaries we have viewed in the classroom: – Generation M: Misogyny in Media & Culture – The Mickey Mouse Monopoly – Iron Jawed Angels (Dramatization of the Women’s Suffrage Movement) – Tough Guise: Men and Masculinity in Media – Further Off the Straight & Narrow – Makers (PBS) Then some of my personal recommendations: – Zeitgeist: Moving Forward – Power and Terror: Noam Chomsky – Forks Over Knives
What makes students happier than watching movies during class time? — A new blog post provides some beneficial guidance in selecting films for specific sociological topics.
A recent update to the blog titled ‘ Thinking at the Interface ‘ provides a thorough and exemplary list of films to use in sociology classes. The list is organized around common themes of introductory sociology courses including the sociological imagination, research methods, race, ethnicity, and gender, just to name a few!
Link to the list…
Jessie daniels — april 16, 2008.
Hey, thanks for the link ! ;-)
And, if I may expand on your lede, t's not just that students 'love watching movies during class time' (and they do), it's that students who have grown up with visual media as part of their environment and they need skills to be able to 'read' those visual texts just like they need skills to be able to read scholarly literature. For example in a response to a mid-semester survey from this semester, students in one of my classes wrote this: "I believe the visual texts (films) are great because we are a visual generation and we grew up on television, computers, etc. " And, another wrote: "They (films) are really helpful in terms of visualizing or understanding the text that we were supposed to read for this week."
~ Jessie Daniels, PhD CUNY-Hunter College
Jessie Daniels — June 14, 2009
Hi - Just trying to get the word out, the blog where the list of films resided is no more, and now I've stashed the list of films here:
This is a wiki - so if you have films you want to add, please create a login and add them!
amelia — June 15, 2009
Thanks so much for the update, Jessie!
Deviance movies | Marcellofounda — January 18, 2012
[...] Great Films for Sociology Classes » Citings and SightingsApr 15, 2008 … What makes students happier than watching movies during class time? — A new blog post provides some beneficial guidance in selecting films … [...]
Friday Roundup: May 10, 2013 » The Editors' Desk — May 10, 2013
[...] There is, and I believe we all know it as: show a danged movie. And here at TSP, we like to provide inspiration. At the bottom of today’s roundup, there’s a list of 56 documentaries and other films that have been recommended to us as excellent fodder for crim, soc, social movements, gender, media studies, and every other class you might be teaching or taking. To learn more, visit this interview with Jessie Daniels and its extensive comments with suggestions from other profs and students (many with links) or this older post with some more good choices. [...]
Danielle Docka-Filipek — April 21, 2014
Thank you for compiling these very useful lists! I thought I'd add my own, as I'm teaching with heavy use of film this semester in two of my courses. For sociology of gender: 1. Tomboy, 2. Straightlaced, 3. The Purity Myth, 4. Killing Us Softly 4, and 5. Tough Guise 2. For social problems: 1. We're Not Broke, 2. How to Survive a Plague, 3. Bad Blood, 4. The Water Front, and 5. Pink Ribbons, Inc. Using the films to pull examples from to illustrate lecture concepts has worked very well, and seems to provide students with excellent fodder for essay questions on exams. Having the opportunity to share is much appreciated.
Matt Gunther — October 28, 2014
Pam Haley — August 3, 2018
How about "Loving", a film depicting racial discord (anti-miscegenation law) in USA circa 50's & 60's? I also like to show "Crips & Bloods: Made in America" that shows how gang formation is related to discrimination, segregation, and poverty.
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Hi I watch The Dhamma Brothersin recent days it was really nice movie and thank you for your suggestion
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