WORTHWHILE MOVIES ~
We have found great personal awakening in movies in recent years. We are mostly into documentaries. So many of them have opened our eyes to very different ways of looking at the human condition and how we humans are affecting humanity by our individual and collective choices.
We’ve also enjoyed getting to know some filmmakers personally and seen how this mode of communication can have such a powerful effect on people. Some suggest documentaries are satisfying the “middle space” between disillusioned individuals who feel the World is “going down the tubes and there’s nothing we can do about it” - and the valueless mainstream “news” media that has no motivation for educating the public in matters that matter, so we can make more conscious choices.
Below is our recommended movie list – both documentaries and “Hollywood” movies with a message. While we do not “agree with” everything in all these, we find them thought-provoking, and with discernment, an opportunity to see the world differently than we have in the past.
We will keep adding to the list. Watch. Be inspired. Learn. ACT. Let us know your thoughts.
DOCUMENTARIES ~ (see "Hollywoods" with a message BELOW)
THE MOVIES IN YELLOW SHOULD, IN OUR HUMBLE OPINION, BE MANDATORY VIEWING FOR EVERYONE IN THE UNITED STATES.
The Most Dangerous Man in America (2009): WATCH THIS MOVIE IMMEDIATELY! THEN SHOW IT TO EVERYONE YOU KNOW UNDER THE AGE OF 25. Perhaps they will do what all political leaders since the 1970’s have NOT done…learned from our Nation’s past mistakes (aka Vietnam)!
Who We Are: A Chronicle of Racism in America - 2022 documentary: MUST SEE. A documentary feature film that confronts the American history of slavery and anti-Black racism. See trailer at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IGsGRSgZbXY
All In: The Fight for Democracy - 2020 documentary: MUST SEE. A documentary about voter suppression. Threaded throughout is the story of the Stacey Abrams Georgia gubernatorial race . See trailer at: https://youtu.be/t6jVGswLPd8
The 1619 Project - 2023 Hulu docu-series: MUST SEE. Introduces viewers to an eye-opening perspective on American history, one that pushed them to examine how the contradictions of our founding led to persistent inequalities in contemporary society, through "new eyes" of American history (democracy, capitalism, fear, justice, race). The Project has severe opponents that it is a re-write of the "born in 1776" version of our history. Watch. Reflect. Do your own research. Learn from our collective journey.
The Soul of America - 2020 documentary: MUST SEE. Based on Jon Meacham’s 2018 bestseller of the same name, The Soul of America follows the writer, journalist, Pulitzer Prize-winning historian and presidential biographer as he offers his timely and invaluable insights into the country’s current political and historical moment by examining its past.
Knock Down The House - 2019 documentary: MUST SEE. A young bartender in the Bronx, a coal miner's daughter in West Virginia, a grieving mother in Nevada, and a registered nurse in Missouri build a movement of insurgent candidates to challenge powerful incumbents in Congress. See trailer at: https://youtu.be/_wGZc8ZjFY4
The Race to Save the World - 2021 PBS documentary: MUST SEE. A film about people, ages 15 to 72, who see the danger coming and are putting their lives on the line to try to turn this around. Through their great personal risk, people are acting everyday to save our planet from toxic fossil fuel interests. See trailer at: https://youtu.be/g_L6yFAfBLE
Colin in Black and White - 2021Netflix docu-series: MUST SEE. Colin Kaepernick narrates this drama series recounting his formative years navigating race, class and culture while aspiring for greatness. Stunning presentation. Created by Colin Kaepernick and Ava DuVernaySee trailer at: https://youtu.be/ej42P9FTwZg
Tulsa: The Fire and the Forgotten - 2021 PBS documentary: MUST SEE. Tulsa Race Massacre, on the one hundredth anniversary of the crime, and how the community of Tulsa is coming to terms with its past, present, and future. See trailer at: https://youtu.be/D9GopsJlVlQ
Fantastic Fungi - 2019 documentary: MUST SEE. A consciousness-shifting film about the mycelium network that takes us on an immersive journey through time and scale into the magical earth beneath our feet, an underground network that can heal and save our planet. Available on Amazon Prime. See trailer at: https://youtu.be/bxABOiay6oA?list=TLGGXbZNufkQYuAzMDEyMjAyMQ
