Elly Zulaikha
July 2, 2020
2 Minutes

The Black Lives Matter is not a new movement and the unlawful deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery happened as a result of 400 years of oppression and systemic racism against black people in America. 


We're here with a list of great movies and documentaries for those who are looking to educate themselves.


1. Get Out (2017)

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Director: Jordan Peele

Cast: Daniel Kaluuya, Allison Williams, Bradley Whitford


This psychological thriller is a must (and a crowd favorite) to watch as a young African-American man (Daniel Kaluuya) visits his white girlfriend’s parents for the weekend. But the horror slowly revealed itself as the protagonist’s uneasiness about his visit eventually went awry. It’s a brilliant take on Peele’s imagination and scary truth about racism against black people that makes this movie a must-watch. 

2. The Green Mile (1999)

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Director: Frank Darabont

Cast: Tom Hanks, Michael Clark Duncan, Sam Rockwell

 

The story follows an African-American man named John (played by the late Michael Clark Duncan) of how he was wrongly accused of raping and killing two white girls, imprisoned, and eventually he was executed by electric chair. Tom Hanks also stars as a prison guard named Paul, who, after learning John’s innocence, helplessly watched the man’s death sentence. 

Adapted from a Stephen King’s novel, this is also a brilliant and heart-wrenching movie (yes, this article’s author cried for John’s death) that portrays the ever-present issue of racism in America. 

3. Do The Right Thing (1989)

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Director: Spike Lee

Cast: Danny Aiello, Ossie Davis, Ruby Dee


Spike Lee’s comedy-drama is probably the most accurate “prediction” that happened recently in America. A party in Bed-Stuy was crushed by the police, in which they later choke a black man and instantly kill him on the spot. We shivered and sympathize a great deal when we watch this movie, as Lee dedicated the movie to six victims of police brutality and racial violence


4. Just Mercy (2019)

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Director: Destin Daniel Cretton

Cast: Michael B. Jordan, Jamie Foxx, Brie Larson


This 2019 film starring Michael B. Jordan and Jamie Foxx tells the real-life story of lawyer Bryan Stevenson (Jordan), who appealed for the 1988 murder conviction of Walter McMillian (Fox), who is an innocent black man.

5. Selma (2014)

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Director: Ava DuVernay

Cast: David Oyelowo, Carmen Ejogo, Oprah Winfrey


Ava DuVernay’s film depicts Dr. King’s march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama, which helped propel the Civil Rights Act of 1965 into law. The film received nominations for Best Picture in the Academy Awards, as well as receiving four trophies from the African-American Film Critics Association. 


6. Django Unchained (2012)

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Director: Quentin Tarantino

Cast: Jamie Foxx, Christoph Waltz, Leonardo DiCaprio



Tarantino, who directed this film, drew inspiration from several different films like Sergio Corbucci’s Django (1966) and Richard Fleischer’s Mandingo (1975) as an attempt to openly portray the terrible time in history and without reservations. He also didn’t feel like the US has been dealing and discussing its horrific past effectively, hence why this film was made. 

Django (Jamie Foxx) is a slave who was freed by a German bounty hunter, Dr. King Schultz (Christoph Waltz), in which the pair went on a hunt to kill, find Django’s love and face the evil slave owner played by Leonardo DiCaprio.

7. 12 Years A Slave (2013)

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Director: Steve McQueen

Cast: Chiwetel Ejiofor, Lupita Nyong’O, Michael Fassbender, Brad Pitt


A free black man, Solomon Northup (Chiwetel Ejiofor), is a violinist and lives in New York with his family. He later finds himself sold as a runaway slave and is shipped to New Orleans, after being drugged by two con-men. 


Fact: This film adaption from Solomon Northup’s memoir of the same name won many awards such as Best Motion Picture at the Golden Globes, as well as Best Actor during BAFTA for Chiwetel Ejiofor.


8. Malcolm X (1992)

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Director: Spike Lee

Cast: Denzel Washington, Angela Bassett, Delroy Lindo


Another of Spike Lee’s work that’s worth the watch, this bio-epic followed the life and career of influential Black Nationalist leader, Malcolm X, played by Denzel Washington. 

9. 13th (2016)

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This isn’t a movie, but we think this documentary is worth the watch. Ava DuVernay’s project was this documentary that tells of a clause in the 13th Amendment which allows involuntary servitude if it’s punishment for a crime. 

Fact: After slavery was abolished in America, the country has disproportionately (and continued, defiantly) imprisoned Black Americans, often for questionable “crimes” and with ridiculous and downright inhumane sentences.

10. I Am Not Your Negro (2016)

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Another documentary we think is worth the watch is “I Am Not Your Negro”, as filmmaker Raoul Peck continued the unfinished project by James Baldwin about Medgar Evers, Malcolm X, and Martin Luther King Jr., all of whom were close friends of Baldwin’s (and ultimately assassinated), as each story tells about the entrenched racism in America.