There is a wide variety of films listed here with subject matter appropriate to different disciplines, but all have themes that are relevant to lessons in tolerance. Please feel free to send us your recommendations.
All Power to the People! – a documentary which examines problems of race, poverty, dissent, and the universal conflict of the haves versus the have nots. Globally acclaimed as being the most accurate depiction of the goals, aspirations, and ultimate repression of the U.S. Civil Rights Movement.
Amistad -- a drama about a 1839 mutiny aboard a slave ship that is traveling towards the northeastern coast of America. Much of the story involves a court-room drama about the free man who led the revolt.
Anjali - an Indian drama about a family with a mentally disabled child who teaches them compassion and forgiveness.
Apartheid Did Not Die – a documentary about global corporations and their continuing control of the South African economy.
Around the World in 80 Faiths – an enlightening documentary that explores the 6 continents and their rich diversity of rituals, in denominations, sects, cults, tribal faiths and new religious movements, challenging the values and prejudices of the filmmaker.
As Seen Through These Eyes – a documentary about the artists that documented the Holocaust.
A Time for Justice - an Academy award-winning documentary that captures the spirit of the civil rights movement through historical footage and the voices of those who participated in the struggle.
Beyond Silence (Jenseits der Stille) – an award-winning German drama about a hearing teenager, her relationship with her deaf parents and her musical ambitions.
Blindsight – a prize-winning documentary about the journey of six blind Tibetan teenagers who climb Mount Everest with their hero, blind American mountaineer Erik Weihenmeyer, and their teacher, Sabriye Tenberken, who founded Braille Without Borders, the only school for the blind in Tibet.
Blood Diamond – winner of 5 Academy awards, this drama is about the civil War in Sierra Leone and its financing by “conflict diamonds.”
Born Into Brothels - a highly acclaimed documentary about the children of prostitutes in Calcutta and the foundation Kids With Cameras, which teaches them photography skills.
Bowling for Columbine - a documentary by political activist Michael Moore about America’s obsession with guns and violence.
Children Full of Life – an award-winning documentary about a 4th grade teacher in Japan who teaches his teamwork, community, compassion, how to cope, and the harm caused by bullying.
Children of Heaven – a bittersweet Iranian drama about an impoverished family and the 2 children who share a pair of tattered sneakers.
Children Underground – a difficult-to-watch documentary that follows five homeless children in post-communist Romania, providing deeply compassionate insight into the extremes of human existence.
Culture of Fear – a documentary detailing the epidemic of exaggerated and irrational fear in our society, ranging from child predators to immigrants and from flu pandemic to terrorism.
Daughter from Danang – a documentary about culture clash. The film is a heartbreaking drama of a mixed-race daughter of an American soldier and a Vietnamese woman who is relocated to the US and goes back to find her mother after 22 years.
Divorce: Iranian Style – an Iranian divorce court documentary that follows the cases of 3 women seeking divorce in a restricted society. This film challenges preconceptions about what life is like for women in Iran.
Every F*cking Day of My Life - a chilling portrait of domestic abuse, much of it drawn from video shot by the dead abuser, depicting Wendy Maldonado’s final days of freedom before going to jail for her husband’s murder.
Eyes and Ears of God – a documentary containing footage shot by civilians in Darfur in order to raise the awareness of the international community about the genocide that is spreading in Darfur after the division of Sudan.
Glory Road – a drama based on the true story of the racial tensions that accompanied the 1966 NCAA Men's Basketball Championship in which the Texas Western Miners were the first college basketball team to include 5 black players. Set in the midst of the Civil Rights Movement, the film deals with tolerance, respect, perseverance, hard-work, and overcoming fear.
God Grew Tired of Us – the story of the Lost Boys of Sudan, 4 boys who embark on a journey to America after years of wandering Sub-Saharan Africa in search of safety, intelligently uplifting and even funny in parts.
Hope for Colombia – a documentary following the 10 day Grace Pilgrimage through the Colombian capital Bogota in November 2010. It details the creation of a network of protection for the peace community in Colombia.
Hotel Rwanda - The true-life story of Paul Rusesabagina, a hotel manager who housed over a thousand Tutsi refugees during their struggle against the Hutu militia in Rwanda.
How Racist Are You? - a documentary investigating the taboo subject of racism. For 40 years, Jane Elliott has been running a controversial exercise that simulates a racist apartheid style Now she brings her extreme methods and message to Britain.
Hummingbird – Two women run successful programs to try to break the cycle of domestic violence and get kids off the streets in Recife, Brazil.
Kampuchea: From Pond to Fountains - a documentary about more than 10 NGOs in Cambodia all working to help children: the abolition of child labor, access to education and improvement of health care.
Kolya – a Czech drama about a Soviet era blacklisted musician who gets stuck having to care for a Russian child with whom he can’t communicate.
