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Watch and Learn: Social Justice in Films



Films, books, music and any other medium hoping to convey a particular message oftentimes finds inspiration in the very real issues spotting human experience. The results serve to educate viewers and hopefully pique effective action once the screen’s glow diminishes. I personally would even credit some documentary films for providing me with an education on many issues that I was ignorant to previously.

Social issue documentaries tend to have an unfair reputation that they’re like spinach — overcooked and undersalted, no less — on your plate. But not this time. The following are some great documentaries that cover a wide range of social justice and global issues. I recommend that you watch them.

1. Half the Sky

half the sky

This film takes on the central moral challenge of the 21st century: the oppression of women and girls worldwide, and how we can begin to empower women living in poverty.

2. Children Underground

children underground

This documentary is a brutal look into what happens when orphans in Eastern Europe age out of the system or run away from institutions. It provides a startling context to the orphan crisis and the fate of children who do not get adopted.


3. Homeless: The Motel Kids of Orange County


This film turns the lens on the Orange County we rarely see: struggling families who cannot afford rent so they are stuck in a cycle of living in residential motels.

4. Waiting for “Superman”

waiting for superman

This movie exposes the inherent problems in the public educational system, and the heartbreak for families who don’t win the lottery in their chance to attend a good school.


5. Born into Brothels

born into brothels


This documentary explores the life of children who are born to women in the sex industry in India, and the difference that one photographer makes in their lives.


6. It’s Better to Jump


This film is about the ancient walled city of Akka as it undergoes harsh economic pressures and vast social change. The film focuses on the aspirations and concerns of the Palestinian inhabitants who call the Old City home.

How about you? What are some of your favorite documentaries?

Share your suggestions in the comments below or mention us in your tweets on @C2C_Me and use the hashtag #C2CWomen.


Courtesy of our collaborators Challange 2 Change C2C_Logo

 Challenge to Change, is an initiative aimed at raising awareness about mental health for women from the Middle East. It is a  platform for dialogue and support, enabling women to share their experiences, strengths and hope while being supported by mental health professionals. Through raising awareness and taking on the stigma, Challenge to Change has created safe communication channels and support groups with the objective of providing effective and lasting solutions.

Challenge to Change is THE voice for mental wellness for women from the Middle East.”


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