I Am NOT a Racist...Am I? - 2014 documentary: MUST SEE. About how this next generation is going to confront racism. 12 teenagers from New York City came together for one school year to talk about race and privilege in a series of workshops and in conversations with friends and family members.. Learn more and watch the trailer: http://www.notracistmovie.com/
Who Killed Malcolm X? - 2020Netflix docu-series: MUST SEE. Decades after the assassination of African American leader Malcolm X, an activist embarks on a complex mission seeking truth in the name of justice.See trailer at: https://youtu.be/bqqOQBalq5k
Summer of Soul - 2021documentary: MUST SEE . Did you know there was a "Black Woodstock? in the summer of '69" Did you know Stevie Wonder played DRUMS in concert when he was 19? Over the course of six weeks during the summer of 1969, thousands of people attend the Harlem Cultural Festival to celebrate Black history, culture, music, and fashion. See trailer at: https://youtu.be/U1Eg-vtSABE
When They See Us - 2019 Netflix docu-series: MUST SEE. Five teens from Harlem become trapped in a nightmare when they're falsely accused of a brutal attack in Central Park. Based on the true story. Created by Ava DuVernay. (The public prosecutor in the case objected to this film. Do your own research for the truth.) See trailer at: https://youtu.be/KyIrJeK2DKY
They Brainwashed My Dad - 2015 documentary: MUST SEE. A filmmaker explores the radical change of her once Democratic father to an angry right-wing fanatic after his immersion in talk radio and Fox News. She discovers this to be a powerful phenomenon that has divided families across the nation and has been the execution of a multi-decade PLANNED "dumbing" of American citizens.
The Great Hack - 2019 documentary: MUST SEE. Scorching investigative exposure of the Facebook–Cambridge Analytica data scandal and the study and influence of mass behavior - specifically in the 2016 US Presidential election and the Brexit campaign. Available on NetFix. See trailer at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iX8GxLP1FHo
In & Of Itself - 2020 documentary: MUST SEE. Storyteller and Conceptual Magician Derek DelGaudio attempts to understand the illusory nature of identity and answer the deceptively simple question 'Who am I?' BTW, have you EVER seen a 100% Rotten Apples rating? Available on Hulu. See trailer at: https://youtu.be/_62BeXxd_jo
The Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power - 2017 documentary with Al Gore: In the ten-years since An Inconvenient Truth, mankind has done much to further damage our one, common home. ...and, the impacts are here TODAY. not sometime in the future. In this time, many amazing advancements of success to bring us back from the abyss have also been put in motion. Former Vice President Al Gore takes us around the world and behind the scenes of our current situation, the hope that is real and the need that is urgent. It is time to get inconvenient and act as if your planet depended on you...because it does! A MUST-SEE for EVERY U.S. citizen. (BTW, $10 for the first one to spot us in the movie!)
Wounded Knee - 2009 PBS documentary: In February 1973, Native American protesters occupied Wounded Knee, South Dakota, site of the last Indian Wars massacre. A powerful exposure of the treatment of Native American's in "modern" America. Watch full PBS show at:
Merchants of Doubt - 2014 documentary : Begins by exploring the use of public relations and "grass-roots" front organizations by the tobacco industry to cast doubt and confusion onto the U.S. population questions of tobacco safety. The focus is how these same tactics have been at play to create "debate" rather than science-led conclusions and actions on many human health issues and, most significantly, on the subject of climate change / chaos. A stunning expose.
Where to Invade Next? (2015 documentary) : Michael Moore travels the word in search on solutions to issues that plague the United States...intending to "steal" the good ideas and bring them "home" - where they are desperately needed. Issues of work, education, health care, sex, equality...all have been dealt with very differently outside the US. And, spoiler alert: you will not believe where most of the good ideas originated!
13th (2016 documentary) : Director Ava DuVernay's examination of the U.S. prison system looks at how the country's history of racial inequality drives the high rate of incarceration in America.