Korkoro (Liberté) – inspired by a true story, this is a drama about a Gypsy family in France during the Second World War, who are arrested, placed in an internment camp, and later rescued.
La Rafle (The Roundup) – a drama based on the true story of the fate of children in Nazi-occupied France during in 1942.
Lean On Me – a dramatized biographical film based on the story of Joe Louis Clark, an inner city high school principal in Paterson, New Jersey, whose school is at risk of being taken over by the New Jersey state government unless students improve their test scores.
Life in a Day – a 90-minute snapshot of a single day on planet Earth, compiled from over 80,000 YouTube submissions by contributors in 192 countries. This microcosmic view of our daily experiences as a global society gives the viewer greater insight into the lives of the people who inhabit the planet.
Life is Beautiful (La Vita e Bella) – a partly biographical Academy award winning film that tells the tragic-comic story of a Jewish Italian man who courts and marries a woman and later must use his imagination to help his family during their internment in a Nazi concentration camp.
Live and Become - the story of an Ethiopian boy who must juggle multiple identities when he is airlifted from a Sudanese refugee camp to Israel in 1984.
Mighty Times: The Children’s March – an Academy award-winning documentary that tells the story of how the young people of Birmingham, Alabama, challenged the status quo and took to the streets to end segregation.
My Name is Khan – a Bollywood drama about an Indian-Muslim immigrant family in the US and the prejudice they experience in post-9-ll America.
Nandhalala – an Indian (Tamil) drama illustrating the road journey of two people, a mentally challenged adult and an eight-year old schoolboy, both in search of their respective mothers.
Not in God's Name – religious leaders of Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism and Jainism examine the causes of religious strife and the road to peace. The film includes comments by the Dalai Lama.
Philadelphia – the first mainstream Hollywood movie to recognize AIDS and homophobia. It is the story of a gay lawyer with AIDS who is fired from his firm and the court battle that ensues.
Poor America – a 2012 documentary on homelessness in America, where a half million children are homeless and tent cities are springing up around the nation.
Promises - a powerful portrait of seven Palestinian and Israeli children who live in and around Jerusalem, no more than 20 minutes from each other but each growing up in very separate worlds. The film lets the children speak for themselves. The results are funny, sad, and ultimately quite profound.
Punishment: A Failed Social Experiment – a documentary that provides a detailed, critical analysis of the current legal and justice system generally in operation across the world while also providing potential solutions which work on preventing crime and creating a much more socially sustainable society.
Quiet Rage: The Stanford Prison Experiment – This documentary about a psychological experiment to test how human behavior changes based on assigned roles. Student volunteers were randomly assigned to play the role of prisoner or guard in a simulated prison, where guards because sadistic and prisoners showed signs of acute stress and depression.
Rabbit Proof Fence – an Australian drama based on a true story set in 1931, when three aboriginal girls escape after being plucked from their homes to be trained as domestic staff and set off on a nine-week, 1,500-mile trek back home.
Schindler's List – an award-winning film based on a true story from World War II in Poland. Factory owner Oskar Schindler gradually becomes concerned for his Jewish workforce after witnessing their persecution by the Nazis, so he risks his life to save them.
Separate But Equal – a television movie dramatizing the landmark Supreme Court desegregation case Brown v. Board of Education, based on the phrase "Separate but equal.”
Skin – an award-winning film and a powerful story of apartheid South Africa. A black child is born in the 1950s to rural white Afrikaner shopkeepers serving the local black community. At the age of ten, she is driven out of white society and struggles for thirty years to define her place in a changing society.
Slavery: A Global Investigation – winner of the Peabody Award in 2001, this documentary tells the story of how the global economy has spawned a sinister new market in slaves all over the world, including in the cities of Britain and the U.S. Personal stories of slaves are woven together to tell the larger story.
The Boy in the Striped Pajamas – a Holocaust drama, the film explores the horror of a World War II extermination camp through the eyes of two 8-year-old boys; one the son of the camp's Nazi commandant, the other a Jewish inmate.
The Children's March – a short documentary film about the Birmingham civil rights marches
The Codes of Gender – an application of sociologist Erving Goffman’s analysis of advertising to the contemporary commercial economy, showing how advertising dictates normative ideas about masculinity and femininity. This documentary looks beyond mere objectification and beauty, to provide a clear view of the two-tiered terrain of identity and power relations.
The End of Poverty - a feature-length documentary on global poverty and how it began with military conquest, slavery and colonization that resulted in the seizure of land, minerals and forced labor. It explores the unfair debt, trade and tax policies that allow wealthy countries to take advantage of poor, developing countries.