The Corporation (2004): This is the class on a social studies, civics, business management that you did NOT get in high school or college. We thought corporations being declared “citizens” was something new. But it was made the law of the land just after the Civil War. Did you know major corporations solicited a retired US General in 1934 to start his own army to take over the Presidency from Franklin Roosevelt, which would have created a Fascist America? Don’t remember learning that in school!
Surviving Progress (2011): This wonderful film carries the understanding that current models and strategies of economic growth are not practical nor sustainable. This creates significant “food-for-thought” for the viewer – provoking an urgency for us to work collaboratively on solutions that work.
Money & Life (2013): This movie will put the basics of what is going on in our financial system in clear terms and offers a compelling opportunity for all to be involved in the future of "money" that will serve that which is important in "life." Beautifully told with a gentle invitation to action.
Buffy Sainte-Marie: Carry It On (2022): PBS documentary of the story of the Oscar-winning Indigenous artist from her rise to prominence in New York’s Greenwich Village folk music scene through her six-decade groundbreaking career as a singer-songwriter, social activist, educator and artist. https://www.pbs.org/wnet/americanmasters/buffy-sainte-marie-documentary/23327/?fbclid=IwAR06daxWmT3tp3ClWKmgEIxrYUm63SXKpGX2-j2gmxJzyioHqy_JmbjDMOg
Ali (2021): Four-part Ken Burns documentary film series about Muhammad Ali.
Night in Miami (2020): Fictionalized account of a February 1964 meeting of Malcolm X, Muhammad Ali, Jim Brown, and Sam Cooke in a room at the Hampton House, celebrating Ali's surprise title win over Sonny Liston.
American Visionary: The Story of Barbara Marx Hubbard (2018): You can learn more about the life of Barbara Marx Hubbard and her envisioning of the Birth 2012 movement in this documentary film by Karen Everett, here: https://vimeo.com/421133635
Mrs. America (2019): An FX-produced historical drama 9-part television miniseries loosely based on and dramatizes the story of the movement to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment, and the unexpected backlash led by conservative activist Phyllis Schlafly. Through the eyes of the women of that era – both Schlafly and prominent second-wave feminists including Gloria Steinem, Betty Friedan, Shirley Chisholm, Bella Abzug and Jill Ruckelshaus – the series explores how one of the toughest battlegrounds in the culture wars of the 1970s helped give rise to the Moral Majority and permanently shifted the American political landscape.
the Biggest Little Farm (2019): A testament to the immense complexity of nature, The Biggest Little Farm follows two dreamers and a dog on an odyssey to bring harmony to both their lives and the land. THIS shows the "circle of life" and the imperative nature of soil.
Crip Camp: A Disability Revolution (2020): A NetFlix doc which will inspire, empower and, likely (if are like us) educate you on the "disabled" Americans civil rights movement, its humble beginnings and massive and long-fought successes.
The Little Soul and the Sun (2008): This $19.95 DVD of a children fable taught us more about life than many of the multi-thousand dollar seminars and workshops we’ve attended in recent years! The animated story and the “insight” piece by creator Neale Donald Walsch is a powerful lesson for us all: “there are no victims!” Watch this movie!
Big Charity - The Death of America's Oldest Hospital (2014 documentary): The story of New Orleans' Charity Hospital. Why important? A deep history of serving the urban poor of central New Orleans for nearly 300 years. ...and ,a deeper story of ONE of the many examples of what Naomi Klein refers to in her latest book as, the chaos capitalists, using the opportunity of a "public shock" -in this case Hurricane Katrina - to bring in "private sector solutions" despite their impact on the most oppressed of our citizens. It is also a story of great heroism by everyday health care professionals in amazingly hectic circumstances.
The Impossible Flight (2015): This ambitious quest with two intrepid pilots and a team of brilliant engineers, meteorologists, and flight controllers as they design, construct, and fly around the world, the first zero-fuel, solar-powered airplane. In March 2015, the launch of the Solar Impulse II was the culmination of a 13-year bold endeavor to push the boundaries of human flight and demonstrate the potential for renewable energy.