The Exile Nation Project – The US has only 5% of the world’s population, yet a full 25% of the world’s prisoners. This collection of testimonials from criminal offenders, family members, and experts on America’s criminal justice system puts a human face on the millions of Americans subjugated by the US Government’s 40 year, one trillion dollar social catastrophe: The War on Drugs.
The Freedom Writers – a Hollywood movie about a young teacher who inspires her class of at-risk students to learn tolerance, apply themselves, and pursue education beyond high school.
The LovingStory – a documentary about the dramatic story of Richard and Mildred Loving, an interracial couple living in Virginia in the 1950s, and their landmark Supreme Court Case, Loving v. Virginia, that changed history.
The Mean World Syndrome – a documentary that explores the phenomenon where the violence-related content of mass media convinces viewers that the world is more dangerous than it actually is, and prompts a desire for more protection than is warranted by any actual threat.
The Modern Racist Paradigm – a well-researched documentary addresses many modern-day subconscious forms of internalized racism, exposing the White Media’s long-term agenda to standardize Caucasian people as the social norm for general society by the propagation of repetitive images depicting Caucasians in positive roles and as protagonists while usually depicting Non-Caucasians as background characters and antagonists.
The Outsiders – a drama about two poor teenagers who are assaulted by a vicious gang. One of them kills one of the attackers, and tension begins to mount between the two rival gangs, setting off a turbulent chain of events.
The Point – an animated classic about conformity, love, acceptance, courage, and tolerance.
The Power of One - a dramatic film set in South Africa during the '30s and '40s, which centers on the life of a young English boy raised under apartheid era, and his relationship with a German pianist, a black prisoner, and a boxing coach. Directed and edited by John G. Avildsen, the film stars Stephen Dorff, John Gielgud, Morgan Freeman, Armin Mueller-Stahl, and Daniel Craig in one of his early roles.
The Right to Roam – a documentary about the marginalized, defiant Roma people, who have been the target of governments across Europe. They are victims of discrimination in their countries of origin - a minority with few opportunities. The Roma issue has now been forced on EU policy makers – they have to find a balance between the growing hostility and the rights of the Roma.
The Truth about Violence – a documentary that discovers the terrifying violence that lies within everyone. Studies of brain damage and the brain chemical serotonin reveal how the impaired brain can influence acts of violence.
The Untold Story of Emmett Louis Till – documentary about the tragedy of Emmett Till, who was brutally murdered in 1955 after he whistled at a white woman; includes newly uncovered testimony
Through Human Eyes – a documentary chronicling a clinical trip to Haiti in November 2009, giving insight into hopes for the future of this broken country.
To Kill a Mockingbird – an Academy award winning film based on Harper Lee’s autobiographical novel set a small Alabama town in the 1930s. The story focuses on a scrupulously honest lawyer who puts his career on the line when he agrees to represent a black man accused of rape.
Torture: America’s Brutal Prisons – a documentary showing a pervasive culture of dehumanization and brutality in American overcrowded and understaffed prisons where abuses like those documented in Abu Ghraib are commonplace.
Transmission 6-10 – a documentary by two practitioners of Falun Gong. Survivors of slave labor, brainwashing, torture and attempted organ harvesting combine with an investigative journalist, and eminent experts, to discuss the contentious subject of Genocide in modern-day China, which increasingly involves the West.
Under the Same Moon - a drama centered on a young boy's journey across the U.S./Mexico border to be reunited with his mother, who works as a maid in the U.S., hoping someday to send for her child.
Unrepentant - based on Kevin Annett’s book Hidden from History: The Canadian Holocaust, this is a documentary about Canada’s secretly planned genocide of aboriginal people in church-run Indian Residential Schools – and a clergyman’s efforts to document and make public these crimes.
Vincent Who? - an excellent documentary about the 1982 murder of Vincent Chin by two white autoworkers in Detroit and the subsequent rise of the Asian-American Movement
Walkabout – an Australian drama about the contrast between modern, urban civilization and life in the natural world. Two city children become stranded in the Australian outback, and struggle to find their way back to civilization with the help of a friendly aborigine boy. This film explores the relationship between the white children and the aborigine boy, who ultimately develops a romantic attraction towards the older sister.
West Side Story – a classic Hollywood musical about two teenagers from different cultures and from rival NYC gangs who fall in love.
Whale Rider – a drama based on the novel of the same name by Witi Ihimaera, about a 12-year-old Maori girl who wants to become the chief of the tribe. Her grandfather believes that this is a role reserved for males only.
Wings of Evolution - a documentary about the revolutionary educational system of Siragu Montessori School, a school for homeless and underprivileged children, located in a remote area of India. The film also focuses on bringing together children from around the world, through a world-wide postcard sharing workshop where children from around the world share thoughts, exchange ideas and promote cultural diversity, global peace and understanding towards building a better tomorrow.