The End of Suburbia: Oil Depletion and The Collapse of the American Dream (2004): WOW! What an eye-opener. This one will make you think. How did we get to "peak oil" and what might be the future, as we continue to ignore the reality of our Western culture dependence on oil and our addition to our "American Dream" in the suburbs? Another "talk-amongst-yourselves" movie.
Happy (2012): This is a GREAT movie. Exploring what it is that really makes people happy.
Zeitgeist – The Movie (2007), Zeitgeist – Addendum (2008) and Zeitgeist – Moving Forward (2011): An internet movie series and movement that expanded our awareness of much of what goes on in the world – and why. The series is controversial and contains some conspiracy ideas, however, it shines light on critical issues of our times and opens awareness to questioning what we are “told” to believe. Highly recommended.
Finding Joe (2011): We had not even heard of Joseph Campbell a couple months ago…now this great spirit of our time is everywhere we look! This very contemporary and well-done documentary impacted us greatly… seeing the “Hero’s Journey” in our lives.
Thrive: What On Earth Will It Take? (2011): Foster Gamble has staked his life of the conviction that the world was meant to “thrive” and WE are the answer to a great future. But first, we need to know how/why things are working (or, actually, NOT working) today. This movie has spawned a movement which is looking at solutions for everything from world economics to the unveiling of free energy.
Genetic Roulette (2012): This was a pivotal movie in us making different food choices. We had already made some shifts in our food, but this really woke us up to how we have been careless with our health. Please don’t assume the food industry OR the government are assuring our food supply is safe!
The Shift (2009): This is a very well-done movie with a number of storylines portraying the opportunities available as we “shift” our way of thinking and expressing in the world. Wayne Dyer beautifully threads them all together.
Discover The Gift (2011): Hollywood Director Demian Lichtenstein shares his journey of discovering his gift and invites you to do the same. This is a beautifully-crafted movie. We have been blessed to meet Demian and to really get to know his sister Shajen Joy Aziz, a key character in his discovery.
Dirt (2009): This is a wonderful education about the most basic and taken-for-granted thing on the Earth. We had no idea that dirt was so key to everything in the “circle-of-life” – and how the delicate balance of this “circle” has been so disrupted.
Food, Inc. (2008): Yikes! What a lesson in corporate farming and what and how (abusing the environment, animals and employees) the agribusiness is producing “food.” This is a vital film in understanding our US food supply ills.
King Corn (2007): "You are what you eat." And it's a genetically-engineered, government-subsidized substance which looks like what used to be corn. This is an invitation to look at what we are eating and how we farm in the USA.
Vegucated (2011): If you are considering being a "vegetarian" - take a look. We moved closer to vegetarian after this great movie.
Forks Over Knives (2011): Makes a very convincing argument for a diet of "planet-based, whole food" diet with collaborating evidence by two doctors from a clinical and research-supported work. Further personal research suggests there are holes in the film's conclusions, however, it is thought-provoking.
Humanity Ascending: Our Story (2006?): A beautifully produced film of Barbara Marx Hubbard’s telling of “OUR story equal to the significance of Jesus’ story.” We screened the film in cities across the Nation over 90 times in 2012 as a element of out Conscious Evolution Tour. Love it!
Humanity Ascending: Visions of a Universal Humanity (2010?): The movie that introduced us to Barbara Marx Hubbard. What IF we are in the dawning of a new humanity? What might it look like? What are the questions that lead us there? Answers here. Love it!
The Man That Saved The World (Aired on PBS in 2102): Wow! If you want evidence that we are still here on This Blue Marble for a reason, watch this film. September 26, 1983, one man saved the world from nuclear destruction . Thank you, Stanislav Petrov. Watch it free online at www.pbs.org
Windfall (2010): This cinematically gorgeous film gave us a whole new understanding and view of this so-called “green energy” panacea. Better than fossil fuels, for sure, but we must implement with thoughtful action. Watch, learn and “discuss among yourselves.”
Vectors of Autism: A Documentary About Laura Nagle (2012): Autism experienced and explained by a 57-year-old woman living her beautiful life in a world of neurodiversity. We learned A LOT about autism and how the world views those with the range of autistic syndrome.
Blood Brother (2013): An American twenty-something finds meaning in his life in a HIV-hostel in India. This film touched us deeply.
Vultures of Tibet (2012): A examination of Tibetan “sky burials” and the voyeurism of Chinese tourists. What a world culture lesson!
Fuel (2010): A regular guy spent 11 years making this movie – a great awake-up call for addiction to oil. I didn’t know I can run my Ford pickup on biodiesel and with some readily-available add-ons, on McDonald’s leftover French fry oil. BTW, did Rudolf Diesel REALLY “fall over” the rail of that ship in 1913?
An Inconvenient Truth (2006): Everyone has an opinion of this attempt by Al Gore to reveal the situation of climate change. Some that have opinions have actually seen it! Eight years later. Are we listening yet?
Who Killed the Electric Car? (2006): Hmm! What if? Just, what if?
Tapping the Source (2010): A wonderful of finding your Source of Truth and acting on it. Interviews with many of today’s greatest thought-leaders.
Spiritual Liberation (2009): This is not only a day-in-the-life movie of Michael Bernard Beckwith (Spiritual Director of the AGAPE International Spiritual Center), who we have come to know, respect and love; it has been an inquiry to our souls as to how to live our lives.
For the Next Seven Generations (2009): If we would just listen to our grandmothers! This is the conversations when the wise women of the International Council of Thirteen Indigenous Grandmothers speak.
“HOLLYWOODS” WITH A MESSAGE ~
Don't Look Up! - 2021 social issue drama-comedy about two low-level astronomers going on a giant media tour to warn mankind of an approaching comet that will destroy planet Earth. Not-so-veiled view of our arrogance, ignorance and denial of real climate catastrophe.
Just Mercy - 2019 bio-pic legal drama tells the true story of Walter McMillian, who, with the help of young defense attorney Bryan Stevenson, appeals his murder conviction. A story of amazing compassion, service to humanity and exposure of injustice. Learn about the Equal Justice Initiative and the movie at: https://justmercy.eji.org/
What the Bleep Do We Know? (2009): Do you look at the World through scientific eyes or spiritual eyes? If your answer is “yes” to either, this movie connects those worldviews.
Kung Fu Panda (2008) & Kung Fu Panda 2 (2011): If you need to know what is important in this life and your spiritual teacher is on vacation; watch these movies.
Defending Your Life (1991): Could this be what it is really like on what some call “Judgment Day” – an opportunity to explain why you made the choices you made while in your “Earth-suit.”
Groundhog Day (2008): Is this a love story with Bill Murray and Andie MacDowell? …or is it a lesson about our return to Earth in a different skin-suit as many times as it takes to learn our lesson – LOVE.
Conversations with God (2006): A bio-pic of the turning point in Neale Donald Walsch’s life…and the genesis of his award-winning book series of the same name.
I Heart Huckbee (2004): British bio-pic film documents the life and work of Marie Curie - including both the benefits and devastation to humanity of her and her husband's discoveries.
RadioActive (2019): "Weird." A self-described "existential comedy." A husband-and-wife team play detective, helping others solve their existential issues, the kind that keep you up at night, wondering what it all means. Including the meaning of life and our collective Oneness.
The Circle - 2016 fiction thriller starring Tom Hanks: challenges the questions of personal privacy vs. connection in a current day hyper-cyber world. It also invites the question that futurist Barbara Marx Hubbard has been pursuing her entire life - "how will the technology man has created be used for good?" Hold onto your hats.
Astral City: A Spiritual Journey (2011): This is a powerful story of the after-life journey to reconciliation and peace.
Amazing Grace (2006): Ever wonder where the meaning behind the song we all sing at funerals came from. This bio-based pic is a beautifully done representation of the songwriter’s journey.
American Visionary: Barbara Marx Hubbard by Karen Everett ~ Coming in 2017 !